Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX monitor review

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Final Words & Verdict

The ROG Swift PG32UQX is brilliant in several ways but reveals downsides as well. The panel delivers as promised, eye soaring retinal blinding HDR levels with proper color gamuts and at 144 Hz in Ultra HD with a GSYNC module, you're bounded to be pleased and awed in that respect. The many LED zones bring deep dark blacks where needed and contrast levels that are just great. Truth be told; at a price of 3500 USD can't say that this is a particularly good buy. We'll talk about this a bit more in the next few chapters.


First and foremost, going UHD means you'll need a fast (expensive) graphics card. One thing quickly overlooked when purchasing Ultra HD screens is the fact that you actually need quite a bit of graphics card to achieve high enough framerates. Above an example of an RTX 3070 Ti, we assume that in supported titles you'll enable raytracing and DLSS.  Also given that this is a G-Sync Ultimate display, we assume you'll purchase a GeForce graphics card with at least a bit of stamina, as clearly, you're going to need it. Our generic advice is that up-top 32" you are better off sticking to 2560x1440 (WQHD) for several reasons, budget reasoning included.

Problems with the PG32UQX

Following are disadvantages: I turned on the display and the first thing I heard (yes, I heard, not saw) was the fan ramping up. Not loud, not obnoxious, but disagreeable, a ventilator fan has returned to torment me. While the majority of people will not be troubled by it, I despise them though. Second, I initially connected this monitor via HDMI, as I expected HDMI 2.1 in this age and price range, but now... I immediately became suck at lower Hz and discolored white fronts, yes, color compression. The bandwidth required by this monitor for a lossless signal is not available over HDMI. Thus, HDMI 2.0 is used here. Of course, the simple solution is to simply utilize the Display Port connector, and everything will be fine. It's not a big deal, but it is a significant omission in my opinion.

Halo under angles 

Clouding in the small zones is a side effect of a FALD-backlight panel. basically, you can see clouding in small grey areas with lots of white. Mini LED makes this effect smaller, but more IMHO more apparent. This happens mostly under an angled view (any angle works). And under just a very small angle, this very quickly becomes visible. I took some photos to try and visualize that effect:


Above we can see the screen sitting drop dead in front of it. This looks really okay. 



Now look at the screen at an angle, look at the mouse-pointer and red youtube progress bar (moved your eyes to your monitor to see it better). You can spot a white halo. basically what you see in the photo is what I observe with my eyes. Mind you, your monitor (the one that you are looking at right now) needs to have been calibrated at least for brightness and contrast levels; we test this in a very dark dimmed room of course. 


Look at the progress view and mouse pointer position; on the right, the square white border has a full halo.

That's all under an angle. However when I took my color spectrum reading I moved my mouse pointed over a grey area, and that's where the effect became more visible, it's bad really. The below video is just a quick recording with my smartphone, the monitor has been tilted merely a fraction downwards. Basically, this is what happens:


Having said that, I must point out that with a black background, this is not as noticeable, but with a few greys, this is simply unacceptable. Position yourself so that you are staring dead-on at the screen that you will most likely never notice it. However, if you move a little, it will appear. Consequently, if you are among a group of people, watch a movie and sit at a minor angle, you will see a halo in bright white objects. If you're able to deal with that, that's OK. However, this is not desirable to see for the 3500 EUR/USD rate range.


The number of 144Hz monitors at a 4k resolution is growing rapidly, but there are still just a mere few available. Moreso true for displays with modern fald backlights that have exceptionally high peak brightness. The ROG Swift PG32UQX will replace the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ as the ultimate G-Sync display in 2021 and for reasons of HDR it is absolutely stunning to play games on. Considering the halo issues we ran into; we do start to wonder, isn't OLED what we're all really after? Well, prospective buyers can argue that they are getting a fantastic OLED television for less than half the price of this monitor. True that, but do realize that this monitor has the potential to deliver an even better picture quality in HDR thanks to its high NIT rating combined and 144 Hz. Also, OLED has far lower NIT values and as such has a hard time passing 1000 nits. The PG32UQX's size and hardware G-Sync support are attractive features. As stated, the PG32UQX lacks HDMI 2.1 connectors, which just baffles us at 3500 USD. When it comes to PC use, the latter is not a significant issue. For consoles that's a different story. Aside from the superb HDR display for a monitor and the still unique combination of 4k and 144Hz, the image quality of the PG32UQX is very good but certainly not great. It is color calibrated well at default mode (racing) with a Delta close to one in the sRGB color space. Color temps are a little off on greys but still good. Other media also have shown that response times that are not particularly fast.

Overall, this is a wonderful monitor, with vibrant colors and deep, dark blacks flowing from the screen's surface. The halo effect, as well as the presence of a fan that can be heard, combined with the 3500 USD/EUR price tag, makes it all a little too much for my taste. At that price, I do expect perfection, and unfortunately, the ROG Swift PG32UQX falls a bit short of that expectation. However, it is an absolutely stunningly beautiful display on which to play games in a very visually pleasing experience.


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