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This is going to sound corny…but computer monitors are like eyes. People say our eyes are the “windows to the soul.” I believe that to be true. I also believe a good computer monitor is no different.
Displaying our physical inputs is one thing, but visually transporting us to virtual worlds still amazes me to this day. Colour, fluidity, and resolution are all aspects I looked for when purchasing the Acer XG270HU. And it delivers in every area.
I’ve been using the XG270HU gaming monitor since early 2016. It has truly enhanced the way I experience video games, watch YouTube videos, and create content.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how it compares to other displays, key features, and more!
Below are the core specs of the XG270HU as well as similar (and also excellent) high refresh rate gaming monitors that I recommend:
|Screen Size||27” (68.58 cm)||27” (68.58 cm)||27” (68.58 cm)||24” (60 cm)|
|Resolution||2560 x 1440||1920 x 1080||2560 x 1440||1920 x 1080|
|Variable Refresh Rate||FreeSync and G-Sync||FreeSync||G-Sync||FreeSync|
3.5mm Audio Jack
3.5mm Audio Jack
|HDMI x 2|
USB 3.0 Type A x 2
USB 3.0 Type B
3.5mm Audio Jack
|Brightness||350 cd/㎡||400 cd/㎡||350 cd/㎡||350 cd/㎡|
|Weight||8.5 lbs (3.86 kg)||12.3 lbs (5.6 kg)||15.4 lbs (7 kg)||14.8 lbs (6.7 kg)|
|Price||See Price||See Price||See Price||See Price|
The New Standard
1080p is a great resolution, without a doubt. It’s been the standard for more than a decade. As technology improves, we want the latest and greatest to push our games to their fullest potential. Going from a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels up to 2560 by 1440 pixels was eye-opening.
Sure, it’s not as significant of a jump as moving from 1080p to 4K. But we also have to consider the screen size. The XG270HU is 27 inches wide. This is 3 inches wider than my previous monitor. And man does it look massive on my stack of textbooks.
Back to the resolution. 1440p, according to most PC gamers, is regarded as the “sweet spot” in gaming right now. And I have to agree!
With the XG270HU, games look crisp and more immersive at quad-HD. And the best part, you don’t need a high-end GPU to get above 60fps with medium/high graphics settings. Heck, my AMD Radeon R9 Fury from 2015 is still handling games reasonably well at 1440p.
A Refresh Rate to Die For
The Gaming Experience
So how do games play at 144hz? Three words. Smooth and responsive. It’s a night and day difference with almost every game I’ve played.
I saw the most significant improvement when playing first-person shooters. Movement is noticeably more fluid while aiming as well as target acquisition feels more snappy. The FPS games I’ve tested with the XG270HU include CS: GO, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, Halo: Reach, and several others. They all played great at 144hz!
Third-person shooters, MOBAs, and MMORPGs also benefited from the 144hz refresh rate. Panning the camera around my character and casting spells (or shooting) felt more lively to me. It’s not a big step up for these types of games, but it sure is a quality of life improvement that I appreciate. Some of the titles I recently tested at 144hz include Hitman 2, League of Legends, WoW, and the Yakuza games.
I’ve been so comfortable with 144hz that using a 60hz monitor for gaming feels completely foreign to me now. The XG270HU has definitely changed the way I play games on PC.
Can You See Above 60 Fps?
I was a little nervous when I ordered the XG270HU off Amazon. Not because of potential damage during shipping. But because I had never seen a 144hz display in-person!
My golden rule before committing to a purchase is to look at online reviews.
However, when it comes to refresh rate, it’s really difficult to visualize the before and after improvements through images or videos. Though, there is another method. Many people use a site called the UFO Test to compare their monitor’s refresh rate.
As you can see with the screen capture, all the UFOs look exactly the same regardless of the refresh rate. One noticeable difference is the positioning. See how the 144 fps UFO is ahead of the other two? That’s because the XG270HU’s 144hz refresh rate is pushing out more information (or frames) when compared to a monitor less than 144hz.
To prove this further, I took a photo of the UFO Test with my phone. It shows what is actually going on.
Look at how quick the 144 fps UFO loads its next frame. You can see that the 72 fps UFO takes a bit longer to load. And the 36 fps UFO does not load the next frame at all.
In motion, the 36 fps UFO looked choppy and blurry. The 72 fps UFO was not as bad. But man, the 144 fps UFO was smooth as butter as it moved across the screen.
So what am I trying to say? 144hz monitors are not a gimmick. If anyone says that the “human eye can’t see past 60 (or 30) frames per second”, THEY ARE LYING TO YOU!
How Do You Enable 144hz?
I’ve seen people claim that their 144hz monitor worked right out of the box. In my experience, this was false. It took me some time to find the correct menus in Windows 10 to get it working. Once I figured it out, I was incredibly fascinated by the smoothness of my mouse cursor. With that being said, here’s how I enabled 144hz on my XG270HU:
Step 1 – Plug your Displayport Cable(included in the box) into your XG270HU and your graphics card
Step 2 – Make sure the input is set to “DP”
Step 3 – Right-click your desktop and click on “Display Settings”
Step 4 – Click on “Advanced display settings”
Step 5 – Click on “Display adapter properties for Display 1 (XG270HU)”
Step 6 – Click on the “Monitor” tab
Step 7 – Click on the “Screen refresh rate” drop-down menu, click on “144 Hertz”, and hit “Apply”
Other Specs and Features
For a TN(Twisted Nematic) panel, the image quality on the XG270HU really impressed me. TN panels are known for their quick response time, not their colours. But out of the box, images, movies, and games looked quite good.
I did some research on colour calibration to make the most out of my XG270HU. Tom’s Hardware has a nice guide for calibrating the XG270HU. The only change I made was bumping up the brightness. I felt 56 was a bit dark from my preference.
The on-screen display menu is also quite good. Although physical button labels would have been nice during my initial setup.
Viewing the XG270HU straight-on (just below eye level) is what you’d expect. Clean colours with no visible distortion. But what about from a side view?
I had some of my friends and family do an over-the-shoulder analysis while I played a game. After a few minutes, they said they were satisfied with the way the colours looked when viewing the XG270HU from the side.
One minor criticism they had was the monitor glare. The XG270HU uses a matte display which greatly reduces glare compared to glossy displays. Despite this, I have a fairly large window in my room which brings in a ton of natural sunlight. Thus, affecting their viewing experience.
Vertical viewing angles with the XG270HU is a mixed bag for me. The XG270HU is capable of tilt, and that’s it. There are no height, swivel, or pivot adjustments available on the XG270HU. A height-adjustment feature would be nice, but at least I’m putting my college textbooks to good use!
This might be a notable issue for some, but there is no VESA mount support with the XG270HU. However, there is a VESA mount adapter you can purchase to solve this issue.
FreeSync and G-Sync
One of the main reasons I bought the XG270HU was to take advantage of AMD FreeSync. Unlike “V-Sync”, FreeSync eliminates screen tearing without the sacrifice to in-game performance. And it works quite well.
When playing games between 40 to 144 fps, all screen tearing is eliminated with FreeSync enabled. It’s pretty awesome!
“But Zach, I have an Nvidia graphics card. Can I still take advantage of this feature?”
As of 2019, YES you can! Earlier this year, Nvidia announced a bunch of new G-Sync compatible monitors. And the XG270HU is one of many that is now G-Sync certified.
Now both sides of the GPU war can game without tearing!
This was a surprise. I had no idea that the XG270HU even had built-in speakers prior to my purchase. While the speakers aren’t terrible, they’re not great either. The fact that they’re bottom-facing as opposed to front-facing really hinders the listening experience.
I’ll be sticking with my headphones for the foreseeable future.
My shift into 1440p 144hz gaming has been an excellent experience thus far. Apart from a few minor problems, the XG270HU is an impressive monitor for the price you pay. Solid performance, good colours, fast response time, and FreeSync/G-Sync compatible. I couldn’t be happier!