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Friday | October 15, 2021
Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ Review

Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ Review

Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ 01The Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ is one of the best gaming displays ever made – that’s undisputed. This monster monitor has a curved, widescreen design, Nvidia G-Sync that peaks at 200Hz, and one of the best HDR implementations on the market.

It looks sensational and has virtually every feature you’d need, but there’s no avoiding the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ’s biggest stumbling point. This display costs $2,500 in the US and £2,685 in the UK – which makes it one of the most expensive gaming panels on the market.

Can this incredible screen justify its cost? Read our Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ review to find out.

Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ Review – Headline Features

The Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ has Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate. As the name suggests, this is the best version of G-Sync available, and it means that this G-Sync implementation can work while running games in HDR.

That gives the Asus an instant boost over most G-Sync monitors. And, elsewhere, there’s plenty to like about this screen’s syncing: by default, it’s rated at a mighty 180Hz, and it can be overclocked to run at 200Hz. That’s high enough to run single-player titles and esports games at incredible levels of smoothness. Only 240Hz panels offer a little more pace.

Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ 09The PG35VQ has superb HDR options. This monitor supports DisplayHDR 1000, which is one of the best HDR standards available in the gaming display market. This HDR specification demands a consistent brightness level of 600cd/m2 with a burst brightness measurement of 1,000cd/m2, which is more along the lines of the brightness levels delivered by high-quality HDR TVs.

Elsewhere, DisplayHDR 1000 requires zone-level dimming, a colour gamut beyond sRGB and black levels of just 0.05cd/m2.

The Asus has Full-Array Local Dimming spread across a stonking 512 zones, which gives the panel loads of control over how deeper, darker black levels are managed, especially in moving images. It’s another area where this panel goes beyond most gaming displays.

The Asus isn’t the only gaming panel with DisplayHDR 1000, but you’ve generally got to spend more than $1,500 or £1,500 to get a screen with DisplayHDR 1000, G-Sync and other high-end features.

DisplayHDR 400 and DisplayHDR 600 are far more common, and they’re available on much cheaper screens. However, don’t think that you’re getting a comparable HDR experience for less cash. Those protocols have weaker brightness and black level requirements and make fewer demands about dimming, so HDR content won’t look nearly as good.

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Rest of the Spec

Underneath all of this is a VA display. This display technology should help the Asus serve up excellent contrast and reasonable colours. That’s key for gaming.

The display is a 35in diagonal with a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440, and it’s got a curve with the standard gaming monitor radius of 1,800R.

Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ 04The width, resolution and curve make for an immersive experience. You’ve got the extra width for racing and shooting games, plenty of vertical space and a crisp density level of 107ppi.

The only way you’re getting anything sharper is by opting for a 4K panel. That higher resolution will be noticeably crisper – it uses almost twice as many pixels. However, it’ll require a far more powerful GPU setup to run well, especially at higher refresh-rates. The Asus’ widescreen design is arguably more immersive than 4K anyway, and no 4K rivals operate at the refresh rates offered by the PG35VQ.

Elsewhere, the panel has an excellent 2ms response time, which is fast enough for any scenario – single-player or competitive.

It’s a fantastic specification, but hardware at this level always comes with caveats. The resolution and high refresh rates, for instance. They mean that you need a powerful graphics card to run this screen well. If you want to play games at 180Hz and at 3,440 x 1,440 then you’re going to need to RTX 2070 Super, an RTX 2080 Super or an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT at the very least.

This screen also has bandwidth considerations. If you want to run this panel with HDR activated and at a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, then the Asus will use 10-bit colour. However, if you go beyond 144Hz with HDR then you have to use 8-bit colour. For gaming, this change just won’t be noticeable, but it’s worth mentioning. And, happily, if you eschew HDR then you’ll always get 10-bit colour.

This is all caused by the Asus using DisplayPort 1.4. If the monitor used DisplayPort 2.0, the extra bandwidth would eliminate most of these issues.

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Setup & Design

There’s no mistaking the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ – it’s absolutely a Republic of Gamers device. The monitor sits on a wide base made from slim, metallic legs, there’s a ring of burnt orange accents at the bottom of the stand, and there are even RGB LEDs in the base to light up the desk.

There’s a gigantic ROG logo on the rear of the screen, and it’s surrounded by dramatic patterns. The lighting across this unit can be synchronised with other Asus products, and it can also display different patterns and static colours.

The PG35VQ is made from a mix of metal and plastic, and build quality is excellent throughout – which we’d certainly expect at this price. Never forget that this is a large 35in widescreen, though, so its dimensions are significant: the Asus weighs 13.6kg, and it’s 833mm wide and 306mm deep. Get the tape measure out before you take the plunge on buying this display.

The Asus offers 100mm of height adjustment, and it has 35 degrees of side-to-side swivel alongside 25 degrees of tilt. It also supports 100mm VESA mounts. That’s reasonable adjustment for a screen of this size, but conventional panels will have more height adjustment and better swivel settings.

The port selection is a little average too. There’s that single DisplayPort 1.4 connection alongside one HDMI port. You get two USB 3.0 ports, but no USB 3.1 and no Type-C. And, annoyingly, all the ports are on the rear, so they’re tricky to reach.

A joystick and a row of vertical buttons is used to navigate the OSD, and they’re great to use – comfortable and fast. The OSD is good, with sharp graphics and sensible options. The menu system always displays which G-Sync, HDR and screen mode you’re using, and there are loads of options.

One thing to note: this screen doesn’t have speakers. Presumably, Asus reckons that anyone spending this much on a monitor will already have their own, better audio gear.

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Tests in our Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ review prove that this screen impresses right out of the box. At factory settings it has a 353cd/m2 brightness level, which is easily enough for mainstream SDR gaming. The black point of 0.13cd/m2 is similarly impressive – twice as low as the vast majority of gaming panels.

Those figures develop a measured contrast ratio of 2,715:1. That’s fantastic, and testament to the quality of this VA screen. Most IPS-based displays don’t offer half that much contrast.

These initial results mean that the PG35VQ serves up incredible depths, soaring highs and brilliant vibrancy across the range. Happily, ramping the screen brightness up to maximum and reducing it to a more conventional level saw these contrast results maintained.

Colour quality is very high too. The factory Delta E of 1.49 is beyond the point where human eyes can notice any issues, and the colour temperature of 6,328K is great. Therefore, we have no concerns here.

The Asus developed 98.7% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is ample for mainstream gaming.

Activating HDR and G-Sync takes things to another level. Running the panel at its 180Hz default refresh rate is incredibly smooth, and the PG35VQ works well at 200Hz. At this overclocked refresh rate there was a tiny bit of extra blurring that can develop when panels are tweaked in this way, but it’s just not noticeable in any real way when gaming. If it is a concern, there’s always 180Hz.

The Asus screen looks fantastic with HDR activated. There’s a noticeable boost to colours, with extra punch and vibrancy. The dark levels are even deeper, and the brights are almost blinding in the right spots. The 512 dimming zones means this screen has great control. Our tests revealed that, in HDR mode, the screen tops 1,000cd/m2 and the black level remains good – so it meets DisplayHDR 1000’s brief.

There are no noticeable ghosting issues when playing HDR games. In Windows, it’s possible to see a small halo when moving the cursor on a darker background, but that’s a minor issue.

The one thing to mention about HDR: to get the most out of it on this screen, use the wide gamut colour mode. In this option, the DCI-P3 gamut coverage level raises from a mediocre 72.4% to a much improved 88.8%, therefore you’ll get a far wider range of colours.

Elsewhere, the Asus keeps impressing. Its input lag figure of 4.9ms is great, and easily good enough for fast-paced games and competitive play. Uniformity is decent – the backlight strength deviated by up to 14% here. However, that’s better than most widescreens and not noticeable during gameplay.

The panel’s FPS, sRGB and scenery options are good, with great colour accuracy throughout. However, the Cinema and RTS/RPG options are disappointing.

Also, bear in mind that this screen does actually have a fan inside – there’s a lot of tech that needs cooling. It’s quiet, but it’s noticeable, and it means that the PG35VQ is not silent during operation.

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Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ Review – Conclusion

Our Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ review demonstrates that this is one of the best gaming monitors that’s ever been built. Gaming is butter-smooth thanks to 180Hz and 200Hz G-Sync, and DisplayHDR 1000 means compatible games offer fantastic vibrancy and depth. There’s extra immersion thanks to the curved, wide design. Underneath this is a panel that offers great, basic image quality, with top-tier colours and contrast.

It certainly looks the part, with bold design and RGB LEDs. Build quality is great, the OSD is sensible and well-designed.

However, the PG35VQ does have some small issues. The port selection could have been better, and DisplayPort could have offered more bandwidth to allow some extra colour versatility. The fan noise means this panel isn’t silent. There’s a tiny bit of extra blurring when the refresh rate is overclocked, and some Windows haloing visible in HDR mode.

These issues have virtually no impact during gaming, but they’re worth mentioning – especially when this panel costs a mighty $2,500 and £2,685.

The huge price means this panel is only affordable to a small sliver of the gaming market, to those who have the money to chase the ultimate gaming hardware. Most people just don’t have the money to look for this level of performance, especially when higher-end devices typically deliver diminishing returns – you always get smaller, more incremental improvements the more you spend.

If you do have the cash, though, and you want the best gaming monitor on the market right now, the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ is the one to buy. Above all, it offers a near-flawless widescreen experience, and it’ll makes games look their best for years to come.

The Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ costs £2,500 in the US and £2,685 in the UKDiscuss our Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading our Asus ROG Swift PG35VQreview, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!

The Good

  • Sensational colour, HDR and G-Sync performance
  • Incredible contrast and depth levels
  • Great physical design with RGB LEDs
  • Immersive, curved, widescreen design

The Bad

  • Outrageously expensive
  • Slight blurring and haloing in some situations
  • No speakers and sometimes middling port options
  • Fan noise is noticeable

The Specs

Panel Technology: VA
Native Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Diagonal: 35in
Syncing: 200Hz Nvidia G-Sync
Display Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0
Speakers: N/A
Ports: 2 x USB 3.0
Weight: 13.6kg
Warranty: 1yr RTB

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ

About Author

Mike Jennings

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