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

Packaging, Physical Layout, and Accessories

Our press sample arrived double-boxed with bubble wrap around the inner carton. Protecting the contents is plenty of rigid Styrofoam. Mail-order buyers have no cause for concern, as Overlord’s packaging is more than up to the task of surviving shipment.

The Tempest X270OC comes with everything you need for a quick connection and immediate action.

DVI is the only input option, so a 28 AWG cable is included. Overlord will substitute a heavier 24 AWG cable for an extra 10 bucks. It’s recommended for running at high refresh rates, and what came with our press sample. The power supply is a separate brick that accepts a standard IEC power cord, which also comes bundled. To drive the built-in speakers, a 3.5 mm audio cable rounds out the package.

The only printed materials in the box are a quick setup guide and warranty card. The user’s manual can be downloaded from Overlord’s website.

Product 360

To realize maximum image clarity, Overlord removed the anti-glare layer from our sample X270OC. Based on your room's light sources, you must take care to prevent reflections. But the extra detail and on-screen pop are well worth the trade. Our reference display for clarity comparisons is Planar's PXL2790MW. The Tempest comes awfully close to matching that excellent product. Whether you’re gaming or working in Windows, you're treated to a good-looking picture.

The bezel is a bit wide at one inch around the top and sides, and 1.5 inches across the bottom. Aside from a trim strip on the bottom with texture molded into it, the chassis is finished in a shiny black plastic. The Overlord logo on our sample wasn’t as white as the one in the photo; it was more of a medium gray. The power LED is bright blue and can’t be dimmed. If you play in the dark, its glare might be distracting.

In the lower-right corner are the control buttons. From left to right, you have brightness up/down, volume up/down, and power. The keys make a firm click when pressed, and the LED flashes to let you know something is happening. Since there’s no OSD, you won’t see any indication on the screen.

The base and upright come disassembled; you have to screw them together with the included hardware. They are finished in a medium-satin plastic.

The X270OC offers a complete set of ergonomic adjustments. You get five inches of height, 25 degrees tilt, and 120 degrees of swivel. You can also rotate to portrait mode. This is the only aspect of the Tempest that feels lower-quality. The hardware that facilitates height adjustment has some play that makes moving the panel a little wobbly. It stays solidly in-place after making changes, but it’s tricky to position the screen just the way you want. Considering how well the display performs, my critique is fairly minor.

At 2.5 inches-thick, the Tempest is beefier than average. There are no USB ports or media card readers built into the chassis. After all, gaming is the target market, and anything not needed for that purpose is excluded. A headphone jack is really the only entertainment-oriented feature we missed.

It’s hard to see in the photo, but there is plenty of ventilation at the top of the panel and around the bulge. This monitor runs cool, since its power supply is external. Removing the upright exposes a 100 mm VESA mount.

The lower vents on the bulge cover two 10 W speakers, and they're the best we've ever heard from a computer monitor. A little extra size and power translate into more bass with highs that aren't too shrill. Your own discrete surround system is naturally going to sound better. Still, we want to recognize Overlord for enabling integrated audio that stands above the rest.

There is only one way to connect the Tempest X270OC to your PC, and that’s by dual-link DVI. Use the audio input if you plan to lean on the internal speakers; DVI only carries video data. The DIN connector at the top is for the power supply. All of the jacks face sideways and are easy to find by feel. Our only concern is that the DVI input sits close to the back panel. If your cable has a bulky connector, it will be a tight fit.

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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.