ViewSonic is a company that is about customer focus and quality. If you’re curious about the three birds; They are Gouldian Finch Rainbow birds. These birds represent eye-catching colors and are a visual beauty. When James Chu founded ViewSonic he used these birds for the companies logo to symbolize beauty, color, and quality. ViewSonic has some very appealing monitors today and they have come a long way from when they started in 1990. There is nothing better than feeding a high-end GPU a high-end monitor. If you have a relatively new graphics card you’re going to want a high-end monitor. With features like high refresh rates, better color quality, stunning resolutions, the difference can be seen and felt. ViewSonic was primarily selling FreeSync monitors, which are for AMD cards. FreeSync was developed to compete with Nvidia’s Gsync technology. These technologies were developed to combat against screen tearing, Vsync, and the input lag that comes with it. Today I will be looking at ViewSonic’s XG2703-GS, and its the companies first Gsync monitor. Let’s see what this monitor has to offer as far as features and if the technology it offers is worth your investment.
Screen Size- 27″
LED Backlight- Yes
Recommended Resolution- 2560 x 1440 (2K)
Refresh Rate- 165 Hz
Viewing Angle- 178° (H) / 178° (V)
Display Colors- 16.7 Million
Brightness- 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio- 120M:1(DC); 1000:1 (typical)
Response Time- TBDms (GTG)
Display Type- WQHD
Adaptive Sync Technology- G-Sync (NVIDIA Adaptive Sync)
Input Video Compatibility- Digital
Connectors- HDMI, DisplayPort, USB
USB 2.0- 2
USB 3.0- 2
- Pivot: 90 degree
- Height Adjust: 0 to 100mm
- Swivel: 175 degree
- Tilt: -5 to 15 degree
Built-in Speakers- 2 x 2W
VESA Compatibility – Mountable- 100 x 100mm
- WQHD Resolution
- 165Hz refresh rate
- SuperClear IPS-type panel technology
- NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
- NVIDIA Ultra Low Motion Blur technology
Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions (H x W x D)
24.60″ x 15.10″ x 3.10″ w/o stand
24.60″ x 30.00″ x 9.9″ w/ stand
Weight- 15.40 lbs. w/ stand
The monitor was shipped really quickly and arrived with no damage to the box. You can see the ViewSonic logo is large and proudly on the front. They also have a QR code you can scan to learn more about the product.
The unit is well packaged with styrofoam holding the monitor in place. I want to also point out how much I loved unboxing this by not having to put a stand together. The unit has the monitor pivoted horizontally for shipping purposes and can be turned around and ready to use in just a few minutes.
The accessories included are:
- XG2703-GS Monitor
- Warning card for monitor
- Driver / Manual disc
- Input/ Output quick connector guide
- Power brick/ AC cable
- DisplayPort cable
Why Nvidia Gsync ?
This review isn’t about a Freesync monitor or what the differences are between the two technologies. Basically, if you have an AMD card you want FreeSync, and if you have Nvidia you want Gsync. If you’re interested in learning more check out here. ViewSonic does have another version of this product with FreeSync for AMD users.
Vsync was developed to help get rid of screen tearing and has been around for some time. Screen tearing will occur when Vsync is disabled and the frame rate exceeds your display’s refresh rate. With Vsync on it eliminates tearing but stuttering can occur if the frame rate of your game falls below your monitors refresh rate. Higher refresh rate monitors are better for this , but Gsync was developed to eliminate these issues altogether. Gsync achieves this by taking your display’s refresh rate and syncing it with your GPU. Thier is a physical card in the monitor that communicates with your GPU.
The ViewSonic XG2703-GS looks visually appealing and sports green to represent Nvidia for its Gsync technology. The monitor has a maximum resolution of WQHD 2560 x1440 and supports up to 165Hz refresh rate. The higher the refresh rate your monitor is the more responsive it will feel. If you prefer, you can also lower your refresh rate if need be. The monitor is backward compatible with lower refresh rates like 144, 120, and even 60 Hz. The 165hz is ideal for fast shooters and games that require fast response times. ViewSonic calls its 165Hz rate Overclock Mode. The panel also uses “SuperClear® IPS-Type panel technology.”
The WQHD screen almost doubles 1080P (1920 x1080) and provides up to 77% more immersion due to the larger screen size. If you’re on a budget or want to know what monitor would work best for you; You can use ViewSonic’s “Which Monitor Is Right For You ? ” tool to find you the perfect monitor. The IPS panel used here will provide the same image quality whether you are looking at the screen from above, below, the front, or the side.
The advertised 165Hz refresh rate will deliver visual fluidity and eliminate motion blur. In order for this to be used you must use the DisplayPort cable to handle the higher refresh rates.
The NVIDIA Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) decreases motion blur and minimizes ghosting when the on-screen action gets heated.
I don’t like logo placement when it’s large and distracting. The XG branding, however, is not distracting and well placed on the back fo the monitor. It’s small and provides good color coordination with the green Nvidia theme. The ViewSonic logo is also unobtrusive but is much larger, and well placed on the back panel. You will also notice ample venting for proper heat dissipation for the monitor. This is ideal for the 165Hz refresh rate and the high-end technology built into this monitor will produce heat.
The base is nice and sturdy and already attached out of the box. This alone makes setting up this monitor less time consuming. I only hope all monitor manufacturers follow this trend. You can find another ViewSonic logo displayed on the base and I also like how the pass-through for cable management is green. Small touches like this can really make the product stand out. On the back of the monitor is another very thoughtful feature. They include a flip down headphone stand which has green accents as well. This provides a very nice way to keep your headphones off your desk and out of the way when not in use.
The bottom of the monitor at the base offers another interesting design feature. The XG2703-GS offers a light bar for mood lighting. This adds another layer of immersion for your gaming experience. We will be seeing this feature later to showcase its capabilities under the testing section.
The XG2703-GS offers dual integrated speakers to provide stereo sound for a more immersive experience. Listen to how clear the audio is from the speakers recording a level of DOOM.
Setting up the monitor requires physical space and to make sure you connect all the right cables for operation.
The Inputs included are:
- USB hub for 2x USB 2.0 ports on the right side of monitor
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Power connector
- Ventilation for bottom airflow
- Diagnostic port for troubleshooting
- DisplayPort 1.2a
- HDMI 2.0
- 3.5mm jack
The first thing I did was make sure the power was plugged in and ready to go. Once I knew the monitor would power on, I then powered it back off and continued to plug in my remaining cables. I’m required to use the DisplayPort connection between my GTX 1060 and the XG2703-GS.
The monitor has hard buttons behind their corresponding logos on the right lower side of the monitor. I will give you one guess what the logo colors are! I found the buttons to have a very hard click and feel to them. The “clicky” feeling makes navigating the menu system feel smoother, however, I can’t help but feel like there is an off-center to the buttons when navigating. I can’t really show you this in a review, but it does take some getting used to like anything new.
You can see powering on the monitor includes another ViewSonic logo and in the lower right a Gsync logo. The green light below indicates power on , an amber light means the monitor is in sleep mode, and red indicates a problem.
The first menu button is your game modes. This provides excellent profile compatibility for specific games. Gamer1 and Gamer2 are your own specific profiles and settings, and the prebuilt profiles adjust the best settings for a specific type of game automatically. I personally like adjusting my own settings because the built-in profiles will adjust settings differently depending on the profile. The other buttons bring up the main system menus that allow input change, contrast/brightness, and advanced menu system.
The advanced menu system allows for:
- Input select
- Audio Adjustment
- ViewMode which changes standard,game,movie, and web color profiles
- Manual color adjustment
- Manual Image adjust
- Setup Menu
The Audio Adjust section is or adjusting the volume of the built-in stereo speakers. View mode is for selecting the best color profile to your liking. I prefer the “Game” profile as it provides the best automatic color tones. Look at the color tones in the picture of the cobra, I feel it provides the closest to real life colors.
Color adjust does offer 6-axis Color which gives you control over each individual color tone for the perfect color profile.
Manual Image Adjustment is my favorite menu. This is the section that allows for Overclocking the refresh rate and offers a scaling feature too. To overclock you need to select the overclocking menu, selecting 165Hz, and then read the warning message. The scaling mode allows for 1:1 ratio, fix aspect ratio or fill screen. You can also set the refresh rate to native 60Hz from the overclocking menu.
The setup menu provides even further options to enable/disable certain features. You can select language, Timeout,sleep, power, and reset options. Information will give you a quick view of your model number, resolution, maximum refresh rate, and if Gsync being used.
The Power Indicator menu is the setup section to control your lightbar. You can set it to auto for mood lighting, a fixed color, or off.
ECO mode is used to control the intensity of the backlight. You have Standard, Optimize, and conserve. The lower the backlight the less power that is consumed from the monitor and the darker it gets.
The rest of the options are used to control power saving features, Sleep, Charging while in standby and reset to defaults. I found its best to enable USB charging in standby because then your devices will still getting power. This is useful if you have a phone plugged in for charging and your monitor goes to sleep. Deep sleep is for HDMI and DisplayPort deep sleep modes, and Memory recall is for resetting the monitor to factory defaults.
Refresh rate / Gsync
Once the refresh rate is set to overclock mode and 165Hz you can select your refresh rate in either Nvidia Control Panel or Windows’s Monitor Settings. You can also select a lower refresh rate if the monitor is acting up or overheating. ViewSonic says the overclock mode isn’t guaranteed 100%. Also, a lower refresh rate will make the monitor more stable.
The next thing you’re going to want to do is to enable Gsync from the Nvidia Control Panel. This will allow the monitor and your GPU to be in sync and offer you the best performance.
There is a major issue with Gsync right now that needs to be addressed. I have heard several people complain about this issue and you can read about the same problem in the video here. The issue can be replicated 100% of the time. The problem has to do with Nvidia Gsync and current drivers. When the computer goes to sleep and then wakes up the flickering occurs. If you do a fresh reboot then the problem goes away. Once the PC goes back to sleep it happens all over again. From reading that forum it could be driver related or the DispalyPort cable, but I tried another cable ant the issue didn’t go away. I’m using Nvidia driver 372.90.
Testing monitors really consist of how your display looks and performs for images and games. I will be running monitor diagnostics with Aida64 Extreme and run a few select games to showcase the higher refresh rate and how much FPS (Frames Per Second) they produce. I will also showcase how the lightbar works and changes color.
My test bench is as follows:
- ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
- Motherboard- EVGA Z170 Classified K
- CPU: Intel Core I7 6700K
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Enermax Liqmax II 240
- Memory- Anarchy X 16GB DDR4 2800MHz
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
- Storage- PNY CS2210 480GB (Boot) / ADATA SU800 512GB / Seagate 3TB/ Zotac Sonix 480GB
- Power Supply- Corsair RM650X / Sleeved CableMod red/black cables
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Headphones- Creative H7
The point of running the Aida64 monitor tests is to look for inconsistencies with gamma,color,contrast,response time,alignment and dead pixels. The test also covers clarity for screen text for your given resolution. If your monitor is calibrated correctly the above tests will look accurate and should all pass.
You can see in the above video how the lights change dynamically with the lightbar depending on the screen colors. I used DOOM as an example to showcase the drastic orange and blues that the game has.
I tested FPS with a multiplayer game of DOOM because there is heavy movement and it requires good response times. I also ran Crysis 3’s first mission. Even with a GTX 1060, Crysis 3’s first is level still taxing today. I was getting an average of 72 FPS at 2560 x 1440P @ 175Hz refresh rate. Using the same resolution and refresh rate, DOOM got an average of 93 FPS.
The XG2703-GS is the best monitor I have ever used! It has every feature you would want in a monitor like IPS, Gsync, high refresh rate, and excellent quality. This doesn’t come without a high price tag. If you want the best you’re going to pay for it. My favorite feature is the overclocking mode with 175Hz refresh rate. The monitor is really easy to set up and has excellent built-in profiles for near perfect calibration.
Ther are some issues that come with new technology, though. The worst problem I encountered was the flickering when the PC comes out of sleep. This seems to be a bug with Gsync as I never encountered it before from other monitors.If yo are going to invest in a monitor like this you definitely should have the hardware to back it up. It starts to make sense with Nvidia 9 series or above. The Gsync would benefit lower cards in certain games but you want the higher FPS to help drive the higher refresh rate. I highly recommend this monitor if you are looking for the best WQHD monitor with its high refresh rate and awesome features.You can buy the ViewSonic XG2703-GS right now from NewEgg for $700.00.