Most helpful positive review
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
The future of PC gaming
on 2 March 2013
I've been waiting for this monitor for years.
A quick background - thanks to consoles and the HDMI standard, the industry has settled for 60Hz and concentrated on graphical effects instead. That's OK for playing games on a TV, but it results in jerky first-person shooters and driving simulations. When your reactions don't appear to affect the display instantly then the experience becomes remote and unrewarding, and it is more difficult to achieve your best performance or improve your skills. The human eye can notice the difference between hundreds of frames per second (ignore people who tell you it's 24 FPS - that is a *minimum* for achieving convincing motion, not a maximum). Basically, PC gamers were missing the fluidity of old 1990s CRTs that could do refresh rates of 100Hz and more.
Out of the box, this monitor has poor default settings (they all do) and it takes a fair bit of time to get it looking OK. You must expect to compromise on color, dynamic range and view angles, so don't buy this monitor if you do photo or art work at a professional level. One annoying omission is the lack of a Gamma setting, particularly as it is very high at the start. So I've had to use the controls in my graphics card configuration software instead (AMD Catalyst Control Centre) to set it right down to 0.55. Only then could I sensibly configure the Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness on the monitor (5, 50, 30, 50). You might want to google "lagom lcd test" for more information, and you will need to run the Windows ClearType application too.
Getting the maximum of 144Hz on the desktop is as easy as changing your Control Panel Display Settings, but some older DirectX games don't have an option for refresh rate, and you have to set the "ForceRefreshRate" registry settings, which work on all versions of Windows:
ForceRefreshRate=dword:00000090 (144 in hexadecimal)
ForceRefreshRate"=dword:00000090 (144 in hexadecimal)
Consequently I would have appreciated a quick way of checking the current refresh rate within each game (my old monitor showed it in the OSD menu) but the well-known FRAPS application can be used to check the frame rate is 144 instead.
This monitor does have extra functions for 3D, aimpoint crosshairs, timers, and smart contrast (ASCR), but I haven't used those.
Squeezing 144Hz out of a TN panel is impressive, and the claimed negligible input lag made a difference - I'm scoring better online already. The other monitor with a comparable specification is the BenQ XL2411T, but that only has a color gamut of 72% which is unacceptable to me as I occasionally do some graphical design work.
So thank you ASUS - but now I'm eager for a 200Hz panel with IPS-level quality!!