When looking for one of the best 4K monitors for gaming, you usually have to sacrifice another aspect to find one reasonably priced. Often the response time will be inadequate, with 5ms or higher being commonplace, or the refresh rate will be capped at 60Hz, which isn't ideal for any gamers looking for the best of the best. What we have here with the ASUS XG27UQ is somewhat of a unicorn; a 4K, 144Hz, 1ms monitor for less than $1k? It's by no means cheap, but it's also not completely unreasonable as is often the case. So now it just boils down to the big question; is it any good?
The ASUS XG27UQ doesn't offer anything extraordinary or out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to the design. The stand is a simple, three-pronged affair that is easy to slot into place – no extra tools required. Since it protrudes directly perpendicular to the screen, it needs a wide surface. My desk has a raised section for the screen about half the width of the rest of the desk, and the monitor – including the stand – stretches back about 35cm.
On the front, you're looking at a very thick bezel indeed, measuring at 1.5cm all around the screen, widening slightly at the bottom to accommodate the ASUS logo. It's not ideal if you're wanting to have multiple monitors, but let's be honest; if you're forking out for a 27-inch 4K screen, one monitor should be enough for the average PC gamer. You'd need a seriously high-end rig to support two of these bad boys.
I started using the ASUS XG27UQ right before I got my Nvidea RTX 3080 GPU, so for the sake of it I tested it out on my previous 1070Ti card. As expected, the results were less than satisfactory; if you're on a 10 series card (or AMD equivalent) 4K gaming won't be a possibility, nor will it if you're on anything less than a 2080.
When the 3080 was up and running, phwoar this monitor runs like a dream. I saw the odd drop below 60fps in traffic-heavy sections of Night City but for 95% of the time, Cyberpunk 2077 was an utter delight with RTX Ultra enabled, although DLSS on the performance setting is crucial. My experience was similar on Assassin's Creed Valhalla, with not a frame drop in sight, consistently hitting 60+ across the luscious countryside of England. With the ASUS XG27UQ, PC gaming has genuinely never looked so good, especially with the built-in HDR mode that PC gaming rarely gets to benefit from.
The problem lies in the fact that to wield a display this gorgeous and powerful, you need to have an utter beast of a machine. If you want to take advantage of the 144Hz refresh rate and 4K resolution, you'll want a 3090 in your machine. No exceptions. If you're more of an online multiplayer person however, games like Rainbow Six Siege and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will surpass that 144Hz threshold with ease.
The ASUS XG27UQ is the best PC gaming monitor on the market for under $1,000. But to take advantage of it, you need a behemoth of a PC, which most of the PC gaming community won't have. If you're in the same shoes as me, unable to afford the $800/£800 required for this monster (unfortunately I don't get to keep the review model from ASUS!) but can't settle for less than 144Hz and a 1ms response time, I'd opt for the best 1440p monitor you can get.
On the other hand, if you're reading this absolutely dead set on getting a 4K monitor and can afford it, it's impossible not to recommend the XG27UQ. As long as you're 100% sure your rig can support 60fps+ with the best looking games and 144fps+ when playing competitive games online (if those are your jam), you'll be nothing short of delighted by the performance here.