Standard resolution but with 165Hz G-Synced smoothness...
G -Sync, Nvidia’s proprietary frame-smoothing technology, is possibly one of the most exciting game developments in the last five years. Being a hardware solution – as opposed to AMD’s similar, but software-based, FreeSync – it does add a bit to the price of a monitor, but when you combine that with everything else that Acer’s new Predator-branded monitor is offering, you end up with one compelling piece of hardware.
The XB1 is a 27in model, with a crisp IPS panel boasting Ultra Low Motion Blur, a 144Hz refresh rate (and this can be ‘overclocked’ to 165Hz), 100 per cent sRGB coverage. Basically, it’s a sexy piece of kit, and we suspect it’s the same panel as used in Asus’ similarly specced Asus PG279Q, though we couldn’t confirm that for certain. In actual use it delivers on every promise, with bright colours, superb detail, and ultra-smooth playback thanks to G-Sync letting your video card pump out frames without getting in the way of the monitor’s native refresh rate. It is a literal game-changer.
Even if you’re a not a gamer, the smooth desktop performance is still very easy on the eyes.
The physical monitor itself is a little more divisive. In keeping with the gaming-focused Predator branding, the XB1’s base is a bi-coloured delta shape that looks suitably aggressive. It’s very sturdy, though, the monitor can even be switched from landscape to portrait view, and two USB3 ports on the back add extra connectivity. Height adjustment is also very versatile – no need for a phonebook or thick dictionary to prop up your monitor to a healthy height.
One thing that particularly impresses about the XB1 is its almost non-existent bezel. It’s a thin strip of plastic only a millimetre or so thick, so if you do happen to have the money to spend, this is an excellent choice for a multi-monitor setup. Flight and racing sims would look amazing.
The price is a little on the exorbitant side, though. A non-G-Sync monitor with a similar spec costs almost half of the XB1’s $1049, so it comes down to whether you think super-smooth performance is worth the premium. Our judgement? If you’re a serious gamer, there’s absolutely no doubt. It’s worth it.