Any time we can make the best even better, we do. Our ROG Swift PG27UQ is already the envy of every gamer with a high-end graphics card. With its ultra-sharp 4K resolution, smooth 144Hz maximum refresh rate, support for high dynamic range content, and NVIDIA G-Sync variable refresh technology, it ticks off every feature on the “dream monitor” list. So, of course, we set about improving upon the original.
Localized backlight dimming is key to helping the PG27UQ achieve its prestigious VESA DisplayHDR 1000 and UHD Alliance UltraHD Premium certifications. By dividing the monitor up into 384 distinct zones that could be individually controlled, we maximized the contrast between the darkest areas on-screen and other zones displaying up to 1000 cd/m² of brightness.
As LED backlights physically shrink in size, we knew we’d see opportunities to implement more zones, improving picture quality with finer granularity. The next-generation 27” ROG Swift PG27UQX will be our first gaming monitor that utilizes Mini LEDs to enable 576 distinct zones. More zones make it possible to illuminate smaller objects without bright light bleeding all over dark scenes. Since that’s one of the main critiques leveled against today’s best displays capable of full-array local dimming, the PG27UQX represents a big step forward in bettering the LED LCD category as a whole.
Mini LEDs pave the way for better picture quality
Imagine the existing PG27UQ’s 4K panel as a checkerboard made up of 384 squares lit by 384 LEDs. The LEDs in each of those zones can be controlled on a per-square basis to make them dim or bright, depending on the content you’re looking at. By varying their intensity, it’s possible to attain really high contrast ratios, creating big differences between the darkest blacks and brightest whites.
But when the LEDs in one square are fully illuminated and zones adjacent to it are dim, you end up with a noticeable halo or bloom effect. It’s an artifact inherent to LED LCDs with localized backlights. Dividing the panel into more zones, however, helps diminish the effect since each zone is smaller, with fewer LEDs generating superfluous backlighting.
Rather than using conventional LEDs, which are between 700 and 800 µm, our new ROG Swift PG27UQX employs much smaller Mini LEDs that are roughly 200 - 300 µm. It spans the same 27” but is divided into 576 zones, each of which uses four LEDs for a total of 2,304 LEDs. The increase means bloom can be reduced by as much as 33% compared to our already-awesome PG27UQ. Mini LEDs also use less power than their predecessors. Consequently, the PG27UQX’s panel consumes 7% less power than the PG27UQ, translating to lower electricity bills and less heat to dissipate.
Keep cool and carry on
The ROG Swift PG27UQX is packed with cutting-edge components like NVIDIA’s latest G-Sync Ultimate module, so it requires active cooling despite the Mini LEDs’ enhanced energy efficiency. To keep the high-tech hardware operating at a comfortable temperature, we borrowed some of the intelligence responsible for keeping our graphics cards running cool and quiet.
Smart fan control dials in the exact rotational speed needed to maintain ideal thermals without overdoing it and causing unnecessary noise. The platform’s two fans operate silently, generating barely more than a whisper.
Fully loaded for great gaming
The integration of Mini LEDs serves to enhance an already top-shelf monitor. Like the ROG Swift PG27UQ before it, our new PG27UQX challenges gamers to bring the best graphics subsystem they can muster. It’s difficult enough to maintain 60 FPS on a 3840 x 2160 panel. Getting up into the 100+ FPS range with quality settings maxed out requires an especially potent GPU.
If you have the high-end graphics hardware to drive a 4K display, the 27” screen offers a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz for the smoothest gameplay you’ve ever experienced, and support for NVIDIA’s G-Sync variable refresh technology means the monitor dynamically adjusts its refresh rate to match the output of your compatible GeForce GPU. The ROG Swift PG27UQX gives you an amazingly high resolution with the ability to refresh at a smooth 144 Hz. Even if your graphics card can’t handle both at the same time, G-Sync evens out every transition from twitchy action to demanding realism.
We’ve also carried over the PG27UQ’s HDR capabilities, meaning our new ROG Swift PG27UQX’s Mini LEDs match the brightness specification of conventional LEDs, despite their smaller size. Expect up to 1000 cd/m² maximum brightness and better overall image quality thanks to the big reduction in bloom. If you enjoy watching horror movies or playing scary games, the contrast between dark backgrounds and bright highlights is going to look more real than ever. Have fun with that.
A sublime quantum-dot IPS panel allows the PG27UQX to cover 99% of the Adobe RGB color space used by professional photographers and printers, along with 97% of the DCI-P3 gamut common to a lot of cinema work. Of course, IPS technology offers some of the best viewing angles available, and the PG27UQX capitalizes with 178° vertical and horizontal visibility. Each monitor is also calibrated at the factory to guarantee an average Delta-E of less than three, so every ROG Swift PG27UQX is optimized to ensure its output closely matches the colors it receives as input.
What’s on the outside counts, too
There’s so much cutting-edge tech inside our PG27UQX, but we haven’t neglected the finishing touches on the outside. The ROG logo on the back sports RGB lighting and Aura Sync support allows you to tie the color and effects to other Aura Sync-compatible components. Another ROG logo built into the stand projects light onto the desk below, and the monitor comes bundled with a blank cover so you can design a custom logo to splash across your space.
Combining a 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, realistic HDR content, and G-Sync support for fluid on-screen action leaves little more to want, but the ROG Swift PG27UQX improves on an already winning combination with Mini LEDs that deliver an even crisper picture. You can catch the first glimpse of the ROG Swift PG27UQX at Computex 2019 in Taipei. Stay tuned for more information on pricing and general availability.
We announced a lot of hot new tech at Computex 2019. You can find all of the latest gear from ASUS and ROG in this article.
By Paul Cross