ASUS PG258Q Review
240Hz refresh rate is unheard of
Perfect for competitive gamers
Incredibly fast response time
Expensive for a 1080p monitor
ASUS PG258Q: The Fastest Gaming Monitor Around
Any time a new monitor promises a seriously enhanced gaming experience, it leaves the community wondering what kinds of improvements are even possible given the capabilities of today’s premium equipment. The ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q is no exception; offering a staggering 240Hz refresh rate, our first question was a simple one: what does that even mean?
Ultimately, the answer is this—if your graphics card is powerful enough to push that many frames to your monitor, you’ll find yourself enjoying impossibly smooth gameplay that gives you the split second edge you need if you’re trying to play professionally or are a competitive player of any kind.
It’s true that if you’re running on a pretty quick 144Hz monitor you may not even notice the difference when you first switch to 240Hz; but if you try switching back, you’ll never un-see the lag or be able to forget the sniper-esque speed of the faster system that allows you to get a jump on your competitors before they’ve even noticed you.
So is the $600 price tag a little hefty? Sure. But considering the hike in cost is relatively small (~$100) to its noticeably less-equipped competitors, it’s clear that the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q is worth every penny. We’ll walk you through why in this ASUS PG258Q review.
ASUS PG258Q Tech Specs
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Viewing Angle||170° (H) / 160° (V)|
|Display Colors||16.7 Million|
|Response Time||1ms (GTG)|
ASUS is a Taiwanese computer hardware company, producing desktops, laptops, motherboards, phones, monitors, and more. The company is currently the world’s fourth largest computer vendor, and is a trusted PC brand for college students and business professionals alike.
Where ASUS has most recently started to shine, however, is the gaming category. ASUS created the sub-brand Republic of Gamers (ROG) in 2006, which has gone on to encompass a pretty significant range of hardware, from computers to peripherals and accessories, all of which are specifically designed for computer gaming. Some of the most significant ROG products are the ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z Motherboard and the ASUS ROG G751JY-DH71 Laptop.
Since 2006, the ROG team has launched a seemingly endless stream of gaming tech, and has quickly become a fan-favorite brand for their product’s superior performance.
ROG also actively takes part in the gaming community around the world, helping to push the gaming tech world forward by sponsoring major shows like PAX and Dreamhack.
Today ROG is an undisputed leader in the world of gaming, and users have come to expect major innovations and unprecedented performance from the Taiwanese company.
Winning Aspects of the ASUS PG258Q Monitor
While the PG258Q comes with a pretty extensive list of compelling features, we have to address the most anticipated one first: the 240Hz refresh rate. It’s currently pretty standard to play on a 60Hz monitor, which, if you do the math, means most gamers are playing at a lag rate around 20 milliseconds. While that may not sound like much in the real world, when you’re playing Overwatch or Battlefield it’s the make-or-break factor in “kill or be killed.” We’ll be the first to admit that the jump from a 60Hz monitor to a 144Hz monitor seemed significantly bigger; in fact, the first time you play on the PG258Q you may not even notice the difference.
For us, it became most obvious when we switched back: shots that we were easily making before were coming late, and our opponent had much better luck in responding to us then they did when we were literally 16 milliseconds in their future (240Hz translates roughly to a 4 millisecond lag). So yeah, be prepared: If you’re going to make the jump to the PG258Q, playing on a regular 144Hz or 60Hz monitor will basically feel impossible after. We warned you.
It’s worth considering, however, that all that speed comes at a price; the PG258Q still runs at 1080p, and features a slightly narrower range of vision than is possible with slower monitors.
Basically, it’s the split second, accuracy-vital, twitchy-heavy movements where the 240Hz makes the biggest difference. If you’re into e-sports or Counter Strike: Global Offensive (or basically anything similar) you’re going to love this speed—and not care too much about the narrower viewing angles.
Moving on to other important key features, we’d be remiss not to mention that the PG258Q also packs Nyidia’s G-Sync frame-syncing tech. Why is this important? It basically completely eliminates tearing, in that it is able to sync any frames that are outputted by the GPU with the monitor’s (super high) refresh rate.
It also means that if you choose to set your monitor below its max refresh rate (or you’re using an HDMI connection; we’ll get into that later) you’re still going to experience significantly smoother game play with G-Sync turned on than you would otherwise, especially when you’re playing more graphics-intensive games.
Next, we have to talk about the look and feel of the whole set-up. As we’ve come to expect from ROG, this monitor is oozing with just as much gamer-cool as it is with functionality. Finished all over in matte charcoal with sparingly used copper accents, the slim-profile monitor sits on a rounded, four legged base.
The screen face includes thin, 9mm bezels on each side, with a 10mm bezel on top and a 14mm bezel on the bottom. The screen is treated with a matte AG, but in a way that’s subtle enough to prevent any kind of discoloration, distortion, or graininess during gameplay.
As far as I/O is concerned, the back of the screen features a DisplayPort, HDMI port, USB upstream, two USB 3.0 downstream ports, a (non-usable) service port, a power connection, and a headphone jack. If you’re hoping to take advantage of the 240Hz refresh rate, however, you’re going to want to make sure you’re using that DisplayPort; the HDMI connection only allows for speeds up to about 60Hz.
All of this mess on the back is totally obscured by a plastic plate with a neat cable pass-through hold, allowing you to keep your cables tidy and the back of your monitor looking clean.
The helix stand comes with a downward-pointed LED projector built in, displaying the ROG logo by default but including a blank cap on which you can totally customize the design; it’s basically a symphony of gamer-centric design.
Other Considerations for the ASUS PG258Q Gaming Monitor
Overall, color temperatures, contrast, and saturation are pretty good right out of the box: however, everything is fully adjustable, and the PG258Q looks great even with light in excess of 400cd/m2.
The monitor is also equipped with ASUS ultra-low blue light filters, protecting you from blue light and helping your circadian rhythm stay in line, even with late-night gameplay. You can choose between four different filter settings for total control over the emitted blue-light.
The monitor comes with its own external power supply, along with the power brick and the required cables, as well as video cables for video connections. All digital interfaces are HDCP certified for encrypted content.
It’s definitely worth nothing, however, that the monitor doesn’t come with any further extras; no speakers, no mic connections, and no light sensors.
Another quick downside is the use of the Twisted Nematic (TN) panel, which, as mentioned above, reduces the width of viewing angles. This is a disadvantage to In-Plane Switching (IPS), however this one is a necessary compromise to achieve the unprecedented response time, so can definitely be overlooked. Unfortunately, the monitor’s 1020p Full HD spec does seem a little lacking, and we’re all waiting anxiously for the day we’ll be able to see high speeds at 1440p+ resolution.
A huge upside, however, is the little joystick located on bottom, right hand corner of the back side of the screen. This joystick, along with the three buttons that accompany it, control the OSD menu in a way that feels completely intuitive. While there are zero markings on the front of the screen, operating the joystick without actually seeing it is still natural-feeling, and you’ll get used to operating it in a second flat. 2 of the buttons are actually triggers for the GamePlus and GameVisual preset mode menus, meaning you’ll have fast access to both whenever needed.
As far as other important specs are concerned, the PG258Q has a 1920×1080 pixel-resolution, and a 1ms grey-to-grey (G2G) response time. The narrow bezel screen designed makes it super conducive to multiple-display setups.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q Is also compatible with NCIDIA 3D Vision 2, which (alone with a GeForce graphics card and 3D glasses) enables a completely immersive experience with both games and movies. With the kit also comes NVIDIA 3D LightBoost Technology, providing you with super bright 3D visuals without total tanking your energy bill.
While it’s difficult to say how, exactly, this is true (given all three models have nearly-identical panels), when you compare the ASUS PG258Q to the only other 240Hz monitors on the market, it beats both the AOC AG251FZ and the BenQ Zowie XL250 in blur reduction and clarity.
Design and Warranty
As is the case with any premium monitor on the market today, the ROG Swift PG258Q has a pretty significant range of movements. All of the motions are pretty smooth, but they’re also pretty stiff; it may even require two hands to make your monitor sit exactly the way you want it to.
The monitor easily flips 90º between landscape and portrait. It also features market standard height adjustment capabilities, randing from 0-120mm. Even more important is the tilt range, which extends from +20º to -5º.
The monitor also has a built in custom heatsink, which is almost double the standard size that’s found on most competitive monitors. In order to make double sure that marathon gaming sessions wouldn’t be interrupted by overheating, ASUS also included a Smart Air Vent design, which employs convection currents to stimulate airflow within the monitor itself. The fan-less cooling system is totally silent, and is there to ensure you won’t be taking our PG258Q in for maintenance any time soon.
Overall, the base of the PG258Q is pretty sturdy. The three-legged helix stand provides ultimate stability, though it’s worth noting that the backwards facing third leg means you’ll have to have a decently deep desk in order to keep the monitor from falling off the back.
If you’re still not into the way it all comes together, however, you can opt for one of many aftermarket mounting options; the PG258Q is VESA compatible. While the stand as-is is pretty good, if you’re hoping to mount your monitor one of these other mounting options is your best bet.
As far as the warranty is concerned, ASUS is backing the PG258Q up with a standard three year warranty for both the casing and the panel, respectively. All accessories, however, come with only a single year warranty, and cables and bundled gifts are excluded from the warranty totally.
The monitor also comes with a Dead on Arrival (DOA) policy, which means if your PG258Q is found to be defective within 7 days of purchase, they’ll replace it.
Our Final Thoughts: You Won’t Find A 240Hz Refresh Rate on Many Other Monitors
240Hz Refresh Rate? Where Do I Sign Up?
All in all, the ROG Swift PG258Q is a really impressive gaming monitor, and definitely the best we’ve had a chance to review in 2017. Overall the response times we ridiculously low, and high refresh rate made for an insanely competitive gaming experience.
It’s clear that the PG258Q is an improvement on its predecessors; whether or not you can feel the difference from 144Hz to 240Hz, you’ll be sure to notice it the minute you switch back. Even if you’re not using this monitor at its full refresh rate, you’ll find the color, brightness, backlighting, contrast, display, blue light filters, etc. to be a pretty big improvement on your current system.
Obviously this monitor has its limitations; it’s still TN film based, so you’ll have limited view angles and that always annoying gamma shift.
Overall, however, we were psyched about how the monitor performed playing Overwatch. Throughout a truly marathon session we enjoyed super smooth motion and totally clean, crisp images.
But is it worth the price? Honestly, we vote a strong yes. While some may think of the cost as way too high for a monitor that only displays in 1080p, it’s clear that the speed totally makes up for the resolution. Plus, FHD is still the universal standard for competitive gaming anyway, so it’s really not a major shortcoming for the time being.
Overall, if you’ve been saving up for a powerhouse new monitor, the ASUS PG258Q is a solid upgrade from most older and competitive systems. Alternatively, if you’re just trying to break into the competitive playing scene, this monitor will give you the edge you need to get ahead.