ASUS ROG Swift PG32UQX Review – Ultimate mini LED monitor

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The ROG Swift PG32UQX takes over from the previous generation of G-Sync Ultimate screens, as a gaming monitor with the best HDR image quality of the moment. You pay a huge extra price for that privilege. As a prospective buyer, you could easily consider buying a television for a lower price that gives at least such a beautiful HDR image. In addition to the excellent HDR and still special combination of 4K and 144Hz, the image quality of the PG32UQX is not overwhelmingly good, with the response times remarkably not outstanding. Also a pity is the lack of HDMI 2.1, which makes the screen less versatile.


  • Very good hdr rendering for a monitor
  • 4k and 144Hz remains a special combination
  • G-Sync Scaler


  • Extremely expensive
  • No HDMI 2.1
  • Disappointing viewing angles
  • Feature set for non-gaming could have been more extensive

At CES 2017 , Nvidia presented ‘G-Sync hdr’ monitors for the first time, in the form of the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27 . The duo, developed in collaboration with panel manufacturer AUO and both screen suppliers, was equipped with a high peak brightness of 1000cd/m², full array local dimming backlight (fald) with 384 zones, and a 4k panel at 144Hz. They were unheard of specifications, at a time when there were very few monitors with any form of support for HDR. They would be the first screens with the combination of 4k and 144Hz, even though the introduction time promised at the fair (‘later in 2017’) was pushed back by no less than a year .

Since most G-Sync screens can now handle some form of HDR, the G-Sync HDR label has been renamed G-Sync Ultimate in 2021. Screens with the Ultimate label should, as the name says, still offer the best experience in hdr, although Nvidia’s seal of approval has been subject to inflation lately. The initially very strict requirements were recently lowered , so that there are now also G-Sync Ultimate screens without false backlight and high peak brightness of more than 1000cd/m². ASUS proves that things can be done differently with its new ROG Swift PG32UQX, pretty much the top model in the manufacturer’s gaming line-up and the ultimate screen within the current G-Sync-Ultimate generation. You could see this screen as the spiritual successor to the PG27UQ. The PG32UQX also has a 4k IPS panel with 144Hz refresh rate, a Fald backlight with high peak brightness plus a quantum dot layer for a wide color gamut. The PG32UQX this consists of 1152 zones, exactly the same as with the ASUS ProArt PA32UCX-PK. ASUS uses minileds on both screens to achieve this. The PG32UQX is therefore the first gaming monitor with a mini LED backlight.

Although the monitor was not available at the time of shooting the video below, it should be available later this month. In line with the previous G-Sync Ultimate displays, its price is sky-high; no less than 3499 euros must be deposited for it. In this review we look at the extent to which the monitor is worth it.

A screen with a screen

The design of the ASUS ROG Swift PG32UQX is very similar to other ROG monitors. So you stand out with this screen. The back features a transverse stripe, different textures and a huge ROG logo that is of course provided with RGB lighting. The silver-grey base with bronze-colored accents is equipped with ergonomic options including height adjustment, swivel and tilt, and has a separate red illuminated logo at the top. Unfortunately, the rather bulky cabinet behind the panel doesn’t have an integrated power supply, so you’ll have to hide the hefty power adapter somewhere behind your desk. Like the ProArt PA32UCX-PK and PG27UQ, the PG32UQX features active cooling for the hardware behind the panel. In our office environment, the fan was not disturbingly audible, but your mileage may vary.

Controlling the PG32UQX’s OSD works differently than most other monitors, and also different from previous ROG monitors that featured a series of buttons on the back right of the screen. The PG32UQX has a fairly large rotary knob in the middle of the screen that allows you to quickly scroll through the menu, flanked by two buttons for ‘Back’ and ‘OK’. As far as we are concerned, more manufacturers should opt for this form of operation.

The PG32UQX is a screen with a screen: a monochrome OLED display is also hidden on the bottom bezel under the actual panel. You can show various animated logos on it, but you can also display the temperatures and clock speeds of components in your PC via the Armory Crate software. You can also put your own (animated) logo on the screen with the program. ASUS introduced the same concept to other ROG products, such as the Ryuo aio cooler from our roundup from earlier this year. Although we have our doubts about the usefulness of this addition, it is very ‘des ASUS’ to have a top model of strange extras to provide. For example, the PG27UQ had a projector in the base, with which you could project the ROG logo (or a logo of your choice) on your wall or ceiling.

Connections: another downer

Almost traditional for a G-Sync monitor, the connectivity of the PG32UQX falls short of the screen’s capabilities. For example, the PG27UQ still had outdated DisplayPort 1.2 connections, so the screen could not be driven at 4k and 144Hz without 4:2:2 color compression. With the PG32UQX (and other recent G-Sync displays), that problem has at least been solved, now that the G-Sync scaler is equipped with DisplayPort 1.4. Via display stream compression (dsc) the signal is compressed with practically no visible losses, where text on the PG27UQ became ugly if you used 4k/144Hz.

To be able to use dsc, you need a video card that supports this technique. An Nvidia card is not required, because the PG32UQX also supports FreeSync. As with G-Sync, the range starts at 1Hz, one of the benefits of the G-Sync scaler. You must have at least an AMD RDNA GPU (RX 5xxx) or Nvidia Turing GPU (RTX20xx / GTX16xx) to use the screen at 144Hz.

If you have a suitable video card, the PG32UQX can therefore be optimally controlled via the single DisplayPort input, but unfortunately that does not apply when you connect something to one of the three HDMI ports. They remain stuck at version 2.0, good for a maximum resolution of 2560×1440 at 120Hz or 4k at 60Hz. The new generation of consoles, and the RTX3000 and RX6000 graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, feature HDMI 2.1 , which enables 4k/120Hz, plus a new form of adaptive sync called ‘HDMI Forum VRR’ or ‘HDMI vrr’. The PG32UQX therefore does not support this. That is very strange and also a shame, given the high price and the fact that the first HDMI 2.1 monitors of the competition will be on the market in the coming period.

Image quality (hdr)

The main reason to choose the PG32UQX over other gaming screens is the advanced local dimming implementation, which should lead to a much better HDR image quality than on the average monitor. That’s why we start with this part.

The ASUS ROG Swift PG32UQX is the first monitor we receive with a VESA DisplayHDR 1400 certification. Logically, this means that the peak brightness of the screen in HDR mode must be more than 1400cd/m². On a 5% window we measure no less than 1634cd/m², so this requirement is amply met. This makes the ROG Swift PG32UQX the brightest screen we’ve ever received. It is even brighter than the ProArt PA32UCX-PK with which the ROG monitor has many technical similarities.

We suspect that the brightness of the ProArt screen is slightly lower due to the addition of the Off-axis Contrast Optimization technique or OCO. The ROG Swift PG32UQX does not have that. This makes halo effects clearly more visible at an angle than with the ProArt screen, as you can see demonstrated above. This is because the black value increases significantly at an angle on the screen without OCO. Please note that these screens are set up in a virtually darkened photo studio and the photo is overexposed, so in reality this effect is not so clearly visible with the PG32UQX.

Because each individual zone is many times smaller than with virtually all other monitors on the market, the HDR display of the PG32UQX can certainly be called impressive. Where on most other LCD screens there seems to be a kind of fog over dark shadows when displaying HDR images, dark areas on the PG32UQX are much blacker. You can also see it in the results in the contrast measurement in the graph above. We measure the contrast with a 4×4 checkerboard pattern to see if local dimming can add something here. This appears to be the case with the PG32UQX, because the contrast measured in this test is a factor of four higher than the native contrast of the panel, which we have included in the measurements in SDR below.

The gray display in HDR is neatly neutral, which translates into a small average gray deviation. The color reproduction appears to be less accurate, although the PG32UQX does relatively well if we also include the brightness of the signal in the calculation (w Lum). This indicates that the PG32UQX follows the HDR PQ curve, say the gamma curve in HDR, well. For example, the screen does not make the image extra bright on average, a trick used by cheaper HDR screens to make the image look brighter than it actually is. Of course, the PG32UQX does not need that.

For a monitor, the PG32UQX therefore delivers very good HDR image quality, although the comparison with televisions is not necessarily positive. An OLED model offers dimming at the pixel level and therefore has no blooming or halos, although the peak brightness is significantly lower. If you want the impact of bright highlights, you can buy a high-end LCD television for the same amount as the PG32UQX costs. Since this year, manufacturers have been equipping them en masse with miniLEDs and although we have not seen them in practice next to the PG32UQX, there is every reason to assume that the image quality of such a top model television will be at least as good on the basis of the specifications .

Image quality (sdr)

You can also use a high brightness with the PG32UQX in SDR and fortunately the minimum white brightness is not too high, at 36cd/m². This makes the setting range very wide at almost 500cd/m². The contrast at 1359:1 is very good for a screen with an IPS panel and, remarkably enough, also a lot better than the contrast of the ProArt variant. Of course, screens with a VA panel score much better on this part.

In standard mode, the PG32UQX’s color range is automatically downgraded to sRGB. Handy as far as we’re concerned, since most Windows applications are based on a screen that is aimed at that. You can also choose the full color range of the screen via the menu ‘Display SDR Input’. That comes out somewhere between AdobeRGB and DCI-P3, but is not really a good match for both color spaces without an additional color profile.

In particular, the gray display is not optimal in standard mode. If you value better color fidelity, it’s best to use the sRGB mode. For some reason, ASUS also added that, although the ‘Display SDR Input’ setting actually serves the same purpose. A disadvantage of this mode is the fixed brightness, but with 182cd/m² it is not insurmountably high with some ambient light. The average deviation or ΔE is still just above the visible limit of 3. The color deviation is very low at an average of 1.76, even lower than the ProArt model where the standard adjustment fell short. However, unlike that screen, the PG32UQX has no hardware calibration option. The gaming model also does not have more built-in presets for other color spaces such as DCI-P3 or AdobeRGB.

As far as uniformity is concerned, it is noticeable that the PG32UQX suffers from backlight bleeding along the edges, although you can of course enable the local dimming function with this screen to hide that imperfection. The viewing angles are also not really ‘you like it’, just as it turned out earlier with the ProArt duo. The PG32UQX scores even worse and shows a greater color deviation and brightness decrease at an angle than the other screens we have included in the graphs above. That is certainly striking because the three screens use an IPS panel, which promises good viewing angles on paper.

Response time and input lag

In addition to our standard four-transition response time test, we also performed our comprehensive response time test on the ASUS ROG Swift PG32UQX. At the maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, where a new image must appear every 6.94ms, we measure twenty different transitions between completely black, 20 percent gray, 50 percent gray, 80 percent gray and completely white. We do that on the optimal overdrive setting called ’80’, which we believe offers the best balance between speed and

overshoot. The adjacent diagram shows all measurements, with the second diagram showing the percentage of overshoot or undershoot for that transition.

Our measurements show that 90 percent of the measured transitions take place on time, i.e. within the stated 6.94 ms. The other 10 percent are transitions from full white to full black, which overdrive can’t do much about. Those transitions are just too slow at more than 7ms. The PG32UQX certainly does not have the fastest panel we’ve ever seen, although gray-gray transitions are completed considerably faster, so that the average response time is 4.8ms. That does lead to the necessary overshoot, with an outlier of 48 percent.

For the comparison with other monitors, we refer to the shorter response time test with four transitions. Particularly with transitions from black to white, the PG32UQX lags somewhat behind the competition in this segment, and remarkably enough also compared to predecessors such as the PG27UQ. The fastest gaming monitors at the moment, to which you can certainly count the Odyssey G7 and Odyssey G9 from Samsung, are even twice as fast as the PG32UQX, even though those monitors refresh at 240Hz. The 144Hz refresh rate makes less demands on the panel. The PG32UQX is ultimately not fast enough, but it is clear that the balance with this device is less towards ‘e-sports’ and more towards ‘image quality’.

We are satisfied with the low input lag. Despite the presence of a full array local dimming backlight , it remains limited to less than 10ms, a lower value than that of previous G-Sync Ultimate screens such as the PG27UQ and PG35VQ.


In 2017, Nvidia was ahead of its time when it first showed off the G-Sync hdr monitors. The number of 144Hz monitors with 4k resolution is still very limited, and the same applies to monitors with an advanced false backlight with extra high peak brightness. In 2021, the ROG Swift PG32UQX takes over as the ultimate G-Sync display. The new top model again offers better HDR image quality than, say, any other gaming monitor you could buy right now, although that also says something about the rest of the monitor market. There are plenty of ‘HDR-capable’ screens that can’t really do justice to this type of footage in practice.

You don’t pay three and a half thousand euros for the PG32UQX without reason, but as a prospective buyer you can also reason that you get a great OLED television for half that amount. In certain respects, it can provide an even better image in HDR, support a relatively high 120Hz refresh rate and also be suitable for PC use. The small size and hardware G-Sync support may be reasons to choose the PG32UQX, but on the other hand you can also use the latest game consoles optimally with a new television, which is not possible with the PG32UQX because HDMI 2.1 ports are missing . Purely for PC use, the latter is not such a problem. Apart from the excellent HDR display for a monitor and the still special combination of 4K and 144Hz, the image quality of the PG32UQX is not overwhelmingly good, where the response times don’t really excel and the versatility for tasks outside of PC gaming is disappointing. Even for early adopters, ASUS’ ultimate gaming screen isn’t immediately worth the purchase.

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