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Hardcore PC gamers can get really into the minutiae of their PC graphics. They can spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to make sure their PC is running the latest video card and run their games with the maximum possible graphical performance. One item that many gamers often neglect it the monitor all those graphics are displayed on. Nowadays all monitors aren’t created equal. If you’re going to the trouble of getting special PC components to ramp up your gaming experience, you owe it to yourself to consider including a specialized gaming monitor in your kit. The Acer XB270HU is a high performance gaming monitor worthy of the most demanding gamers out there. 

XB270HU-Stand-Base-640x427.jpgThe Design

Looking at the overall design of this monitor I’m not too sure how I feel. It is in no way an ugly monitor. It has a nice, streamlined design without too much fuss. The anti-glare display panel coating is fine. The overall case isn’t terribly thick. The glossy bezels look alright, though I know a lot of gamers aren’t a fan of glossy bezels in particular. What gives me pause is the glossy black stand with red-orange inlay. If you’re not a fan of that inlay colour, there isn’t much you can do about it, and the glossy base seems to require constant dusting as any particles landing on it become very visible, very quickly. I’m simply not a fan of the look of it. Otherwise this monitor seems to be very well considered. The stand allows tilt, swivel, height adjust and pivot so you can switch it to vertical (portrait) orientation with ease for example, and have great ergonomics. The 27” IPS shines with a 350 cd/m² brightness, 72% NTSC colour gamut, 1000:1 static contrast ratio, and 170° horizontal viewing angle.

 

Connectivity

You’re limited to display port thanks to the G-Sync technology though that shouldn’t be a major problem for those running on a high end gaming PC. Cable management is minimal with a channel built in to the base, but all your plugs will remain visible on the back of the screen. A nice touch is the USB 3 hub featuring two USB ports on the back with another two on the monitor’s left side. It might be nice if there was an HDMI option but alas there isn’t. That isn’t a deal breaker for PC gamers of course. If you have a video card that supports G-Sync (or even a decent gaming video card that doesn’t support G-Sync) you should have a display port. A lack of HDMI just means you might not be using this as your secondary screen or connecting it to a game console with ease. No big loss. This monitor is purpose built for PC gamers, to be your primary screen and in that capacity it performs admirably.

 

xb270hu_wp_06-100538363-large.jpgG-Sync technology

This monitor boasts compatibility with Nvidia’s G-sync technology, engineered specifically to eliminate screen tearing and artifacts from stuttering that players may otherwise experience when playing some of the more graphically-intense games out there. You won’t have the issue of the monitor falling out of sync with the GPU. Sure you can enable vertical sync on the software side but that can produce noticeable input lag or stuttering issues which would be problematic for the gamer interested in millisecond performance. G-sync lets you solve for monitor-GPU frame synchronicity without introducing lag issues. The GPU won’t need to wait for the screen to refresh at all. The monitor with G-Sync has technology onboard which allows it to talk to your GPU directly, and operate on a variable refresh rate such that frames can be displayed quickly, in the right sequence as the GPU outputs them. When playing with a G-Sync enabled video card players will notice a smooth, and lag-free picture.

 

Performance

The 27” LED backlit screen supports a native resolution of 2560 x 1440 which definitely looks good while letting your crank out a high FPS without breaking the bank. The speed of this monitor is where it really shines. A 4ms response time and 144 Hz refresh rate mean that this screen can keep up with even the most high intensity gaming scenarios. The combination of pixel response time, high refresh rate and the G-Sync technology means that this screen can keep up with everything your high end gaming PC can produce. It honestly looks absolutely fantastic. Any PC gamer will fall in love with this monitor. It looks and performs absolutely amazing. When playing with it, it will actually make your games feel more responsive too, beyond just the graphics. I can’t really overstate what a huge difference it makes. Your picture will simply feel more alive and fluid, letting you forget you’re looking at a screen and get more naturally immersed in your gaming experience.

XB270HU_10.jpgI don’t have too much difficulty pinpointing areas I might like this monitor to improve. I don’t love the look of its base. I would appreciate better aesthetics on the rear with cable management. A matte bezel might be a better choice. The onboard controls are limited at best. With all that out of the way, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this monitor to any serious PC gaming enthusiast. It performs incredibly with games looking better than ever. If you’re one of those PC gamers who likes to pay a lot of attention to every component of their rig to squeeze all the performance that is possible out of it, then a monitor like this will certainly go a long way. You want a monitor that can keep up with your GPU and really show of what it’s capable of. The Acer XB270HU can certainly do that, and make your PC gaming sessions really shine.