Video review: Asus’ MG279Q FreeSync monitor

Asus’ MG279Q is an appealing FreeSync display. It’s got a 27″, 2560×1440 IPS panel with a refresh rate of 144Hz. Our own Gyromancer (Nathan Wasson) has been spending some quality time with this display in Damage Labs, and he’s summed up his impressions in a video review. Check it out:

The Asus MG279Q is available today from Newegg for $600.

Comments closed
    • gigafinger
    • 4 years ago

    I placed an order for one of these at NewEgg and the reviews have me worried about quality control. Has anyone received one with dead pixels or excessive backlight bleed?

      • gigafinger
      • 4 years ago

      Got the monitor. No dead pixels, but quite a bit of IPS glow near the edges and especially at the lower right corner. The desktop experience is good when not looking at these sections. Gaming on it is amazing. Unfortunately, the monitor has bezel damage from shipping and I am expecting a replacement soon. I hope to get another perfect panel with less glow.

    • themattman
    • 4 years ago

    Great review, very professional!

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 4 years ago

    I have to add my voice to not liking video reviews. Obviously, you have to do what’s popular, I just hope text stays popular enough.

    • zzz
    • 4 years ago

    I get that TR is digging the video thing or podcast thing lately but frankly I don’t want pretty much anything to do with that. I’m never going to watch this video, or watch/listen to the podcasts: produce a transcript.

      • Gyromancer
      • 4 years ago

      You know the TR Podcast has been going on since 2008 right?

        • Meadows
        • 4 years ago

        Podcasts are like radio talk shows, they’re made for listening and there’s no problem with that. They’re usually pretty long, too.

        Video reviews, on the other hand, are impractical for basically any piece of computer hardware you can think of. [i<]Software[/i<] reviews - including games - are different, video format works there because you want to see what's going on. Here I'd much rather get a written review with a bunch of pictures that I can then reference later.

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 4 years ago

          Someone should go tell the crowd of wildly successful YouTube hardware reviewers. I’m sure they’ll recognize the error of their ways.

            • Meadows
            • 4 years ago

            Wildly successful, sure.

        • MarkG509
        • 4 years ago

        Stay on the high-road. This was an excellent review, well written and well presented. I’m not much of a gamer (occasional Flight Simulator), but after watching this, I’m considering updating one of my machines. When I want dry detailed specs on monitors, I check TFT Central, and while that tells me the ‘what’, this helped with the ‘why’.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 4 years ago

      Door is right over there.

    • rahulahl
    • 4 years ago

    I have heard it in a lot of placed that adaptive sync isn’t needed at 144Hz, but personally I was able to tell the difference. Something felt wrong when my display driver had a hiccup and decided that Gsync didn’t need to be enabled, and turned the setting off without letting me know. So I was playing at 144Hz (300 FPS) Counter Strike GO thinking I had Gsync on, and still noticing something felt wrong with the game. Had to go check my settings and turn back Gsync on before it felt normal again.

    Maybe it does not feel an issue, if you haven’t used adaptive sync at 144Hz, but if you have, then you certainly would miss it when it isn’t there.

      • Firestarter
      • 4 years ago

      I believe it, if you’re used to glassy smooth 144fps then I’m sure you’d notice when some frames are suddenly out of sync

      • Pax-UX
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, I like to game @ 100 FPS or more, so picked up the VG278HE a while back. Not convinced by these new displays, as it only makes sense @ <40 FPS IMO as then the percentage gain is more obvious for V-SYNC. Otherwise it’s just a nice feature but not something I’d pay a noticeable premium for.

      That said I won’t be jumping off my this display till we get 4k@120Mhz… and yes I could be waiting a while.

        • moose17145
        • 4 years ago

        I suspect you will never see any screen running in the MHz range in your lifetime… πŸ™‚

          • VincentHanna
          • 4 years ago

          All you need is
          1) 3GPUs in SLI/Crossfire to drive multiple DP inputs
          OR
          2) A new connector.

          I give it 10 years tops.

    • Welch
    • 4 years ago

    Gyro, you sounded a bit nervous at times man. A few times you sort of rushed through some words and sentences. Don’t get too nervous, you did great. Looking forward to future video reviews from you soon.

    As for monitors… I just can’t see paying $600 for something that is simply using an open standard. The market clearly allows for this new technology tax. Id like to see 27″ monitors like this running $399 and under.

      • Freon
      • 4 years ago

      So if it was a closed standard the price tag would be ok?

      You can get a Korean PLS/IPS 27″ 1440p for under $300. It’s been that way for years. You can overclock some to 100-120hz.

        • Khali
        • 4 years ago

        I think his point was that G-Sync actually has a piece of hardware involved while Freesync is just software that is free for the manufactures to use. Just where do the extra costs come into it other than adding it into the drivers?

          • Freon
          • 4 years ago

          Where do you get the idea that Freesync or Gsync could be added to a panel via a driver? That’s a new one on me, and I think you’re dead wrong.

          Freesync is a hardware change in the panel just as much as Gsync is.

            • Khali
            • 4 years ago

            I am basing this on my understanding of this article from wccftech.

            [url<]http://wccftech.com/amd-freesync-nvidia-gsync-verdict/[/url<] "FreeSync is based on the Adaptive-Sync open standard in DisplayPort 1.2a" "FreeSync Pros : – Easier to integrate into a wider range of monitors due to lack of any additional hardware." I take that to mean its part of the instruction set in the Display Port 1.2a that gets activated when a Freesync AMD graphics card is used. Various reviews described it as a software change compared to Nvidia's Gsync being hardware. If I have gotten the wrong impression point me in the direction of an article to clear up my misunderstanding. I never said Gsync was activated via a driver. I plainly said it was hardware in the monitor. Yes you need an appropriate Nvidia GPU to use it.

      • byaafacehead
      • 4 years ago

      It being a 1440p IPS monitor with 144Hz refresh rate also adds a good deal of cost. It not [i<]just[/i<] using FreeSync.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 4 years ago

    I’m most worried about IPS glow on the MG279Q. Compared to other monitors of this size, is it better/worse/similar? And Gyromancer, do you find it subjectively bothersome?

      • auxy
      • 4 years ago

      TFTCentral felt it was pretty severe on this display.

      • gigafinger
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve noticed a fair amount of IPS glow at the corners on the monitor I received. While gaming, it’s a non-issue. On the desktop, it’s fairly noticeable on dark screens.

        • Duct Tape Dude
        • 4 years ago

        Thanks for sharing! I was totally sold until I started hearing about the glow issues. I know it’s common on IPS screens of this size, but I always hope new things are better in every way.

        Even with the glow, are you satisfied with the monitor?

          • gigafinger
          • 4 years ago

          I’m extremely satisfied with this monitor when gaming with a 390X. The glow issue is only really noticeable when intentionally looking at the corners when displaying a dark scene.

    • auxy
    • 4 years ago

    Sooo, I totally get the idea of a video review for something like this, with the ability to show actual video of the various phenomena, but I just hate watching videos. Any chance of a transcript? I can read a lot faster than you (or anyone!) can talk. ( ο½€γƒΌΒ΄)v

      • auxy
      • 4 years ago

      Well, I watched the video, because I’m home sick from work today and moving is pain, and I have to say it’s not bad. I really liked all of the diagrams and infographics and you also speak clearly and enunciate well. I thought your explanations were well-done and I’ve been linking the video around a bit, which, since I almost never view video content, is high praise indeed! (*’β–½’)

      I want to say that I might try and vary up the game footage a little more. The first half of the video is primarily just you talking over Project Cars (?) footage, which is not terrible but it’s not especially interesting to watch, especially given the racing venue chosen. Having two or three more games interspersed in there and maybe underlaying the game audio at a very low level (so it doesn’t interfere with your voiceover) would have helped break it up.

      The only other constructive criticism I would give would be that some of the presentation was a little questionable — the font used for most of the text (like the computer specs layout) is a little … gamer-bro-ish, in my opinion — and I would try and vary up the tone of your speech a little as it sounds kind of monotone in parts.
      [sub<]Or maybe I'm just super-sensitive to that as prosody is a life-long struggle for me too, hehe. ('Ο‰')[/sub<]

        • Gyromancer
        • 4 years ago

        Thanks for the feedback, I had some Chivalry Medieval Warfare footage I was considering throwing in but I didn’t, so next time I’ll try and vary it up a bit. My concern is that yes varying it up would make the background footage more interesting, but I don’t want to distract the viewer from what I’m saying. We’re looking into going to footage of the actual product instead of gameplay, that’s just harder to do. Being a primarily text based site, we’re a bit behind on all the video stuff, so we’re still trying to get things figured out. Thanks again.

        • Milo Burke
        • 4 years ago

        Feel better, my friend!

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    Is there a transcript?

      • Meadows
      • 4 years ago

      Guess not. No view from me.

    • Freon
    • 4 years ago

    Been going back and forth now for a bit thinking of this one and the similar Acer G-sync display. The cheaper price is nice, and I don’t feel so bad buying free-sync. Even with an Nvidia card, I just have a big problem with G-sync being proprietary and hate to vote with my money for that behavior. Internal features like Shadowplay are one thing, creating new proprietary interface standards to other third party hardware is another. I really wish it wasn’t something I had to worry about, but it is.

    One thing to think about is with those rear buttons, you’ll have to make compromises for multi-monitor desk configurations. I couldn’t reach the buttons if I were to replace my current “off brand” Korean PLS 27″ with this monitor.

      • Sabresiberian
      • 4 years ago

      I’m not buying either type until I can buy a monitor that is brand agnostic (in terms of video cards).

    • jihadjoe
    • 4 years ago

    Apparently some Radeons including the Fury can [url=http://www.overclock.net/t/1567179/activation-of-cores-in-hawaii-tonga-and-fiji-unlockability-tester-ver-1-6-and-atomtool<]unlock some of their disabled CUs[/url<]. There's a nifty tool called CUINFO that can read the state of hardware and software locks, and if you're lucky those resources might be able to be made available through some bios hacking. Interestly, running the tool on the R9-285 does [url=http://www.overclock.net/t/1567179/activation-of-cores-in-hawaii-tonga-and-fiji-unlockability-tester-ver-1-6-and-atomtool/10#post_24238020<]confirm the existence of 4 disabled CUs[/url<]. Guess Scott was right about that chip after all.

      • auxy
      • 4 years ago

      Huh! Paint my knickers and call me red-assed! ( *Β΄θ‰Έο½€)

        • Milo Burke
        • 4 years ago

        You look more flustered than a barefoot squirrel at a tire store!

          • auxy
          • 4 years ago

          Hehehe. But can you tell if I am very wise or a big stupid moron?
          [sub<]real talk tho, I'm only 4'9", so I'm a little stupid moron ('Ο‰')[/sub<]

            • Milo Burke
            • 4 years ago

            Can’t decide if Dilbert fan or just competent Googler…

            [url<]http://media.giphy.com/media/iSuffsM2olusE/giphy.gif[/url<]

            • auxy
            • 4 years ago

            As much as I would like to be a cool hipster Dilbert fan, I’m too honest to lie about it. ( ;βˆ€;) I had no idea until Google saved me.

            I’m actually [i<]from[/i<] Texas tho, you know?

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    Holy crap, having heard the video and Nate’s explanation of tearing, stutter, and the advantages of frame pacing, I can just imagine Nate’s conversation with Dad.

    Here’s a dramatic reenactment: [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkVsGjiprKg[/url<]

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    And for the super technical written version
    [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/asus_mg279q.htm[/url<]

      • auxy
      • 4 years ago

      Thanks for the link! I love TR and Gyromancer seems to do a pretty good job but I really just want the data.

      [sub<]u gib datum pls β•°(βœ§βˆ‡βœ§β•°) [/sub<]

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 4 years ago

    Eggcellent monitor. Had it for a while. My only problem is that I can’t run it at 144Hz. From Nvidia’s control panel I can set to 120Hz or 60Hz. Win 8.1, MSI GTX 660 und latest drivers. Any ideas?

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Monitor profile?

        • PrincipalSkinner
        • 4 years ago

        No luck. Can’t see 144Hz anywhere.

      • steelcity_ballin
      • 4 years ago

      I have a ROG Swift 27″ from Asus and I noticed the same thing on my GTX760. Can’t say it’s affected me at all /shrug

        • TwoEars
        • 4 years ago

        I also hav the ROG Swift and 670 in SLi. It’s running at 144Hz, did you select it in:

        Right click desktop –> Screen Resolution –> Advanced Settings –> Monitor

        ??

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      What port are you trying to drive the monitor from?

      If it is DVI-D, then that would explain it. DVI-D DL is limited to 2560×1440 120hz. You need at least DP 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 to go beyond that.

        • TwoEars
        • 4 years ago

        ROG Swift only has DisplayPort.

        • auxy
        • 4 years ago

        TECHNICALLY DL DVI is not limited. (*’β–½’)

          • Krogoth
          • 4 years ago

          Yes, it is limited. ( 7.92 Gbit/s of bandwidth to be precise)

          It has double the bandwidth of a single-link DVI. The difference is that VESA has dropped DVI in favor of DP which has much more headroom. Bandwidth does become an issue when going beyond 4Megapixels with a high-framerate.

            • auxy
            • 4 years ago

            So, I couldn’t find a proper source, or any source besides [url=http://www.gamespot.com/forums/pc-mac-linux-society-1000004/dp-vs-dvi-d-30910752/<]this[/url<] but I recall reading once upon a time that officially DVI-D DL had no cap on the bandwidth beyond what the system could push and the cable would carry with integrity. I'll check the Wikipedia history later as I'm sure it was on Wikipedia but it says something different now -- no doubt where this poster on Gamespot got their information.

            • Freon
            • 4 years ago

            The physical layer of the DVI protocol probably states that is all a standard cable is really specified to carry, but there’s really nothing stopping you, and it’s very unlikely to cause issues. There’s really no other limit to worry about (Windows, your GPU, etc. don’t care) besides interference which is unlikely unless your DVI cable is lying right next to your HAM radio transmission cable. You can easily hack or download a modified monitor driver to do this if the monitor doesn’t come with a proper INF (i.e. you’re overclocking), which is nothing but a plaintext INF file where you can basically type in whatever rate you want.

            Plenty of people run 1440p @ 120hz+ over dual link DVI without issue. From memory, I think that’s a good margin over official spec. At worst you can upgrade to a thicker cable if you notice interference.

        • PrincipalSkinner
        • 4 years ago

        miniDP with the supplied cable .

          • Krogoth
          • 4 years ago

          Into a normal DP port on the GPU itself?

            • PrincipalSkinner
            • 4 years ago

            Yeah.

            • Krogoth
            • 4 years ago

            The only thing that I can think of is that TDMS on GTX 660 doesn’t have enough bandwidth for it. (GK106 does support DP 1.2)

            • PrincipalSkinner
            • 4 years ago

            My conclusion is that it’s the drivers. Screen reported 144Hz under Linux using Noveau drivers but wasn’t really usable.

        • anotherengineer
        • 4 years ago

        You sure, I think Dual-Lin DVI is bandwidth limited to about 1920×1080 @ 120Hz.

          • DrDominodog51
          • 4 years ago

          I think you’re thinking of single link which is capable of 1080p@60Hz.

          • Freon
          • 4 years ago

          I’ve run my Korean 1440p monitor at 1440p@110 without issues. What is “in spec” I’m unsure, but it will work just fine.

    • Milo Burke
    • 4 years ago

    I apologize for my clumsy terms, I don’t have much experience with this stuff:

    I remember reading concerns that IPS might have too much latency or laggy blurriness simply because IPS pixels can’t react as fast as TN pixels.

    Nathan, you’ve reviewed it. Did you find the action at 144 Hz on this IPS panel to be as quick and clear as the action at 144 Hz on a standard TN panel? (Less a question about Freesync as it is about 144 Hz IPS)

    Any drawbacks because this is IPS? Or does it simply make all the comparatively featured and priced TN panels obsolete?

      • Gyromancer
      • 4 years ago

      You are correct about IPS not being able to react as quickly as TN, which is why there haven’t been very many IPS 144Hz or variable refresh displays. Recently, however, there have been a few break throughs as to how to make IPS panels more responsive. As a result a few monitor makers have been producing IPS 144Hz variable refresh displays. We have a few from Asus and Acer in the labs. As far as I can tell they are just as responsive and fast as TN panels. Good question.

        • Milo Burke
        • 4 years ago

        So, from what you have heard and can see, monitor makers aren’t willing to make a monitor that refreshes faster than there is genuine benefit from, but will wait until there is benefit before making it into a product? That’s really refreshing.

        And I’m happy to hear you have others too.

        Does Scott agree with your opinion that these IPS monitors are quick enough to merit the high refresh rates they are specced for?

        Do any of them do variable refresh faster than 90 Hz?

          • Damage
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah, the MG279Q is really good, as is the Acer XB270HU. I haven’t measured input lag empirically yet, but by all appearances, these are some of the best gaming displays around. They are plenty fast.

            • Milo Burke
            • 4 years ago

            Fantastic!

            • itachi
            • 4 years ago

            tftcentral review shows small input lag if I remember correctly, Asus is suppose to release something similar to the Acer one very soon according to the rumors… this is gonna be interesting I’m waiting for it, some people said next week it will be released or at least for reviews, and the quality control is gonna be most likely much better than on Acer’s (altought some people claim it have been fixed by now.

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      Thing is, it is not an IPS screen. It is an AHVA screen by AUOptronics.

      “The Asus MG279Q features an AU Optronics M270DAN02.3 AHVA (IPS-type) panel which is capable of producing 16.78 million colours. The panel offers an 8-bit colour depth and the part is confirmed when dismantling the screen as shown below.”
      [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/asus_mg279q.htm[/url<] LG = IPS panels.

        • Sabresiberian
        • 4 years ago

        While it is technically true that it isn’t IPS, it uses very similar technology, and is close enough. The only reason it isn’t called IPS is because, as you point out, that’s an LG brand name. There is no downside to buying AHVA or PLS instead of IPS.

        [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/panel_technologies.htm[/url<] As you can see, it isn't just my opinion that these technologies are interchangeable, it is the opinion of the author of one of the most respected monitor sites in the world.

          • anotherengineer
          • 4 years ago

          Indeed.

          However IPS does not have a 120hz or 144hz monitor as of yet. Not sure is PLS has 120 or 144hz screens yet either.

          That is the major difference!

            • itachi
            • 4 years ago

            People still call these panels IPS or IPS type, like the one in the Acer predator I believe is the same technology and people refer to it as IPS just because it’s similar (and I think also offer better colors and viewing angle so..)

    • Milo Burke
    • 4 years ago

    I look forward to watching the video tonight!

    But until then, what’s the summary?

      • orik
      • 4 years ago

      I know right? How am I supposed to watch this video at work?

        • Milo Burke
        • 4 years ago

        Nevermind, I took my lunch break in my car to watch the video.

        Here’s the skinny:
        – No ghosting like the other panel
        – IPS is nice
        – Limited to 144 Hz standard OR 90 Hz Freesync, not 144 Hz Freesync
        – 90 Hz Freesync feels vastly better than 60 Hz, but 144 Hz isn’t significantly better than 90 Hz
        – I presume that if you can’t reliably hit 130+ Hz at 1440p, 90 Hz Freesync is the obvious choice

        • Sargent Duck
        • 4 years ago

        I miss the days of reading articles…

    • mkk
    • 4 years ago

    Very well done in just ten minutes!

    I’ve had mine for a couple of weeks now and agree with what’s said here. My “meager” R9 290 has to work almost twice as hard in games like Battlefield 4 compared to my old 60Hz 1080p monitor in order to reach a fairly steady frame rate of 90 at 1440p, but with the right settings it’s a dream.

    I can’t stand the slightest amount of tearing so the limitation of Freesync at 90 Hz compared to 144Hz with VSync turned on was an easy choice in the end. Keeping a steady 144Hz requires so low settings on a system like mine that the appeal of the graphics were hurting, and the necessity of having Vsync turned on to combat tearing effectively removed the input latency benefit of running at 144Hz. I keep the desktop at 144Hz and whenever I enter a game with a good graphics engine (where Hz is an option) the monitor simply turns on Freesync when possible.

    For the price I see no better option out today. It’s fine for Video and photography as well. I found the default “Racing Mode” with a wee bit color tweaking to be preferable, but it’s a matter of taste (or the dark lords of monitor calibrator hardware). Coming from being a VA-panel fan for the last couple of years I worried a bit about how good the contrast would be of an IPS gaming panel, but I haven’t felt it lacking so far. Though I’ve yet to put my BenQ GW2760HS up in a side by side comparison.

    • jessterman21
    • 4 years ago

    And it’s 10% off for the next week with promo code!

    Amazon matches the $540 price, too.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    Thanks for the mini-review mini-Damage!

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