ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q with GSYNC and a Curve
5ms - 100 Hz gaming on an IPS display, free from screen tearing and/or sync stuttering
In this review we test the new ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q monitor, it's big and curved, just the way we like it. Big, as it is 34-inches combined with a proper 3440x1440 (21:9 aspect ratio) pixel resolution. The PG348Q is a 60Hz monitor that can manage refresh frequencies up-to 100Hz (activated through an OSD OC mode). Combined with fresh looks and G-SYNC you can eliminate stutter and tearing while gaming with a GeForce graphics card as well. The ASUS PG348Q uses a 34” AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) panel from LG Display, it offers great image quality.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q is G-SYNC compatible, with a good dynamic range as well, at 30 to 100Hz (in overclocked modus). Nvidia has G-SYNC and AMD offers FreeSync, technologies which eliminate the problems that come with V-SYNC (both on and off) versus what is displayed on your monitor. Basically the technology is based on Adaptive Sync, a technology that was developed for the mobile market years ago. But with monitors not being compatible nobody paid any attention to it. So, you all know that when NVIDIA announced G-Sync shortly thereafter AMD realized that they already had something similar available, hidden and harbored deeply as a technology with a purpose for laptops. So the graphics card is running a dynamic device that outputs its frames in a varying FPS, the problem is that your monitor has a static refresh-rate (Hz), these two don't really match together. To gain the maximum out of your graphics card you can turn off V-SYNC on your monitor but that will result in multiple rendered images per shown frame, the overlapping difference is what you guys see as screen tearing. With V-SYNC activated a somewhat similar thing happens as the graphics card tries to stay as close to 60 FPS as possible, however if incapable of sustaining 60 FPS (or Hz), you can see an effect that we call soft sync stuttering. Soft sync stuttering is relative, honestly. Screen tearing however is just a nasty thing. So the biggest culprit is tearing. Consider then that the hardcore FPS gamer obviously wants extremely high FPS and for these frag-masters the alternative is simply to disable V-SYNC. However, if you have that same 35 FPS framerate at 60 Hz, you'd see visible screen tearing. Heck, this is why framerate limiters are so popular as you try to sync each rendered frame in line with your monitor refresh rate. But yeah, these are the main reasons for all sorts of screen anomalies. Ever since the start of the 3D graphics revolution, we simply got used to these sync stutters and/or screen tearing. To compensate we have been purchasing extremely fast dedicated graphics cards to be able to match that screen refresh rate as close as possible. Over the years the industry tried to solve problems like v-sync stutter or tearing basically in two ways. The first way is to simply ignore the refresh rate of the monitor altogether, and update the image being scanned to the display in mid cycle. This you guys all know and have learned as "V-Sync Off Mode" and is the default way most FPS gamers play. If you however freeze the display to 1 Hz, this is what you will see, the epitome of graphics rendering evil, screen-tearing. We have taken this for granted for many years, screen-tearing and V-SYNC stutters. Anno 2016 there are now solutions for it, as this monitor shows. With G-SYNC you are tied to the latest and thus brand specific Nvidia GeForce graphics cards.
Enough about G-SYNC though as this monitor has so much more to offer. The SWIFT always has been a special product series and that certainly shows with the ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q. The numbers will show that the IPS panel that ASUS uses is pretty sweet, it provides 100 percent sRGB coverage with close to 80% of AdobeRGB color space. Thanks to IPS it also allows for 178-degree viewing angles. It is rated as having a 5ms GTG response time (which Einstein would confirm is something very relative). The screen is ultra-wide at an aspect ratio of 21:9 with a QHD resolution of 3.440 x 1.440 pixels. The monitor also has some niche stuff, like a ROG LED display that is projected underneath the monitor. The design is aimed at gamers as well with the new Armor Titanium design. Gaming wise it supports ASUS GamePlus (shows a cross-hair in the middle of your screen as well as a timer and FPS functions as well as GameVisual (six profiles for display in relation to colors, gamma etc). With a 1.000:1 contrast ratio and 10-bit color output this monitor might have a lot to offer.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q furthermore has a control joystick, two built in (simple) speakers, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 and four USB 3.0 connectors. The monitor is wide alright, it measures 829 x 559 x 297 mm (W x H x D) and weighs in at just over 11,1 kg. So yeah, that's a lot of features, resolution and performance. The ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q isn't cheap though, you can pick this puppy up for about 1200 EURO. Alright, we got the basics covered, let's move on-wards into the review.