When building your own gaming PC, you always have your priorities. A great processor and enough RAM is a common concern, and everyone is always dreaming of the latest and greatest GPU, but one thing that can sink even the beefiest of builds is a shoddy monitor. Sadly, high-end gaming monitors can get expensive, and when you’re already sinking big bucks into a PC build you don’t want to allocate another grand to your dream monitor. Luckily, there are some fantastic options out there that won’t make you re-evaluate your entire bank account.
Asus has several high-quality pieces in their Republic of Gamers line, all appropriately centred around gaming, and the ROG Strix XG27AQ certainly fits that description. Here we have a 27 in 1440p with the capability to hit a 170 Hz refresh rate at full HDR. It supports Adaptive Sync and blur reduction out of the box and, though I certainly wouldn’t call it a cheap monitor, it certainly won’t make the same size dent in your wallet as other monitors of its class.
Now, it should be noted that out of the box, the Strix XG27AQ is going to run at 144 Hz. However, this can be reliably kicked up to 170 Hz by going through the Display port rather than HDMI and mucking around with the overclocking settings in the monitor’s menus. I never ran into any issues here and an internal fan kept things cool even while pushing the hardware as hard as I could.
“For people obsessed with tweaking and refining things, the menu itself can be something of a time sink.”
Getting everything out of the box and set up was easy enough. The monitor itself comes in just under 20 lbs, and you will want to properly calibrate the ROG Strix XG27AQ to get the least amount of motion blur possible. Without that, the performance won’t be horrible, but you can certainly noticeably improve things.
In fact, there are a great many interesting options in the monitor’s menu. You have a few preset options, of course, and incremental adjustments for calibration and general nitpicking, but also some gaming centric options in the GamePlus menu. Here you’ll find times, fps counters, targeting reticles, and even options for sniping and night vision. For people obsessed with tweaking and refining things, the menu itself can be something of a time sink.
Other people will likely be engaged by actually playing games rather than fiddling with the various options, or so I’m led to believe. For those people, rest assured that, while this is not the 4K big brother of this monitor family—the XG27UQ—the XG27AQ can certainly deliver some beautiful sights all around. ELMB Sync reduces motion blur whether you’re running at 144 Hz or overclocking up to 170, and it will run on systems with FreeSync or G-Sync without any problems.
Even without anything pretty going on the screen, the ROG Strix XG27AQ is still something to look at. It’s a fairly significantly sized unit, coming in at 14 x 16 x 10 with the base, it could dominate small to medium-sized desks. Otherwise, the whole thing looks quite slick.
“The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is a great gaming monitor no matter how you cut it.”
The 2 HDMI ports, Display Port and USB 3.0 ports can easily be hidden away by a removable back panel that continues the rounded shape of the backplate. Additionally, there are even programmable RGB lights in the rear that can be programmed via Aura sync to mirror the colourful glows of any other ROG hardware you might employ. It’s a nice touch and a bonus for any brand loyalists out there, even if the glowing bit is up against a wall. Luckily, the rear RGB lights are not especially bright by default, so you won’t be pouring heaps of power into a feature you only enjoy when you’re elbow deep in frustrating cable management or retrieval.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is a great gaming monitor no matter how you cut it. It delivers so high quality visuals with HDR support and very little blurring. While the whole shebang will need to be calibrated before you can really reach that high level of performance, it is certainly worth the time and effort.
More importantly, however, is the price. The ROG Strix XG27AQ comes in at a sensible price point for a higher end system and actually delivers on its promises. It isn’t the full suite of 4K madness, but for the price and performance it is unlikely that you will find much better.