In comparison to other brand-name Taiwanese hardware manufacturers, like ASUS or MSI, Gigabyte has only recently tapped into the PC gaming monitor market, with their first offering being the AORUS AD27QD.
In July the 6th, of 2020, Gigabyte released their G27Q Gaming monitor, which is a 27-inch IPS panel monitor, with a 1440p and 144 Hz resolution and refresh rate combination. With this monitor, Gigabyte aimed to compete with other mid-range, sub-$400, gaming monitors, and it was successful in doing so for the time being.
A few months later, in September of 2020, Gigabyte would move on to announce their first monitors that feature Super Speed (SS) IPS panels, that utilizes thinner liquid crystal layers, together with higher driving voltage, in order to achieve faster response times and lower input lag – akin to the faster Twisted Nematic (TN) panel types – while still maintaining the IPS panel’s better viewing angles, color saturation, and overall image quality.
The Gigabyte G27Q was then updated with the M-series M27Q, which features their new SS IPS panel as well as KVM compatibility – the very first PC monitor to include this connectivity feature. Of course, together with the update came an increased price-tag, with their current values ranging from being $60 to $80 apart, depending on the vendor.
But is the M27Q worth the extra money it asks for, when compared to the G27Q? Is the SS IPS panel really an upgrade, or is it another marketing ploy used in order to increase prices with little-to-no additional value? Let’s compare the two models, in regards to both their manufacturer specifications and real-world benchmarks, and see whether or not the M27Q warrants its higher price tag.
|Monitor||Gigabyte M27Q||Gigabyte G27Q|
|Screen Size||27 inches||27 inches|
|Resolution||2560 x 1440||2560 x 1440|
|Refresh Rate||170 Hz||144 Hz|
|Panel Type||SS IPS||IPS|
|Bit Depth||8 bits||8 bits|
|Colors||1.67 million (24 bits)||1.67 million (24 bits)|
|Brightness||350-400 nits||435-515 nits|
|Minimum MPRT||0.5 ms||1 ms|
|Price (As of writing)||$359||$299|
Appearance – TIE
These two monitors are just about identical in terms of their exterior design, with only very minor differences that can be virtually unnoticeable. The stands are indistinguishable in every way, and both do have a cutout hole for better cable management.
The only real differences between the two, are the facts that the M27Q has a slightly thinner screen – being 1.7 inches (4.3 cm) without the stand, versus the 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) of the G27Q – and thinner borders – at 0.3 inches (0.8 cm), versus the 0.5-inch (1.2) cm of the G27Q.
Resolution & Refresh Rate – Gigabyte M27Q
Though Gigabyte’s M27Q and G27Q have the same, 2,560 x 1,440 pixel, resolution, the M27Q does have the advantage in refresh rate by 26 Hz. Of course, this will matter only to those with the hardware to support such high gaming framerates, as this hardware would be basically the best the industry has to offer. The highest performing GPU at 1440p, the Radeon RX 6900 XT was able to reach an average of 169 FPS, according to Techspot, so it will end up being an upgrade only to a very small portion of gamers. That being said, even with the hardware to support 170 FPS, the difference between the two refresh rates will ultimately be unnoticeable to most. But, having a faster refresh rate and some performance leeway for future upgrades is always nice, so the M27Q does hold an advantage in this regard.
Display – Gigabyte M27Q
Despite the fact that we are comparing two 27-inch monitors with no curvature, one does have a better overall display, and that is the Gigabyte M27Q. This is due to the fact that it has considerably better viewing angles – especially when it comes to the vertical axis.
In the horizontal viewing angle, according to tests carried out by rtings.com, we see a color shift from the left at 47 degrees and from the right by 54 degrees for the G27Q, while the M27Q sees a color shift at 69 and 70 degrees from the left and right respectively. Even more pronounced is the difference in the vertical viewing angle, where the color shift begins at the 39-degree angle from below and 44-degree angle from above for the G27Q, whereas the M27Q’s angles are 65 degrees from below and 70 degrees from above. Overall, the M27Q does have better viewing angles, which is especially important if the monitor is to be shared, or be a part of a multi-monitor setup.
Contrast & Brightness – Gigabyte G27Q
Contrast ratios are usually quite poor for IPS monitors, and these Gigabyte monitors are no exception. With a contrast ratio of 1,000 to one, these monitors are best not to be viewed in the dark, as blacks will look more like gray. The G27Q does have a curved VA variant, the G27QC, with a static contrast ratio of 4,000:1; but that panel comes with its own downsides, like its poor viewing angles.
When it comes to brightness, the Gigabyte G27Q excels, but only for HDR brightness. The M27Q has a SDR peak brightness ranging from 422 to 434 nits (tested) – versus the 408 to 437 nits of the G27Q. However, in HDR peak brightness, the G27Q outperforms it by reaching between 480 to 516 nits, versus the 432 to 443 nits of the M27Q. Both monitors do have a DisplayHDR 400 certification.
Color Range – Gigabyte M27Q
With their 8-bit panel depth, the M27Q and the G27Q can reproduce 1.68 million 24-bit colors – though the former model is still able to reproduce a wider color gamut than the latter.
The color range of the Gigabyte M27Q really is impressive, considering it can reproduce 140% of the sRGB color spectrum, 92% of the DCI P3 color space, 97.3% of the SDR Adobe RGB color space, and 74.1% of the Rec. 2020 (HDR) color gamut.
On the other hand, the Gigabyte G27Q covers 120% of the sRGB color spectrum, 92% of the DCI P3 color space, 85.5% of the SDR Adobe RGB color space, and 69.6% of the HDR Rec. 2020 color gamut.
Response Time & Input Lag – Gigabyte M27Q
Though both monitors offer exceptional response times and low input lag, the Gigabyte M27Q with its SS IPS panel is simply faster than its G27Q counterpart.
Three overdrive settings exist for these monitors: Picture Quality, Balance, and Speed. The higher the overdrive setting, the faster the response times, but also the more overshoot error percentage that will occur. At its native 144 Hz refresh rate, and with the fastest overdrive setting (Speed), the G27Q has a measured total response time of 10.9 ms, with 3.5% overshoot error. Compare this to the M27Q’s 8.4 ms total response time and 0% overshoot error (at its 170 Hz refresh rate) and slowest overdrive setting (Picture Quality). Additionally, at 60 FPS, the M27Q reaches a total response time of just 9.9 ms, while the G27Q has a 17.9 ms total response time – both on the Picture Quality setting.
In terms of input lag, both options offer excellent metrics, with the M27Q having 3.2 ms of input lag at its native resolution and framerate – that goes up to 8.5 ms at 60 Hz – and just 3.7 ms of input lag with the use of VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). The G27Q does not fall too far behind, with 3.7 ms of input lag at its native resolution and framerate, 9 ms at 60 Hz, and 4 ms with VRR.
Ergonomics – TIE
The ergonomics are identical for both models, as they have VESA compatibility with the 100 x 100 mm Mounting Interface Standard (MIS), a removable stand, a height adjustment up to 130 mm, a forward tilt of 5 degrees and a backward tilt of 20 degrees. Unfortunately, that means that neither monitor can pivot into portrait mode – or at all for that matter – and neither can swivel to the left or right.
Power Consumption – Gigabyte M27Q
Despite its better overall performance and higher refresh rate, the Gigabyte M27Q consumes only a maximum of 58 watts, while the Gigabyte G27Q consumes up to 65 watts. A small difference, but considering the difference in performance, the Gigabyte M27Q does have far better power efficiency.
Connectivity – Gigabyte M27Q
Connectivity wise, these two Gigabyte monitors have two USB 3.0 Type-A downstream ports, and one USB 3.0 Type-B upstream port meant for plugging peripherals like a keyboard and a mouse. In terms of display connectivity, they both have two HDMI 2.0 sockets, one DisplayPort 1.2 socket, and one 3.5 mm audio-out jack. Note that the M27Q can only reach 144 Hz over HDMI, as it needs a DisplayPort connection to reach 170 Hz.
Where the M27Q once again holds an advantage is in the fact that it has an additional USB 3.0 Type-C upstream port, used for its KVM switch feature.
Features – Gigabyte M27Q
What’s great about these monitors is that they both have native support for both AMD FreeSync Premium, as well as Nvidia G-Sync. They also have features you would expect from a gaming monitor: like flicker-free technology, a low blue light filter, a black equalizer, GameAssist (which includes an aim stabilizer, a crosshair overlay, screen alignment, and a dashboard), as well as an OSD Sidekick program which allows you to adjust monitor settings directly from the operating system, instead of using the monitor’s mini joystick.
Where the M27Q goes above and beyond, is the way it allows you to connect the monitor to multiple devices simultaneously. It is the first monitor to feature KVM, which allows you to switch between devices, connected via the USB 3.0 Type-C socket, with the click of a built-in button. With this feature you can control a tablet, a laptop, or even a cell phone with the same mouse and keyboard that you use for your PC – which can be incredibly useful for multi-tasking and general productivity.
Additionally, because the M27Q has Picture in Picture (PIP) and Picture by Picture (PBP) support, you can connect multiple devices via the display connectivity (DP or HDMI) and have them display on the same monitor simultaneously. With PIP you can have one device occupy the main portion of the screen and a second device be displayed via an inlay window, while with PBP you can have each device take up their respective half of the screen.
Because of how the Gigabyte M27Q allows you to connect to a host of different devices through its convenient built-in features, it is once again the victor in yet another category.
Going back to the initial question, of whether or not the Gigabyte M27Q is worth the extra $60 asking price over the Gigabyte G27Q, the answer is a definite yes. It has a faster refresh rate, better viewing angles, the ability to reproduce a wider color gamut, better response times, better power efficiency, and of course it has an additional USB 3.0 Type-C connectivity with KVM. Add to that the ability to utilize display connectivity for PIP and PBP, and you have a clearly superior monitor. What does it trade for all this? Slightly worse brightness levels in HDR, and $60 – which in today’s day and age is the price of a single new game.
Given that monitors can outlive other PC hardware, or peripherals, spending this extra bit of money is always a smart decision to make, – no matter what the setup the monitor is meant for, be it triple-A or competitive gaming, study, work, or general productivity – and given that you see a return on the investment. In this case, the return is quite significant, which is why we can declare the Gigabyte M27Q to be the clear victor in this comparison.