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My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

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My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby CRTguy » 28 Mar 2017, 18:39

I just registered with this site so I could give a review of the PG258Q, in case anyone was interested in what I discovered.

I've been using a BENQ XL2420T since June 2012, and I absolutely love this monitor. I decided to get a new monitor because I was depressed that the GTX 1080 cards and beyond will no longer support analog output, making me unable to use my Sony GDM-FW900 for games that can only achieve lower framerates. And yes, there are adapters, but they don't work. I'll make a separate post on this and my experience with adapters to the Sony GDM-FW900 (tried both HDMI and Displayport out) in case someone else has a solution.

At any rate, I got the PG258Q with the hope that 240hz and possibly G-Sync would help cheer me up at the future of monitors. Here's my analysis of the monitor in a nutshell:


Pros

- G-SYNC is pretty awesome when the game has a high framerate, and is awful when the game has a lower framerate.

- Being able to turn UMB on and off through the OSD with a few clicks is nice, and you can adjust the UMB level on the fly.

- UMB actually looks pretty good and is quite smooth, but the vertical scan lines of the monitor seem to be accentuated in this mode (see below).

- The monitor stand lets you bring the monitor up fairly high compared to most stands.


Cons

- Colors are really not great, and are slightly inferior to the BENQ XL2420T (and those colors are not great either).

- The contrast levels for this monitor are horrendous. Shadows blend into what feels like 2-3 shades. Reflective metal is a good example of a material the monitor can't handle well, as its limited grey tones can't reproduce the many light shades. This must be the worst TN panel I have ever seen for contrast and color. I tried so many settings and was not able to reach an acceptable contrast level. Playing in any night scene with shadows is just awful.

- There are vertical scan lines that seem to shimmer when playing a game, and different colors and moving images accentuate them at varying levels. This does not change even when lowering the refresh rate to 120hz from 240hz. It's just a core part of the monitor. You can see the scan lines when running monitor testing software.

- The blur reduction at 120hz is inferior to the blur reduction of the BENQ XL2420T at 120hz. There is significantly more blur, regardless of which settings is used (off, normal, extreme).

- The monitor stand has a bigger footprint than I'd expect from a 24" monitor (though since it rises higher, maybe this is needed).

- OSD would occasionally put me into different preset picture modes at different times, and I'm not sure why. Sometimes I would play a game, do some tests, and then realize the picture mode had been changed for no reason.


Overall I was extremely disappointed with the monitor. Anyone have their own experience to share? Feel free to ask questions if you want to know more.
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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby lexlazootin » 29 Mar 2017, 00:47

Hey, you *might* be able to fix the colour issues if you goto TFTcentral and use their ICC colour calibration with the settings they use.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/asu ... alibration

I'm interested in seeing this monitor in person to see if it's as bad as you say it is in the colour department.
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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 29 Mar 2017, 09:08

CRTguy wrote:I just registered with this site so I could give a review of the PG258Q, in case anyone was interested in what I discovered.

Fantastic to hear more information about the PG258Q.

Can you confirm how the strobe crosstalk looks? Check Motion Blur Reduction FAQ. ULMB generally has slightly more strobe crosstalk than LightBoost (usually because ULMB has better colors than LightBoost -- with the con of slightly increase strobe crosstalk). ULMB is generally really very good compard to some manufacturer strobe backlights, however.
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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby CRTguy » 29 Mar 2017, 09:47

Regarding the color and contrast, I used the tftcentral settings as one of the first things I did. And while those settings did help the out of the box contrast a ton (everything is just white with no greys out of the box), the color and contrast was still extremely bad.

I ended up using my own settings at brightness 50 and contrast 15 to actually be able to discern grey shades better, and used the same RGB colors from tftcentral. I found this was actually the optimal result, even though the results were not good. If you use GCHAT on the gmail.com web page, the chat window background and text bubbles have three subtle shades used (white, very faint grey, faint grey), and you can't actually see one of those three shades when using the tftcentral settings. My own settings sacrificed a slight amount of color to bring out better contrast (but still HORRIBLE), and you can see the three gchat shades.

Regarding strobe crosstalk, I no longer have the monitor available (it's in a box ready to ship back) for testing, but from I remember seeing, the ULMB was extremely smooth and there was never a case where I felt it had a double image effect, even when I played around with it on the desktop. I was actually impressed with how smooth it was, but the vertical scan lines of the monitor seemed extra pronounced during motion when it was enabled, so that bothered me a ton. If it weren't for the vertical scan lines I would say the ULMB was quite good. I didn't find the brightness to be reduced significantly (needed about 20-30 extra brightness to get back to the nearly the same color/contrast as before). I had the ULMB on the setting with the least amount of brightness reduction, as it has a range from 100-1 and I had it on 100, but it was still very very smooth at 100 vs having it off. If you put the setting lower, the brightness dropped dramatically but I didn't feel the smoothness level was increased in a way that justified the darker screen.
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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby LaskoAA » 29 Mar 2017, 21:01

I have the ASUS PG248Q and the BenQ XL2430 hooked up to my comp right now. The colors on the BenQ are definitely better (the whites are white on the BenQ while the whites on the Asus are more grey). Also, the fonts when browsing the internet are better on the BenQ (due to the BenQ having a "Sharpness" option (I don't see the Asus having this)). With that said, I did notice that the game felt a little smoother on the Asus due to G-Sync (but still smooth on the BenQ). My FPS is exactly the same on both monitors (it fluctuates between 100 fps - 109 fps) and I'm not seeing tearing or stutter on either monitor.

I really just don't know where to go from here to be honest when it comes to choosing the right monitor. I wish there weren't so many options or if there was just one clear choice (one monitor stood out as being the best). I just want a good monitor to game on.


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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby CRTguy » 30 Mar 2017, 07:12

If you don't notice that much difference with G-Sync (or not enough to justify the big price tag on the PG258Q), then I'd say you probably want to stick with the BenQ XL2430 if you feel the motion is similar but colors are better on the BenQ.

The PG258Q did have great ULMB performance, so if you haven't tried that yet you may want to turn it on (I thought it was best at the minimal setting of 100) and see what you think. I saw more pronounced vertical scan lines when this was on and there was motion, but then I could also see the very faint scan lines even on some still pictures with ULMB disabled.

Ultimately the "best" monitor will be whatever you perceive as being the monitor that closest matches your needs. There is no obvious best monitor for motion, color, contrast, viewing angles, etc, unfortunately. This gets even more complex when you start yearning for higher resolution in your monitor, since the high refresh technology for smooth motion loses value as your framerates drop in higher resolution. This makes me think I need multiple monitors for different purposes and even different games. One non-TN panel monitor at high resolution for desktop work, one monitor at 1080p with the smoothest motion possible for some games, and one high refresh monitor at 2560x1440 resolution for games that run at 90+ fps even with the higher resolution (not common enough yet for me to actually buy the monitor), or for games that don't need high fps.

Right now I only have my BenQ XL2420T and my Sony GDM-FW900 CRT, but I can no longer use the GDM-FW900 since analog output was dropped from video cards. I guess I'm considering what my next monitor will be. In my case, I couldn't justify the price tag on the PG258Q since my BenQ XL2420T was better in every way except G-Sync and ULMB, so that may also be the case for you. I'm going to be trying the AOC G2460PG as a cheaper alternative to getting into G-Sync with decent color/contrast, but we'll see this weekend what the monitor can do (and I'll write another review).
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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby LaskoAA » 30 Mar 2017, 08:00

CRTguy wrote:If you don't notice that much difference with G-Sync (or not enough to justify the big price tag on the PG258Q), then I'd say you probably want to stick with the BenQ XL2430 if you feel the motion is similar but colors are better on the BenQ.

The PG258Q did have great ULMB performance, so if you haven't tried that yet you may want to turn it on (I thought it was best at the minimal setting of 100) and see what you think. I saw more pronounced vertical scan lines when this was on and there was motion, but then I could also see the very faint scan lines even on some still pictures with ULMB disabled.

Ultimately the "best" monitor will be whatever you perceive as being the monitor that closest matches your needs. There is no obvious best monitor for motion, color, contrast, viewing angles, etc, unfortunately. This gets even more complex when you start yearning for higher resolution in your monitor, since the high refresh technology for smooth motion loses value as your framerates drop in higher resolution. This makes me think I need multiple monitors for different purposes and even different games. One non-TN panel monitor at high resolution for desktop work, one monitor at 1080p with the smoothest motion possible for some games, and one high refresh monitor at 2560x1440 resolution for games that run at 90+ fps even with the higher resolution (not common enough yet for me to actually buy the monitor), or for games that don't need high fps.

Right now I only have my BenQ XL2420T and my Sony GDM-FW900 CRT, but I can no longer use the GDM-FW900 since analog output was dropped from video cards. I guess I'm considering what my next monitor will be. In my case, I couldn't justify the price tag on the PG258Q since my BenQ XL2420T was better in every way except G-Sync and ULMB, so that may also be the case for you. I'm going to be trying the AOC G2460PG as a cheaper alternative to getting into G-Sync with decent color/contrast, but we'll see this weekend what the monitor can do (and I'll write another review).



Do you think BenQ or Asus are better monitors? I personally wish BenQ would get g-sync but in talking to BenQ support they are saying it will most likely never happen.


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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby CRTguy » 30 Mar 2017, 09:47

LaskoAA wrote:Do you think BenQ or Asus are better monitors? I personally wish BenQ would get g-sync but in talking to BenQ support they are saying it will most likely never happen.


I haven't seen enough BenQ monitors of multiple models to judge whether or not BenQ has a general consistency to their monitors, and I haven't seen enough ASUS monitors. Right now my experience is that I am leaning away from ASUS as I've had two ASUS monitors and have found that the colors and contrasts have not been great, but I'm still open to the idea that an ASUS monitor could blow me away with color and contrast at some point. I've only had one BenQ monitor and I love it, so like you I was interested in a G-Sync BenQ monitor, and the only one that has G-Sync is the BenQ XL2420G, and that's a very difficult monitor to get a hold of now. A lot of reviews also said the color was not great on the XL2420G, but maybe that was just a bias against TN panels in general. I'm very reluctant to pay 400-500$ USD for a used monitor that is already out of warranty, even if I could find one for sale, so I've turned to the AOC G2460PG as the next test since it's an older model but appears to be still in production, and uses the same panel as the BenQ XL2420T, XL2430T, and XL2420G (AU Optronics M240HW01 V8).
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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby spacediver » 30 Mar 2017, 11:25

Thanks for these detailed thoughts CRTguy. Really valuable, especially coming from someone who has firsthand experience with the FW900.
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Re: My experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Postby LaskoAA » 04 Apr 2017, 14:36

CRTguy wrote:
LaskoAA wrote:Do you think BenQ or Asus are better monitors? I personally wish BenQ would get g-sync but in talking to BenQ support they are saying it will most likely never happen.


I haven't seen enough BenQ monitors of multiple models to judge whether or not BenQ has a general consistency to their monitors, and I haven't seen enough ASUS monitors. Right now my experience is that I am leaning away from ASUS as I've had two ASUS monitors and have found that the colors and contrasts have not been great, but I'm still open to the idea that an ASUS monitor could blow me away with color and contrast at some point. I've only had one BenQ monitor and I love it, so like you I was interested in a G-Sync BenQ monitor, and the only one that has G-Sync is the BenQ XL2420G, and that's a very difficult monitor to get a hold of now. A lot of reviews also said the color was not great on the XL2420G, but maybe that was just a bias against TN panels in general. I'm very reluctant to pay 400-500$ USD for a used monitor that is already out of warranty, even if I could find one for sale, so I've turned to the AOC G2460PG as the next test since it's an older model but appears to be still in production, and uses the same panel as the BenQ XL2420T, XL2430T, and XL2420G (AU Optronics M240HW01 V8).



The Asus PG248Q that I bought (refurbished and am going to return) came with two dead pixels. I forgot to mention that in my last post. If i'm playing World of Warcraft and ask in general chat if Asus or BenQ are better, I get Asus every time. If I do the same in Battlefield 1 chat, I mostly get responses for BenQ. I think I'm going to hold onto the BenQ 2430 until there a 24 inch g-sync monitor comes on the market that is clearly greater than all others.


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