Whenever I think gaming monitors, I never think Viewsonic is my go to brand. In the esports race to get the fastest refresh rate and the clearest motion, the usual go to monitors all come from Asus, Acer and Zowie.
So how does ViewSonic break into the game with the big boys? With the XG2703-GS we have a 27” model, using an IPS panel, 165Hz refresh rate and G-Sync. An all star line up of features that ViewSonic is releasing at a good chunk of cash below the similar offerings from the leading brands. As with all monitors these days, you pay for the brand and the tech added onto a base panel shared amongst competitors, so as a newcomer to the gaming monitor market, the pricing strategy is a good move.
What’s important to note is that this monitor, as fast as its refresh rate is, is not targeting the hardcore esports market. For esports, TN panels with 1ms response times currently can’t be beaten. With IPS panels having a measurable disadvantage at 4ms, they just won’t be the first choice at top levels of play. Of course, there’s nothing stopping it from being used as an esports monitor, but it shines most when used to play AAA titles that look best where the IPS advantage allows colours to pop, and where G-Sync alleviates the frame rate occasionally dipping below 60 FPS.
With that in mind, I’d pick this over any TN panel if my library of games included many that don’t require a competitive edge, ie, games where there isn’t another real world player actively gunning or slashing at you. Games like The Witcher 3 or Ghost Recon: Wildlands with G-Sync on look and run absolutely beautifully. With all the settings turned up, frame rates dip down below the refresh rate constantly, even on some of the best hardware (I’m running a GTX1080 with an I7 @ 4.5GHz).
This is where the ViewSonic XG2703-GS shines. The 109 pixels per inch of the 1440p 27” monitor allows you to see all the details that the game development team’s art department put in, and G-Sync ensures that low frame rate areas aren’t jarring in comparison to the less stressful scenes.
The monitor offers a nice clean front bezel with no buttons. The OSD buttons are located behind corresponding green diamonds printed on the bottom right of the frame. The stand is nice and big offering a very sturdy base for its fairly large size. There is a pass through for cable management in the middle of the stand allowing for neat cable management. Vertical orientation is easy with the monitor swiveling 90 degrees without too much adjustment. It comes packaged this way, no assembly required making it a no brainer for events and shows where setup and teardown usually requires a bunch of tools and screws. With the XG2703-GS you just twist it back from its 90 degree angle and you have it setup, just plug the cables and you’re done.
There is 1 Displayport which is a G-Sync requirement, and 1 HDMI meaning limited connectivity but with most people hooking up only 1 PC to their monitors, this is nitpicking at best. It also has 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0 powered by 1 x USB 3.0 port from your PC which is pretty neat. You get a displayport cable and a USB 3.0 cable with the display so you don’t need to worry about buying anything extra to get all the features out of the box.
In the settings there are 3 levels of overdrive (response time in the On Screen Display options) and motion artifacts are surprisingly minimal. After setting everything up and running at 165Hz, the ‘Standard’, ‘Advanced’ and ‘Ultra Fast’ settings all looked incredibly clean with almost negligible halo artifacting becoming ever so slightly more visible with each step up. Quite impressive and a great implementation by ViewSonic.
Onto the NVIDIA ULMB feature we see fairly bad trailing and overall it’s not the greatest example of motion blur reduction. This mode only works with G-Sync turned off between 85 – 120Hz and the loss in refresh rate really makes the ULMB the least important factor when making a purchasing decision at these higher frequencies. Keep it at 165Hz with no ULMB and you’ll get the best this monitor has to offer.
This is a really solid offering by ViewSonic. As they push further and further into the gaming market, this monitor is proof that they can go toe to toe with the big boys. As a home user playing all the newest single player games and the occasional competitive game, the XG2703-GS should be close to the top of your list if you’re in the market for a new monitor.
Price: $899 AUD
Where to buy: MWAVE
Disclaimer: A review sample was provided by Viewsonic | Respawn Ninja is owned by Mwave Australia, however we retain editorial control over reviews.