The ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q comes with tons of useful features that show competitors it means business. Some say it comes real close to be the best gaming monitor out there. Is it really a must-have for enthusiast gamers? Let’s find out.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q – Specifications
The SWIFT PG348Q uses a 34-inch Ultra-wide QHD screen with 3440 x 1440 maximum resolution and 5ms response time. While 5ms is not the best in its class, it’s more than sufficient to play First Person Shooters and other fast-paced games.
Gaming feels immersive with its 21:9 aspect ratio. Couple that with NVIDIA G-sync and 100Hz refresh rate, everything feels smooth and swift. Of course, the game and movies you’re playing must support ultra-wide aspect ratio. This monitor doesn’t have any option where you can stretch games and content to ultra-wide. It may take a while until all content developer gives you ultra-wide options as many are still comfortable sticking to the widely-accepted 16:9 aspect ratio.
The panel type used here is an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel. It offers the best all-around performance, color quality, and viewing angles. The bottom bezel has a brushed-metal look, and the side bezels are thin and not too glossy. They won’t distract you when you’re playing in a well-lit room. ASUS claims frameless edge-to-edge design, but we can assure you the bezel is not thin enough to be considered frameless. In all seriousness, multiple monitor setup with the PG348Q might be overkill when a single monitor already occupies most of your field of view.
Some may feel that the 1000:1 Contrast Ratio is a bit underwhelming, but truthfully, it’s pretty good. There’s more than one way to measure Contrast Ratio, and the ones boasting very high numbers just use whatever it is comfortable to them. A 400:1 Contrast Ratio is already quite good for gaming, video and photo editing, and office work.
ASUS gives two different inputs from the PG348Q. A DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4. Go with the DisplayPort if you want to use the monitor to its fullest potential. HDMI can only get you to 50Hz on 3440 x 1440. If you only want to play consoles, there are plenty other monitors out there that are more suitable than the PG348Q. This monitor is meant for PC gaming.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q – Design and Build Quality
It’s clear as day that ASUS doesn’t want to go subtle with the design. Both the monitor and the stand looks futuristic in a mix of silver and copper, or as ASUS calls it, Armor Platinum and Plasma Copper. At the back, you can find a pair of 2-Watt speakers, one headphone jack, but no analog input.
To help with aesthetics, all of the port is hidden behind a plastic cover. Such design also helps with cable management. If you want to quickly plug and unplug USB drives or headphones, just leave the ports open.
The stand itself is quite something to write home about; it’s beefy. Thank heavens ASUS uses aluminum and plastic to keep its weight down.
The stand has tilt, height, and swivel adjustment making it easy for you to set the monitor on eye level. It can rotate 50 degrees left and right, tilt 20 degrees up and 5 degrees down. Height adjustment is only 115 or about 4.5 inches. It’s not much, but it’s good enough when you don’t have a chair with adjustable height. Keeping the display on eye level is mandatory if you don’t want to cram your neck after hours of playing games. Adjusting all three feels smooth without any jaggy movement.
One neat thing about the stand is it projects the ROG logo to your desk, and when you rotate the monitor, the logo rotates with it. It’s nothing useful, but is sure looks cool. It looks better if you dim the room a little bit. If you feel that it’s too much of a distraction or if you’re bored with it, you can disable it from the setting.
The three feet of the stand reaches far in three directions. You’re going to need a deep desk to put this monitor on. Otherwise, you’ll have nowhere to put your keyboard and mouse pad. ASUS includes VESA wall mount if wall-mounting is still your thing.
Overall, this monitor has solid build quality. Nothing feels cheap or out of place. It’s a stunning monitor that will spice up your gaming setup considerably.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q – Setup
Attaching the stand is not hard at all. It snaps into place without a hitch. There are a couple of thumbscrews you need to screw in, but that’s about it. Even so, the size and weight of the monitor can make it rather awkward when you want to get the monitor up after attaching the stand. It’s still doable by one person, but for a monitor this expensive, a pair of helping hands is in order.
There are four buttons at the back of the monitor to access various settings. This monitor uses physical buttons with good feedback. They feel clicky so that you can tell whether you’ve clicked them or not. Moving between the on-screen menus is a snap thanks to the small 5-way joystick at the back of the monitor. The way ASUS lay out the menus has got to be the best in the market so far. It’s intuitive and very easy to use.
Cranking up the refresh rate from 60Hz to 100Hz is as easy as pressing the turbo button on the back. You can also go the other way around (100 to 60Hz) when you don’t what to overload your CPU and graphics card. You can even do it mid-game. How cool is that?
Overclocking the monitor continuously on 100Hz does not compromise its performance. It also doesn’t suck too much power. At most, it eats 5 Watts more than keeping the monitor at 60Hz.
Of course, you’re going to need powerful CPU and graphic card to use the monitor’s full potential. ASUS recommends high-end NVidia card for you to enjoy the best experience using the 100Hz refresh rate at 1440. An NVidia GTX 1080 will do wonders for this monitor. Even so, a 980 will do just fine without any flicker. You can still enjoy modern games in the 40 frames-per-second range at 3440×1440.
“Is a Radeon okay?”
Well, if you forego the G-Sync, you can also use a Radeon graphic card. An R9 390 will give similar performance to an NVidia 980. However, G-Sync is one of the features that make this monitor so appealing. Using this monitor with a Radeon graphic card that doesn’t even support G-Sync is a huge waste of your hard-earned money.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q – Image Quality
Buyers expect a lot from this monitor, and thankfully, ASUS delivers. Color reproduction is spot-on. Games and movies look more vibrant yet natural. Color, clarity, and brightness are uniform across the display.
With NVidia G-Sync, screen tearing on high FPS is a thing of the past. Screen tearing happens when the monitor’s refresh rate is out of sync with the video feed, so you get information from multiple frames drawn on the monitor all at once. You can get these choppy effects from any games and not the most hardware-demanding ones. Saints Row 4, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty Ghosts, you name it.
To prevent screen tearing, Nvidia G-Sync forces the monitor to adjust its framerate to the GPU’s. No more stuttering, no more input lag. Even at moderate refresh rate such as 60Hz G-Sync superiority over V-sync is apparent. In short, G-Sync makes your gaming experience much more pleasing. A small LED light at the bottom right of the monitor tells you if G-Sync is on or off. If it’s white, that means G-Sync is off. If it’s red, G-Sync is on.
As expected from an IPS panel, viewing angle is superb. There’s no sudden drop in brightness or clarity when you view the display from extreme angles. You can’t have that with TN panels.
There are many skeptics out there that still think that curved monitors are nothing but marketing gimmicks. A curve on a small-size screen is indeed pointless. However, for an ultra-wide screen, the advantage of a curved screen against a flat one is nothing but amazing. You see, when you’re sitting right in front of the monitor, you’ll be viewing the corners at an angle and the colors will be off to some degree. Even though a curve screen doesn’t mean you can see the edges at a straight angle, but it’s certainly better than what you get from a flat screen.
An ultra-wide IPS panel also has the advantage over VA or TN panels when it comes to range of uses. This monitor is not only good for gamers. Photo editors, video editors, and people who do a lot of writing and proofreading will benefit from it too. Multitasking is a lot easier when you no longer need to switch between windows. With a screen this wide, having 3 to 4 windows open at once side by side don’t feel cluttered at all.
The panel used on PG348Q covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut. It only covers 78% of Adobe RGB color gamut, so professional designers may have one thing to nitpick here. However, you must keep in mind that this is a gaming monitor that’s perfectly usable for various design works and not the other way around.
It’s not all perfect, though. You’ll notice that some areas have more intense backlighting than others. This particular issue is rampant with earlier batches of the PG348Q. ASUS have since corrected the issue with their newer batches.
Backlight-bleed (BLB) is something you have to get used to in many modern IPS panels. For this monitor, the BLB is only noticeable when you play in a darkened room and during gameplays with plenty of dark backgrounds. Luckily, you can play with the settings or just play in a well-lit room to minimize this undesirable trait.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q – Display Mode and Other Features
The PG348Q has six display modes that you can use to optimize the visuals depending on what you’re using it for. The six presets are Racing, Cinema, RTS/RPG, FPS, sRGB, and Scenery. What they are used for is self-explanatory.
If you don’t know what you want, just use sRGB because it gives the best overall experience for different types of content. Play around with the rest of the presets later once your eyes demand more from this awesome monitor.
To reduce eye strain, this monitor has four level of blue light adjustment. It also has three level of brightness so you can pick the one most suitable for the light conditions you have in your room. We recommend that you adjust these two before you go and play your favorite games.
Another great addition ASUS packs with the monitor are the GamePlus Hotkeys. Three in-game enhancements are crosshair, timer, and frame-rate counter. The crosshair overlay gives you the edge by having a more accurate aim. It should help tremendously for FPS games that don’t give you any aiming aid. The timer simply shows how much time has passed since you start playing. The frame-rate counter is a handy indicator of how smoothly your game is running.
- Highly reliable. Works flawlessly even when you keep using the maximum resolution and refresh rate (3440 x 1440, 100Hz)
- Brightness level barely drops when you view the monitor at an angle
- Easy setup with intuitive menus
- Height, tilt, and swivel adjustment
- Slim and non-glossy bezels
- Ultra wide view works well for various uses
- Cool lighting effect. It does nothing functionally, but it looks sweet nonetheless
- GamePlus Hotkeys
- Useless 2-Watts built-in speakers. An afterthought, if you feel so incline. You’ll never want to use them
- Not all games support 21:9 aspect ratio and there’s no way to stretch games and content to ultra-wide
- 100Hz refresh rate when using the DisplayPort. HDMI stuck at 60
The ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q does have a hefty price tag. However, the picture quality and immersive gaming experience make the monitor pays for itself in no time. Graphic designers, video designers, and everyone who do a lot of multitasking will benefit from the ultra-wide aspect ratio too. It’s not 4K, but it sure comes close.
Should I Buy One?
If you have the money, then yes. It’s a splendid gaming monitor that will take your gaming experience to another level. Curved monitor is no longer a gimmick, and at ultra-wide setting, it’s going to blow your mind. As the saying goes, “Once you go wide, you’ll never go back.”