No-one's releasing G-Sync HDR monitors this year because the panels aren't being made

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

We were told that Nvidia’s G-Sync HDR goodness was still on track this year, courtesy of Asus, despite Acer delaying the launch of their all singing, all retina-searing, gaming monitor. Now we know they’re not, because nobody's going to be able to get the panels.

To tide you over, this is our pick of the best gaming monitors on the market.

Both Nvidia and Asus assured us that Acer delaying their Predator X27 wasn’t going to change the fact they were still on track to release G-Sync HDR before the year’s out. But, having spoken to up-and-coming gaming monitor brand, AOC, at Gamescom today it looks like they couldn’t release them even if they wanted to.

Acer and Asus - and, come 2018, AOC too - are using panels created by AU Optronics to make up their quantum dot filtered, AH-IPS, 4K HDR displays. These screens will support Nvidia’s G-Sync HDR spec - meaning a minimum 1,000cd/m2 peak luminance and local dimming - while also delivering 144Hz refresh rates to the user.

But AOC says AUO aren’t actually going to be going into full production for the panel until around December this year. 

“AU Optronics, the panel maker, they don’t have it yet,” AOC’s Alfonso Clemente told me today. “It’s going to begin production in December - the panel itself - and they you get Nvidia to properly adapt that technology, so don’t expect to have those monitors until Spring next year.” 

That means, while Acer and Asus have been busy showing prototype designs all over the place, from CES in January (‘we’ll have it out in Q2 people, honest.’) to Computex and E3 in June, they haven’t actually had the panels set ready to roll off the AUO production line and into their own manufacturing facilities.

AOC AGON gaming monitors

It sounds like the delay then is all down to AUO not being able to get the panels ready in time, but whether that means there is, or has been, an issue with the manufacturing of them, we don’t know and AOC couldn’t say.

But they’re confident the G-Sync HDR panels will be ready for a Spring release in 2018, with the AGON 3, the most high-end gaming monitor AOC have ever created, likely to release soon after. That should coincide nicely with the launch of Nvidia's Volta consumer graphics cards, delivering more GPUs capable of driving 4K displays at the frame rates necessary to take advantage of a 144Hz panel.

It’s testament to the work AOC have put into their AGON brand, and their push for ever higher quality gaming monitors, that they’re going to be in the mix with Nvidia’s G-Sync HDR plans.

That's because AOC are set to become first year partners with Nvidia, so they’ll be ready to go when Nvidia create new technology, and that’s a big part of them going toe-to-toe with the gaming monitor heavyweights of Acer and Asus.

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QDP2 avatarRock1m1 avatarDave James avatargamingman avatarHenjin avatarelies avatar+2
QDP2 Avatar
809
1 Month ago

If all the companies are buying the same monitor panel from the same company, what realistic differences will there be in the screens? A different software version, a different mount... I've run out of potential differences..

I always assumed monitor producing companies made their panels (either internally or through a joint-company). It would cut out a 2nd party from claiming profits, whilst still getting flagship performance. Am I missing something here?

1
Dave James Avatar
420
1 Month ago

There are surprisingly few actual panel manufacturers out there. LG, Samsung and AUO are probably the biggest, but there are a few smaller brands too. The likes of Asus and Acer, to my knowledge, have never created their own panels, but that doesn't stop there being very clear differences.

The panels are one thing, but the electronics inside them, and the calibration skills of the design team, are something else. That said, with G-Sync a lot of the electronics are bound up with the Nvidia hardware inside it, making the differentiating factors for these screens even smaller.

I think there may end up being differences in the level of backlighting support on offer, however. The G-Sync HDR spec demands not just 1,000cd/m2 of peak luminance, but also local dimming backlighting. I'm not sure though what the actual level of local dimming is required, so there may be variance there - unless that's created by the panel manufacturers at source.

4
Rock1m1 Avatar
371
1 Month ago

There really isn't apart from interfaces, physical design and value added features. Only Samsung and LG can make their own displays from start to finish.

2
KMI187 Avatar
1
1 Month ago

Quite a bit, the panels are only important to a certain degree. What really makes a good monitor is the PCB behind it that drives it. This is where most of the research is done and most of the features are added.

1
Rock1m1 Avatar
371
1 Month ago

I can wait, if I am upgrading from my generic 22 inch Samsung 1080p monitor, it should be 4K/144hz and HDR.

1
Dave James Avatar
420
1 Month ago

They're my monitor holy grail right now!

2
elies Avatar
1
1 Month ago

I have two G-sync monitors, one from ACER (XB240H) and one from DELL (S2417DG), both monitor have a panel from AUO.

Not very happy with them concerning colors reproduction and backlight bleed, even if they was IPS panel, I am sure they will have the same issue.

My new conclusion: the king of monitor makers is SAMSUNG.

I will buy only G-SYNC HDR 1440P monitor from SAMSUNG.

never again from AUO.

1
kyliansunn Avatar
1
6 Days ago

NVidia can decide to release a driver for supporting Freesync/VESA adaptive sync any time, and with Freesync consoles and TVs being released this year, that time is drawing ever closer.

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gamingman Avatar
2
1 Month ago

Well i'm calling bs on this, they stoped release because nothing can power 144fps on 4k. They were waiting for volta release but since vega was pice of shit nvidia decided that there is no reason to release volta yet and moved the lunch window for next year. So basically blame vega for this not being released this year.

0
Henjin Avatar
20
1 Month ago

AMD should stop making GPUs, so they won't have to take the blame for NVIDIA decision like this anymore.

1
Dave James Avatar
420
1 Month ago

How has Vega got anything to do with what AUO manufacture or when they produce a new panel? It's not in their interest to delay a new display.

1