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ViewSonic XG2530 review: Is this 240Hz gaming monitor worth the £400 price tag?

Christopher Minasians
9 Aug 2017
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

This sumptuously smooth display’s ideal for fast-paced FPS gamers

Pros 
Smooth, tear-free gaming
Fast refresh rate
Minimal inverse ghosting
Cons 
Complicated OSD
Input lag could be lower
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Gaming monitors have been progressing rapidly. It wasn’t long ago that we considered 120Hz the pinnacle for gamers. Then came 144Hz, 165Hz, 180Hz... and now we’re at 240Hz. ViewSonic is one of the latest manufacturers to produce a monitor with this huge refresh rate, but is it worth it? Will you really notice the difference versus a cheaper 144Hz monitor?

READ NEXT: Best gaming monitors

ViewSonic XG2530 review: What you need to know

The ViewSonic XG2530 is a 25in Full HD gaming monitor with a native 240Hz refresh rate. Its TN panel has an excellent 1ms response time and colours look rich and vibrant. And thanks to AMD FreeSync technology, tearing and frame-skipping are practically eliminated (as long as you’re using an AMD graphics card). In short, it’s one of the best-looking gaming monitors I’ve seen.

However, before you buy, consider a 1440p 144Hz model instead, such as the Acer XF270HUA. It’s a different breed of monitor, but for most gamers the extra pixels will more than make up for the difference in refresh rate.

ViewSonic XG2530 review: Price and competition

At the time of writing, the XG2530 can be found for around £400 on Insight UK. Prices have been fluctuating, though: it can currently also be found on Amazon UK for around £450. In the US, it costs around $450.

There are a few competitors offering the same specs at similar prices, such as the AOC AGON AG251FZ at around £350 and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 at around £425.

There’s also the ASUS ROG Swift PG248Q for around £420, which has Nvidia G-Sync instead of AMD FreeSync, and runs at 180Hz instead of 240Hz.

READ NEXT: Best monitors

ViewSonic XG2530 review: Design, features and build quality

The design and build quality of the XG2530 are superb. The bezels are relatively thin, so the screen feels nice and big. And though the stand is made out of plastic, it’s sturdy and allows you to tilt, pivot and fully rotate the display. The black and red colour scheme look quite classy, with an embroidered XG logo at the base; if you want to change the stand or mount the ViewSonic XG2530 on a wall, it’s VESA 100 x 100mm compatible.

Around the back, there’s a retractable headphone stand and a handle that allows you to carry around the monitor. For connectivity, there are DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4 display inputs, along with two USB 3 ports, and a 3.5mm audio output jack. The stereo 2W speakers aren’t powerful enough to produce an immersive sonic atmosphere, but they’re fine for Windows notifications.

One disappointment is the on-screen display. It’s accessed via a set of poorly labelled buttons at the bottom of the monitor’s display, and the menu system itself is a chore to navigate through, with confusing sub-menus and contradicting options. On the positive side, if you persevere, there’s a vast degree of customisation on offer.

As mentioned, the XG2530 supports AMD FreeSync over DisplayPort 1.2. This means that if you’ve got a compatible AMD graphics card, the monitor’s refresh rate will dynamically follow the frame rate of your game. In practice, you’ll see no more tears and frame skips. If you’re using a Nvidia card you won’t get that benefit with this display: you’ll need a monitor using Nvidia’s competing G-Sync technology instead.

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ViewSonic XG2530 review: Image quality

The monitor has a 25in Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) TN panel, with a native refresh rate of 240Hz over DisplayPort 1.2. The Blur Busters’ frame skipping test confirmed that it was consistently able to display every single frame at the full 240Hz rate – unlike the competing AOC AGON AG251FZ, which suffered from frame skipping.

The panel’s 844:1 contrast ratio (with a 0.4cd/m2 black level) isn’t great, but that’s to be expected from a TN display, and it doesn’t seriously detract from the visual experience. With a 347.9cd/m2 maximum brightness in custom mode and 300cd/m2 in sRGB mode, the panel is more than bright enough to satisfy. Uniformity is good too, with a variance of just +4.62% at the extremities.

Colour coverage and accuracy aren’t up to photo-editing standards: we measured 90.3% sRGB gamut coverage and an average Delta E of 2.74 in sRGB mode. However, when it comes to games and movies, we’ve no complaints: colours look vivid and rich, with none of the drabness that’s sometimes associated with TN monitors.

READ NEXT: AOC AGON AG271QX review: Great for gaming – and everything else

ViewSonic XG2530 review: Gaming performance

In order to experience that super-high 240Hz refresh rate, you’ll naturally need a graphics card that can consistently output 240fps. Unless you have a high-end GPU, you might need to dial down the resolution or detail options to get the smoothest experience.

Is it worth it, though? Having owned and tested some of the best gaming monitors on the market, I found the ViewSonic provided a minimal benefit over a comparable 144Hz TN display. Playing at a highly competitive level on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the extra 96Hz didn’t make much of a visible difference, with enemies appearing only a few millimetres ahead of an equivalent 144Hz panel. Of course, next to a slow 60Hz IPS panel, the comparison is like night and day.

The bottom line is the XG2530 won’t make you a better player as you’ll also need super-human reaction times to benefit from the higher refresh rate. For someone who ranks within the top 1% of CS:GO players worldwide the differences to me, are tiny. Seeing the enemy a fraction of a second earlier might help you, but only if you can react quickly enough to shoot them.

So, whether it’s worth bothering depends on you and the level that you’re competing at. If you’re a semi-pro or professional gamer, you’ll want a monitor that can output as many frames as possible. Even if you can’t easily spot the difference between a 144Hz and 240Hz panel, the added 96Hz frames won’t be lost on the XG2530. As this means less tearing, a more accurate mouse trail and a blur-free experience.

A final issue worth mentioning is input lag. While the panel is super responsive – in fact, it’s one of the best I’ve come across – its input lag isn’t the best I’ve tried. Some people might, therefore, feel that this monitor isn’t fast enough to cope with fast-paced shooters.

READ NEXT: Acer XF270HUA review: The best gaming monitor on the market

ViewSonic XG2530 review: Verdict

If you’re looking for the fastest refresh rate possible, the ViewSonic XG2530 is a good choice. It has one of the best-looking, most responsive TN panels I’ve come across, and its excellent refresh rate and tear-free technology will please professional gamers.

However, at £400 the ViewSonic XG2530 isn’t cheap – especially not for a 1080p display. If you don’t fit into the top echelon of PC gamers out there, then the 1440p Acer XF270HUA for around £480 is a better bet.