At CES 2017, the latest HDR 4K Ultra HD TVs and all their associated new display trimmings weren’t the only pieces of high-end display technology to really show off how much better they’re going to be in 2017.
4K Gaming display and especially in the form of new types of ultra HD monitors has also gotten the future-proofing treatment in some awesome new ways that many gamers could appreciate, particularly from NVIDIA. Some of the featured technologies include NVIDIA’s latest GTX 1080Ti GPUs, NVIDIA’s new G-Sync High Dynamic Range tech and, most interestingly of all perhaps, a couple of upcoming 4K monitors that take refresh rates to new levels with 4K resolution with the G-Sync HDR technology included.
We’re talking here about a partnership between NVIDIA and AU Optronics to create 144Hz 4K gaming display panels which are going to be installed for the first time in two monitors from ASUS and Acer called the ROG PG27UQ and Predator XB272-HDR, respectively from each company. AU Optronics is already a major provider of displays for other gaming monitors from both brands so the inclusion of the company’s technology is nothing new in this case. What is new however, is that 144Hz number, which means that unlike all existing retail 4K monitors for gaming or otherwise to date, these new gadgets won’t max out their refresh rates at 60Hz. 144Hz is perfectly common in 1080p PC displays and even many 1440p monitors but it has never yet been attempted in a monitor with 4K resolution.
The ASUS ROG PG27UQ G-Sync HDR 4K monitor
You could easily argue that the 144Hz refresh is even pointless overkill in both of these monitors since no existing or soon-to-be-released GPU from any gamer brand is even close to capable of delivering 4K gaming graphics at frame rates that even come close to that refresh rate. Most GPUs can barely push 4K gaming past the 40fps mark and only the newest “true 4K” GPUs from NVIDIA such as the GTX 1080 and the TITAN X 2016 graphics card can handle regular 4K gaming at 60fps or slightly more. However, therein lies the point, these cards are the first that regularly SURPASS 60fps in 4K resolution even for high-end PC games and because of this, 144Hz is something that 4K gamers will definitely find desirable. Furthermore, with the upcoming addition of the GTX 1080Ti we’re going to see ultra HD gaming frame rates creep up still further and this process is likely to continue throughout 2017.
In other words, 144Hz definitely has its necessity with the development of more widespread 4K gaming in PCs in this year and beyond.
Moving back to the new AU/NVIDIA 144Hz gaming displays, their exceptional (for 4K display) refresh rate is just one of the impressive specs they’ll sport. They also feature the aforementioned G-Sync HDR technology, which is designed to eliminate input lag with HDR gaming in 4K via PC. The fact that this is now a thing is another aspect of these monitors worth mentioning. Up until now, no PC display came with HDR display capabilities, but the new generations of 4K monitors, including the ASUS and Acer models with NVIDIA’s new screen, will indeed have HDR just like 4K TVs do, of the HDR10 sort. Thus, with the NVIDIA/AU displays, users of the monitors which feature them get the benefit of full HDR10 support, increased brightness, superior contrast and wide color gamut thanks to Quantum Dot color filter technology. This will mean higher 90%+ DCI-P3 color space coverage for some rich HDR gaming realism and color saturation.
Both the ASUS and Acer monitors will also feature full-array LED backlighting panels that offer a whopping 384 individual lighting and local dimming zones for maximum levels of contrast precision and deep, inky blacks. This is necessary for high quality HDR but it’s nonetheless impressive to see so many local dimming zones, or any sort of local dimming at all for that matter in mere PC monitors of less than 32 inches.
The Acer Predator XB272-HDR with G-Sync HDR
Finally, as we said, the new NVIDIA/AU screens deliver HDR brightness levels for compatibility with the HDR10 standards they support, and the degree to which they do this is downright exceptional. According to their manufacturers, the HDR panels put into ASUS and Acer’s monitors will indeed be able to hit 1000nits of brightness. By comparison, most 4K PC monitors we’ve ever reviewed can barely manage 350 nits.
ASUS and Acer are expected to release these displays at some point in April and while we can’t give you concrete pricing details, the ASUS ROG PG27UQ is expected to retail for about $1,200 while the Acer monitor will likely cost a bit less than this, closer to the $950-$1100 mark.
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