Unlike the folks at Anandtech, I’m not cool / specialised enough to own fancy monitoring equipment so I can’t speak to how quantitatively well configured this monitor is.
However, I can speak from the relatively common position of having owned HD 24 to 27″ panels for a number of years, and wondering whether an upgrade to a higher resolution panel is worthwhile, and whether the 27Q specifically is a good example therein.
I can also look at the difference in frame-rates between 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440. There’s certainly a performance penalty to be paid, but how much of a difference does it make? I’ll look at these games, taking FPS counts every second for each resolution.
- Battlefield 3 (180 seconds at the beginning of 2nd campaign level)
- XCOM Enemy Unknown (60 seconds on the last campaign level)
- StarCraft II (60 seconds of 8x replay playback, ZvZ)
- Black Ops II (60 seconds at the beginning of the first campaign mission)
CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k @ 3.4 GHz
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V Pro
RAM: 16 GB Geil Evo Veloce @ 2133 MHz
GPU: 2 x AMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB in Crossfire
Storage: Crucial M4 128 GB, Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB
Case: NZXT Phantom White
The Crossover 27Q has ruined merely Full HD monitors for me. If I look at the 27Q, then look at the HannsG it sits next to, then the HannsG looks little better than the woeful 1280 x 800 replacement panel on my 15.4″ Dell. It’s not just the pixel density either – the upgrade from TFT to PLS and non-LED to LED is massive, all combining to produce a monitor of breathtaking clarity, with superior viewing angles and good brightness levels.
It’s clear to see why the resolution wars have moved from mobiles (where HTC have unveiled their latest handset with a 5″ 1080p display) to laptops (where the 13″ MacBook Pro Retina is the king of the roost, at 2560 x 1440). It just makes such a difference to the clarity of video games and the crispness of text; it colours your whole perception of your computer.
In the previous section I mentioned that I wanted to look at the difference in performance between 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440, so let’s do that now. This should make it easier to see that if you do want to pick up a 2560 x 1440 monitor, whether you’ll be able to cope with the increased pixel count your GPU will have to push.
Overall, there was a noticeable drop in performance from 1080p to 1440p, but with my current setup I still managed to hit 60 fps fairly consistently at the higher resolution. In Battlefield 3, XCOM and Black Ops 2, I found that I lost around 30 fps at 1440p, with a percentage decrease of between 20 and 30% for all three titles. As I had a bit of a buffer at 1080p, I found that there was just enough to eek out competitive frame rates. In StarCraft II, I actually saw worse results at the lower resolution; I assume this is because that particular test (8x replay playback) was more CPU bound; regardless both finished quite near 60 on highest settings so we can know that the extra GPU load wasn’t significant.
All in all, I’m extremely happy with the Crossover 27Q. While it’s possible to spend a bit more and get a monitor with additional features (like an OSD and multiple connectors) or with better specifications (e.g. 120 Hz refresh rate, wider colour gamut) for the price the 27Q is ideal. Paired with the prompt and helpful support from the retailer, I’d definitely recommend this monitor if you’re looking to make the jump to 2560 x 1440. Trust me – it makes a big difference.
Unflinchingly beautiful display
Highly adjustable stand
Excellent customer service
No on-screen display, so no configuration
Multiple reports of stand damage on arrival