GIGABYTE M27Q-P Gaming Monitor Review
Design - 8.5/10
Display - 9.5/10
Performance - 9/10
Features - 9/10
Value - 9/10
The GIGABYTE M27Q P is a feature-rich, high refresh rate, IPS panel gaming monitor at 1440P resolution. It has a wide color gamut with 135% sRGB saturation (98% DCI-P3). The monitor is equipped with AMD FreeSync Premium which is compatible with Nvidia GSync (using GSync Enabled) on this display, hence the variable refresh rate is in play. The provision of USB Type-C, KVM, Sidekick, and multiple other features make it one complete solution for buttery smooth gameplay at 1440P resolution. We are seeing a price reduction on AMAZON which makes it a better deal overall.
- 2160x1440P IPS Panel
- 165Hz Refresh Rate
- USB Type-C
- AMD FreeSync Premium
- Height Adjustment
- USB Type-A/B Ports
- Flicker Free
- OSD Sidekick
- Aim Stabilizer Sync
- Black Equalizer
- Timer Counter
- 6 axis Color Control
- HDMI CEC
- Picture Mode
- No Swivel
- No Pivoting
- Basic HDR400
- Dim Brightness in sRGB
The GIGABYTE M27Q has been the popular choice for the 1440P high refresh rate gaming panel. However, its BGR sub-pixel technology was not the brightest area of the overall specifications. This time around, GIGABYTE has released M27Q P which has taken the M27Q P game to the next level by addressing a few quirks in the previous model. We are taking a spin on the GIGABYTE M27Q P this time around. Please keep in mind that there are specialized tools and software to actually test the given display for accurate data and representation.
This includes specialized cameras to record the frames at a very high speed so that slow-motion playback can be viewed to identify ghosting, tearing, or any related aspect. This would be particularly helpful when comparing two or more displays. Similarly, there is calibration and gamut range identification hardware. Cutting it short, the real testing of the monitor involves more time and investment. We will be giving an overview of the specifications, design, and our experience-based result after using the monitor for some time.
Packaging and Unboxing
The monitor is shipped inside a brown color cardboard box. The box is relatively thicker.
The salient features of the gaming monitor are mentioned here. This is a QHD monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate. It is an IPS SS panel with a plethora of features that we will explore in the coming section. My interest is in the built-in KVM switch and hardware.
The energy rating of the monitor is F that is the monitor uses 26 KWh/1000h. Though the panel has HDR, it is a basic HDR 400 without dedicated hardware.
Among the other mentioned features, these are of my personal interest from the testing point of view:
- KVM Switch
- USB Type-C (Reversible with Alt Mode DP)
There are pictures giving visual help on how to unbox and take out the monitor from the packing box and attach the base stand with the monitor.
Take a peek inside the packing box. The contents are sandwiched in the Styrofoam pads. There are stickers labeled PULL. Place your hands on the cutouts above these labels and pull the pads out carefully.
The thicker pad has insets inside and cables are placed in them.
The panel is placed inside another Styrofoam pad.
The following is included in the box:
- 1x GIGABYTE M27Q P Monitor
- 1x DisplayPort Cable
- 1x HDMI Cable
- 2x Power Cable
- 1x User Manual
- 1x Base Stand
Looks and Design
The GIGABYTE M27Q P is a 1440P (QHD) 165Hz refresh rate, gaming monitor. The refresh rate is overclockable further to 170Hz. This is an IPS-SS panel. Compared to the M27Q, this time around, GIGABYTE is using an LG panel with an RGB sub-pixel layout so expect some good-quality output on this display. Given that the panel is IPS, the viewing angles are up to 178°. The panel size is 27” with an aspect ratio of 16:9.
Let’s start with the design of the monitor.
The very first thing that you would need to do is to attach the stand base to the monitor. There is a hole in the base of the arm as shown in the above picture. This is where the base will be connected. There are raised tabs and two catchers that make contact with the stand base.
The above picture shows the top view of the base. We can see a screw tip in the center. This screw goes inside the base of the arm on the monitor. The top cover is made of plastic material finished in black color.
There is a steel plate under the stand base. It has pads on the ends. These are there to avoid scratching the surface on which the monitor is placed.
The above picture shows the base stand connected to the monitor.
The above picture shows a close-up view of the properly installed stand with the monitor. The raise tabs are inserted in the cutouts whereas the lockers are passed through the cutouts and are in the locking position. There is a head on the screw which can be used to tighten the screw. There is an arrow symbol showing the direction in which the screw can be rotated to install or remove the stand.
The above picture shows the monitor with the screen still covered. The safety caution is printed on the bag.
The above picture is showing the backside view of the monitor with the protective bag still on. There are two pictures with text to help the user properly install the stand base on the monitor.
The above picture shows a close-up of the stand label. The user is required to remove the protective foam between the stand and the monitor.
There is a GIGABYTE branding on the top of the stand. Look closely. You will see a plastic-made dual stick protruding from the stand. This has to be removed as well. This is used for the safe shipping of the monitor as it avoids the movement of the screen on the stand.
The above picture shows the inset on the stand in which the screen can move up and down.
The above picture shows the fully assembled and ready monitor. We have an elegant and stylish look on the monitor. The design outlook of the stand base looks better in this position. However, if the screen is moved down fully, it may look a bit odd though I doubt that a much lower height adjustment would be needed anyway.
Let’s take a look at the unit:
As we have mentioned above this panel is 27” SS IPS type featuring LG panel which is utilizing RGB sub-pixel. The display area is set to 593.736×335.664mm with a pixel pitch of 0.2331×0.2331 (HxV)mm. The typical brightness is 400 cd/m² (TYP). The brightness level is adequate though we have made observations in the sRGB picture mode preset which we will cover later. This panel has a contrast ratio of 1000:1. Typically the IPS panels don’t have dark blacks and the edges of the display reflect that quite well. GIGABYTE has done a good job in covering the blacks on this panel though the limit still exists.
The LG panel’s backlight is Edge type and there is a non-glare coating on the panel so it will somewhat reflect under the conditions. Keep that in mind when doing the lighting of the room. The color saturation is 98% DCI-P3 which is approximately 135% sRGB. That would mean the display is quite bright and has a wide color gamut. This is a 10-bit color display (8-bit + FRC) with a response time of 1ms GTG.
The monitor features a basic HDR400 and supports VESA mounting as well. The monitor has a built-in power board and the power consumption is 28W. The voltage range is 100~240V.
Before moving further, here are the unique features of the monitor:
- OSD Sidekick
- Aim Stabilizer Sync
- Black Equalizer
- Timer Counter
- 6 axis Color Control
- Smart OD
- HDMI CEC
- Picture Mode
The GIGABYTE M27Q P allows 130mm height adjustment. The above picture shows the monitor at its full height. There is a GIGABYTE branding on the base of the display. The overall looks are quite pleasing and elaborative. GIGABYTE has done a good job. The screen is black all around. The screen can easily catch fingerprints upon touching so handle it with care. The dimension of the monitor without the stand is 615.7×371.15×59.9mm. The dimension of the stand is 615.7×517.49×229.3mm. The net weight without a stand is 4.9Kg. It is 7.6Kg with the stand.
The above picture shows the monitor at its lowest height. At this height, the stand base gives away the monitor with a slight margin.
The above pictures show the range of Tilt movement that this monitor supports. Its range is -5°~+20°. A tilt range with height adjustment will do the most for the users. Unfortunately, this monitor does not support pivoting and Swiveling. In other words, we can’t rotate the monitor (no angle control and no direction control).
The above picture shows the side view of the monitor. The overall thickness of the monitor makes it a non-slim outlook but that is understandable. There is more to this monitor than meets the eye. You will see when we will take a look at the backside of the monitor.
The monitor has a thin bezel.
We have got quite some bold and aggressive looks on the backside. Too bad that it will remain hidden from the eye! There is a nice touch of matte and glossy black. The top portion is in deep black with a glossy finish. The main section is made of plastic material and matter black/gray color tone. The left side has two important buttons which we will cover shortly. The monitor VESA mount as well.
There is a KVM button on the backside. When facing the monitor, this button can be accessed from the right side of the user. This button allows the users to switch between the connected devices and peripherals. Think of it like this; you have two working PCs that would need a single display and you want to connect a single set of peripherals with these two PCs. We can connect those peripherals directly to the monitor and connect display cables to both PCs as well as USB cables. Next, we have to define the connection type in the monitor settings (OSD) and we are done. Simply pressing the KVM switch will immediately switch the display and peripherals control to the second PC and the user can start working immediately on that PC. Pressing that button again will move the control back to the first PC and vice versa. An easy and convenient solution comes directly from the monitor itself. This is one of the main reasons for the high price tag of this monitor.
Then there is a joystick below the KVM button. The user can use it to access the OSD menu of the monitor and configure the settings as per the user’s requirement. This stick is easy to access because it protrudes from the base and works like a charm.
There is an info label on the base of the unit. It has UAN/EPC labels as well as the Serial No of the unit. The manufacturing date is 29-11-2021.
This monitor has got some rich connectivity options for the users. These include:
- 2x HDMI 2.0 ports
- 1x DP 1.4 port
- 1x USB Type-C Alt Mode Port
- 1x Audio Jack
- 1x USB Type-B port
- 2x USB Type-A ports
These ports are located inside the base of the monitor on the backside and installed vertically. The USB Type-B port allows connectivity between the monitor and the PC over the USB. The user can connect USB devices like a keyboard, mouse, etc on the 2x Type-A ports. The Type-B port connects the monitor to the PC. This enables the unique feature of the monitor which is Sidekick. The user can download the utility from the GIGABYTE website and if USB ports are well set up, the menu of the monitor can now be accessed from the OSD Sidekick utility and we no longer need to play with the joystick. How convenient!
Another key feature is the USB Type-C port. This port operates in Alternate Mode and allows upstreaming for Power Delivery of up to 18W. This port will work with Thunderbolt devices provided the computer supports it. Both USB Type-A ports are downstream ports whereas the USB Type-B port is an upstream port.
There is a 3-pin power port on the backside of the monitor.
GIGABYTE has provided one HDMI cable with the monitor.
GIGABYTE has provided one DisplayPort cable with the monitor.
GIGABYTE has provided one USB Type-B cable with the monitor.
GIGABYTE has provided 2-pin and 3-pin power cables as well.
We have already covered some of the main features. Let’s quickly go through all of the prominent features before talking about the performance of the monitor.
The GIGABYTE M27Q P is well equipped to provide a buttery smooth gaming experience at a high refresh rate i.e 165Hz with 1ms GTG response time. Clearly, the goal of this monitor is gaming performance though it can be used in a few other segments but rich content creation (based on pictures and videos) is not in its domain.
The monitor comes with black eQualizer technology. This feature can be accessed from the OSD for its level adjustment. What black eQualizer does is to increase or enhance the visibility in the darker scenes. They have ensured that this does not overexpose the already brightened areas.
The Color Vibrance features allow the users to easily adjust the color tone and color grading. The color vibrance can be accessed from the OSD menu of the monitor. We have up to 6-axis control to define the color gamut.
Flexible Viewing Angles
Thanks to the IPS panel, the viewing angles are up to 178° from any side.
The monitor comes with a Picture preset which also includes customized settings for the different games’ genres.
Flicker Free Technology
One of the important aspects of these days’ displays is their ability to let the user game on it for an extended time without putting strain on the eyes. This monitor supports Low Blue Light.
The GIGABYTE M27Q P comes with AMD FreeSync technology. This enables effective communication between the display and the rendering device to provide near-accurate graphics using a variable refresh rate or the native refresh rate of the panel.
Either the user can use the joystick on the back of the monitor to access the OSD or use the Sidekick utility for which a USB connection is a must. Both options provide a similar interface and all the required settings. We are showing the OSD Sidekick interface here and will walk through some of the key features.
This is the main interface. On the left, we have preset modes and on the right, there are related settings against each of these modes.
The Hotkeys are helpful during gaming where the user can toggle the features like crosshair, FPS counter, timer, etc on and off.
The General settings can be used to define 4-directional behavior of the joystick as well as settings like OSD display time, transparency, etc.
The KVM menu will allow the user to configure the KVM setup. In my opinion, the native OSD menu is a better place to configure the KVM than the Sidekick. One of your devices needs to be connected via a USB Type-C cable and the other via a USB Type-B cable. Then both devices should be connected to the monitor using video cables. The user would need to tell the monitor about the setup which cable is connected to which device etc.
The firmware version of the monitor is shown here. The user can update the firmware as well.
The user can define their own preset or profile as per the requirement as shown in the above picture.
The user can customize the tone of the color from Cool to Warm and even the user can define their own color tone.
The above picture shows the preset settings for FPS-style gaming.
The above picture shows the available levels to set Overdrive mode. Various manufacturers list these settings in their own language. Some use low, medium, high, etc. The Overdrive mode is helpful when it comes to the response time of the display. If you are experiencing ghosting on the display, then Overdrive will help you overcome that. Please keep in mind that way too low or way too high values would result in inverse ghosting or what we call it Over-shooting.
The above picture shows the sRGB profile settings.
Now, it is time to discuss the actual performance of the display as seen by our eyes and our experience after using this monitor for some time.
The GIGABYTE M27Q P is a 165Hz refresh rate panel with 1ms GTG response time and 10-bit display colors. It is using 98% DCI-P3 saturation which is the equivalent of roughly 135% sRGB saturation. This would mean, we have bright, vivid but oversaturated colors. Well, the out-of-the-box colors might not be for everyone though it is necessarily not a bad thing.
The GIGABYTE has done a good with the factory calibration. The out-of-the-box colors may do good dim lighting but under full lighting, you may want to play around with the brightness and contrast a bit. Speaking of the brightness, this display has a 400 nits level of brightness which is a good enough level but the sRGB profile has a drawback. If you would load that profile, the screen’s brightness will be dim, and guess what, the brightness in that mode is locked at 100%. If you are on Nvidia’s graphics card then luck is run out as their driver/software will not allow you to override the monitor’s settings but AMD provides this feature.
The monitor has an HDR400 display with no dedicated HDR hardware. The gaming experience with HDR enabled was not pleasing at all. The color saturation was way too high, the overall graphics were over-shot and there was stress on the eyes. We have tried a few titles with HDR and almost all have provided similar results. We are better with no HDR during gaming or you can play around with HDR settings depending on the title to see if it improves.
When it comes to response time, the overdrive feature is quite handy. We have used Blur Busters UFO Motion Test at 165Hz, 144Hz, 120Hz, and 60Hz refresh rates and checked for each overdrive value against all the refresh rates. It turns out that the Picture and Balanced modes are suitable with almost all refresh rates when it comes to handling the trails or ghosting on the UFO. Your mileage could vary. We would suggest playing around to see which value would suffice for your particular requirement. The goal here is to eliminate the ghosting without over-shooting or landing in inverse ghosting.
Despite having a contrast ratio of 1000:1, this IPS panel still offers nice deep blacks. Ever since Nvidia has opened up for cross-platform interoperability, the free sync-enabled monitors can work with Nvidia’s graphics card with FreeSync on. However, not all FreeSync protocols may work with Nvidia’s graphics cards and vice versa. This monitor is using AMD FreeSync Premium with MBR so we were expecting it to work with Nvidia’s graphics card and it worked. But, you would need to enable the GSync Compatible option in Nvidia’s control panel.
The above picture shows the settings for Nvidia’s control panel to enable GSync.
Up to 144Hz is possible using HDMI 2.0 cable so we have used the DisplayPort 1.4 cable to achieve a full 165Hz. The above picture shows the listed refresh rates of this panel. The monitor also supports 10-bit color depth and has 178° wide viewing angles. This helps in near to accurate and consistent image rendering on the screen. This panel is not that suitable for color-related workload so keep that in mind.
Overall we have a pleasant and satisfactory experience with the GIGABYTE M27Q P 1440P 165Hz Nano IPS panel. The provision of AMD FreeSync Premium with HDR400, VBR, and MBR makes it more compelling while the provision of KVM functionality increases the cost but to a certain segment, increases the value as well.
The GIGABYTE M27Q P gaming monitor takes the game from M27Q up by addressing a few shortcomings in the highly popular predecessor. The P version is using LIG Nano IPS SS panel with RGB sub-pixel technology. The M27Q P is a high refresh rate (165Hz) panel with an overclockable rate of 170Hz. The resolution of the monitor is 2160×1440 with a screen size of 27”. The viewing area measures to 596.736×335.664mm having a pixel density of 108 pixels per inch or 0.2331 pitch and a response time of 1ms GTG. 1ms GTG on the IPS panel is impressive.
The monitor is using AMD FreeSync Premium technology which can be used with Nvidia’s graphics cards though it is subjective. We have found the unit working with MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G and GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC 8G. The user would need to enable the Nvidia GSync enabled feature in the control panel.
Since the panel is IPS, the contrast ratio is 1000:1 which impacts the dark or deep blacks on the display. Despite that, GIGABYTE has done a fair job in providing deep blacks at an acceptable range. The brightness of the unit is 400 cd/m² or roughly 400 nits. This is a good enough level of brightness on this panel. The factory calibration is decent and the default Standard profile may serve many if not all in terms of color saturation and brightness level. However, the sRGB profile seems to be locking the brightness at such a low level which is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. We tried to override that in Nvidia’s control panel but only managed the pixelated display. The users on AMD graphics cards would enjoy the true override.
When it comes to the response rate of the monitor, there is a provision of Overdrive with 4 presets. You would need this feature when experiencing ghosting during gaming. The overdrive addresses the ghosting issue (removing the trails) but we need to be on the lookout not to over-shoot it as it would give us inverse ghosting. Our UFO Test Buster testing indicated that Picture and Balanced modes are more effective as compared to Low, Speed, or Smart OD modes but it would depend on the refresh rate.
Another key feature of the monitor is onboard KVM. Personally, I am fond of using KVM switches which allow the user to use a single monitor and a single of peripherals with two PCs. Now, we have got this functionality built into the monitor. All that the user would need to do is to connect the required cables and set up the KVM in the OSD settings and voila! I have used this function for the daily driver and the test bench. All I can say is that KVM is a blessing for the tech testers and content creators as we no longer are concerned with swapping the cables.
The design of the monitor is quite ergonomic however there are caveats. We don’t have pivot and swivel functions on this panel. We can only adjust the height of the monitor up to 130mm and we can tilt the screen in the range of -5° to +20°. The monitor has VESA mount support as well. The bezel is relatively less thin but it is still not noticeable. GIGABYTE has done a good job in the overall design department.
In terms of connectivity, this monitor is feature rich. We have:
- 2x HDMI 2.0 Ports
- 1x DisplayPort 1.4 Port
- 1x USB Type-C with Alt Mode for PD
- 1x USB Type-B Port
- 2x USB Type-A Ports
The provision of a USB Type-C port with alt mode is another key feature. The user can achieve a Power Delivery of up to 18W from that port. There is a directional joystick on the backside which can be used to access the OSD. OSD is quite effective and user-friendly. The user can set the transparency and display time of the OSD. GIGABYTE has provided a utility OSD Sidekick which is a software interface for OSD but it would require USB connectivity (using Type-B).
Our gaming experience has been nothing but good on this monitor. However, there is no “one type that fit all” profile when it comes to picture modes (brightness, contrast, and saturation). We made a custom profile for our specific requirement and it has been doing well in most of the scenarios. If you are a content creator then you better look for another display as this monitor can handle only basic level color-critical workload.
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