ASUS MG279Q 144Hz IPS FreeSync Monitor Review
While the Lagom and Techmind tests on the previous page lay out a monitor's performance in black and white (and blue and green and red and...), we also take into consideration a subjective analysis. You're not purchasing a monitor to view test patterns for hours on end, after all. To see how the ASUS MG279Q performed in the real world, we viewed a series of HD video clips and fired up a few games. Torturous, we know, but hey, you guys are worth every minute of our entertainment...
Watching movies on the ASUS MG279Q was very pleasurable. The screen offers bright whites, dark blacks and even without any fine-tuning, colors seems well saturated. The panel's high-refresh rate and relatively fast response time meant there was no easily noticeable ghosting with videos either. For video and multi-media tasks, the ASUS MG279Q should please most users.
When playing games that run at very high frame rates, with the monitor configured at 144Hz, FreeSync is not available. You get the low-lag and smoothness benefits of the high-framerate, but no variable refresh rates when the higher 120Hz or 144Hz options for this display are used. If you enable FreeSync on the display and within the AMD driver when the monitor is configured for a refresh rate higher than 90Hz, FreeSync is automatically disabled. If you select the 90Hz option in the MG279Q's OSD, however, FreeSync then kicks in and works as it should (again, when using a compatible GPU and when FreeSync in enabled in the driver).
When playing more taxing games, with framerates that may fluctuate above or below 60 FPS or so, that fall within the 35 - 90Hz FreeSync range of this display, the effect the variable refresh rate technology has on the on-screen imagery and / or lag is excellent. Disabling V-Sync may eliminate lag, but tearing is evident. And enabling V-Sync may eliminate the tearing, but the lag can be annoying. With FreeSync though, the on-screen images don't suffer from visual artifacts and the tearing is gone too. There can be some minor ghosting visible, mostly when brightly lit objects are moving quickly across darker areas (basically, where there's a lot of contrast), but it didn't detract from the gameplay in our opinion. And the display offers tunable options to somewhat mitigate the effects.
We wish there was an easy way to visually convey how variable refresh rate technologies like FreeSync affect on-screen animation, but there isn’t. We don’t have a means to capture DisplayPort feeds and shooting video of the screen and hosting it on-line doesn’t capture the full effect either. In lieu of a meaningful method to show the effects, you'll just have to take our word for it.
We should also mention that simply using a high 120Hz - 144Hz refresh rate on your desktop is also great. There is a noticeable improvement when mousing or even moving windows around the screen. If you're the type that gets headaches when looking at a 60Hz screen for too long, the higher refresh rates of a display like this one may be ideal.
Viewing angles are also very good. As you can see in the pictures above, when viewing the screen from relatively steep angles, from the sides, top, or bottom, the images appears mostly uniform. This is due to the wider viewing angles of the IPS panel used in the MG279Q. Trying viewing a TN panel from angles like this and the screen washes out considerably.