Overlord Tempest X270OC, 27" 120 Hz IPS Gaming Monitor Review

Overlord’s Tempest X270OC Satisfies The Speed And Resolution Obsession

At $450, the Tempest X270OC satisfies my value benchmark, if only because it's an overclockable IPS-based monitor. We've already established the advantages of running at 120 or 144 Hz in previous gaming monitor reviews. And, like you, we've lamented the fact that all other high-speed displays make certain compromises with TN technology, 6-bit/FRC color, and FHD resolutions. Now it seems that Overlord is breaking new ground, and we hope it inspires other companies to follow suit.

It seems like every time I review a QHD monitor, the audience reaction is that it’s too expensive and too slow. I'd agree with this assessment, for the most part. Now that LG’s IPS panels are at the heart of nearly every 27-inch QHD monitor on the planet, we side with the majority of enthusiasts impatient for prices to fall. Over the past 18 months, these displays were stuck at $600 and higher. There is some relief to be had in gray-market Korean products, but when you go off-trail to buy a monitor, quality becomes less consistent. Sometimes the prudent decision is to pay extra for support, a usable warranty, and a reasonable assurance that the panel you buy is free of defects.

Thanks to Overlord, we can now choose high quality and high performance. With its more robust control board installed, any user can overclock their Tempest X270OC simply by activating a few software tweaks. The utilities provided online make it easy to patch your Nvidia or AMD drivers and create custom display timings. With a little help from Overlord’s tech, I was able to get my sample running perfectly at 120 Hz in a few minutes.

If you’re concerned about stability, you needn’t be. I installed the Tempest and used it for several weeks for productivity and gaming, running at 120 Hz the entire time. There was nary a hiccup and I thoroughly enjoyed the smoother motion that comes with doubling the standard refresh rate. Activities as mundane as moving the mouse cursor across Windows' desktop are more satisfying. We’ve become so accustomed to the blur inherent in LCD panels that it’s easy to forget what judder-free motion even looks like.

Before I conclude, I have one final bit of advice for anyone considering the Tempest X270OC as a centerpiece of their gaming rig. And it's the same guidance I’d offer with any high-refresh rate monitor. To maximize your experience, buy as much graphics processing horsepower as you can afford. Since you'll save quite a bit on the display, put more budget into a capable video card. Gaming at a native 2560x1440 (and beyond) is taxing. If you skimp at any point before the signal leaves your computer case, you won't get as much enjoyment from the Tempest in your favorite titles. Feel free to consult Best Graphics Cards For The Money for help choosing an appropriate GPU.

At least now you can push those extra pixels without buying a monitor that costs as much as your whole system. For its exceptional performance and value, we’re giving the Overlord Tempest X270OC the Tom’s Hardware Smart Buy award.

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  • oudmaster
    the price is interesting with these specs !
    any idea if there will be a similar monitor spec but 4k resolution ?

  • oudmaster
    the price is interesting with these specs !
    any idea if there will be a similar monitor spec but 4k resolution ?

  • oudmaster
    [No message]
  • wtfxxxgp
    Crickey me...this is a monitor of note it seems! At that price point, I find it incredible. Well done to Overlord! The only issue I have now is... will the price increase as a result of all the buzz this will generate? This is probably going to be my next monitor, depending on exchange rates...
  • Shneiky
    4K at 120 MHz? Not in the next 5 years.
  • Swiperd3
    Driving QHD to 120 FPS at the max graphics detail is sure as hell will require A LOT of horsepower. Will TOP-SLI/CF-x2 be enough for modern FPS games?
  • Traciatim
    Wow, you get this with one of the variable sync techs and you have yourself one fantastic monitor.
  • waxdart
    16:9 :(
  • envy14tpe
    Thank you Thank you Thank you. I've been dying to see a review on this monitor.
  • Reaver192
    Yeah, I've been waiting fir this for too long. I wanted one of these months ago but they have been out of stock. Such a sweet deal
  • avatar_raq
    This is the holy grail of PC monitors, if only it comes with 120 Hz guaranteed out of the box.
  • yogalD
    I wish it had a strobe backlight though, that would make it perfect
  • Durandul
    If it had an option for Display port, that would have been almost perfect. That being said, I use DVI anyway, so who am I to complain.
  • MonsterCookie
    This is already a step at the good direction. Even the price in $ looks decent.
    Question is how much will this cost here in Europe.

    Also, now make the same thing happen in a 30" format with 2560x1600 resolution, and than I am definitely opening my wallet.
  • mapesdhs
    MonsterCookie, alas I doubt that will happen. A few years ago, 1440 and 1600
    height monitors were priced basically the same, ie. expensive. Back then, top-end
    GPU reviews tended to use 2560x1600 as a typical max res test for gaming. But
    then buying patterns evolved, the usual feedback between pricing and demand,
    people tended to opt more and more for 1440 displays instead. As a result, when
    I wanted to get a 1600 IPS a while ago, I was amazed to find 1600 hieght displays
    were about 4X more expensive than 1440 IPS models.

    Presumably it suits the industry to home in on a more typical standard, and for
    the moment, beyond HD, 2560x1440 seems to be it. Very unlikely the industry has
    any interest in pushing 1600 height to the masses, so probably the next main step
    up will be to 4K, or as I wish they'd call it instead, quad-HD.

  • ubercake
    The specs look goood, but the key is they don't guarantee 120Hz for all OC monitors:

    It's like hoping you'll get an i7 that will have a stable OC to 4.5Ghz 24/7. It's the luck of the draw.
    I don't much like putting my money on hope. If they did have a guarantee or just sold a monitor that shipped to my house with 120Hz capability, I'd be more likely to hand over my cash.

    You know darn well they make sure the review site is getting a good one.
  • daglesj
    So does it work fine at say 90Hz and if so is that an improvement?
  • npyrhone
    Thanks a million for the review! This will be next monitor. Hallelujah! Lacking a decent non-TN gaming panel, I've played with a pro 24" CRT for all these years.
  • npyrhone
    A few answers and corrections concerning ideas thrown around in this thread:

    1) Yes, This works perfectly at 90Hz. Yes, it is a great improvement. Much greater improvement is 60->90 than 90->120.

    2) All monitors are from this day to the future to come 16:9. So, its useless to fancy 16:10 monitors anymore, they wont be coming ever again.

    3) 4K 120Hz gaming monitors wont be coming, either. At least not in the foreseeable future.

    4) Overclocking this is not luck of the draw. They all come at least 96Hz, and the great majority work 120Hz.

    5) The lack of displayport etc is what helps keeping input lag low.
  • rishiswaz
    I wonder why they don't just have another model with cherry-picked panels that they ship at 120 out of the box
  • xenol
    An up to 120Hz IPS 1440p IPS monitor for $450?

    Dammit HP, where were you last year when I bought a 1440p monitor?
  • InvalidError
    705201 said:
    5) The lack of displayport etc is what helps keeping input lag low.

    A synchronous digital multiplexer operating at 1GHz adds maybe two nanoseconds to propagation delays. You would need a horribly poor design for the number of inputs to actually have any measurable effect on lag.

    Where displays get most of their input lag from is image processing when they do things like dynamic contrast and power-saving backlighting.
  • rishiswaz
    I think the lack of display port is cost saving, not really as standard as DVI and probably cheaper to make the ports
  • jerrolds
    I was the *first* Overlord Tempest OC owner lol - pre-order #8 (1-7 were test orders) back in Aug 2013

    Great monitor - back then 1440p 120hz IPS was unheard of, only Catleap 2b monitors were capable. And it was $650 at the time.