GIGABYTE G27QC Review
Earlier this year at CES 2020, Gigabyte showcased their new Gaming Series range of monitors. This came as a surprise to most as Gigabyte’s AORUS brand is one of the most iconic names in gaming peripherals, including monitors. However, it quickly became clear the Gigabyte’s Gaming Series placed a high focus on performance but at an affordable price. This is none the more evident than with the Gigabyte G27QC gaming monitor — A 27-inch, QHD monitor that features a 165Hz refresh rate, 1 m/s response time, 3000:1 contrast ratio, and is FreeSync compatible all for less than $500 AUD. As good as this sounds on paper, are you still better off spending a bit more on a premium monitor such as the AORUS CV27Q? Let’s find out!
At first glance, you can’t help but be impressed with the G27QC’s huge 1500R screen curvature. This instantly creates a bold statement as the centrepiece of your gaming setup, a title that is usually kept for premium displays with much higher price tags. Despite the monitor’s simplistic design, the G27QC proves that less can be more — Its matte black finish features subtle gloss accents that highlight certain features, while its absence of RGB illumination portrays a more elegant and professional appeal. These characteristics combine to deliver a bezel-less design that targets gamers who appreciate true performance over gaming gimmicks.
Supporting the 27-inch display is a basic yet functional stand that features only height and tilt adjustment. This is somewhat expected of a curved monitor as the fully appreciate the immersion that a curved display can provide, you need to sit directly in the middle of it. I still would have liked to see some form of swivel adjustment but again, at this price point, luxury features such as this would begin to drive its price up and lose its appeal.
Located on the rear of the monitor is a small joystick used for navigating the on-screen menu. This joystick is quite easy to use and is functional, although I did prefer adjusting the G27QC’s settings via Gigabyte’s OSD Sidekick software. Some users may not even notice one of the most useful features hidden away behind the monitor, in fact, it may not even be intended, but the stand can double up as a nice headset holder. Don’t like the stand? No worries — The G27QC is compatible with VESA 100×100 wall mounts and looks fantastic mounted up on the wall. This adds an additional layer of flexibility that may appeal to both console and PC gamers.
Something else Gigabyte is quite aware of is build quality. In fact, Gigabyte has built its reputation of being one of the best manufacturers in regards to build quality and the G27QC is no different. Despite a simple plastic finish, the housing feels solid and the high level of craftsmanship is evident. This builds confidence for consumers who may think that with a price tag of 500 bucks, the G27QC may feature poor workmanship and cheap materials, but the reality is that this couldn’t be any further from the truth.
We all know that Gigabyte’s AORUS range of monitors is their premium range of monitors, so you would think that the Gigabyte Gaming Series would be nothing more than a budget range of displays? Wrong — The G27QC boasts an impressive range of specifications and features of a much more expensive monitor; QHD, non-glare VA display, 1500R curve, 165 Hz refresh rate, 1ms response, HDR-ready, and AMD FreeSync Premium technology. The G27QC doesn’t officially list support for NVIDIA G-Sync. However, the good news is that this monitor actually features Adaptive-Sync technology, meaning it can be used with both FreeSync compatible and NVIDIA G-Sync compatible GPUs with no issue at all.
The G27QC’s resolution of 2560 x 1440 is quickly becoming the standard for gaming, especially with NVIDIA’s RTX 3000 Series GPUs trickling into the market along with AMD RDNA 2 launching next month. These GPUs are going to ensure that 1440p quickly becomes the standard for gaming, which works perfectly for the G27QC as this allows this monitor to showcase its high refresh rates and gorgeous image quality. This is, of course, thanks to its 27-inch display on offer that is complimented its 3,000:1 contrast ratio, 250-nit brightness, 8-bit colour depth support, and backed with a 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and HDR.
Enabling HDR wasn’t quite as impressive as I was expecting — The imagine does look great, but to be honest, it already looked fantastic. The low level of brightness is the biggest contributing factor, only 250 cd/m2, which prevents the G27QC from taking full advantage of HDR. Even in a dark room, enabling HDR failed to impress me as the image more or less looked the same as SDR.
If you haven’t experienced a curve monitor before then now is a perfect time! The 1500R curve of the G27QC provides a level of immersion that you simply cannot get from a flat display. It is almost like the G27QC is trying to wrap its display around you for a hug, filling your peripheral vision with gorgeous pixels to ensure that you are completely immersed in the game or movie. Curve displays aren’t for everyone, myself included (until this review), but the subtle 1500R curve of the G27QC is perfect for its 27-inch display — I even found myself venturing out of my typical games library and fired up some Forza Horizon and Assetto Corsa to take full advantage of the monitor and boy, was I impressed.
It is no surprise that Gigabyte went with a VA panel — Not only does this keep costs down but VA panels are also able to produce impressive contrast ratios, and the G27QC is no exception. Being a curved monitor, this neglects one of the typical downfalls of VA panels — viewing angle. To appreciate the level of immersion that a curve display can provide you want to be front and centre of the display. The other issues with VA panels are typically ghosting and motion blur; an issue that is prevalent with the G27QC. To combat ghosting, Gigabyte has included Aim Stabilizer technology to assist in correcting motion blur. Aim Stabilizer does a reasonable job at reducing motion blur but at the cost of Adaptive Sync. This means that you will be forced to choose between reducing motion blur with Aim Stabilizer or reducing tearing with Adaptive Sync. If you’re lucky enough to have a next-gen GPU that can pump out 165 FPS, then Aim Stabilizer is the obvious choice. But if you haven’t upgraded your hardware in a while then you may lean towards Adaptive Sync.
Gigabyte has included a decent amount of connectivity options with the G27QC such as two HDMI 2.0 ports, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x headphones jack, 2x USB 3.0 ports, one of my favourite additions, dual 2W embedded speakers. Don’t get me wrong, the 2W speakers are nothing special, in fact, if you have any speakers at home I would suggest using them over the integrated ones. But these speakers do come in handy from time to time and is little quality of life improvement from the good people at Gigabyte.
An often overlooked feature of monitors is software support and in this case OSD Sidekick. Software support for monitors is a growing feature that manufacturers are offering and in my opinion, is a great feature. This is another quality of life feature and a great tool for maximising the full potential of your display. OSD Sidekick is a great example of this thanks to its user-friendly interface and adjustable settings such as picture quality, input, resolution, and refresh rate. While all these settings can be adjusted by using the joystick and on-screen display, features such as creating hotkeys to change your settings on the fly are best left to the OSD Sidekick. Another useful tool I found was the ability to map features such as picture preferences, inputs, and refresh rate as hotkeys; enabling these preset settings with a touch of a key (well, two keys). I found this feature particularly useful for changing my picture preferences based on the game I was playing — Rocket League I want vibrant and bright, but horror titles such as Outlast 2 I need to be dark to take full advantage of the immersion on offer from the G27QC. The only drawback of OSD Sidekick is that it requires connecting the monitor to your PC via the USB hub. This isn’t an issue for most people, but for those OCD setups where cable management is paramount, running an extra USB cable may not be ideal.
Gigabyte G27QC Review
- DESIGN - 85%85%
- PERFORMANCE - 90%90%
- VALUE - 94%94%
- QUALITY - 91%91%
The Gigabyte G27QC doesn’t pretend to be a premium monitor. Instead, this sub $500 AUD display appeals to the majority of gamers who want value for money — Gamers will love the G27QC’s 27-inch, 1440p display that produces a fantastic image. When combined with a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, this ensures that gameplay is smooth and responsive, while the ability to enable both FreeSync and G-Sync ensures that screen tearing is kept to a minimum. Unfortunately for FPS gamers, there is some noticeable ghosting and motion blur curiosity of its VA panel; Aim Stabilizer does a decent job of mitigating this but at the cost of Adaptive Sync, which may be an issue to some gamers. Despite this, the Gigabyte G27QC is one of the best gaming monitors in its price bracket and offers amazing performance and features for its $499AUD price tag. I am honestly surprised Gigabyte didn’t include the G27QC in their prestigious AORUS brand — That’s how good this monitor is!
For more on GIGABYTE, check out our previous coverage.