A great plus-sized monitor for competitive gamers, the Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ is the best large-screened gaming monitor on the market
- Super-smooth refresh rate
- Even illumination
- Fast response
- Brightness is merely average
- Colour accuracy could be better
I’ve long been a fan of AOC’s enormous 31.5in AG322QCX gaming monitor – but a few flaws have always niggled, notably, the somewhat sluggish response time and distracting inverse ghosting with Overdrive acceleration enabled.
Now it has a competitor, in the shape of Asus’ ROG Strix XG32VQ – a QHD display that’s similarly priced, and just as huge, but which promises a faster response time and some flashy ornamental touches.READ NEXT: Best gaming monitors
Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ review: What you need to know
The Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ is a 31.5in widescreen gaming monitor with a native resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. Its curved VA panel delivers vivid colour with fast response times, and supports refresh rates up to 144Hz, with Adaptive-Sync technology (a derivative of AMD FreeSync) to keep things perfectly smooth.
It’s beautifully built, too: the only thing I’m not sure about is the ostentatious RGB lighting at the rear.
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Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ review: Price and competition
If your budget won’t stretch that far, you could also consider the £415 Acer XZ321Q or the £350 BenQ EX3200R; these screens are just as large as the Asus and AOC panels, but they only offer Full HD resolution.
Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ review: Design, features and build quality
The first thing you’ll notice when taking the XG32VQ out of its box is the distinctive stand. Its chunky rotary base is redolent of a plane’s propeller; it’s practical, though, allowing the screen to tilt (-5° to 20°) and swivel (-50° to 50°), along with a 100mm height adjustment range.
It’s also quite flashy, with a beaming red light that projects an ROG logo down onto your desk. This can be replaced with your very own logo – Asus provides a blank cover within the box – or, if you find it distracting, it can be disabled through the OSD.
As if that weren’t enough glamour, there’s also a circular RGB strip on the rear that works with Asus’ Aura Sync software, so it can be synchronised with other Asus peripherals, such as the company’s gaming keyboards and mice. Since it faces the rear, though, you won’t see it yourself while you’re gaming – it’s only good for showing off to others.
Also on the rear there’s a joystick and four buttons that are used to control the monitor’s OSD – an excellent design choice, as it makes interacting with the monitor effortless. As for connectivity, there’s HDMI, DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort 1.2, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB 3.0 ports.
From the front, the XG32VQ looks great, with a three-sided borderless design and an 1,800mm curvature. This creates a nicely immersive experience, with no distractingly large bezels. What’s more, since the monitor supports “Adaptive-Sync” technology – based on AMD’s FreeSync – you can enjoy tear-free gaming with any compatible AMD graphics card. If you’re using an Nvidia GPU, you can still use the monitor in 1440p at 144Hz, but if you want to eliminate tearing you’ll have to rely on Nvidia’s Adaptive V-Sync technology instead, which increases the input lag.
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Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ review: Image quality
The Asus XG32VQ’s 31.5in VA panel has a native resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 and runs at 144Hz. Despite its size, this isn’t an ultrawide monitor, but conforms to the familiar 16:9 aspect ratio.
While the display looks vivid, one thing you might notice immediately is that it’s not as bright as some rivals. Our i1 Display Pro calibrator measured a peak luminance of 248cd/m2 – and enabling sRGB mode drops this to 185cd/m2. The AOC AG322QCX is around 50cd/m2 brighter in both modes, and the difference is definitely perceptible.
On the plus side, overall brightness uniformity is surprisingly good across the panel’s surface. With no more than -11% variance from the centre, the panel competes with pro-level monitors – not something that can normally be said for a gaming display.
The Asus also covers an impressive 98.1% of the sRGB gamut. However, colour accuracy isn’t great, with an average Delta E of 3.29 and maximum of 7.94; the AOC AG322QCX attained scores of 1.03 and 3.94 respectively, making it a better choice for photo and video editing. The Asus’ contrast ratio of 1773:1 also doesn’t quite match the 2,002:1 contrast ratio of the AOC monitor, but that’s less of an issue, as it’s still perfectly strong enough to produce bold, striking scenes.
Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ review: Gaming performance
One of my major criticisms of the AOC AG322QCX was its slow response time. That isn’t a problem with the Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ; in my real-world tests, I found the monitor responded very well, with minimal perceptible input lag. That makes it a great choice for competitive games such as Overwatch and CS:GO.
Be aware though that this was achieved with Overdrive set to Level 4 in the OSD. Turn it up to the maximum Level 5 and inverse ghosting becomes visible – without any noticeable improvement in performance.
The other thing to remember is that you’ll need a high-end graphics card to get the full 144Hz refresh rate at the monitor’s native 1440p resolution. If you have a lesser card then games should still run smoothly (thanks to Adaptive-Sync) but you won’t be experiencing everything the ROG Strix XG32VQ has to offer.
Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ review: Verdict
The Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ is slightly dearer than its AOC rival, yet it’s not as bright, and doesn’t have the same level of colour accuracy either. For gamers, though, the more responsive panel and low input lag will more than make up for those shortcomings. While the RGB lighting doesn’t add much, the Strix XG32VQ is overall the best large-sized gaming monitor on the market.