Near the beginning of 2020, ACER, Dell, ASUS, and MSI announced the release of a new series of 360 Hz monitors that are specifically designed for competitive gaming and eSport professionals. This announcement seemed a bit strange at first, because the hardware needed to play most games at 360 FPS is currently just non-existent, even for non-hardware intensive competitive titles. Then came the end of August, and Nvidia announced their new GeForce RTX Ampere 30 series GPUs – the RTX 3070, RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 – and now it all makes sense. The graphical performance that all three of the announced GPUs are capable of is speculated to be incredible – though we must reserve judgement until benchmarks prove that their performance can live up to the hype. The specifications of the graphics cards do show the promise to be able to handle popular online multiplayer titles with ease even at 360 FPS; given that the surrounding hardware is of equal caliber. An AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel 10th generation i7 and above should be able to handle the task – though it is not just the CPU and GPU combnination that determine the potential processing framerates.
Another key component is the memory, and RAM has been shown to improve FPS counts dramatically – depending on the overall latency of the RAM. Our benchmarks for Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020 displayed a difference in performance of nearly 12 FPS when comparing a 2,133 MHz RAM kit and a 3,600 MHz RAM kit at CL16. Similar results were also observed by GamersNexus in their benchmarks as well. Additionally, single channel and dual channel setups also played a key role in framerate, with a single 16 GB CL 15 3000 MHz module averaging 7.5 FPS less than two sticks of 8 GB of identical RAM. Overall, we would recommend 16 to 32 GB of dual-channel 3600 MHz CL16 RAM to best optimize your gaming setup.
If you like to compete in multiplayer games that are more hardware intensive than popular eSports titles, like Call of Duty: Warzone for example, then overclocking your CPU and GPU will be necessary in order to achieve 360 FPS. That is where other factors come into play, like purchasing the proper motherboard for your setup, and having enough cooling in your case to avoid overheating and damaging your hardware. Therefore, a capable X570 or Z490 motherboard with a strong VRM solution will be a must for processing, and retaining, high overclock speeds from your CPU. Of course, a high-end CPU cooler, either it be an air cooler like Noctua’s NH-D15, or an AIO liquid cooler like Corsair H115i Platinum, will also be necessary for maintaining performance, especially for longer periods of time. Finally, to keep CPU, GPU, and RAM within optimal temperature ranges, the case and the cooling within must be sufficient – and for that we would suggest something in the line of a Fractal Design Meshify C and Noctua NH-A12x25 case fans for better all-around airflow.
Given that your build falls somewhere between these parameters, it should be able to handle the 360 FPS metric at 1080p for competitive games like Counter Strike: GO or Overwatch with ease. It must be said that the 360 Hz monitors are not solely made for first-person shooters. You can enjoy these extremely high framerates with MOBA games like DOTA 2 or League of Legends, as they can also benefit from the smoothness that 360 FPS has to offer. The only genre of competitive gaming that would not benefit from the increased framerate is the fighting game genre. Fighting games are created with the 60 FPS framerate metric in their gameplay design, as the speed of each action in the game are measured by a number of frames. In other words, if an attack takes 20 frames to execute at 60 FPS, it would take a third of a second to be performed, whereas if it were to be executed at 120 FPS, it would take a sixth of a second. Therefore, higher framerates would ultimately break the game and are therefore not supported.
So, whether you enjoy playing competitive games, or would just like to see how your single-player games would look with ultra-smooth framerates, then you have four 360 Hz monitor options to choose from that will be released by the end of the year. To help you choose the best monitor for your style and preference, we have analyzed all four options and have provided a breakdown of what to expect in terms of specifications, and price – where available.
Nvidia Reflex and Latency Analyzer
Before we get into the options, a quick word about Nvidia Reflex, which all these monitors will be compatible with. With Reflex, Nvidia aims to dramatically reduce render queues, and in turn have GPU and CPU work in sync, for an overall minimization of system latency. These 360 Hz monitor manufacturers, as well as several game publishers and peripheral manufacturers, have partnered with Nvidia in order to have their monitors show system latency in real time with the use of a Reflex Latency Analyzer; while the game publishers will also be able to use the Reflex SDK to provide the option to enable the software and display the system latency within their games. For 360 Hz monitors and RTX 30 series GPUs, Nvidia mentions that the end-to-end system latency will be about three times less than that of an average 144 Hz monitor powered by an RTX 20 Series GPU. With 360 FPS and Nvidia’s Reflex, not only is the refresh rate smooth and the responsiveness quick, but you can also check and see whether your monitor and hardware setup are performing as they should. This feature is where fighting games would benefit the most, as input latency in that genre is extremely crucial to the gameplay.
1080p 360Hz Monitor List
1. Acer Predator X25
First up we have Acer with their 1080p 360Hz monitor offering, the Predator X25. This monitor will be fully G-Sync and Reflex compatible, as it was created in partnership with Nvidia. Other than the crazy-high framerate and 1920×1080 resolution, this 24.5-inch monitor will feature an IPS panel with a W-LED backlight display and will be DisplayHDR 400 compatible. Due to its IPS panel, it will have a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, and will have a coverage of 99% of the sRGB color spectrum. 16,777,216 colors can be displayed on this monitor, with a panel bit depth of 8 bits. Its brightness levels will be in the 350-nit range, with a peak brightness of 400 nits. It will also have a static contrast of 1000 : 1 and a GtG response time of 1 ms. The Predator X25 is going to be fully ergonomic, with a 115 mm height adjustment, left and right swivel of 20 degrees, left and right pivot of 90 degrees, a removable stand, and a forward and backward tilt of 5 and 20 degrees respectively.
Feature-wise, this Acer monitor will include AdaptiveLight, LightSense, and ColorSense: technology that detects the environmental light surrounding the monitor in order to adjust embedded lighting brightness, on-screen brightness, and color temperatures. Also, ProxiSense will offer rest suggestions based on the time played; definitely a good tool for reminders on when to take any necessary breaks. Finally, the Predator x25 will have two 2 W speakers, four USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2a, and one 3.5mm audio jack.
The Acer Predator x25 will be released in the US and Europe sometime in November 2020, and will cost $1,100… Ouch.
2. Alienware 25 AW2521H
Dell is also set to release a 360 Hz monitor, and it will definitely be the most stylish of the four set to be released. The Alienware 25 AW2521H, with its futuristic, LED lighted stand and an LED lit Alienware logo in the back will feature a 24.5-inch display, a fast IPS panel, a 1920×1080 resolution, and of course a 360 Hz refresh rate. The monitor will also be G-Sync and Nvidia Reflex compatible, so it will have a native Nvidia Reflex Latency Analyzer. Other than that, we also know that the IPS panel will have a wide viewing angle, 99% sRGB color coverage, a 1 ms GtG response time, and, what Alienware claims as, virtually no screen tearing or blurring. There is also speculation that the monitor may have more colors released further down the line, as Alienware states that it will be available in the “Dark Side of the Moon” color variant later in 2020.
Connectivity, contrast, brightness, features and price are yet to be announced. If one were to take into consideration the prices of the other announced 360 Hz monitors, then the Alienware 25 AW2521H could be speculated to cost anywhere between $800-$1200.
3. ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN
One of the best, and most consistent, hardware manufacturers in the realm of gaming monitors is ASUS, and they could not be absent from this 360 Hz competition. The ROG Swift PG259QN is a 24.5-inch monitor with a full HD resolution, a fast IPS panel, a W-LED backlight display, Nvidia G-Sync and Reflex compatibility, and a 178-degree viewing angle. The static contrast will be the standard 1000 : 1, the panel depth will be 8 bits, and the sRGB color range will be 99% covered – as the display is capable of displaying 16.8 million colors. The ROG Swift will also have a brightness of 400 nits (50 nits above the aforementioned Acer 360 Hz equivalent). Other great features of this monitor include the matte, anti-glare, coating on the bezel, as well as the thin side borders which allow for a seamless multiple monitor setup. A custom heatsink which is optimized for better heat dissipation will also be included, in order to avoid any resulting heat from becoming an issue during long gaming sessions. The back of the model also has a ROG logo display that can be synced via ASUS’s Aura Sync lighting software. Speakers will not be included with the ROG Swift, but it will have plenty of ergonomic functions, such as height adjustment of up to 120 mm, a removable stand (desk clamp included), a 90-degree right pivot, a right and left swivel of 25 degrees, a landscape to portrait pivot, and forward and backwards tilts between 5 and 20 degrees.
As is standard with any recently released ASUS gaming monitor, the ROG Swift will include ASUS’s exclusive GamePlus which allows for in-game enhancements such as a stopwatch, a custom crosshair or an FPS counter. Also included is GameVisual, which has different pre-set displays for gaming or video streaming, as well as flicker free and ultra-low blue light technology. Connectivity-wise, this monitor will include two USB 3.0 (Type-A), two HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.4, and one audio jack.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN is set to release toward the end of September, with a price tag of $699: a far more reasonable price than its other three competitors.
4. MSI Oculux NXG253R
Last but not least, we have MSI’s Oculux NXG253R 1080p 360 Hz monitor. Though MSI has not yet confirmed much in terms of specifications for this model, there is some information circulating about this monitor. Firstly, it will be Nvidia G-Sync and Reflex compatible, and therefore will have a native Reflex Latency Analyzer. It will be half an inch larger than the aforementioned monitors, and it will have a GtG response time of 1 ms. The exterior of the monitor seems identical to the Oculux NXG252R and NXG2521R. It will have the MSI logo and brand name on the back and a thin side border for multi-monitor setups. Chances are it will also have a similar color spectrum (16.8 million colors), brightness (400 nits), and contrast ratio (1000 : 1) with the other NXG monitors, as well as comparable ergonomics (hopefully MSI will add a left/right swivel which the other NXG variants lack). The panel will be fast IPS, with a wide viewing angle of around 178 degrees, and a 99% sRGB coverage.
Connectivity, features, and exact specifications have not been confirmed, but MSI has given us an approximate launch date and an exact price point for the model. The Oculux NXG253R is set to release sometime in November, with an official price of $799; meaning that the ASUS monitor will most likely be the least expensive of the four by a sizeable amount (given only that the Alienware 25 AW2521H is not cheaper).