Monitor PC Hardware Peripherals

AOC AG273QCX | FreeSync 2 HDR experience

PC Gamers nowadays are slowly moving forward from the usual 1080p resolution as more powerful graphics cards are coming to the market and high refresh rate 2560×1440 monitors are somewhat more affordable. Here we will take a look at the newest monitor from AOC’s AGON 3 series, the AG273QCX. It is a 27″ monitor that features a curved VA panel equipped 144hz AMD FreeSync 2 and HDR processing.

Quick Specifications

Screen size: 27 inches
Panel type: VA LCD
Native resolution: 2560 x 1440
Response time: 1ms
Refresh rate: 144Hz (variable, with Adaptive-Sync)
Weight: 8.14kg
Power consumption: 50W
Backlight: WLED

Aesthetics

The AOC AGON AG273QCX has a less aggressive gamer look compared to the earlier AGON monitors but the overall look of the monitor tells of serious business.

The AG273QCX uses a solid tripod style stand that uses a powder-coated metal material which gives it a premium feel.

The monitor’s SVA panel has an 1800R curve, matte finish, and it looks almost border-less as it seamlessly blends with the frame.

The top of the stand is used as a carrying handle for safe and easy carrying when you are moving the monitor around.

The back of the monitor features RGB lighting which can be customized via the monitor’s OSD. It is good to note that it is bright enough to be diffused against a wall and there are several RGB lighting effects and colors to choose from.


On the back of the monitor there is available mounting holes for vesa mount if you don’t want to use the included stand.

Assembly

Installation of the stand is very easy as it uses a locking mechanism to hold the pieces together and the tripod base only needs a single screw.

Connectivity and controls

Underneath the monitor you will find several inputs as well as a joystick that serves as the power switch as well as for controlling the OSD.

connections left to right:
3.5mm microphone jack, 3.5mm headphone jack, 4 USB 3.0 ports (color yellow port is for fast-charging), USB 3.0 upstream port and an AC power input; 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 DP 1.4 ports, D-SUB (VGA), 3.5mm line-in and a mini-USB port for the OSD controller.
External OSD controller
Headphone hanger

Included accessories

Aside from the usual paperwork, the monitor also includes a powercable, HDMI, DisplayPort cable, VGA cable, vesa mounting screws, audio jack, cable organizing clips, as well as the OSD controller.

On Screen Display menu

The AGON AG273QCX has a very familiar OSD that follows the same format as previous AGON models but notably, it has HDR and Light FX (RGB lighting) options.

Viewing Angle

The monitor has excellent viewing angles as you can see on the photo below. The colors remained consistent no matter what weird angle we look at it but of course, ideally, you will be right in front of the monitor when you use it.

AMD FreeSync2 and HDR

We tried our best to capture the image quality that HDR brings to the table and I’m afraid our photo’s doesn’t give it much justice. But hopefully you can have an idea on how HDR improves visual quality on games especially on HDR enabled games. You really have to see it with your own eyes to experience it.

The images below are captured using the Nikon D5000 at ISO 3200.

AMD Oasis FreeSync2 HDR demo

First up is AMD’s very own demo for FreeSync/FreeSync2 HDR, Oasis which they released a few days ago. With HDR OFF the leaves of the tree on the right are somewhat red and grey-ish. But with HDR ON, you can see that there is more contrast and the leaves now has a more warm vibrancy. You can also say t he same with the green tree on the right where in the sunlight effect is more transparent. Overall, the picture’s colors has more life and more vibrant compared to having HDR OFF.

Division 2 – Outside White House

The Division 2 is one of the games that has HDR support which can be enabled on the Graphics settings when an HDR capable monitor is present. The photo above is taken just outside the White House at midday and here the HDR improvements are more noticeable.

With HDR ON, the textures on the road and the road blocks right ahead are showing more “roughness”, shadows are fuller and the character details much better.

Division 2 – Theater Settlement

Here’s another scene from The Division 2 at the Theater Settlement. Here you can see more visual details with HDR ON. The vegetation on the sides are more detailed, the characters in front has more definition, and the overall scene have more refined contrast bringing out the smallest details from the roughness of the walls and floors, the blades of grass between the tiles, and more. Even the camo design in the shorts of the guy laying down the grass is more visible.

Below is a video showing the changes between HDR OFF/ON.

Again, this is not an accurate representation of what HDR looks like in real life (looks so much better when you see it in person) but hopefully you get an idea.

AMD FreeSync

Then here is showing the difference between FreeSync OFF/ON shot on a slow motion camera at 720p120fps. With FreeSync OFF, you can see screen tearing and flickering with the movements on scene as with FreeSync ON you can see that the movement is more fluid and without anomaly.

G-Sync compatible?

Nvidia’s recent driver updates that allows enabling of G-Sync with FreeSync monitors even if your monitor is not certified.

However, unlike the AOC C24G1 that we previously tested where G-Sync works effectively at 48hz (48fps) and above, the AOC AG273QCX has to maintain 55hz (55fps) and above for it to work properly. But other than that, the experience is pretty much the same.

Color reproduction

For this one, we had to ask one of our friends to help out with the Display Analysis to test the color gamut out of the box with the DataColor Spyder 5 Elite. Both of us were actually impressed with the results.

The color gamut test showed that the monitor covers 100% of the sRGB and 85% Adobe RGB color space. This was something we didn’t expect from a gaming-centric monitor and it just goes to show that the VA panel is in a league of it’s own and it’s more than a sweet spot in between TN and IPS panels.

Conclusion

The monitor is a perfect example of the phrase “sailing the seas in a clear day” It makes use of new technology and current gen solutions to form a bridge which makes innovation and transition a more comfortable experience from the end of the user. It’s straightforward design is always welcomed in this age of aggressive and intimidating structures – it stands out in the sense that it has everything needed to confront the future of display but it doesn’t overdo it; and that’s what make the AOC AG273QCX worth buying.

Priced at around $500 or roughly Php27,312, this monitor has a lot to offer. It has a premium build, excellent VA Panel, great colors out of the box, FreeSync 2 HDR, RGB lighting, and many more. With that in mind, we believe this monitor deserves our Platinum award.

PROS

  • Great colors out of the box
  • It has a very nice VA panel
  • Has tons of features for it’s price

CONS

  • Not exactly validated to be G-sync compatible but it should work fine. We are hoping Nvidia will add this monitor to their list.
  • RGB lighting is not that bright.
Ira James
Editor-in-chief | Tech Journalist | AMD Ryzen and AOC Gaming influencer | PC Hardware Enthusiast |

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