When shopping for a new gaming monitor, you need to find the right balance of price, image quality, gaming performance, and features. Finding the best monitor for all your uses can be a daunting task. But what if you only care about gaming performance outright, nothing else?
Asus’ new ROG Swift PG259QNR might fit your bill. Be warned, however, that this monitor is a tricky ponytail for only the most competitive of gamers, thanks to its ultraquick 360Hz, 1080p display.
Being a monitor built for competitive gameplay, there are two aspects that stand out. First and foremost, it’s not huge at just 24.5 inches diagonally. More importantly, the stand is built like a tank.
You might not think it matters much, and while I agree with you in general, competitive gameplay ends up being quite a bit of physical activity. From fast mouse speeds to fast shutting down the keyboard, your speed can shock your desk, and most monitors will wobble like fresh Jell-O.
But not the PG259QNR. The stand Asus built for this display makes it perfectly placed on your desk, and won’t budge no matter how aggressive you are with your gameplay.
For those who don’t like a large stand, the display also comes with a desk clamp to replace the funky stand, as most monitor arms will again wobble a lot. As such, we can’t blame it for not supporting VESA mounts.
Whichever one you choose to use, the stand offers a full range of adjustments, including height, tilt, rotation to and from portrait, which is impressive considering the monitor’s stability. Of course, rotating is not necessary for portraits, but it is helpful when plugging cables in after routing them through the stand.
The ROG Swift 360Hz isn’t afraid to take a stance.
This display has no curves, and its 24.5-inch size may seem small to some gamers. For competitors, however, it allows them to watch all of the game without head movement. If you’ve ever wondered why 24-inch monitors are popular in tournaments, now you know.
All things considered, this is one of the most aggressively styled displays I’ve seen, with lots of accents and a huge RGB LIT Asus ROG logo on the back that takes up a quarter of the real estate.
port and control
There isn’t a ton of connectivity on the PG259QNR, but then again, there doesn’t need to be. You’ll want to use the DisplayPort 1.4a interface to get the most out of this monitor, as the HDMI 2.0 port will limit the maximum refresh rate to “only” 240Hz instead of the full 360Hz. DisplayPort also enables G-Sync at 1Hz to 360Hz, which is the widest range I’ve seen on a monitor.
Next to those two inputs, there’s a power jack that’s fed by a small, 90-watt external power brick. Your PC also has a headphone jack and a two-port USB hub, along with an upstream connection.
Asus’ on-screen display (OSD) isn’t the most attractive, but it’s functional and extremely easy to navigate. The monitor has a single directional toggle that brings up the main menu when interacted with in any way. This menu has sections for enabling the Nvidia Reflex Analyzer, a gaming menu containing gaming-related settings such as FPS counters, cheating crosshairs, dark boost, overdrive settings, and more.
Naturally, there are options for adjusting brightness, contrast, and color, as well as shortcuts, lighting effects, and general monitor settings.
When it comes to image quality, you may question why the display doesn’t come across as a QHD monitor. After all, 1080p isn’t very fast, and today’s GPUs need to be strong enough to power popular e-sports titles at high frame rates on QHD.
There’s a simple reason: bandwidth. DisplayPort 1.4a provides enough bandwidth to push 1080p to a monitor at 360Hz, and until we get a new interface or a manufacturer implements DSC (Display Stream Compression), 1080p is when you want a 360Hz monitor. There will be a cap. Even so, because the panel isn’t very large, the image still looks quite sharp.
Asus has equipped the PG259QNR with an IPS panel, which means the viewing angles are excellent. Light bleed and IPS glow are minimal on our sample, and much better than on curved ultrawide monitors. The PG259QNR produces a very consistent, uniform, clean image.
But where IPS usually produces stellar colors, it seems that some sacrifices have to be made with this panel. It’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but with coverage of 98% of the sRGB space and 73 percent of the AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 space, as tested with our Spyder X Elite, it gives you a vivid Doesn’t blow away, rich color.
We also tested its color accuracy, which resulted in a delta-E (difference from real) of 2.12 in standard “racing” mode, with the sRGB profile earning a better result of 1.68. Note that sRGB mode disables brightness control instead of using the built-in light sensor to control brightness.
Oddly, both of these figures are worse than the calibration report provided by Asus, which notes a delta-E of 0.53, but that could be due to different equipment and test conditions. Either way, the PG259QNR produces accurate colors, so you can use it for non-professional color grading if needed.
The Asus PG259QNR overdelivers in brightness and contrast performance.
Where the display stands apart is its brightness and contrast performance. Asus 400 cd/m . claims the brightness of2, but our sample is 415 cd/m. exceeded2. The panel also exceeded its quoted contrast ratio, as opposed to 1200:1, which is an impressive performance for an IPS panel. The white point was exactly at 6500K, which is great.
We calibrated the monitor to see if we could improve its performance, but achieved few gains. Only color accuracy was improved to 1.35, so there may be some gains from calibrating the PG259QNR.
But to be honest, you’re not buying this monitor for its ability to reproduce colors, and its color reproduction is more than enough for competitive gameplay. Given this monitor’s focus on RAW refresh rate, Asus could slide color accuracy and contrast—but thankfully, it didn’t.
Time to get down to the brass tacks and what really matters – gaming performance. On that front, the PG259QNR is in the home zone with a mind-boggling 360Hz refresh rate. You are probably wondering why you need 360Hz, and will you be able to tell the difference.
360Hz isn’t all about fluidity and smoothness. It’s all about reducing latency
If you’re not a competitive gamer, this monitor isn’t for you. The jump from 144Hz to 360Hz requires a trained eye to see, but 360Hz isn’t really about increasing fluidity and smoothness. Rather, the point of this extremely high refresh rate is to reduce latency, so you can see the enemy before he can see you. The difference is only milliseconds (we’re talking less than 10 milliseconds versus a 144Hz display), but that’s a lot in the competitive gaming world.
Now, I’m not a competitive gamer (I just don’t have the time or skills), but I asked a skilled friend to go over this monitor, counter Strike Global Offensive, and you should have seen the smile on his face. He landed shot after shot, shot after shot, and certainly felt like a better gamer than he was using his 144Hz panel. The PG259QNR is for when you want to know that the only thing holding you back is your skill.
This monitor is so fast, the only thing that will hold you back is your skill.
There is one thing to consider when considering this display. We tested it on a PC with an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and an Nvidia RTX 2080 Super graphics card. However, when we fired fate 2, the highest frame rate this system managed was around 170 FPS, with graphics on the lowest settings. up to CS:GO, we only occasionally jumped over about 300 FPS.
If you are considering buying this display, make sure that your system has a processor that has a very powerful single-core display.
So I took a look at Task Manager to see what was happening, and it confirmed my suspicions. The CPU was disrupting the system, as only a few cores were operating near 100%, with the graphics card running at about 70 or 80 percent duty, often even less. I chose the 3900X for its multi-core performance, but at single-core, it’s not as powerful as Intel’s options, and that’s what games like these rely on to produce really high frame rates at low resolutions.
So, if you buy this display, make sure you have a processor like Intel’s Core i9-9900K, Core i9-10900K, or wait for AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPUs, as they offer staggering single-core performance. are supposed to.
Of course, even if you don’t, you will still benefit from this display. You don’t need to hit 360 FPS to get some of it, because even at a lower framerate, you’ll benefit from lower latency and be a more competitive player.
nvidia reflex latency analyzer
Like I said, the PG259QNR is all about latency, which is why it comes down to packing Nvidia’s reflex analyzer technology. It’s essentially an extension of the G-Sync module that allows you to measure the time from click to display which, when paired with the right hardware, can numerically show you the benefits from a faster display. We tested the feature using fate 2 and Asus’ ROG Chakram Core Mouse. (You should note that a lot of games are not currently supported.)
You use it by connecting the monitor to your PC with DisplayPort and a USB hub, and then plugging a compatible mouse into the monitor’s red USB port. This lets the monitor detect when you click. Then, via the monitor’s OSD, you enable the Reflex Analyzer, which brings up a detection rectangle that you first react to your gun’s trigger, nozzle, or any part of it, so the monitor can detect it. that when your click is visible on-screen…