No cable routing
Brightness sacrifices accuracy
Too new for discounts
About the AOC AGON PRO AG254FG gaming monitor
Here are the specs of the monitor we tested:
- Display size: 24.5 inches
- Panel type: IPS, Anti-glare
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Refresh rate: 360Hz
- Peak brightness: 400 nits (rated), 414.6 nits (tested)
- HDR support: HDR10, VESA DisplayHDR 400
- Color depth: 8-bit
- Contrast ratio: 1000:1
- Pixel response time (GtG): 1ms
- Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0 (240Hz max), 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 (360Hz), 4 x USB 3.0
- VRR Support: Yes, G-Sync
- Other features: Stereo speakers, wired remote control, VESA mount, adjustable stand, RGB lighting, headset hanger, Nvidia Reflex Analyzer, monitor hood
The 24.5-inch, 1080p display may seem fairly standard for a gaming monitor, but AOC really manages to deliver more than that basics. There’s a handful of USB ports to serve as a hub, rather than the meager two ports many monitors would offer if they had any at all.
AOC has also tossed in some extraneous bits, like a rainbow color bar on the bottom edge and rear of the monitor as well as a logo projector to shine below the monitor. But the capable 5W speakers, wired remote with shortcut buttons, headset hanger, and included monitor hood are handy extras that help this monitor stand out for more than just its speed.
What we like
When you’re getting a 360Hz monitor, you’re getting it because it’s a 360Hz monitor—and AOC has nailed the speeds here. The IPS panel has an impressive pixel response time that leaves almost no ghosting visible behind moving imagery, letting it keep up with all the action happening on the monitor.
The display pairs with an Nvidia graphics card for G-Sync over a DisplayPort connection, letting it match the refresh rate with the graphics card's output frame rate. We didn’t see stuttering or tearing while gaming with this setup (except when a game itself stutters). While some monitors offer a high refresh rate but suffer from poor pixel response times (or require painful strobing techniques), the AOC Agon Pro AG254FG provides its speed with refinement.
A convenient package
The AG254FG is like a little Swiss Army Knife of a monitor. The only thing the monitor is missing is a cable management channel through the stand, which might have been possible if it didn’t include its little logo projector. But that’s like missing the knife’s keychain ring while still having all the other tools—less convenient, but not absolutely necessary
This monitor packs in a four-port USB hub. It has headphone output and multiple mic inputs. One DisplayPort 1.4 connection enables the full 1080p/360Hz with G-Sync while two HDMI 2.0 ports allow additional connections at up to 240Hz. The 5W speaker duo is impressively clear and packs a decent punch if lacking bass.
The stand provides a ton of flexibility in positioning, including a considerable, 110mm height adjustment range. Thow in the convenient headset hanger, wired remote for immediate access to different display profiles, and a monitor hood for gaming in arenas with bright overhead lighting, and it’s clear AOC wanted to deliver a complete package.
Extensive tuning options
We were happy with a lot of the settings out of the box. The display offered a clear picture with solid color accuracy and a decent gamut for pleasing visuals in games, movies, and work alike. But, for the gear heads, there is no shortage of settings to fiddle with.
The AOC Agon Pro AG254FG offers different display profiles to quickly jump between various settings. It also allows for fine-tuning of contrast, brightness (by nits rather than a percentage), backlight modes, and gamma. There’s even a six-axis color tuner—and that’s just for the visuals!
The monitor also includes Nvidia's Reflex latency analyzer to help competitive gamers see how changing various in-game settings can increase or reduce their latency. You can even customize the RGB strips and Agon logo projector, letting you flex your style at tournaments.
What we don’t like
Some settings come at a sacrifice to others
On paper, the AOC Agon Pro AG254FG could be a lot more impressive than it actually is. With DisplayHDR 400 promising a high peak brightness alongside a panel that should offer a decent color gamut, you’d think you’re getting a speedy monitor that’s about as gorgeous as it is fast.
But our testing found the color gamut and accuracy took a dive when we tried enabling HDR, bumping up the brightness to its max, or enabling different gaming presets.
The display looks good and has a solid 94% coverage of the sRGB color space with a 1050:1 contrast ratio and no noticeable color inaccuracies at its default settings, but that has a considerably lower 200-nit peak brightness than the peak 414.6 nits we got by dialing up the brightness.
Ramping up the brightness to the max and changing to the Normal color mode (instead of warm or cool), the monitor’s contrast ratio tanked to 340:1 and average color accuracy went from being indistinguishable to noticeably inaccurate with a delta E of over 5.
Similar, cheaper monitors have a better value
The AOC Agon Pro AG254FG is a strong contender for the best 360Hz gaming monitors, but it's joining a market of 24-inch gaming monitors that have already had some time to get established. Some of those more established monitors are already seeing surprising price cuts, too.
The AG254FG doesn’t seem overly expensive for all that it’s offering until you look over to the $549 MSI Oculux NXG253R that’s steps on its toes in almost all regards. But that is nothing next to the Alienware AW2521H that trades blows with the Agon Pro AG254FG in picture quality when it’s on sale for $379 (at the time of writing).
Additionally, speed-focused gamers can save $100 and still get a 360Hz display with G-Sync from the Asus ROG Swift PG259QN, and value-oriented gamers can still get up to 280Hz with the $399 Acer Predator XB253Q. It’s likely going to be some time before we see the AOC Agon Pro AG254FG get discounts to match these competitors.
Should you buy it?
Yes, if you’re building an elite gaming rig
The AOC Agon Pro AG254FG is a powerful tool in the right hands. Casual gamers probably won’t see the benefits of a 360Hz refresh rate (especially if their rig can’t output 360fps) or some of the more advanced tuning features of the monitor, but competitive gamers will definitely get the edge from this monitor’s panel.
The monitor is also a customizable delight with an excellent stand, almost too-fancy lighting features, and plenty of tuning tools to deliver an optimal picture for whatever game you’re playing.
Even though there are some cheaper 360Hz gaming monitors available, as we mentioned previously, none of the ones we’ve tested simply beat the AOC Agon Pro AG254FG outright. A few may be brighter or have a wider color gamut, but the AG254FG is impressively well-rounded from a visual standpoint, and even more polished with all the extras built-in. Just make sure your PC can actually hit 360fps.
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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