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.
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.