Asus revives the original WQHD G-Sync display with the PG278QE

Back in 2014, we reviewed Asus' then-new ROG Swift PG278Q monitor. That was a 27" display that supported a 144-Hz refresh rate and Nvidia's recently-released G-Sync technology. We found it to be absolutely fantastic aside from the eye-watering price, and to this day many enthusiasts consider it to be among the best gaming displays. It's getting hard to find now though, and its supposed replacement the PG278QR had some serious image quality issues. So, Asus seems to be bringing back the PG278Q with a new release known as the ROG Swift PG278QE.

Like the original PG278Q, the new PG278QE is a flat 27" gaming monitor in 2560×1440 resolution that uses a TN panel to achieve a 1-ms response time. The original display topped out at a 144-Hz refresh rate, and this one probably will too out of the box, but Asus says it supports refresh rates up to 165 Hz through overclocking. Recall that Nvidia has a custom resolution tool built right into its control panel to make display overclocking relatively simple.

The maximum light output of the PG278QE is a plenty-bright 350 cd/m², while the contrast tops out at a typical 1000:1. The rest of the specifications aren't going to set your heart on fire; thanks to the use of a TN panel Asus lists the viewing angles as a very generous 170° horizontally and 160° vertically. Still, just as Scott wrote in his review of the PG278Q, don't discount this display entirely just because it has a TN panel. Like many others, we noted the impressive image quality of the PG278Q's high-end 8-bit TN panel, and we suspect this display will be the same in that regard.

Gamers will be able to hook up to the PG278QE using HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2. There are no speakers, but you can plug some in to the usual 3.5-mm audio jack. The monitor also includes a USB 3.0 hub with 2 ports, just perfect for plugging in peripherals. Naturally, the PG278QE includes Nvidia's Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) as well as all of Asus' usual gaming technologies like GamePlus and GameVisual. There's even a low blue light mode if you want to make all your games look like Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

The one big question mark surrounding Asus' new display is the price. G-Sync monitors have come down a lot since the early days five years ago, but they still carry a premium over similar displays without Nvidia's control hardware. That's intentional, of course; G-Sync is a premium brand after all. Still, it's even harder to justify the extra cost when similar monitors without G-Sync support—but with FreeSync support that is likely to work fine on GeForces—can be found for as little as $340. Hopefully the PG278QE ends up closer to that mark than its predecessor's $800 price tag.

Comments closed
    • CScottG
    • 9 months ago

    What.. G-Sync?

    That is sooooo last quarter.

    • Kretschmer
    • 9 months ago

    It’s a shame that this monitor can’t be brighter. I can confirm that 350 cd/m^2 isn’t bright enough for pleasant strobing.

      • jihadjoe
      • 9 months ago

      [quote<]I can confirm that 350 cd/m^2 isn't fast enough for pleasant strobing.[/quote<] Pretty sure cd/m² is not a measure of speed lol

        • Kretschmer
        • 9 months ago

        Fast->bright

      • DarkUltra
      • 9 months ago

      I have two PG279Q IPS displays and they both do 135cd/m2 calibrated with ULMB. Plenty bright, more than the 120cd/m2 suggested brightness. Very nice in Satellite Reigns sneering neon advertisments.

        • Kretschmer
        • 9 months ago

        I tried that monitor and found it a bit dull for my tastes.

    • K-L-Waster
    • 9 months ago

    Having used TN and IPS panels, there’s no way I’m going back to TN. Not happenin’.

      • Thresher
      • 9 months ago

      I have the IPS version of the monitor and it’s fantastic. Definitely worth stepping up a little bit in price.

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 9 months ago

    One of these days I’ll upgrade from my pb278q and S2716DG to something newer, but honestly I’m pretty set unless one of the monitors decides to die randomly. I’m sooner to upgrade my 1070 to something next gen than get another monitor

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 9 months ago

      You might be able to hang onto your 2560×1440 monitors until someone introduces some competition for graphics cards that can perform well at 3840×2160. NVidia’s sky-high pricing of the GeForce GTX1080Ti and RTX2080 is too much to stomach.

        • RoxasForTheWin
        • 9 months ago

        That’s likely the plan, 4k doesn’t exactly seem worth it when the 2080 is so expensive. I’m glad I’m getting my money’s worth with my 1070, but jeez could we get some reasonably priced improvements?

        • psuedonymous
        • 9 months ago

        Resolution alone tells you nothing about performance. Games have such widely varying performance requirements that even a blanket caveat of “newer games” needing higher end cards for [arbitrary resolution] is meaningless. Even stacking that with “newer AAA games” fails when you consider games like Doom, or even simply running at ‘very high’ settings rather than the maximum how-far-do-the-sliders-go ultra settings (that have little to no visual impact but tank performance).

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 9 months ago

          Other than the recently-introduced “use ray-tracing to slow down my game” slider, none of them has anywhere near as much effect on performance as the resolution slider does.

      • Kretschmer
      • 9 months ago

      I wouldn’t switch until the X07X card can deliver >90FPS in 4K. Who wants to play a 60FPS slideshow? In most games you will notice smoothness but you won’t notice 4K resolution.

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