Ample Speed and sharpness
Poor contrast ratio
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About the Gigabyte M27Q X
Here are the specs of the monitor we tested:
- Display size: 27 inches
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
- Refresh rate: 240Hz
- Peak brightness: 350 nits (rated), 422.2 nits (tested), 454.1 nits (with HDR)
- HDR support: VESA DisplayHDR 400
- Color depth: 10 bit (8-bit + FRC)
- Color saturation: 92% DCI-P3, 140% sRGB
- Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (rated), 1030:1 (tested)
- Pixel response time (GtG): 1ms
- Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 18 watt power delivery), 1 x USB 3.0 (upstream), 2 x USB 3.0 (downstream), 1 x 3.5mm
- VRR Support: Yes, AMD FreeSync Premium, G-Sync compatible
- Other features: VESA mount, 2 x 2W speakers, HBR3 DisplayPort, integrated KVM switch
There is a lot of overlap in Gigabyte’s naming schemes with something as small as a single letter denoting an entirely different monitor with different panel technology and performance characteristics. The M27Q X hits 240Hz and shouldn’t be confused with the M27Q non-X version, which tops out at 170Hz.
What we like
It’s extra sharp and extra fast
The Gigabyte M27Q X neatly combines a lot of middle ground features that coalesce into an overall excellent gaming display.
The 27-inch, 1440p size is something of a sweet spot, where you get good screen real estate and decent pixel density. It may not go as fast as the recent horde of 360Hz 1080p monitors out there, but the speedy 240Hz refresh rate right out of the box leaves most other 1440p competitors in the dust.
This combination makes the M27Q X a delight to game on, both in story-based games where the visuals are a bit more pressing than peak framerates and in competitive shooters with refresh speeds that should sate all but the highest-tier gamers (assuming you have a graphics card that can push it).
Even the pixel response times are low enough that there’s minimal ghosting while maintaining detail in fast-moving imagery.
More and more gaming monitors are proving themselves capable of hitting a wide color gamut, and the Gigabyte M27Q X stands tall among them. It readily covers all of the sRGB color space and a respectable 94% swathe of the cinematic DCI-P3 color space. This comes with an especially high color accuracy that none of the other gaming monitors we’ve recently tested have matched.
By default, you’ll be enjoying those colors at a comfortable brightness level. Turning on HDR takes things up a notch to achieve 454.1 nits of peak brightness for a little extra spice to the visuals, but it comes at the cost of reducing the color accuracy and gamut slightly. It isn’t as good as the HDR you’d find on higher-end alternatives like the Alienware AW3423DW, but it’s still a nice bonus.
The incredible flexibility
Gigabyte didn’t skimp on ports when it built the M27Q X. This monitor comes ready with two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 port, and a 10Gbps USB-C port capable of carrying data and video.
Then there’s also a set of USB 3.0 ports—two downstream, one upstream. By including an integrated KVM switch, Gigabyte lets you plug in peripherals to the monitor that you want to use across multiple devices, such as a desktop computer and a laptop, and you can readily toggle between inputs.
The monitor plays nice with both Nvidia- and AMD-powered systems thanks to its AMD FreeSync Premium support. It also worked well with G-Sync in our testing.
What we don’t like
Trade-offs for HDR
The big shortcoming of the M27Q X is one that’s shared by many IPS displays: it simply can’t deliver much contrast. The black levels are about as good as they can get from an IPS panel, but that still leaves a lot of room for improvement.
At default settings, which sees the monitor peak at around 200 nits brightness, the contrast ratio holds close to 1000:1. Kicking HDR on raises the brightness considerably to a peak of 454 nits, but also raises the floor on black levels to a similar degree, maintaining the roughly 1000:1 contrast ratio.
The result is that you can enjoy deeper black levels but you’ll miss out on the vibrance of HDR. Or you can switch on HDR and get extra the expanded color range, but you’ll face elevated black levels that will show backlight bleed and become a touch gray.
The super-basic stand
As well rounded a monitor as the Gigabyte M27Q X is, the company put it on about as simple a stand as you can get. The stand sits on Gigabyte’s signature ax head-like base. The stand has a good height adjustment range at 130mm (5.1 inches), and has 25 degrees of vertical tilt.
That’s it. There’s no pivot nor horizontal rotation to switch to a portrait orientation. That said, there are still worse stands out there, and at least this one includes a cable routing hole. VESA mounting is also an option.
Should you buy it?
Yes, if speed and image quality are your priorities
The Gigabyte M27Q X puts on a strong show. It can go fast while keeping visuals respectably sharp for a 27-inch display. You won’t catch a lot of jaggies in games or in word documents, and the ghosting that can marr the visuals on even $1,000 displays is hardly detectable here.
While there are plenty of good 1440p gaming monitors out there, most settle in well below the 240Hz refresh rate this one achieves. Gigabyte does have to contend with the Samsung Odyssey G7 and Alienware AW2721D, which offer the same resolution and refresh rate but offer much better HDR implementations. However, the M27Q X steers clear of direct competition by sitting well below either in price.
But, ultimately the Gigabyte M27Q X stands apart with a sharp, accurate display that’s faster than most of its 1440p competitors for an obtainable price.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Mark Knapp has covered tech for most of the past decade, keeping readers up to speed on the latest developments and going hands-on with everything from phones and computers to e-bikes and drones to separate the marketing from the reality. Catch him on Twitter at @Techn0Mark or on Reviewed, IGN, TechRadar, T3, PCMag, and Business Insider.
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