Nvidia G-Sync displays already price an arm and a leg greater than common gaming monitors, however bump the decision as much as 2560×1440 and throw in a curved panel with a 165Hz refresh fee and also you’re taking a look at spending an arm and a leg plus each of your kidneys. All proper, so £649 / $650 for AOC’s new Agon AG273QCG isn’t fairly as unhealthy as, say, forking out two grand plus on Asus or Acer’s Nvidia G-Sync HDR displays, but it surely’s nonetheless a sizeable amount of cash the place ‘simply okay’ doesn’t minimize it. At this worth, you need perfection, which leaves the AG273QCG in a barely precarious place. Here’s wot I believe.
First issues first, I completely adore the design of this monitor. I do know I’ve stated earlier than that I’m a sucker for something pink (it’s, in spite of everything, the best color of all time), however golly simply take a look at that attractive scarlet pink base. What a beaut. Even the little makeshift carry deal with on the high of its height-adjustable stand is coated within the stuff! Yes. Please.
Sure, I might most likely do with out the RGB lightshow occurring around the again of the monitor, and doubtless might have performed with one other little hollowed out nook down the underside to maintain my cables good and tidy, however what are you able to do? If I might stick it on my best gaming monitor checklist for its seems alone, I might. I do know, I do know, black and pink is a little bit of a PC gaming cliche nowadays, however for me, the AG273QCG can come and hang around on my desk any day of the week.
Alas, a pleasant pink stand doesn’t a greatest gaming monitor make. There’s additionally the same old stuff to take into consideration like color accuracy, brightness and distinction, in addition to port choice and whether or not its further options – which within the AG273QCG’s case extends to its Nvidia G-Sync assist and 165Hz refresh fee – are actually value all that further money. And for probably the most half, the AOC AG273QCG makes a fairly good case for itself.
Needless to say, you’ll want a reasonably hefty graphics card to benefit from that 165Hz refresh fee (which is just out there over its DisplayPort 1.2 enter, I’d add – utilizing the HDMI 1.four enter will restrict you to the common 60Hz), particularly at its native decision of 2560×1440. I imply, even my 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 struggled to get a lot greater than 120fps within the exceptionally well-optimised Doom after I loaded it up on the AG273QCG, and that was on Medium high quality settings at 1920×1080. At 1440p on Medium, it was extra like 100fps, so that you’ll most likely have to personal one thing with a bit extra grunt to essentially get your cash’s value right here.
As I stated in my Alienware AW2518H review, although, a simple approach to examine whether or not your graphics card is able to spitting out 165fps is to make use of a body fee counter. Steam and lots of different launchers have one built-in, so it is likely to be value having a mess around with the settings on a few of your favorite games to see how excessive you’ll be able to push it earlier than spending a great deal of cash on a monitor you’ll be able to’t make full use of.
Then there’s the AG273QCG’s Nvidia G-Sync assist, the first intention of which is to assist remove display screen tearing no matter what number of frames your graphics card is churning out at any given second. It does this by dynamically adjusting your monitor’s refresh fee to match stated body churn, holding issues good and clean and stutter free no matter whether or not you’re hitting the complete 165fps or noodling round 30fps.
Of course, ever since Nvidia opened up their G-Sync standard to work on cheaper AMD FreeSync screens (albeit in a watered-down model whose quality wildly depends on the specific type of screen you’re utilizing), full-fat G-Sync screens are not fairly as particular as they as soon as have been. Indeed, when you’ll be able to nonetheless nearly snag Acer’s XG270HU monitor for under $400, which additionally has a 2560×1440 decision and a 144Hz refresh fee and is without doubt one of the choose few FreeSync screens to go Nvidia’s personal G-Sync Compatible exams (which suggests it may well ship one of the best G-Sync expertise attainable on an AMD FreeSync show), £650 / $650 displays similar to AOC’s AG273QCG must work further laborious to justify their further price.
There are nonetheless a few issues G-Sync screens provide that aren’t out there on G-Sync Compatible ones, although. This contains tremendous low enter lag over DisplayPort, guaranteeing the minimal quantity of delay between your keyboard inputs and what’s occurring onscreen, and Ultra Low Motion Blur, which helps retains issues wanting good and sharp, notably at greater refresh charges when fast-moving games can generally get a bit smeary while you’re zipping the digicam backwards and forwards in fast succession.
My huge drawback with the AG273QCG, nevertheless, is that it has the identical seen grain impact as their G2590PX monitor, which, to my eyes, simply makes every part look a bit hazy proper from the off. I’ll admit I didn’t discover it fairly a lot after I was Super Shotgun-ing Doom demons within the face, for instance, however let the digicam relaxation for only a second and it rapidly comes effervescent again to the floor once more, spoiling the view of no matter’s onscreen. It’s notably seen over on the desktop, too, and there have been a number of instances after I felt I couldn’t give attention to the textual content or photographs in entrance of me as a result of the display screen simply regarded too fuzzy.
It’s an actual disgrace, because the panel itself is definitely fairly good relating to general color accuracy. Provided you retain its varied gaming modes turned off (which solely make the display screen look even worse, in my view), my X-Rite i1 DisplayPro calibrator confirmed it was displaying 94.3% of the usual sRGB color gamut out of the field on its default Warm color temperature setting, which is great contemplating it’s solely obtained a TN panel to its title. What’s extra, I used to be even capable of push its sRGB protection a fraction greater to 95.5% after I converted to its User color temperature profile and knocked the Green worth down a few pegs.
Brightness was good, too, reaching as excessive as 460cd/m2 on its most setting. That’s greater than you’ll ever want in every day use, but it surely’s at all times good to have the additional leeway in case you occur to take a seat subsequent to a really shiny sunny window. The solely draw back to having a excessive brightness degree is the knock-on impact this has on the monitor’s black ranges, which sat round 0.60cd/m2 in keeping with my DisplayPro. This continues to be all proper as TN panels go, however ideally I might have appreciated it to have been a fraction decrease (say, 0.40cd/m2, because the nearer you’re capable of get to 0.00cd/m2, the higher, actually) to make it extra aggressive towards different G-Sync displays such because the Acer Predator XB241H.
I additionally wasn’t massively impressed with its distinction ratio of 782:1, both. Again, that is largely nice, as I used to be nonetheless capable of see loads of element in darkish scenes and games with numerous shadow areas. But even after fidgeting with its gamma and distinction settings for a bit, one of the best I might handle nonetheless solely amounted to 812:1, which is fairly underwhelming for such an costly monitor.
Combine that with the grainy end I discussed earlier, and the AOC Agon AG273QCG simply has too many niggles to essentially advocate at this sort of worth. As a lot as I really like the monitor’s general design, its panel stays a relentless disappointment, dashing each final shred of affection I’ve for it each time I flip it on. I want it was higher, however when the 27in, 2560×1440 model of the superb Acer Predator XB241H can nonetheless be had for round £30 / $50 less than the AOC, there’s simply no competitors. If you’re out there for a 1440p monitor with a excessive refresh fee, the Acer continues to be the best way to go.