April 13, 2024

Get up, nerds – new gaming displays are right here. 5 years after the appearance of 27-inch Quick IPS 1440p 144Hz displays, which earned hearty DF suggestions for hitting the candy spot for gaming and content material creation alike, we’ve got a brand new wave of extremely high-end fashions that provide the same leap in constancy and movement.

These are 32-inch 4K 240Hz displays, primarily based round a third-generation QD-OLED panel from Samsung and provided by Asus, MSI and Dell. These screens tick plenty of bins, with a 4K decision that fits gaming on PC and console, a 240Hz refresh price best for esports-grade PC gaming, the outstanding HDR efficiency supplied by OLED and enhancements to the underlying panel tech that shore up a few of its weaknesses for PC use, particularly as regards to content material creation and consumption.

In the present day we’re maybe essentially the most thrilling of the choices accessible, the Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM. Asus did nicely to distinguish their earlier era OLED gaming displays with higher cooling – and subsequently barely brighter shows – than their opponents. Additionally they provided complete burn-in measures, loads of gaming-specific OSD settings and naturally the RGB styling the corporate is thought for, which helped ameliorate their larger costs. It appears like the same state of affairs this time round, with the PG32UCDM commanding a $1300/£1350 value level that is available in above Dell and MSI’s options in some areas.

On this assessment we’ll see what you get for that premium, as we evaluate the PG32UCDM to the $1200/£990 Dell Alienware AW3225QF and $950/£1299 MSI MPG 321URX – as we see which is the perfect 4K 240Hz QD-OLED gaming monitor available on the market.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM hands-on impressions

I’ve labored and gamed on 27-inch 4K 144Hz IPS screens for the previous 5 years – beginning with an Acer Nitro XV273K that required two DisplayPort cables to hit a full 4K 144Hz! – so shifting to a 32-inch 240Hz QD-OLED just like the PG32UCDM instantly felt like an enormous step ahead. Regardless of providing the identical decision – and subsequently requiring the identical stage of GPU efficiency – you are getting a considerably bigger picture that is nonetheless fairly sharp at 140PPI, with dramatically higher distinction, movement readability and HDR efficiency than even fashionable Quick IPS options.

This sense of development is not one which I’ve skilled as profoundly with different OLED screens I’ve examined, such because the 42-inch LG C3 W-OLED or the 34-inch AW3423DW QD-OLED, although these are additionally nice shows with their very own niches. I believe this primarily comes all the way down to the 32-inch 16:9 type issue, which fits a wider vary of content material than an ultra-wide but is far more manageable at a desk than a small TV. By default, the monitor is ready to 150 p.c scaling in Home windows which works nicely sufficient, however you’ll be able to simply set this to 125 p.c and even one hundred pc to realize a considerable quantity of desktop actual property.

There’s additionally a noticeable enchancment in textual content readability in Home windows, due to the refined subpixel association in these third-gen Samsung panels. It wasn’t till scripting this assessment that I realised what a non-issue textual content rendering was right here, very a lot in distinction to the AW3423DW the place some textual content fringing was instantly noticeable. Right here, you are unlikely to see the distinction versus a conventional LCD even at shut vary, which is a big step ahead.

It is a great-looking monitor from any angle. | Picture credit score: Asus

Whereas the PG32UCDM is significantly better as a basic internet looking, working and picture/video enhancing monitor than its predecessors, due to these subpixel enhancements and a raft of anti-burn in options (emblem detection, screensaver, pixel cleansing, display shifting), it is clear that gaming and content material consumption is the main focus right here.

And – wow. It is a significantly great-looking monitor for video games, as you’d hope. What most stunned me was that the mix of the 240Hz refresh price and OLED’s conventional movement dealing with strengths versus sample-and-hold LCD shows made for a superb expertise even in fast-paced FPS titles. This felt an enormous step up versus 120Hz displays I would tried beforehand, and clicking heads in Counter-Strike 2 felt as simple as on the 27-inch 1440p 360Hz QD-OLEDs I am additionally testing – maybe with the bigger display dimension serving to my growing old eyes right here. After all, you do require a monstrous setup – probably with an RTX 4090 – to hit 4K 240fps persistently even in esports titles, however the payoff right here is immense.

Slower-paced and extra cinematic titles additionally come throughout fantastically, particularly with Nvidia’s RTX HDR and Home windows 11’s Auto HDR offering choices to get an affordable HDR expertise even in video games that do not natively assist the usual. With HDR engaged, you’ll be able to see highlights as much as 1000 nits, with not one of the blooming that characterises even superior LCD-based shows. Even in SDR, you profit from a bigger display that enables for a extra comfy sit-back gaming expertise, on prime of the wealthy element and wonderful color copy OLEDs are identified for. It’s also possible to hook up a PS5 or Collection X for gaming at as much as 4K 120Hz – you will have to attend for a future console to hit the complete 4K 240Hz, although that is technically attainable over both of the 2 HDMI 2.1 ports the monitor is provided with.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM screen in the flesh

The display appears attractive even in SDR content material, and after a few years at 27 inches, 32 is a revelation. | Picture credit score: Digital Foundry

Should you’re within the temper for precise cinema, you are additionally moderately well-served right here. The Asus mannequin would not assist Dolby Imaginative and prescient but, however you’ll be able to nonetheless get an affordable HDR viewing expertise on YouTube, Netflix (by way of the Edge browser) or Amazon Prime Video (for paid prospects solely). Not like ultrawide displays, there are not any black bars in most mainstream content material, and for the odd movie that does make use of a wider side ratio at the very least the black bars are invisible in a medium to correctly darkish surroundings.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM design and OSD

In addition to having a performant display paired with what seems to be a robust heatsink, permitting for competitively excessive brightness ranges, the bodily design of the PG32UCDM can be commendable. There is a USB-C enter and 4 USB ports, permitting for single-cable charging/connection to fashionable laptops as much as 90W and connection of a number of peripherals with KVM assist, an easy-to-use OSD (on-screen show) managed by way of a four-way joystick under the brand on the backside of the show, and elective RGB lighting for the ROG emblem on the again.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM OSD

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM vesa mount

The bodily design of the Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM is powerful too – I just like the highly effective OSD’s many options, the helpful 100×100 VESA adapter that enables for straightforward entry to mounting on an arm and the attractive, expansive show. | Picture credit score: Digital Foundry

One design characteristic I notably favored was that the field that homes the monitor’s circuitry flares out to the left and proper, making it simple to soundly choose up the monitor with out going wherever close to the fragile OLED display. It is also good to see a passively-cooled monitor, with many high-end gaming screens utilizing a small fan as of late.

Lastly, the variety of options packed into the OSD is really spectacular, with fine-grained controls for adjusting color copy, enabling or disabling anti burn-in protections, adjusting the picture-in-picture, and activating numerous gaming options like crosshairs, timers and shadow boosters. The menu right here is dense and takes a while to discover, however I would a lot moderately have a well-populated menu than one that does not embody the one choice I want.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM benchmarks

The benefit of QD-OLED displays versus W-OLED options is that they have a tendency to supply higher extensive gamut assist, with the PG32UCDM delivering 99 p.c DCI P3 protection and 97 p.c Adobe RGB protection. This comes along with the one hundred pc sRGB protection you’d count on, and there is a devoted sRGB preset in addition to a color area setting that may be set to ‘extensive’, DCI P3 or sRGB to clamp to a given color area whereas permitting for extra person management over image tuning. The PG32UCDM additionally turned in among the finest color accuracy values I’ve ever seen, with a Delta-E rating of 1.53 – with something underneath 2.0 being typically under the extent of human notion.

This proclivity for wonderful color copy is helped by wonderful panel uniformity on our unit, which measured only one to 2 p.c by way of luminance. HDR highlights are additionally impressively brilliant, at ~1000 nits. Mixed with the shiny panel and anti-reflective coating, and you’ve got fairly a vibrant-looking monitor, particularly in HDR content material.

benchmark results for the asus rog swift oled pg32ucdm

The draw back right here versus W-OLED is that black pixels on QD-OLED screens can seem a bit purple/gray in brilliant environments, barely constraining distinction. This is not an enormous situation for the sometimes gray skies of the UK, particularly with home windows not dealing with the display, however these with brighter environments might conceivably get a greater expertise with a W-OLED different – which LG is making to reach later this 12 months.

As talked about earlier, the quoted 0.03ms pixel response occasions could also be extra like 0.3ms in real-world testing, however that is nonetheless considerably quicker than even the perfect 360Hz or 540Hz LCD shows, that are within the 2-3ms vary. ELMB black body insertion is obtainable too, buying and selling brightness and refresh price for readability at 120Hz. In the end, it is a good choice to have for video games the place you’ll be able to’t persistently hit 240fps however can lock to 120fps – however when you’ve got the choice, a straight 240Hz appears about the identical whereas permitting for VRR, HDR and better brightness.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM vs Dell Alienware AW3225QF vs MSI MPG 321URX

Versus its opponents primarily based across the identical third-generation Samsung QD-OLED panel, the Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM gives marginally larger brightness and doubtlessly higher burn-in resistance due to its customized heatsink, alongside the perfect OSD we have seen on a gaming monitor, packed stuffed with options whereas nonetheless being simple to navigate. There is a KVM change and as much as 90W of USB-C charging, and Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR assist can be promised for H1 2024.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM vs Dell Alienware AW3225QF vs MSI MPG 321URX

Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM (centre) vs Dell Alienware AW3225QF (proper) vs MSI MPG 321URX (left) | Picture credit score: Digital Foundry

As compared, the Dell Alienware AW3225QF already gives Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however comes with a curved (1700R) panel moderately than the flat screens used elsewhere. It additionally would not provide the identical stage of OSD options and burn-in mitigation controls, although the Dell OSD is prettier than Asus’ choice and equally responsive. Nonetheless, it has fewer gaming options, fewer choices for adjusting the image and solely display cleansing and pixel cleansing by way of burn-in mitigation controls – there isn’t any choice to change or disable display shifting, emblem detection and screensaver as there’s on the Asus mannequin. The Alienware mannequin additionally would not sport a USB-C port, and subsequently would not assist both KVM change performance or a single-cable answer for connecting to and charging fashionable laptops. The redeeming issue right here is that Dell’s monitor is considerably cheaper within the UK: £360 lower than the Asus mannequin and £310 cheaper than the MSI choice.

The MSI MPG 321URX is the mannequin we have spent the least time with, however it additionally appears compelling. It has a flat panel and KVM performance, just like the Asus mannequin, and gives much more choices for burn-in safety, together with taskbar and a number of emblem detection full with fine-grained controls. The MSI QD-OLED can be less expensive within the US, the place it is $250 lower than the Dell and $350 lower than the Asus on the time of writing, making it the perfect worth proposition for People regardless of its lack of Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist.

Should you’re all for a 4K 240Hz QD-OLED then, primarily based on our testing the Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM is the perfect total by way of options and efficiency – however the Dell Alienware AW3225QF is healthier worth within the UK at £990, whereas the MSI MPG 321URX is healthier worth within the US at $950. All three fashions provide three years of burn-in safety for the worth, which is nice to see in an trade that was hesitant to supply such ensures only a few years in the past.

Wrapping up

At $1300/£1349, the Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM is clearly an extremely high-end gaming monitor choice destined for under the best-equipped PC gamers. In any case, it is considerably costlier than a high-end LG C2 or C3 OLED TV set at 42, 48 and even 55 inches. Not like prior era OLED gaming displays although, this era does really present a significant improve over the TV spec sheet: a 240Hz refresh price, a litany of gaming monitor options, assist for DisplayPort displays (although 1.4 not 2.1), 90W USB-C Energy Supply for laptops and a height-adjustable stand that may be eliminated in favour of 100×100 VESA mounting.

In contrast towards non-OLED gaming displays moderately than TVs, the ROG Swift PG32UCDM can be an costly proposition. Nonetheless, the benefits in temporal and spatial readability it gives towards virtually anything available on the market is substantial – and there is a actual feeling right here that OLED displays have actually arrived for the PC area, with the tough edges rounded off and the core promise extra thrilling than ever earlier than.

Actually, I would go so far as to say that that is the most suitable choice for PC gaming we have ever examined – and it comes extremely advisable regardless of the excessive value. MSI and Dell do make their very own options utilizing the identical panel, and we plan to cowl every of those in flip to see how they evaluate in additional element – so do keep tuned.


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