Review: Asus MG279Q 144Hz FreeSync monitor
For a long time I have been pondering what is next for screens. I have seen several monitors above 1080p, though many tend to go way too high when a more incremental bump would make more sense. At the same time I have seen monitors going the other way: sticking at 1080p but heading for 144Hz. Both options appealed, but I wanted to see something that offered both.
Asus’ MG279Q monitor offers both: 1440p at 144Hz with FreeSync in a 27″ 4:3 IPS panel. I ran the monitor on a Nvidia setup, setting the screen to a 144Hz refresh rate. For games like Diablo, where there is a lot of panning across environments this makes for an exceptionally pleasant experience. In fact I haven’t been able to enjoy Diablo quite as much since sending this monitor back, as that smooth panning was just that impressive and pleasant. While the jump from 1080p to 1440p will knock performance on most mid-range cards, its a great incremental step for those who have rigs that are already crunching out way over 60fps onto a 60Hz panel.
On the AMD sides of things, IPS is still lagging behind TN in terms of refresh range. This panel has an improved range, from 35 – 90Hz. This is much better than some IPS panels doing FreeSync at 40-60 or 30-75, but it still lags behind the 40-144 of a TN. If your machine is running beyond 90fps on 2,560 x 1,440, you fall into a category that just isn’t being catered for by IPS panels just yet. For those who can’t have their machine running perfectly at 90fps, the FreeSync option helps a lot for those unexpected framerate dips.
The on-screen display is intuitive and easy to navigate thanks to a tiny joystick that is used to move through options and to select by pressing the joystick in. One thing that stands out for me is the button that offers you on-screen crosshairs. It just seems silly and I am really worried that enough people use features like that for it to have a pretty much dedicated button to activating the crosshair, or changing the type and colour of it. Why is this a thing? Moving on.
Colour and viewing angle-wise this monitor is amazing. There are games I played which I don’t think I have seen the colours so vividly before. On on-screen button also allows you to switch through several presets depending on what you are doing. One of these dims the screen, making browsing and working in word documents a lot easier on the eyes, while another brings reds out, which is great for shooters or other games where a lot of information is provided to you in a colour-coded manner. Speaking of working, a 27″ running 2,560 x 1,440 is a lot of screen estate, enough to have two documents open side by side without dropping below 100% zoom.
Even if you aren’t using an AMD card, this is an amazing 1440p 144Hz IPS panel.