Features & Aesthetics The perceived gamma shifts that cause this also give an ‘oil slick’ effect if you move your head, with the tone of the blocks readily changing. Click ‘Settings’ (cog icon towards top right) and click ‘Graphics’. It’s the older generation GPUs that seem to face these issues. CQ27G2 press shot (silver stand base) And much less pronounced than the vertical shifts you’d see on a TN model. This ‘bloom’ lightened up dark shades lower down the screen and is typically something of a feature on curved 27” VA models like this. Results here were good overall. The gamboge block (23) at the bottom of the screen appears far too undersaturated and verges too much on bright yellow without the intended golden hue. Whilst some pixel responses made good use of the refresh rate, others didn’t. And much less pronounced than the vertical shifts you’d see on a TN model. We also observed various episodes of the TV series Futurama.
It’s worth noting that weaknesses in pixel responsiveness don’t always manifest themselves with distinct trailing, either. FreeSync – the technology and activating it This is a strobe backlight setting that causes the backlight to pulse at a frequency matching the refresh rate of the display – either 100Hz, 120Hz or 144Hz. But most will probably want to stick to the regular operation of the monitor, with Adaptive-Sync also available and doing its thing. At 100Hz, shown above, the UFO now appears somewhat narrower and more sharply focused. This is shown in the image below. This masked some subtle detail and made things appear a bit more blended than intended – but there was as little of this ‘black crush’ as we’ve observed on a VA model. A key concept explored is perceived blur, something contributed to by both the pixel responsiveness of the monitor and the movement of your eyes as you track motion on the screen. The shade beside this, gamboge (23) is a golden yellow colour some way between mustard yellow and saffron. Some positive tweaks were made to the subpixels, too, so it wasn’t just the case of curving the screen a bit more. There was also what we’d describe as ‘break-up’ trailing, whereby some of the colourful hues contained in the object or background appeared to leach out a bit. The combination of 27” screen size and 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution is attractive to many users. With a further reduction in frame rate, for example with the ~24-30fps content, the weaknesses were very slight if there at all. But individual sensitivity to such things varies.
But it still took away a bit of vibrancy in those regions of the screen. The OSD (On Screen Display) is controlled by pressable buttons beneath the right side of the bottom bezel. As a VA panel, contrast was a key strength. Where frame rate dipped below the floor of operation (48fps and 48Hz), LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) kicked in to ensure the refresh rate kept to a multiple of the frame rate. This is a useful setting if you’re an AMD user and wish to gain close tracking of the sRGB gamut without profiling, including in applications that aren’t colour-managed. In practice we noticed the ‘smeary’ trailing on dark transitions (explored shortly) more readily on the AG273QCX so slightly preferred the pixel response behaviour of the CQ27G2U (CQ27G2). At 60Hz we measured a slightly higher but still reasonable 7.48ms. Our suggestions regarding use of VSync also apply, but you’re using Nvidia Control Panel rather than AMD Radeon Settings to control this. The gamboge block (23) at the bottom of the screen appears far too undersaturated and verges too much on bright yellow without the intended golden hue. The AOC CQ27G2U offers a combination that many find very attractive – 27” screen size, 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution and high refresh rate. Around this it became a somewhat dirty red shade, becoming a stronger dark red towards the very bottom and in particularly the bottom corners.
The representation of shades in this image depends on the camera and your own screen, it’s not designed to show exactly how the shades appear in person. The gamut below shows results using our ‘Test Settings’ with this driver tweak applied. The dark lime green shade (7) is another good example of a shade that now appears more appropriate, whereas before it appeared a bit more intense and neon. These exaggerate the curve and give a poor idea of what to expect when you’re sitting in front of the monitor.
Contrast FreeSync requires a compatible AMD GPU such as the Radeon RX 580 used in our test system. Without FreeSync enabled (VSync on), even slight dips below this would cause obvious (to us) stuttering.
The final section of the video shows a dark desktop background and highlights ‘VA glow’ mentioned earlier. That means that if the game is running between 48fps and 144fps, the monitor will adjust its refresh rate to match. FreeSync also boasts reduced latency compared to running with VSync enabled, in the variable frame rate environment in which it operates. Fast-moving action and dramatic transitions will be rendered smoothly without the effects of ghosting. The monitor also offers an sRGB emulation setting – setting the ‘Color Temp.’ to ‘sRGB’ in the ‘Color Setup’ section of the OSD. As above but gamma a fair bit lower, removing some depth and vividness from the image. But the pixel transitions aren’t as snappy, overall, as on the C24G1 using its ‘Medium’ setting. With Adaptive-Sync disabled you have access to a range of other settings here, the most useful of which is probably ‘1:1’, a pixel mapping feature which only uses the pixels called for in the source resolution.
You should then ensure that the first slider, ‘Radeon FreeSync’ is set to ‘Enabled’ as shown below. It’s actually quite easy to forget you’re even using a curved monitor when engrossed into the game. The gamboge block (23) at the bottom of the screen appears far too undersaturated and verges too much on bright yellow without the intended golden hue.
Colour in games and movies The intensity of the ‘bloom’ was lower than we observed on the C27HG70 and perhaps reduced a bit compared to the AG273QCX. In the image above you can see that the monitor is validated as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ (or you could, if Nvidia Control Panel displayed the entire text instead of cutting it off). The ‘Overdrive = Strong’ is quite effective in reducing this, although it still remains as a ‘smear’ behind the UFOs for the dark and lesser extent medium background. Things appear a bit more ‘cinematic’ with extra depth, some detail noticeably more masked than intended. For AMD GPU users the monitor will handle the scaling by default, when gaming at non-native resolutions. Most users will probably wish to enable VSync when using FreeSync to ensure that they don’t get any tearing. There were no obvious bursts of vibrant orange, green or red as you’d see on a TN model. Outside under a dark sky or shaded interiors, dark painted objects and heavily shaded elements in daylight for example. FreeSync also boasts reduced latency compared to running with VSync enabled, in the variable frame rate environment in which it operates. MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) You should ensure the GPU driver is setup correctly to use FreeSync, so open ‘AMD Radeon Software’, click ‘Settings’ (cog icon towards top right) and click on ‘Display’. The ‘U’ model, as shown here, also features 4 USB 3.0 ports (yellow coloured supports fast-charging) and 2 x 2W speakers. The SpyderX Elite was also used to analyse variation in the colour temperature (white point) for the same 9 quadrants. Otherwise, it’s not something you should be afraid of. This stands out in a particularly obvious way because there’s very little perceived blur due to eye movement to mask it. The following observations were made. You can see quite strong strobe crosstalk throughout the screen. This effect is more pronounced if you sit closer to the screen. This means that the monitor uses an interpolation process to map the selected resolution onto all 2560 x 1440 of its pixels. The images below show the monitor in action on the desktop. NTSC 104% (CIE1976) / sRGB 118% (CIE1931) /, VGA x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 2, DisplayPort 1.2 x 1. And if you have FreeSync disabled and also disable VSync, you have to deal with tearing due to a lack of synchronisation between the frame rate and monitor refresh cycle. There was a reasonably low level of perceived blur, mainly linked to eye movement and the refresh rate of the 144Hz refresh rate of the monitor. Some pastel greens looked a bit less muted than they should, but the variety was still there. The intensity of the ‘bloom’ was lower than we observed on the C27HG70 and perhaps reduced a bit compared to the AG273QCX. This is most pronounced for the dark background but also bold and extensive for the medium background. Around this it became a somewhat dirty red shade, becoming a stronger dark red towards the very bottom and in particularly the bottom corners. It’s again important to note that individual units vary when it comes to uniformity and that you can expect deviation beyond the measured points. The monitor also adopts a 1500R curve, a little steeper than older 1800R models with similar panels. Whilst some pixel responses made good use of the refresh rate, others didn’t. All Laptops & Notebooks Both our responsiveness article and the G-SYNC article linked to explore the importance of these two elements being synchronised.
The monitor is reasonably slim from the side; ~11mm (0.43 inches) at thinnest point, lumping out centrally. Some perceived gamma shifts and ‘black crush’ and slight graininess to the screen surface
There are again varying levels of trailing behind the object. Not all areas refresh simultaneously, so its appearance can differ depending on how high up or low down on the screen movement is being observed. This shifted readily alongside head movement. The ‘smear’ extends somewhat further back than at 100Hz, again due to the increased pixel response requirements for optimal performance here. The following AOC manuals are currently available for download.