Asus ROG Swift PG27U 4K Gaming Monitor Review: $2,000 & Worth Every Penny

OSD Setup & Calibration

Pressing the PG27U’s joystick brings up an OSD that will be familiar to Asus users. It’s divided into six sub-menus. Small icons appear on the right side to indicate the control keys’ functions. One brings up the image modes, and the other engages GamePlus options.

First up is the overclock, and here’s that caveat we mentioned. The PG27U is a 120Hz monitor. When you engage the overclock, it will run reliably at 144Hz, but it will only do this with a YCbCr signal. If you want to stay in the RGB realm, you have to run at 120Hz for 8-bit signals and 98Hz for 10-bit. Is this a big deal? Not in our experience. We couldn’t tell any visual difference.

Next is the Blue Light Filter, which offers four levels of operation plus off. The PG27U is accurate enough out of the box that we expect few will be reaching for this feature.

The Color menu has a complete set of calibration options, including three color temp presets plus a user-adjustable mode and five gamma options. At default settings, accuracy is high, but there are small gains to be had when adjusting the RGB sliders. In HDR mode, you can adjust the reference white level from its default of 80 nits. We found no reason to change this, as raising it just clipped bright information. If you find highlights too intense, you can lower it a few clicks. Some applications will change this number for you. If the PG27U suddenly looks brighter when booting up Call of Duty: WWII, that’s why. Simply lower it to a comfortable level if you wish.

The Image menu features two levels of overdrive, dark boost to increase shadow detail, auto black level, which should be left off, and aspect control. The fifth option, Variable Backlight, is a dynamic contrast algorithm that works extremely well for both SDR and HDR material. When turned on, it tracks gamma correctly and improves black levels enormously. It allowed us to measure record-high contrast ratios in both SDR and HDR mode. We recommend leaving it on.

Input Select does just that, though we had good luck with the auto switch, which detects the first active signal and changes to that input.

System Setup has three screens of options, starting with OSD language. Light In Motion, ROG Light Signal, Aura Sync and Aura RGB all control the various lighting effects coming from the panel’s back and the upright. There are a myriad of colors and styles available. With the appropriate drivers installed, Aura Sync will match color and effect with other ROG hardware.

The information screen offers a lot of useful data. Not only do you get input resolution and refresh rate, but also color depth, signal format, luminance range and gamma spec. It’s the best info screen we’ve ever seen. The top of every menu panel shows the picture mode, along with HDR and G-Sync status. Auto SDR Brightness varies the backlight using a room light sensor mounted at the top of the bezel. For those who’d like extra color in their SDR content, you can choose a wider gamut using the Display SDR Input option. If you want to return all settings to factory, choose All Reset.

GamePlus & GameVisual

Pressing the appropriate control key brings up either the list of picture modes (GameVisual), or the Game Plus options.

GamePlus offers a selection of aiming points that can be moved around the screen using the joystick. You also get five countdown timers, two different FPS (frames per second) counter styles and a screen alignment tool for multi-panel setups. If you have $6,000 to drop on three PG27Us, this will come in handy.

The final photo shows the PG27U’s picture modes. We stuck with Racing as it is just fine out of the box and calibrates even better. You can get similar accuracy in sRGB, but all adjustments will be grayed out.

Calibration

Calibrating the PG27U is unnecessary if you choose Racing mode for SDR content.

HDR is equally accurate and provides excellent quality without requiring adjustments.  We made a few tweaks to the RGB sliders to achieve pro-grade grayscale tracking. Gamma presets are correctly labeled as well. 2.2 delivers 2.2, as it should. There are no color management options, but you will not need them as gamut accuracy is very high.

Here are our recommended tweaks. For maximum contrast, set the Variable Backlight to Fast.

Asus ROG Swift PG27U Calibration Settings
GameVisualRacing
Contrast50
Brightness 200 nits63
Brightness 120 nits35
Brightness 100 nits28
Brightness 80 nits22
Brightness 50 nits11
Gamma2.2
Color Temp userRed 98, Green 100, Blue 92
Variable BacklightFast

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