Gigabyte was one of the first brands to have a complete ecosystem in terms of hardware with products ranging from motherboards, PC cases, CPU coolers, memory, SSD’s, gaming keyboards and mice. Now they’re getting into producing gaming monitors and the Aorus AD27QD Tactical Gaming monitor the first monitor and perhaps the flagship model considering they will have upcoming segmented versions from the Aorus line up.
A 1440p 27″ monitor that features an IPS panel equipped to rock 144hz, AMD FreeSync 2 and HDR processing – And what truly makes it tactical or personally would’ve been fitting if they used the term “Digital Augmented” is the software that it comes with on top of the outstanding physical and mental features it didn’t skip a beat on. No compromise with performance or aesthetics whatsoever
- Screen size: 27 inches
- Panel type: IPS
- Native resolution: 2560 x 1440
- Response time: 1ms
- Refresh rate: 144Hz
- Weight: 8.0kg
- Power consumption: 75W
- Backlight: WLED
The AD27QD has similarities in terms of aesthetics to other gaming monitors in the market with the Y-shaped stand base with a black powder-coated metal finish. The overall design screams out gamer all over the place but with a slim 3-side “borderless” bezel design.
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 has some subtle but fitting RGB lighting which can be customized via the monitor’s OSD or Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion Software via USB. Though there are several RGB lighting effects and colors to choose from, the lighting is not bright enough to be diffused against a wall.
Installation of the stand was rather convenient as it uses a locking mechanism to hold the pieces together and the tripod base was the only part to need a single screw.
Out of the box, the neck is already installed and all you have to do is to screw in the base.
The back of the monitor has a quick release mechanism and once removed it shows a 100x100mm VESA compatible mounting for a desk mount. There is also cable management features on the back.
Connectivity and controls
Underneath the monitor you will find several output choices as well as a joystick that serves as the power switch as well as for controlling the OSD.
We appreciated the design of the monitor which grouped all the sockets on one side rather than having it stretch from left to right.
Software features and On Screen Display menu
The AD27QD has a polished sophisticated OSD and OSD Sidekick software that shares it’s design from the apps found in the app center of Gigabyte AORUS motherboards – as a familiar look that also allows you to adjust monitor settings directly inside the Windows environment.
The OSD display presets are good out of the box and we found that out of the box, we didn’t need to tweak the color settings as much. There are a lot of other features inside the software as well.
- Black Equalizer：Brightens up the dark parts in the picture for better visibility in dark areas.
- Aim Stabilizer：This feature will help you reduce the blurriness of the recoil effect while you are shooting in an FPS game. It can also help you trace moving enemies much easier.
- GameAssist：This is a kit of OSD functions that helps you in game. It includes a customizable crosshair, a counter, a timer, and multi-screen alignment lines.
- AORUS Dashboard：We can display hardware information directly on screen, such as mouse DPI and GPU/CPU information.
- OSD Sidekick：You can now control the monitor through this software and control your OSD with mouse and keyboard. A much easier way to adjust your monitor.
- Active Noise Cancelling(ANC): When you plug your mic into the monitor, it can help you cancel the noise around you. The only thing that goes through the mic when you are communicating with your teammate is your voice.
By utilizing these features well, gamers can create a huge advantage over their enemies, making this monitor not just a monitor but tactical equipment; tactical equipment that can help gamers control the tempo of the game better.
Other than the physical aspects of the monitor as a whole – The software that holds a huge amount of applications and utilities is the bread and butter of the AORUS monitor product line. This is statement is fully supported by the fact that the other segmentations of the AORUS monitor product line will also include the same base bundle of functions embedded in the software of the original AD27QD.
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) test
We find the ANC feature to be aggressive cancelling out the high frequencies which makes the microphone sound muffled.
We tested this using our MXL 990 condenser microphone with the Art Tube Preamp, then plugged directly into the monitor. You can give a quick run on the audio clip below. We also used the Roccat Juke soundcard for comparison.
The monitor has excellent viewing angles as you can see on the photo below as the picture quality remained in different angles.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
The AD27QD is HDR 400 certified and turning it on really adds contrast and makes the pictures more vivid in HDR Content. This worked well on AMD RX 580 in terms of picture quality but a little bland with our NVIDIA GTX 1650.
We tested this out with 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. You can see the photos below how HDR affects picture quality
Color pops, saturation and contrast blends in with the 1440p resolution and IPS panel making the whole experience of gaming an adventure rather than the usual play and go setup.
This monitor has an effective variable refresh rate ranging at 48-144hz meaning that the monitor will adjust it’s refresh rate to match the in-game FPS as long as it’s running 48-144fps with VSync ON.
We tested AMD FreeSync with Rainbow Six: Siege in our RX 580 system maintaining a consistent 144fps at 2560×1440 resolution. AMD FreeSync did its thing as long as the game maintained around 100fps while AMD’s LFC (low framerate compensation) kicked in when we were dropping below 48FPS from time to time. There were minimal ghosting blur and for an FPS player, the monitor’s refresh rate will give a competitive advantage to any game that requires such refresh rates to be smooth.
This monitor has been specifically tested and validated as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ by Nvidia and the experience using G-Sync Compatible Mode was very similar to the experience with AMD FreeSync. The only difference is that the effective range of the variable refresh rate is higher: 60Hz (60fps) rather than 48Hz (48fps).
As Gigabyte’s first entry into the gaming monitor market, the AD27QD is an extremely feature packed display that never skipped out on any monitor qualities. 1440p? 144hz? IPS panel? Ergonomic stand design and other polished physical features? The AD27QD will stand out as one of the more suited endgame monitors in the market without leaning too much on any quality rather it masters all of the feature category without losing appeal on the other more minor aspects of what people look for in a monitor
The monitor itself is “tactical”. Personally, I would go for the unit even if you remove the jam-packed software it wields – however, from analyzing the future of the product line; the software makes the AORUS Tactical product line fully kitted for combat. Much like a fully kitted rifle – it’s augmentation both on the physical side and the digital side of the screen plays both main and backup features in which if a part of your system is lacking or missing; you can use a feature from the monitor to make up for it.
Though it’s not a display monitor necessity, the addition of the Active Noise Cancellation feature for microphones is very much welcome but we are not as satisfied with the output quality. But if you are not recording and just mainly using the microphone for communication with your team mates in-game, the feature makes a lot of sense.
- 1440p, 144hz, IPS – At this point, I’m not even sure why you’re still here and not actually buying this monitor
- A fully kitted physical and digital lineup of features that’s only missing a cupholder and a laser sight
- Great design overall – Is AORUS partnering with IKEA? We’ll never know
- Box ergonomics is true fire – The box was so good our resident cat, Maxwell always runs his soft paws on the elegant cardboard chassis for this beast
- Elegant RGB Motif – This has been a trend that started as “no RGB, subtle metal” in the books. AORUS has gave it the bland and hushed RGB pick me up to have it sport that 16.8 Million Color look in it’s most elegant form
- G-Sync compatible – Ya can never go wrong with a little boost from the green team
- Active noise cancellation with mics are meh – It’s not great, but it’s not that bad either; usable if the need arises
- Price is $$$ – This is a double edged sword however, Gigabyte AORUS will be releasing 3 segments from this monitor to pull out competitive pricing terms to have their product line more accessible in the market. A price drop on the AD27QD might be probable but not 100% sure.