ASUS ROG has just excitedly introduced the new Strix XG HDR gaming monitor lineup, a trio of FreeSync 2 HDR monitors built for high-refresh rate and stutter-free gaming, and available in up to 4K resolution or 144Hz refresh rate in big-screen, super ultra-wide and curved formats.
Essentials! (plus a lot of technical specs we'll quickly cover below)
Strix XG438Q: The world’s biggest and fastest 4K FreeSync 2 HDR gaming monitor, 43” 4K 3840 x 2160 native resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 90% DCI-P3 coverage, VESA DisplayHDR 600 compliant, ASUS GameFast Input technology, PiP and PbP modes
Strix XG49VQ: 49” super ultra-wide 32:9 3840 x 1080 native resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 90% DCI-P3 coverage, VESA DisplayHDR 400 compliant, view up to 3 sources at the same time
Strix XG32VQR: 32” 2560 x 1440 native resolution with 1800R curve, 144Hz refresh rate, 94% DCI-P3 coverage, VESA 400 compliant
All feature: FreeSync 2 HDR for stutter-free, low latency gameplay with better brightness and contrast, TÜV Rheinland Eye Comfort Certification for flicker-free operation and low blue light output, ASUS Shadow Boost technology to improve viewing in dark areas, exclusive GamePlus hotkeys and GameVisual presets.
So what does all this jargon mean?
FreeSync 2 HDR: delivers smoother gameplay below the variable refresh range using a feature called Low Framerate Compensation. The LFC algorithm monitors performance and adaptively inserts frames to maintain fluid animation where v-sync would have caused choppy behaviour. It's important to note this is AMD’s FreeSync technology so it's designed to work with Radeon RX graphics cards but Nvidia will also support it going forward.
The HDR feature is for taking advantage of HDR-enabled games, tone mapping directly to the monitor’s colour space, eliminating an entire tone mapping step and its associated latency, which brings us to the next feature!
ASUS GameFast: The trio of ROG Strix XG monitors is designed to minimize input lag. This is the delay between input and the signal’s appearance on-screen can be a real problem on monitors and TVs that perform a lot of image processing in the background. Optimizing the display pipeline with Input Technology makes it so that gamers can see and react to on-screen actions milliseconds faster than their opponents, great for everything from shooters to musical beat-matching games.
ASUS GamePlus: An ASUS-exclusive feature that overlays in-game enhancements on top of the action. With the press of a hotkey, different types of crosshairs are available to improve aiming in first-person shooters that lack a reticle. Other options include a frame rate monitor and in-game timer (think about those power cooldowns in DOTA2 etc)
DCI-P3 and HDR: With more and more games supporting HDR, some monitors have claimed support but actual HDR performance has greatly varied, with many failing to meet the VESA specifications. Effective local dimming plays an integral role in matching the VESA displayed standard’s black level performance requirements. Instead of using the available modular backlights found in most monitors claiming HDR, ROG custom designed the backlights for all 3 ROG Strix XG models, ensuring the best HDR performance. Further, ROG tests each monitor’s brightness at the factory before it’s packaged to be shipped out. And 90% or better coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut quantifies the ROG Strix XG series’ colour output advantage.
PnP & PbP: With the 43” Strix XG438Q specifically, it's so big Asus have nicely included options to view multiple sources simultaneously. Supporting picture-in-picture mode, with a main screen and inset window, along with a picture-by-picture mode that divides the monitor in half. Three HDMI 2.0 inputs and a DisplayPort interface accommodate your PC and game consoles with connectivity to spare. Moreover, a pair of 10W speakers pumps out high-quality sound, no matter what devices you attach. The wider 49” Strix XG49VQ allows for up to 3 content sources to be viewed simultaneously and provides the same viewing area as two side-by-side 27” monitors without a gap and bezels to get in the way.
It's pretty exciting stuff, and Asus surely have a lot more to come following the Nvidia RTX 2060 announcement!