ASUS PQ321 Ultra HD 4K 31.5-inch Monitor Review

Subjective Analysis

While DisplayMate lays out a monitor's performance in black and white (and blue and green and red and...), we also take into consideration a subjective analysis. After all, you're not purchasing a monitor to view test patterns for hours on end. To see how the PQ321 performs in the real world, we viewed a series of high definition movies and fired up a few games. Torturous, we know, but hey, you guys are worth every minute of our entertainment.
Subjective Tests
HD Movie Playback and Gaming

Elysium @ 4K

You can find a bunch of 4K content on YouTube, including movie trailers, so that's what we did. It's impossible to capture the detail in a photo that's going to be viewed on a lower resolution monitor, leaving it up to us to offer up a subjective analysis. So, what's it like watching 4K content?

At present, it's not terribly different than watching a Blu-ray. We can hear the movie buffs groaning, but in reality, the difference isn't as pronounced as it is when viewing 4K photos, though the subject matter plays a roll, too. As it pertains to movies, a 4K resolution allows you to sit closer to the screen before you start to notice abnormalities. On the flip side, 4K will lead to larger size screens, which is pretty exciting when there are already semi-affordable 70-inch LCD TVs on the market.

Metro 2033 @ 4K

If you're gaming on a Full HD 1080p monitor, stepping up to a 4K monitor like the PQ321 is a tremendous upgrade. There's more content and greater detail to enhance the gaming experience, provided your graphics card(s) can keep up. However, if you own a 30-inch class panel with 2560x1600 resolution (or thereabouts), the upgrade experience isn't quite as sublime, however it's still satisfying. That's not to say the PQ321 doesn't look fantastic when gaming -- it does -- we're just saying to temper your expectations if you're already accustomed to gaming on a high-resolution panel.

We showed you earlier how to enable 60Hz on the PQ321, and if you plan to game, you'll definitely want to go that route. That means you'll need an NVIDIA GeForce 600 Series, 700 Series, or Titan graphics card, or an AMD Radeon HD 6000 or 7000 Series graphic card. You could also run the integrated graphics on Intel's Haswell chip, but good luck trying to drive a 4K resolution for gaming. The other option is to game at a lower resolution, and while the PQ321 handles them with aplomb, the process is clunky. Depending on the resolution you're after, you'll need to switch back to SST, let the monitor reboot, play with settings, etc. if you don't, you'll see a split screen when lowering the resolution in-game.

To give you an idea what 4K gaming is like on the performance side, we ran some benchmarks with an XFX Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition card.

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