When gaming monitors are concerned, TN panels are immensely popular despite the inherent shortcomings of this particular technology. This is in no small part due to the fact that they are cheaper to manufacture, but one shouldn’t forget that high-quality TN gaming monitors exist as well.
A good example of one such monitor is the AOC Agon AG271QX. It is a great mid-range solution for performance-oriented gamers who are looking for a fast monitor with a high refresh rate and a low response time that can actually offer good visuals, too.
As with many gaming-related products, monitors can also come with some gaudy in-your-face design, though that isn’t the case with the AG271QX. Quite the contrary, it is rather clean and minimalistic for a gaming monitor. It sports a simple black frame with fairly slim bezels, the only standout detail on the front being the red Agon logo.
The metal stand has a bit of a footprint but doesn’t take too much space, and more importantly, it is fully adjustable for tilt, swivel, pivot, and height. Furthermore, this is a VESA stand we’re talking about, and should you ever want to replace it, any 100×100 VESA mount would do.
The AOC Agon AG271QX is a 27-inch QHD monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and it has AMD FreeSync support, though a G-Sync variant (the AOC Agon AG271QG) is available as well.
Most gamers agree that a 27-inch diagonal is more or less ideal for QHD monitors, since it is neither too big to be used at a desk nor is it too small to do the 1440p resolution justice. The display is quite bright, has decent contrast, and the colors are surprisingly accurate, as far as TN panels are concerned. It ought to be more than accurate enough for most performance-oriented gamers, but needless to say, it still can’t match an IPS or VA panel in this regard.
On the performance front, naturally, there is little to say. With a refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of 1ms, the monitor is extremely fast and responsive, and it can easily make other panels seem sluggish in comparison, especially once you get used to it.
|Connectors||2x HDMI 2.0|
1x DisplayPort 1.2
When it comes to gaming on a monitor with a high refresh rate, adaptive sync is a must-have, and AMD FreeSync is precisely that – AMD’s own adaptive sync technology.
When the in-game framerate and the monitor’s refresh rate fall out of sync, it can lead to some nasty, distracting screen tearing. And while V-Sync can solve this issue easily on 60Hz monitors simply by limiting the FPS to either 60 or 30, it’s not that simple with all the framerate fluctuations that inevitably happen in the triple-digits.
So, what adaptive sync does is communicate with the monitor and adapt the refresh rate to the framerate in real-time, so the refresh rate and the FPS never fall out of sync, there is no screen tearing, and there is none of the stuttering or input lag that can occur with V-Sync.
Now, FreeSync usually works in a limited framerate range, though this is not an issue with the AG271QX, since the considerable 30-144Hz range found here won’t leave anyone wanting.
Now, FreeSync used to be compatible only with AMD GPUs, but Nvidia has recently introduced FreeSync support for their GPUs, and the AG271QX seems to work flawlessly even with an Nvidia GPU. So, if you’re using an Nvidia graphics card and don’t want to spend extra on the G-Sync variant of this monitor, the FreeSync one should work, too.
The monitor comes with two 3-watt built-in speakers, which makes them more powerful than your average monitor speakers, though they are still not the best solution when it comes to gaming or anything serious, so if you need powerful speakers with better sound quality, a set of dedicated desktop speakers would be a good investment.
The Final Word
All in all, the AOC AGON AG271QX is a great mid-range TN gaming monitor that, like most TN displays, focuses on performance. However, it doesn’t disappoint in the visuals department either, it has an excellent, highly adjustable stand, as well as a plethora of ports to suit everyone’s needs.
On the downside, there are the usual drawbacks that follow pretty much every TN panel: the color accuracy isn’t as good as with VA or IPS monitors, the viewing angles are pretty poor, and it can have some noticeable backlight bleed, especially around the edges.
But of course, you can’t have it all (at least not yet), and when it comes to what this monitor was designed for – 1440p 144Hz gaming – it is definitely a good choice and presents great value for your money.
What We Loved
- Very fast and responsive
- Crisp 1440p resolution
- Sturdy and fully adjustable stand
- Wide FreeSync range
What We Didn’t Like
- Limited color accuracy
- Poor viewing angles
- Noticeable backlight bleed