ASUS MG279Q 27-inch IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor Review

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ASUS MG279Q 27-inch WQHD IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor

The ASUS MG279Q WGHD gaming monitor is the latest monitor in ASUS’ ever growing line of gaming-gear and has been one of the most highly anticipated displays for the summer of 2015. This display features a 27-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel with a 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution (WQHD) and a 144Hz refresh rate. This display means that gamers no longer have to sacrifice image quality by going with a TN panel to get that 144MHz refresh rate you want for silky smooth gaming. The ASUS MG279Q also supports AMD FreeSync technology for tear-free gaming, although when you run AMD FreeSync the refresh rate is only supported in the 35 Hz to 90 Hz range on this particular display. Other key features are a 4ms response time, 178 degree view angle, 100 percent sRGB coverage, 350-nit brightness and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. This monitor is clearly aimed at gamers and enthusiasts that want outstanding image quality and dynamic refresh rate technology on their gaming monitor. Having all those features does come at a price though as the ASUS MG279Q runs $599.50 plus shipping on Amazon and your investment is protected 3-year limited warranty.
ASUS MG279Q 27-inch WQHD IPS monitor

AMD FreeSync eliminates screen tearing without all the usual lag and latency.  There has been some confusion about FreeSync technology as it’s often changing and evolving, but thanks to AMD Catalyst 15.7 video card drivers, AMD FreeSync now works on single-card gaming systems and on those running multiple cards in AMD Crossfire mode! AMD FreeSync is not currently supported on AMD Dual Graphics APU configuration, so there are some AMD setups that can’t support FreeSync. If you have an AMD Radeon graphics card that is capable of running FreeSync you’ll be able to enable the feature with the ASUS MG279Q gaming monitor. Keep in mind that the ASUS MG279Q isn’t just for AMD Radeon owners as it will run NVIDIA GeForce video cards at up to 144Hz just fine! In fact, you can manually set it to 120Hz or 144Hz with any discrete graphics solution as long as you are using a DisplayPort cable. Many competitive gamers choose to statically set their refresh rate to 120/144Hz.

ASUS MG279 Front

Not all AMD FreeSync supporting displays are created the same though as some of the big differences can be in the dynamic refresh range found on the numerous panels that are out on the market. If you’ve been shopping for a FreeSync display you’ll quickly discover that TN panels offer a wider dynamic refresh range with most being in the 40-144Hz range. Gaming monitors with AMD FreeSync that use an IPS panel have a much tighter dynamic refresh range usually in the 30-90 Hz range.

freesync-compatible-displays

The chart above provided by AMD shows 16 panels that are currently available and shows the peak refresh rate of the monitor rather than the top dynamic refresh rate when FreeSync is enabled. This information is useful, but it doesn’t show what panel type each monitor is using nor the actual FreeSync Dynamic Refresh Rate Range. We did some digging (for hours) and put together our own chart that shows the refresh range, panel type and street pricing for each FreeSync display.

Manufacturer Model # Size – Panel Resolution Refresh Rate FreeSync Range Pricing
ACER XG270HU 27” – TN 2560×1440 144 Hz  40-144 Hz $471.99
ACER XR341CK 34” – IPS 3440×1440 75 Hz 30-75 Hz $1099.99
AOC G2460PF 24” – TN 1920×1080 144 Hz  30-160 Hz
AOC G2770PF 27″ – TN 1920×1080 144 Hz  30-160 Hz
ASUS MG279Q 27″ – IPS 2560×1440 144 Hz  35-90 Hz $599.50
ASUS MG278Q 27″ – TN 2560×1440 144 Hz  40-144 Hz
BenQ XL2730Z 27″ – TN 2560×1440 144 Hz 40-144 Hz $587.57 
LG 29UM67 29″- IPS 2560×1080 75 Hz  48-75 Hz $348.61
LG 34UM67 34″ – IPS 2560×1080 75 Hz  48-75 Hz  $522.95
LG 27MU67 27” – IPS 3840×2160 60 Hz  40-60 Hz
LG 34UM57 34” – TN 2560×1080 75 Hz  48-75 Hz
Nixeus NX-VUE24 24″ – TN 1920×1080 144 Hz  30-144 Hz  $329.99
Samsung U24E590D 23.6″ – PLS 3840×2160 60 Hz  40-60 Hz  $399.99
Samsung U28E590D 28″ – TN 3840×2160 60 Hz  40-60 Hz  $599.99
Samsung U24E850R 23.6″ – PLS 3840×2160 60 Hz  40-60 Hz
Samsung U28E850R 28″ – TN 3840×2160 60 Hz  40-60 Hz
Samsung U32E850R 31.5″ – PLS 3840×2160 60 Hz  40-60 Hz
Viewsonic VX2701mh 27″ 1920×1080 144 Hz  unknown

 

We found that there are only a small handful of IPS FreeSync panels out there, so you really don’t have that many choices if you wanted a particular display size and panel type.  The Acer XR341CK IPS display has a 30-75Hz refresh range while LG’s 1080P IPS panels are available in the 48-75 Hz range. The 4K Ultra HD panels available from LG and Samsung have a FreeSync refresh range of 40-60Hz.  So, when it comes to refresh ranges the ASUS MG279Q that we are looking today has the widest FreeSync refresh range of any IPS/PLS display and that would be 35-90Hz. The lower end range is better than most competing displays and the higher end limitation of 90Hz will allow for a better gaming experience than the 60 Hz panel most gamers currently own. The vast majority of gamers today don’t have the hardware to run 90FPS on a QHD display with all the eye candy enabled on the latest game titles, so ASUS believes this to be a non-issue right now.

The ASUS MG279Q looks very similar to the ASUS PB279Q NVIDIA G-Sync display as it uses a similar base and has full pivot, tile and height adjustments. The stand can be easily detached from the display and there are VESA-compatible 100mm x 100mm mounting holes on the back of the unit to be mounting to a wall bracket.

Let’s take a closer look at the On Screen Display!

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  • grizz714

    Recently purchased this bad boy. Was amazing for about 5 hours then a rediculous amount of backlight bleed started showing. However I’m RMAing it for another. Fingers crossed with all the QC issues I’ve read about. All in all though, it really is one of the best monitors IMO.

  • Miko_Ryukudo

    I wonder why IPS isn’t catching up th the freesync refresh range of TN panels.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      We asked ASUS that question and they said it was due to the scaler options at that time for IPS displays. At that time there were just two scaler options available to them and they went with the 35-90 Hz model as they felt it was the best for real-world gaming. They didn’t saw what the range was on the other, but I’m guessing it would have been 48-75 Hz like the LG IPS panels.

  • Anonymous

    I own this monitor, it’s gorgeous… where else do you get 144hz, IPS, 1440p and some of the lowest response times of any IPS panel all in one?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Thanks for sharing your feedback and glad to hear from the community they like this panel as well! Keep the real-world feedback coming!

    • Tjaldid

      there is a new Swift about to be released with that + G-sync