AOC G2460PG 144Hz G-Sync monitor review
Meet the AOC G2460PG: A 24″ 1080p monitor. You might remember a while back I tested the AOC G2460PQU (yeah the naming conventions of monitors leave something to be desired), a 144 Hz monitor with pretty amazing colour accuracy. So what is the biggest difference between these similarly named products? Well, this monitor has a G-Sync chip.
I try not to get overly excited about tech, because then once the product finally arrives, I have this crazy idea of how amazing it should be, which can overshadow what the tech actually does. G-Sync broke that idea into tiny little bits, because it sounded like the right direction to take things in, rather than just applying large multipliers to existing resolutions.
But what is G-Sync? If you have missed out on the last year or so of information about it, here is a quick explanation of the tech. Your screen shows images at a fixed rate, decided by the refresh rate. Your GPU, though has a variable render rate and when they two are mismatched, you get artifacts. Screen tearing is a terrible thing, its a thing that the next world war will be fought over.* Now V-sync can help to reduce tearing by adding in filler frames if your FPS drops down below the screen’s refresh rate. This results in stutter, because your brain picks up on the frozen animation in the added frames, which are just copies of the previous frame. While this can look better than screen tearing, it adds in a new problem: input delay. Some games will delay any inputs that are entered during a filler frame, making those all important inputs when the screen is full of fire and raining metal all the less likely to save you from doom. G-Sync lets your monitor and Nvidia GPU communicate better, putting them in sync. This removes tearing and creates a smooth play experience without issues like stutter or input delay.
So does it work?
Once you switch G-Sync on in the Nvidia Control Panel, life changes. Okay that might be a bit of hyperbole, but the sensation of having things get super smooth is really like a soothing balm for the eyes. Most games will detect G-Sync themselves and offer it up, but setting the Control Panel overrides most games’ settings anyway. For one stubborn game, I had to tell it to use V-Sync (it didn’t pick up the new refresh rates the monitor had) and wahey, 144 fps gaming was in my grasp. The biggest difference between this monitor and one sans G-Sync was what occurred during graphically intense sequences: the G-Sync kicks in and while the frame rate drops, the only reason I noticed was due to a frame counter on my screen. Things stay buttery smooth and visual artifacts are gone.
The smoothness comes through in pixel response and input lag as well, which is really tight. While I don’t have a 1000FPS camera to tell you exactly how fast the response time is, its pretty darn fast. Fast enough to please people with twitchy mice settings playing MOBAs all day long, that is for sure.
So is it worth it?
A G-Sync monitor isn’t cheap and even with this AOC being right on the lower end of the G-Sync spectrum, R10,000 is a pretty large sum of money. Though after returning to my own old faithful monitor, I had the crazy urge to start saving up towards that price tag.
A lot of that also comes down to the build quality of the device, which is pretty darn solid. Besides keeping the colour accuracy from its non G-Sync brother, the monitor attaches to its stand with a solid, heavy click and adjusting the monitor is pretty stiff, with no wobble or play. It stays where you adjust it to and the brushed finish will almost convince you that the monitor is made out of metal, when it is actually made of really dense plastic.
The monitor implements G-Sync perfectly and it keeps my colour accuracy nerd in check, while offering some pretty solid grayscale. The hardest part of everything is that there is no video, no image that can show how amazing G-Sync is, which makes recommending it possibly fall on deaf ears. But damn, I need one of these in my life now.
* Actually the next world war will be fought over many things, but somewhere in the list, screen tearing will be mentioned.