ASUS PQ321 Ultra HD 4K 31.5-inch Monitor Review - HotHardware

ASUS PQ321 Ultra HD 4K 31.5-inch Monitor Review

9 thumbs up
Most monitors are easy to setup. You plug in the power cord, attach the panel to your system via HDMI, DVI, VGA, or DisplayPort, and off you go. That's sort of the case with the PQ321 as well, though at this early stage, it takes a bit of finagling to run the monitor at 60Hz instead of 30Hz.


Trust us when we say you don't want to dink around Windows at 30Hz. There's too much input lag, resulting in a jittery mouse on the desktop, and things are even worse if you intend on gaming. It's a whole new world at 60Hz, and it's made possible here through a combination of video card drivers, monitor settings, and the right connection.

The steps are slightly different depending on which graphics card you own, and the one we'll walk you through is for an AMD 7000 Series GPU (if you own an NVIDIA or Intel Haswell CPU with integrated graphics, you can skip to the embedded video below for detailed instructions).


To run the PQ321 at its native 3840x2160 resolution at 60Hz, you can either use a single DisplayPort 1.2 cable or multiple HDMI cables (all HDMI cables should be connected to a single GPU). ASUS recommends the former and that's how we conducted our testing. In our case, our XFX Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition graphics card has a mini DisplayPort connector, so even though ASUS includes a DisplayPort cable, we had to pick up an adapter.


If you haven't already, be sure to update your AMD Catalyst software to the latest available. When you connect the PQ321 to your system, it's going to default to 30Hz. The first step to changing that is to open up the On Screen Display (OSD) controls and select Setup > DisplayPort STREAM. Change this from SST (single stream transport) to MST (multi-stream transport), save the settings, and hang tight a moment while the monitor reboots.


The screen may look a little funky after the monitor comes back on with multiple taskbar icons and other oddities. That's okay. Proceed to the next step, which is to open the Catalyst Control Panel, expand the AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display option from the left-hand column, and select Create Eyefinity Display Group.

 
You should see two square boxes labeled 1 and 2. Click on 1 and press Continue. You now need to select a layout for the display group. Select the 2x1 configuration from the pull-down menu and you're golden with a 3840x2160 resolution at 60Hz.

For detailed instructions on how to configure the monitor on all three platforms (AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel's Haswell), ASUS put together a handy video, which we've embedded below:



If this all seems a bit complicated, don't fret, it's really a quick process when you have the monitor in front of you. However, it is a bit annoying to jump through these hoops, though ASUS tells us they won't always be there.

"A multi-stream 4K Display VESA standard is now being finalized, which ASUS will implement in a firmware update of our monitor via USB. This will enable a superior experience on this monitor similar to what users see on existing lower resolution displays without any additional configuration," ASUS says.

What that means is that once there's a standard in place and the monitor's been updated, drivers will recognize when a 4K display has MST enabled and auto-configure itself. It will be just like hooking up any other monitor.
 

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Sad thing is, this 10.5x better than my monitor, but mines al so just a very old 1024x768 15" flat :P Makes me feel like such a noob.

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I love ASUS for their monitors. Their MOBO's are also some of the best out there. Now to read the review.

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Thank you very much for the review, Dave. I found some similar reviews regarding another ASUS monitor that was compared to a BenQ monitor to see which was the better one for things like gaming. I'll leave the link for those that want to read more on it (http://mysteryblock.com/best-gaming-monitor-benq-or-asus/).

I personally think ASUS monitors are the best. They are designed really well and look sleek with my PC!

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ASUS make some really good screens. I'd love to have this one, but my 27" ASUS will have to do for now.

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So big :(

I prefer 24 inch sizing myself.

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ultra HD or 4k res is wasted in anything less then 50 inches where 1080p shows its limitation (pixels get to big) 4k res can go to 300 inches (via projector) with ease or 120 inches in 3D

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It's very nice and all but for now $3500 is out of my price range!! is it just me or does 35 mm thick seem a lot thicker then the 2 or 3 mm LG 31 inch monitor? i don't get the huge price disparity over my current ASUS IPS display. I think i'll stick with my monitor for now deep colours, great contrast, flawless quality, and strong sturdy industrial look makes me a big ASUS fan for now!

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For last 4 years I am using Dell 3007 30" , 2560 x 1600 monitor as a central one plus 2 Dell 2007FPb, 20" 1600 x 1200 monitors as a wings, set at 30 degrees in portrait mode, so they become 1200 x 1600. In this configuration they are perfect mach to the center one giving me total resolution 4960 x 1600. Paid on Ebay $560 for 30" and $90 for 2 used 20" from Craigslist. Just can't imagine being without my setup. It is so convenient be able to move pages aside instead closing them or covering with next page. In the future would like to move my setup to higher resolution when cost will come to more realistic level end more video card supporting ultra definition become available. Love this country for its secondary market and rich people buying expensive staff and selling it later for 10 cents on a dollar, lol.

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Maciek:
Love this country for its secondary market and rich people buying expensive staff and selling it later for 10 cents on a dollar, lol.

Ha-Ha!

I love this and I'll buy used and refurbished gear also.

 

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$3,500? Let me just sell my kidney. :D

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