Gigabyte GS27Q is a budget gaming monitor with a high-speed IPS matrix. What compromises did the manufacturer have to make to make the price attractive enough, and did they manage to achieve a price/quality balance? Today we will find out.
|tilting forward and backward
|2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, headphone output
|AMD FreeSync Premium
|Dimensions (with stand), HxWxD
|447 х 619 х 172 mm
|Recommended price in Ukraine
Externally, the Gigabyte GS27Q looks as you’d expect from a budget model: black matte plastic case, simple stand, almost complete absence of “gaming” design elements – at first glance, it’s easy to mistake it for a work monitor.
Around the screen there is a thin “invisible” frame that hides under the protective glass – along with the not-so-thin line of the side edge of the case, the image is surrounded by a fairly wide frame 11 mm wide on the sides and top and 19 mm wide on the bottom.
The stand has only one adjustment – tilting the screen back and forth (-5°…+20°). The height is fixed, the bottom edge of the image is located at a distance of ~10.5 cm above the table surface. The square-shaped base with beveled corners is very compact – only 17×17 cm, so this monitor does not take up much space on the table and does not interfere with the use of the keyboard.
All the connectors are located in a small niche to the left of the stand mount: two HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.4, and a mini-headphone jack. The Gigabyte GS27Q has a built-in power supply.
The monitor is controlled by a 5-way joystick located at the bottom center, a little further from the bottom edge.
Pressing the joystick brings up a quick menu with selected functions and access to the main menu. The first item in it is Gaming with gaming parameters such as overdrive activation and adaptive frequency. The next section is Picture, where you can choose one of the video modes set by the manufacturer or make your own settings in the Custom mode.
A very convenient solution of the developer is noteworthy: detailed image settings are not placed in a separate section, but are available right after selecting a video mode, and they are individual for each of them – and the user immediately sees, for example, in which mode manual adjustments are blocked.
Accordingly, the Display section has a minimum of parameters – video input selection, RGB range when connected via HDMI or panel overclocking – for DisplayPort. The PIP/PBP menu allows you to activate the frame-to-frame mode and configure its parameters, System contains settings for the sound on the connected headset, OSD behavior, assigning custom functions to joystick deflection, and other system parameters.
A separate item in the main menu is the interface language – unfortunately, Gigabyte GS27Q does not have Ukrainian localization yet, the manufacturer promises to add it in the near future. And the last item here is resetting all settings to the factory defaults.
The Gigabyte GS27Q uses a 27-inch panel made with Super Speed IPS technology. According to the manufacturer, it involves a thinner liquid crystal layer and higher control voltage, which makes SS IPS panels 4 times faster than conventional IPS. Thus, for this model, the manufacturer indicates a response time of 1 ms (MPRT).
The panel resolution is 2560×1440 dots, the pixel density is almost 109 PPI, and the dot size is 0.2335 mm. This ratio of diagonal to resolution is almost ideal for a gaming monitor: the pixel density is already sufficient so that no individual dots are visible in the image from a typical distance from the screen, and the resolution is not yet so high that a top-of-the-line gaming configuration is required for comfortable gaming.
The maximum refresh rate is 165 Hz, with the possibility of additional overclocking up to 170 Hz (via DisplayPort; if you use an HDMI connection, the maximum available frequency is 144 Hz). The Gigabyte GS27Q has AMD FreeSync Premium certification, but it is not compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync.
The brightness of this monitor is adjustable by changing the current, and PWM is not used throughout the entire brightness range, so there is no screen flicker.
Gigabyte GS27Q image quality
The screen has a semi-matte finish, which means that there are almost no spurious reflections on the dark background when viewed from a typical PC user’s position. When you move to the side, the screen gradually becomes more glossy, but it does not interfere with your work.
In the gaming section of the menu, you can activate overdrive – unlike most other gaming monitors, the Gigabyte GS27Q does not have different degrees of overclocking, only the ability to turn it on or off.
The monitor has an excellent response time at the maximum refresh rate: objects moving on the screen look sharp, and blurring is very low even without overdrive. Activating overdrive makes dynamic scenes even clearer, and there are no overclocking artifacts in the image.
Overdrive on/off (170 Hz):
If you switch to a refresh rate of 60 Hz, the dynamic image becomes more blurry without overdrive, and with it, dark plumes (overclocking artifacts) appear behind moving objects. However, the behavior of the panel at this frequency is of purely theoretical interest – it’s hard to imagine that a user would deliberately give up one of the main advantages of this monitor.
Overdrive on/off, 60 Hz:
In general, the Gigabyte GS27Q is very well suited for dynamic games, such as online shooters: even with rapid changes in camera angles, the image is almost not blurred and retains high definition.
The black uniformity is mediocre, at least in the copy that came to us for review: in a dark room on a black background, lighter spots in the corners of the screen are clearly visible.
The glow effect is typical for an IPS panel: if you look at the screen from the side and from above, a noticeable glow appears near the black background, and it is noticeably stronger on the right side than on the left.
As for the viewing angles, they are very good, again, traditionally for IPS technology. When viewed from the side, the brightness is slightly weaker, but there are no deviations in color reproduction, the appearance of a cold or, conversely, a warm shade.
By default, the settings are set to Eco video mode with reduced brightness – however, you are not prohibited from adjusting it manually. After that, this mode actually differs very little from Standard or Custom: they all allow you to adjust all available image parameters and offer balanced settings suitable for most tasks, so any of them can be used as the main one.
We took the Standard mode as a starting point. Its color coverage is standard – 99% sRGB, 77% Adobe RGB, 80% DCI-P3 (note that in all other modes, the coverage remains almost the same).
It’s a bit unusual for a gaming monitor, but the Gigabyte GS27Q has a gamma selection of five different options – Gamma 1… Gamma 5, plus a slightly strange option in which this parameter is turned off. In the Off option, this parameter perfectly corresponds to the standard value of 2.2, switching from the first to the fifth gradually changes the gamma in the range from 1.8 to 2.6 in increments of 0.2 (by the way, the Gamma 3 setting is completely identical to the Off option).
The maximum brightness is 320 cd/m², and the static contrast is 1040:1. These are typical indicators for a gaming IPS panel, which are even slightly higher than the official specifications. The minimum brightness value is 45 cd/m², at which level you can comfortably play or work at the monitor even in an almost completely dark room.
The default color temperature is set to Normal, which is the average value among those offered by the manufacturer, and the real temperature value is 7300K. This is slightly higher than the standard (6500K), so the image may appear colder than it should. The next value, Warm, offers a significantly lower temperature (5500K) and, accordingly, a warmer shade.
However, it is still possible to get the desired 6500K (or any other value) with the Low Blue Light function. It has as many as 10 values that gradually adjust the color temperature in the range of 7100-5800K.
The color temperature uniformity in different areas of the screen is frankly mediocre: the maximum deviation ΔE for it exceeds 8 (the most accurate match is in the upper left corner of the screen, the least accurate is in the lower right corner). But the uniformity of the white field of this monitor is already good: the largest difference in brightness, between the center and the lower left corner, is 14%.
It seems that the Gigabyte GS27Q is factory calibrated in Standard mode: the maximum deviation of ΔE is slightly less than one (the only much larger deviation is due to the peculiarities of the test colorimeter). As a reminder, it is believed that the average user is not able to notice errors in the color display if this parameter is below 2 or even 3.
Custom mode, as noted, is almost the same as Standard – apparently, this option is specially designed by the manufacturer as a “custom” one, in which you can make your own settings and not “break” those created by the manufacturer. In sRGB mode, the color gamut is a few percent less (97% sRGB, 72% Adobe RGB, 72% DCI-P3), the maximum brightness is 305 cd/m², and the contrast is 950:1. But for some reason, its color accuracy is noticeably lower than that of Standard or Custom: the maximum ΔE value is almost 3.8, and the average is 1.7. This is also a good result, but it doesn’t look like the factory calibration. Given that the only adjustment available to the user in sRGB is brightness, we would not recommend it for use.
Other video settings differ in initial brightness, contrast, sharpness, gamma and color temperature settings – you can visually compare them in the following gallery.
Standard, Gaming, Movie, Reader, sRGB, Eco: