Hands-on: The ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM dazzles in any game

Articles: Monitors
May 24, 2023 Written by:a squillante

Full gaming setup including the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM sitting on a desk

Let’s keep this simple: yes, OLED monitors are fantastic for PC gaming. Yes, you’ll notice the difference between OLED and LCD tech right away, even if you’re not a display nerd. Yes, you can now get an OLED monitor equipped with all the display specs that matter most for gaming: a high refresh rate, Adaptive-Sync, and more. For all of us who’ve been waiting for OLED panel tech to fully mature, the wait is over. OLED gaming monitors have arrived. 

To experience the next generation of gaming displays for myself, I got my hands on the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM. I’ve had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of games on this fully loaded display, and it unquestionably delivers a PC gaming experience that you have to see to believe. The signature inky blacks provided by its OLED panel amped up my favorite survival horror games to the next level. Its jaw-droppingly-low response times gave me stunning clarity and control in fast-paced esports and racing games. The PG27AQDM’s lightning-quick 240Hz refresh rate and 1440p resolution combined for an exceptional balance of detail and fluid animation. And all this is just the start of everything that this monitor offers. 

Look and feel 

The ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM perfectly complements ROG’s first entries into the world of OLED gaming displays: the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ and ROG Swift OLED PG48UQ. Those larger 42-inch and 48-inch models cater to gamers who want to fully immerse themselves, overflowing their field of vision with a massive 4K panel. As a 27-inch display, the PG27AQDM returns to a form factor that many gamers find offers the best balance. 

Front view of the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM gaming monitor

The ROG stand design ensures that the PG27AQDM fits solidly and comfortably on just about any desk. Three slim legs provide a sturdy base without demanding much desktop space. The mounting mechanism is easy to attach, and it offers an impressive range of ergonomic adjustments, including the option to pivot the display into portrait mode. 

The stand of the PG27AQDM on a desk with an ROG keyboard and an Xbox controller

For a bit of customizable fun, ROG lighting points downward from the stand base onto your desk. A small disc occludes the light to create the signature ROG logo. In the box, we include a couple other discs to give you some choices, as well as a blank disc that you can customize yourself. 

Closeup view of the tripod socket atop the stand

In this new era of Twitch streaming, a gamer’s battle station is quite likely to include a high-end camera or microphone. On top of the PG27AQDM’s stand, you’ll find a standard ¼" tripod mount. This gives you a convenient and sturdy place to mount your gear. 

ROG goes above and beyond 

In recent years, gamers chasing the inky blacks, vivid colors, and low response times of OLED panels have been shopping in the television aisle. Yet an OLED TV doesn’t deliver the same PC experience as the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM — and I’m talking about more than just the inconvenience of grabbing a separate remote. 

First, ROG’s proven expertise in designing cooling solutions for graphics cards, laptops, and more comes to play in the PG27AQDM. A custom heatsink and innovative internal component layout draws heat away from the OLED panel and out through a large top air vent, all without the need for a noisy fan. These features allow the PG27AQDM to operate at about 5% lower average temperatures compared to other 27-inch OLED gaming monitors. That means I get to enjoy much brighter images, and it minimizes the likelihood of image retention.  

Overhead view of the PG27AQDM showing how thing the display is

Second, a special micro-texture coating on the surface of the display significantly reduces glare. Distracting screen glare isn’t just an annoyance — in a round of Apex Legends, it can put me on the wrong side of victory. 

Third, the ROG-exclusive Uniform Brightness setting gives me a better desktop experience than most OLED TVs provide. If I connect my PC to a standard OLED TV and open a file explorer window, it’ll be far too bright, and when I change the size of the window, it’ll annoyingly change brightness as the TV’s automatic brightness limiter kicks in. Many competing OLED gaming monitors display the same frustrating behavior. With Uniform Brightness, I get a consistent experience that’s more comfortable on my eyes.  

Survival horror like I’ve never experienced before 

Talk to experienced display aficionados about what they like about OLED displays, and one of the first things they’ll mention is contrast. Traditional LCD displays use an always-on backlight to illuminate all the pixels, but in an OLED display each pixel is its own light source. Practically speaking, that means that every pixel can completely turn off to provide a true, inky black.  

Gameplay screenshot from Resident Evil 4 showing the character moving through a creepy basement

Image source: Gamesplanet 

That near-infinite contrast matters everywhere, but it’s a standout feature when I fire up one of my favorite survival horror games like Resident Evil 4. For years, I put up with “shadows” that were really just a murky gray. Now, when I game with the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM, the dark hallways and shadowy interiors of this claustrophobic title are truly dark and shadowy. I feel like I’m actually experiencing the game as it was meant to be played — and my heart pounds all the harder as a result. 

Since the PG27AQDM combines those inky blacks with a dazzling 1000-nit peak brightness, 99% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, and factory color pre-calibrations, it offers a superlative HDR gaming experience. When I sweep Leon’s flashlight across a room, the bright light suddenly brings the unsettling details — or lurking enemies — into striking focus before they slip back into the shadow.  

A brief aside: OLED isn’t the only panel tech in town that promises far superior contrast than traditional backlit LCD displays can provide. The ROG Swift PG32UQX, for example, uses a full-array local dimming (FALD) backlight with 1152 independent LED zones. This backlight allows it to deliver an astonishingly high peak brightness of 1400 nits for incredibly detailed highlights, while dimming individual zones in darker areas of the scene.  

The best OLED gaming monitor for esports and racing 

Exceptional contrast might be an OLED panel’s calling card, but its most important feature for gamers might be its response time. On any display, it takes a small amount of time for a pixel to change from one color to the next. On a display with a relatively high average response time, you may notice a certain blurriness behind moving objects. To see how your current monitor performs, head over to testufo.com

Your typical everyday monitor might have a response time of about 20ms. A gaming display should have a response time of 3ms or less, and an excellent LCD gaming display might offer a response time of 1ms or even 0.5ms. To an OLED panel, those are rookie numbers. The ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM shows them up with an astonishingly low 0.03ms response time that delivers unparalleled clarity.  

A screenshot from Forza Horizon 5 showing an off-road rally vehicle in a race

Image source: Xbox 

A low average response time elevates your experience in every type of game, but a fast-paced racing sim immediately demonstrates the value of this display spec. I downloaded Forza Horizon 5 from Game Pass to make the PG27AQDM show me what it could do, and the monitor delivered. As I cruised the open-world landscape of Mexico from one event to the next, the PG27AQDM’s OLED tech depicted the world in pristine clarity even as I blazed past with the pedal to the metal. 

The PG27AQDM gave a massive boost to my esports ambitions, too. The clarity that it offers for fast-paced action is just off the charts in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. With motion blur essentially eliminated with the panel’s stunning 0.03ms response time, everything on the screen stays clear, always, no matter what’s happening. And its 240Hz refresh rate lets me track every moment of gameplay.  

A view of the large, customizable ROG logo on the back of the PG27AQDM

That’s huge for CS:GO. As a strategic game of inches, CS:GO places me in tense moments every round when I’m anxiously scanning corners, watching for an opponent to peek out. The fast refresh rate of the PG27AQDM lets me respond just a little faster to those moments — and that “little” faster makes all the difference.  

But each round is just as likely to have an encounter where the unexpected happens, where my team’s strategy falls apart and we have to go toe-to-toe with our opponents in a high-stakes, fast-moving gunfight. In the past, I’ve struggled with monitors that would get blurry as I whipped my view around to respond to an enemy — that’s just life with a monitor with a slow response time. All ROG monitors give you better clarity than standard entry-level monitors, but the PG27AQDM truly goes above and beyond in this regard. Its response time is so astoundingly low that that each pixel keeps up with even the fastest-paced action. When I’m desperately trying to keep an opponent in my sights, that’s an undeniable competitive advantage. 

The complete package for AAA gaming 

These days, when I want to test a PC or component’s ability to deliver a complete gaming experience, I load up Cyberpunk 2077. A next-gen title in just about every sense of the word, this game showcases everything that you can enjoy with cutting-edge hardware. 

It starts with vibrant color. Cyberpunk 2077’s dystopian Night City dazzles with an endless landscape of neon lights. With its 99% coverage of the cinema-grade DCI-P3 color gamut, the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM offers bold, saturated colors that leap off the screen, highlighting the impressive detail in this game world. Speed matters here, too. Whether I’m splitting lanes on the highway on my motorcycle, closing in for a kill with my implanted mantis blades, or leaning out of a car window to pepper a pursuing vehicle with bullets, I can rely on the PG27AQDM to keep the action fluid and clear so that I’m always in control. 

Fine-tune your experience  

A closeup view of the joystick to allows users to access the on-screen display

The ROG Swift OLED’s easy-to-access joystick lets you quickly adjust display settings. Depending on your desk setup, though, it might be even easier to make adjustments with your trusty mouse and keyboard. That’s why we offer the ASUS DisplayWidget Center app.

A screenshot of the DisplayWidget Center app, showing the OLED setup controls

This lightweight app lets you change your GameVisual mode, add a crosshair or FPS counter, and much more, all through an intuitive interface. The DisplayWidget Center app also lets you quickly access options that help you maintain the health of your OLED display.  

The best OLED gaming monitor 

With its exceptional contrast, superior clarity in fast-paced action, vibrant colors, and complete suite of gaming features, the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM offers a standout feature set for a wide range of gamers. Through its custom heatsink, anti-glare matte coating, and Uniform Brightness feature, you get a better PC gaming experience than you’d get with an OLED television. 

A side view of the PG27AQDM showing the lighting effects on the base

OLED gaming monitors have arrived, and the future is bright. Purchase an ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM of your own to witness everything that the next generation of gaming displays has to offer.

Model Key Features Availability (U.K)  
ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM OLED panel
26.5"
2560x1440
240Hz
ASUS eShop UK
Where to Buy
 
ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ OLED panel
41.5"
4K
138Hz (OC)

ASUS eShop UK

Where to Buy


 
ROG Swift OLED PG48UQ OLED panel
47.5"
4K
138Hz (OC)

ASUS eShop UK
 

Where to Buy