In a surprising move, AOC has announced plans to launch a new series of AGON gaming displays with a 0.5 ms response time in Q2 of next year. The displays will be curved, will feature a QHD resolution and will rely on a new TN panel from AU Optronics. The monitors will support adaptive refresh rate technologies from AMD and NVIDIA and will certainly not be cheap.

The big question with this announcement is of course how exactly did AUO and AOC manage to decrease the GtG response time of a TN panel to 0.5 ms? So far, AUO has not publicly announced this panel. Moreover, given the striking similarity of the panel used for the AG273QCX/AG273QCG and Acer's Predator Z271UV (same size, curvature, brightness, ‘wide gamut’, up to 165 Hz refresh rate, etc.), it is possible that the panels are close relatives, but the one used by AOC features a technique that cuts GtG response time from 1 ms to 0.5 ms. Either way, details are unfortunately slim at this time, but given AOC's bold claim, this bears further watching.

Otherwise, AOC’s AGON AG273QCX and AGON AG273QCG have a lot in common: both are based on the same 27” curved display panel from AUO featuring a 2560×1440 resolution, a wide color gamut (more on that below), very high refresh rates of 144 and 165 Hz, 400 nits brightness, as well as the aforementioned 0.5 ms response time. The key differences between the AG273QCX and the AG273QCG are different adaptive refresh rate technologies: the former supports AMD’s FreeSync 2 with HDR, the latter features a bit higher refresh rate and NVIDIA’s G-Sync (sans HDR). The lack of HDR on the G-Sync model presumably being due to the fact that NVIDIA mandates at least 1000 nits for its G-Sync HDR platform.

AOC's AGON³ Displays with 0.5 ms Response Time
Size 27"
Panel Type Curved TN
Resolution 2560×1440
Pixel Response Time 0.5 ms
Color Gamut 'Wide Color Gamut'
Maximum Refresh Rate 144 Hz 165 Hz
Adaptive Refresh Rate Tech AMD FreeSync 2 NVIDIA G-Sync
Launch Time in EU April 2018 May 2018
MSRP €599 ($706) €699 ($824)

Unfortunately, AOC does not specify what exactly the “Wide Color Gamut” support mentioned in its slides means. But given that we have seen a degree of DCI-P3 support on the TN-based Acer Predator Z271UV, this is a distinct possibility for the new AOC displays as well. Along those lines, one of AOC’s representatives said in a conversation with PCGamesN website that the new TN panel from AUO is not only fast and relatively bright, but also has a considerably improved color quality, which the rep compared to IPS-based displays. The official for AOC confirmed that the panel still has TN’s traditional 170°/170° viewing angles, but argued that gamers would not feel it due to their usage model.

AOC promises that the AGON AG273QCX featuring the FreeSync 2 with HDR will hit the market in April 2018 and will cost €599 ($706). The G-Sync-supporting AGON AG273QCG is expected to be available in May 2018 for the price of €699 ($824). Keep in mind that since displays are based on brand new panels, their MSRPs and ETAs at the moment are preliminary and they may change.

The actual slide demonstrated by AOC at Gamescon has a typo: both displays are based on a TN panel.

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Sources: PCGamesN (via TechPowerUp).

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  • DanNeely - Monday, August 28, 2017 - link

    If I'd've known how long the new monitor drought was going to last, I'd've bought Acers 32" 4k 60hz GSync monitor last year. TFT Centrals part DB lists a 32" equivalent to the MIA 4k HDR panels; but I haven't seen a single product announcement using it yet.
  • Mikuni - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    TN? No thanks, we aren't in 2005~ anymore.
  • Chad - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    Oled or bust. I can wait w/ what I got 2 years ago. Oled is the only technology that matters.
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    Kindly point us to a similarly priced IPS display (or OLED, Chad) with similar gaming pedigree. 160hz, wide adaptive sync range, ultra-low response times, etc. If you're not in the market for a gaming display, that's cool. But why comment on an article for one? That's just as bad as the people who comment on articles for professional high-accuracy IPS panels and go "oh that refresh rate isn't high enough for me to play games on". Different usage, different markets.
  • theuglyman0war - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - link

    835 snap dragons are driving their own brand of adaptive sync now sometimes at 120hz and with QHD fidelity, wide color gamuts/ HDR 10 to boot. SAMOLED as well...
    but the only Q-sync( mobile adaptive sync ) at 120hz, QHD rez and HDR 10 that I know of uses IZGO display instead of IPS or a self emitting diode variant ( Sharp Aquos R )

    I think the self emitting diode variant of Samsung's QLED tech is supposed to be ready in about a year? ( and is supposed to deliver realistically commercially viable yields for cheaper larger displays tho I am sure the first iterations will b milked at hi prices for the novelty? )
  • theuglyman0war - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - link

    I still don't understand why the only OLED Tv market is 55" and 65" if yields on large displays r supposed to be the expense of the problem?

    ( since 32" dominated the TV market for years why is there no longer a 32" TV market with current HDR and oled TECH? You would think the smaller foot print would be a ready-made solution to leverage gaps in yields that would be spaced tossed in problematic yields? Thus offering a competitive alternative [ if they produced with realistic gaming modes ] to the overpriced gamer branded bait we suffer with now that can't manage existing and aging tech without charging a premium )
  • zodiacfml - Sunday, August 27, 2017 - link

    If it is truly wide gamut, they should have mentioned Quantum Dot somehow.
  • Santoval - Monday, August 28, 2017 - link

    "..but also has a considerably improved color quality, which the rep compared to IPS-based displays."
    No freaking way (perhaps only in the alternative dimension of "marchitecture wonderland"). If that was the case they would have provided color depth and color space data. Twisted nematic tech can never get as good as in-plane switching. By design it is worse in everything but response time.
  • Maxiking - Saturday, August 4, 2018 - link

    0,5 ms by their marketing, just like those 4 ms IPS, 1 ms VA or 1ms TN panels.

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