AOC G2770PF is a relatively recent 27-inch monitor from the Taiwanese company, which mainly caters to the needs of the gaming community and this becomes more apparent with the inclusion of the FreeSync technology, the advertised 144Hz refresh rate and the 1ms response time.
As usual, AOC went at great lengths to ensure the monitor is equipped with some of the latest and most desired technologies suitable for gaming, while it kept a relatively low price tag (AOC is known for taking some risks and adding some unconventional technologies in the hopes of surpassing the competition – such as the implementation of a Wireless Charging station for your smartphones or other compatible devices on the AOC P2779VC).
As most are aware, NVidia was the first to tie the notion of adaptive frame synchronization with the PC gaming, a technology which has made a world of difference into how games would run on a high-end monitor. It did not come as a surprise when AMD launched its own adaptive frame sync technology (thus eliminating any tearing, stuttering and reducing the input lag), a move which has divided the gaming community into two main groups (based on the preferred video card, processor and lastly, computer monitor). The AOC G2770PF definitely looks promising on paper, but is it more than just another gaming monitor in an overly saturated market? Let’s find out.
The manufacturers of computer monitors often overlook the importance of a well built, elegant monitor, especially as a first impression (the display quality will obviously be the deciding factor) and, if you’re not willing to break the bank for a modern piece of art, you’ll get lost in a sea of similarly designed devices. At first glance, you won’t notice any design element to make the AOC G2770PF stand out from the crowd (since the price point had to be kept low), but there are some subtle characteristics that may make a difference.
So, the G2770PF features a rectangular plastic body, with softly rounded corners and is covered by a black matte finish (it doesn’t retain any fingerprints and it’s easy to clean up). If I compare it to the Philips 258B6QUEB which had little to no bezels around the display, the AOC G2770PF has thicker bezels, but they’re not larger than those on the average monitor. Furthermore, the display is slightly recessed, while the bezels expose a back part which slightly protrudes on the sides (about 0.1 inches). Now, every LCD monitor consists of two distinct pieces, a larger front side (for the display) and a smaller rectangular rear piece for the connectors and stand.
The front piece feels solid, it’s made of high quality materials and it’s slightly inflated towards the centre up to the smaller rear piece, which is definitely less robust and may feel a bit hollow (it even flexed a bit when I applied some pressure with my fingers). One design element that I found a bit odd is the curved right corner which, at first I thought was because some sustained damage (during the shipment), but I was relieved to find out it was a conscious choice (although I still don’t understand its purpose).
Additionally, the G2770PF is relatively compact, measuring 25.2 x 21.8 x 9.6 inches with the stand and it’s surprisingly lightweight (as it weighs 17.6 pounds), so it’s easily operated and can be effortlessly mounted on the wall. Inside the package, besides the monitor, I got a tall stand which can be connected to the G2770PF using the four holes on the rear panel (VESA compatible) – there is also a second type of stand (not included in my box) which clicks inside a specifically designed zone on the rear panel (you have to first remove a protective piece of plastic). The included stand feels solid and heavy, it has a large, round base and it’s completely covered in black. AOC has also added a red bracelet which goes around the stand’s arm and has the role of keeping the connected wires together. This red accent, along with the narrow red line from the front of the monitor (from underneath the display), is the first hint that we are indeed dealing with a gaming device.
Similarly to the PHILIPS 258B6QUEB, the stand allows the monitor to be adjusted to the person’s height (you can go up to 5 inches) and it also allows tilting between -5 to 25 degrees, pivoting of up to 90 degrees (since this is a large device, you need to tilt it a bit to avoid damaging the corners and/or stand) and you can also swivel it between -165 to 165 degrees. I really liked the fact that the movements are a lot smoother and it feels less rigid than the PHILIPS 258B6QUEB.
If you turn the monitor around, you’ll be greeted by the smooth lightly textured rear panel, where, you’ll first notice the small Kensington key and a label with info about the device (such as the Product Name, the Serial Number and the Manufactured date). If you look underneath the smaller protruded panel, you’ll notice two metallic sections divided by the stand connector, each with its own array of ports and buttons: from the left, there are two USB 2.0 ports, a USB input port, an AC Power switch, the three-prong Power connector (the power supply is integrated), a DVI port, a HDMI/MHL port (if you’re unfamiliar with MHL, know that it pretty much extends the capabilities of the HDMI and allows the connection of smartphones or tablets to send high-definition videos towards the monitor, while at the same time, it also powers up the connected devices – if you have this type of a port on a TV, you gain the option of remote controlling the devices), a DisplayPort (if you want to be able to take advantage of the FreeSync feature and the 144Hz refresh rate, you need to use a DisplayPort cable), an Analog D-Sub 15-Pin VGA connector, an Audio in connector and an Earphone out jack.
Still on the rear panel, but this time on the left side, there are two USB ports, one USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port which has the fast charging feature incorporated. Furthermore, at the top side, there are lots of vent holes which ensure a proper airflow and you can also notice two 2W speakers hidden underneath the grills. The sound is clear and reasonably balanced (although it sounds a tiny bit hollow – it still is cleaner than most monitor speakers even in the higher price range), but it is not really powerful and, if you want to blast your favourite songs, you may need a separate audio system.
Turning back to the front side, you will notice a small transparent Power On/Off button which protrudes from underneath (it also has a LED which will light up when you power on the device) and towards the left side, rests a series of oddly designed buttons (the section underneath the display separates itself from the continuity of the bottom edge of the monitor, therefore making it easier for you to find the buttons). So, from the right, there’s a Menu/Enter button, the Volume/+ button, the Game Mode/- button and the Source/Auto/Exit button.
The Menu section consists of Luminance (here, you can change the Contrast levels, the Brightness, the Gamma, choose the Eco Mode (can be Standard, Text, Internet, Game, Movie or Sports), enable or disable Dynamic Contrast Ratio DCR, adjust the response time using Overdrive, enable Game Mode (it adapts to FPS games, RTS or Racing and you can also create your own profile for Gamer 1 and Gamer 2) and adjust the Shadow Control) Image Setup (Clock, Phase, Sharpness, H.Position and V.Position), Colour Setup (Colour Temperature, DCB Mode, DCB Demo, Red, Green and Blue levels), Picture Boost (here, you can adjust the Frame Brightness, the Frame Size, the Contrast, the H.Position and the V.Position), OSD Setup (Language, Timeout, H.Position, V.Position, Transparence, Break Reminder and DP Capability), Extra (Input Select, Image Ratio, Resolution, Auto Configuration, DDC/CI, H.Frequency, Off Timer, Reset and V.Frequency) and Exit.
Note: You should let the Input Select on Auto if you have to constantly change the cables (VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI), otherwise, if you connect another type of cable before changing the settings, the monitor won’t detect it unless you reset the configuration to default.
Overall, all these distinct sections make the design seem more like a sum of multiple pieces and less like a cohesive, completely seamless device, but, don’t get me wrong, the AOC G2770PF does not feel badly soldered by any means, it just feels less elegant and more like a raw, muscle car. I’m not sure if it will be on everyone’s taste (although it should, since it doesn’t have any intrusive features), but, as with any other pieces of technology, it’s a lot more important how it functions and less how it looks. So let’s have a look at the display.
Display and Performance
The centrepiece of every monitor is, obviously the display and AOC G2770PF comes equipped with a 27-inch TN display, featuring a 1920 x 1080 pixel maximum resolution, up to 144 Hz refresh rate (50 – 146 Hz vertical refresh rate), 16:9 aspect ratio, 16.7 million colours and a pixel density of 82 ppi. Some may argue that a 27-inch monitor should have a 2K resolution and everything below would have an impact on the viewing experience.
Obviously, this is justified, but there are some elements to take into consideration: first of all, considering the relatively large dimensions of the display, you will sit farther away from your monitor (some say that, ideally, one should sit more than 1.5 feet away) which means that you won’t notice any pixels and won’t really be bothered by the 1080p resolution (especially since this particular model comes with 82 ppi which helps a lot with increasing the crispness of images); secondly, this is a gaming monitor, so, if you wanted to run games in 2K on a larger display, it would take a lot more resources and you would need much more expensive hardware to get some decent frame rates.
It’s clearly advertised as a gaming monitor, but how accurate are the colours of AOC G2770PF and how would it fare if, let’s say, you would want to do some photo editing? The G2770PF features a TN panel which is very different than IPS panel in the sense that IPS monitors offer a better colour reproduction and consistency and better viewing angles. But, AOC G2770PF display’s colour reproduction is surprisingly decent (although every colour shows a noticeable deviation and the blue and greens are a bit over saturated) and it claims viewing angles of 170/160 degrees (I don’t know what wizardry is this, but it’s what an IPS would deliver). In reality it does not have such wide angles (although it behaved better than the average TN-panel display), but it came really close, with a really good side view consistency, while from the top the image got a heavy purple tint.
Furthermore, the display has a very good contrast ratio, reaching up to 1,116:1 (the dynamic contrast ratio goes up to 80,000,000:1), it takes advantage of the Flicker-Free technology to reduce any flickering and keep the image completely consistent, I measured a colour temperature of about 6,720K (reasonably close to the ideal 6500K) and it features up to about 97.6% sRGB colour gamut coverage. The advertised maximum brightness is 300 cd/m², while I observed a peak of 336 cd/m², which is a lot more than what you would need in an office (even if there’s lots of natural light), since the recommended brightness is up to 250 cd/m² (similarly to the PHILIPS 258B6QUEB, if you had any plans of taking the 27-inch monitor to the beach, thanks to its maximum brightness and its anti-glare screen layer, you will be able to clearly see the image). Additionally, the display has a brightness uniformity of about 85 %, which is excellent comparing to other TN panels from the competition. All these show that AOC G2770PF has a more-than-decent display, it’s more than suitable for watching movies, Youtube videos or playing games, but, for professional image editing, I would definitely go for an IPS display with more accurate colour.
The AOC G2770PF comes to life and its strong points become obvious as you run the latest games (such as the Rise of the Dark Souls III and the Witcher 3). This way, you’ll be able to see the 144Hz refresh rate along with the FreeSync technology in action. Now, bear in mind that the AOC G2770PF was among the first to release these two technologies implemented at the same time and, even if AOC says the monitor has a 1ms response time, I got, on average, about 5 to 6ms. The good news, though, is that when compared with the CRT monitors’ nonexistent input lag, the G2770PF behaved similarly and I noticed basically no input lag.
In order to take advantage of the FreeSync function you need a compatible graphics card (has to have a DisplayPort) from the AMD Radeon series (some of the supported ones are the Radeon R7 260 and 260X, Radeon R9 285, 290, 290X and 295X2). By default, the refresh rate of a monitor is fixed and that’s fine in most situations but will pose serious problems while running games because the frame rates change dramatically and if they don’t get synchronized to the graphics card output, this mismatch can translate into occasional lag and stuttering.
To solve this problem, AMD developed the FreeSync technology (makes use of the DisplayPort 1.2a) which has the role of removing any screen-tearing and it offer a nice, less expensive solution especially for monitors with higher frame rates than NVidia’s G-Sync. So, while running Rise of the Tomb Raider or the Witcher 3, I got a very smooth experience, while also maintaining high frame rates (on high settings).
Lastly, the AOC G2770PF features am average power consumption of 40W, while if the brightness and contrast are set to maximum, then the consumption goes over 50W. If the monitor is in standby, the power consumption goes to 0.5W and while it’s turned off, but still connected to a power source, it will consume no more than 0.4W.
The AOC G2770PF is advertised as a 27-inch gaming monitor and it definitely is equipped with all the technologies one may expect to make for a smooth gaming experience (144Hz refresh rate, the FreeSync adaptive refresh display technology, low response time), while also delivering a fairly colour-accurate display. The only quarrel one may have with AOC is that it didn’t go with a 2K panel (which is becoming the norm with 27-inch monitors), but it isn’t incomprehensible why it did so, since it kept the monitor at an acceptable price point.
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