In a surprising move, AOC has announced plans to launch a new series of AGON gaming displays with a 0.5 ms response time in Q2 of next year. The displays will be curved, will feature a QHD resolution and will rely on a new TN panel from AU Optronics. The monitors will support adaptive refresh rate technologies from AMD and NVIDIA and will certainly not be cheap.

The big question with this announcement is of course how exactly did AUO and AOC manage to decrease the GtG response time of a TN panel to 0.5 ms? So far, AUO has not publicly announced this panel. Moreover, given the striking similarity of the panel used for the AG273QCX/AG273QCG and Acer's Predator Z271UV (same size, curvature, brightness, ‘wide gamut’, up to 165 Hz refresh rate, etc.), it is possible that the panels are close relatives, but the one used by AOC features a technique that cuts GtG response time from 1 ms to 0.5 ms. Either way, details are unfortunately slim at this time, but given AOC's bold claim, this bears further watching.

Otherwise, AOC’s AGON AG273QCX and AGON AG273QCG have a lot in common: both are based on the same 27” curved display panel from AUO featuring a 2560×1440 resolution, a wide color gamut (more on that below), very high refresh rates of 144 and 165 Hz, 400 nits brightness, as well as the aforementioned 0.5 ms response time. The key differences between the AG273QCX and the AG273QCG are different adaptive refresh rate technologies: the former supports AMD’s FreeSync 2 with HDR, the latter features a bit higher refresh rate and NVIDIA’s G-Sync (sans HDR). The lack of HDR on the G-Sync model presumably being due to the fact that NVIDIA mandates at least 1000 nits for its G-Sync HDR platform.

AOC's AGON³ Displays with 0.5 ms Response Time
Size 27"
Panel Type Curved TN
Resolution 2560×1440
Pixel Response Time 0.5 ms
Color Gamut 'Wide Color Gamut'
Maximum Refresh Rate 144 Hz 165 Hz
Adaptive Refresh Rate Tech AMD FreeSync 2 NVIDIA G-Sync
Launch Time in EU April 2018 May 2018
MSRP €599 ($706) €699 ($824)

Unfortunately, AOC does not specify what exactly the “Wide Color Gamut” support mentioned in its slides means. But given that we have seen a degree of DCI-P3 support on the TN-based Acer Predator Z271UV, this is a distinct possibility for the new AOC displays as well. Along those lines, one of AOC’s representatives said in a conversation with PCGamesN website that the new TN panel from AUO is not only fast and relatively bright, but also has a considerably improved color quality, which the rep compared to IPS-based displays. The official for AOC confirmed that the panel still has TN’s traditional 170°/170° viewing angles, but argued that gamers would not feel it due to their usage model.

AOC promises that the AGON AG273QCX featuring the FreeSync 2 with HDR will hit the market in April 2018 and will cost €599 ($706). The G-Sync-supporting AGON AG273QCG is expected to be available in May 2018 for the price of €699 ($824). Keep in mind that since displays are based on brand new panels, their MSRPs and ETAs at the moment are preliminary and they may change.

The actual slide demonstrated by AOC at Gamescon has a typo: both displays are based on a TN panel.

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Sources: PCGamesN (via TechPowerUp).

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  • Alistair - Saturday, August 26, 2017 - link

    I'd buy any oled monitor that was affordable. 1080p, 1440p, 60hz, 120hz... don't care anymore just anything :)
  • Ej24 - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    Agreed. After a few years of using Samsung galaxy devices I just can't tolerate lcd anymore, ips, TN, led back light, doesn't matter, I'm spoiled now.
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    It's one thing to talk about high-end phone displays. But "OLED" by itself doesn't automatically mean superior in all regards. Regardless of the underlying tech, there are compromises to be made, revolving mostly around price. Especially when discussing a 28"+ monitor. A cheap OLED panel (if such a thing existed) isn't guaranteed to be amazing at everything. Similarly, there's a wide gap between entry-level bargain bin TN panels and high-end TN and IPS displays. I've seen some IPS panels that are really impressive. The iPhone 7 display is pretty good (I have family that own iPhones), and I believe that's an IPS panel.

    But back to your phone: A lot of the disparity you're seeing has little to do with the underlying tech and more to do with pixel density (and perhaps color "enhancements"). It's a tiny screen.
  • Lolimaster - Saturday, August 26, 2017 - link

    Im sick of the damn curve, it's a total annoyance for productivity, when will this fad die, like 3d?
  • madwolfa - Saturday, August 26, 2017 - link

    Same here, I'm not buying a curved monitor, period. Unfortunately it's getting harder and harder to get a normal flat screen lately.
  • Diji1 - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    I'm not sure why you would find the curve annoying due to being less productive unless you needed straight lines for some reason. But in that case why are you buying a monitor with features thatmae gaming better?
  • Hurr Durr - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    Do they make you shill on one? Poor dear.
  • Saltank - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    Another monitor announced way before it's release date and even before it's even ready. There hasn't been a single good new "gaming" monitor for over a year now. They should be criticized heavily for these damn carrot-on-a-stick announcements. Especially when most of the panels lead to disappointment because of poor Quality Control (QC) and at least one game-breaking feature on every model.
    Those 4K HDR Acer monitors we heard of in January? Delayed 'till next year.
  • Hurr Durr - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    Gaming monitor can`t be "good" by definition.
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    Depends what you're using it for durr hurr. But you knew that, trollolololol!

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