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Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM Review


You’ve been asking for it, and here we go: the first of a wave of many 4K 240Hz QD-OLED monitor reviews, starting with the Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM. This monitor, along with others like it, has been some of the most highly anticipated displays in our time testing them. So, let’s dive deep into what 4K OLED offers gamers.

The Asus PG32UCDM features one of two 32-inch 4K OLED panels currently being manufactured. There’s the 32-inch 4K 240Hz QD-OLED from Samsung Display, used in this monitor, and later in 2024, we’ll see a 32-inch 4K 240Hz WOLED from LG Display that also boasts dual-mode functionality, allowing for a 480Hz refresh rate at 1080p.

Asus is producing monitors using both panels; the one using the LG panel is the PG32UCDP, so be mindful of the similar naming if you’re watching this review once both are available. “UCDM” indicates QD-OLED, while “UDCP” signifies WOLED.

Along with the QD-OLED panel, the UCDM supports typical gaming features such as adaptive sync, boasts 0.03ms response times, 99% DCI-P3 coverage, and, of course, genuine HDR functionality with DisplayHDR 400 True Black certification and 1,000 nits of peak brightness.

Given this is a standard panel size, it has a high resolution and refresh rate, plus the per-pixel local dimming functionality of OLED. This new wave of high-end monitors is set to offer a superior range of capabilities for gamers seeking the ultimate experience.

Asus’ variant is priced at $1,300, which is $100 more than the price for two other variants from MSI and Alienware. You might have seen a lower price for the MSI model, though they inform us that’s a short-term introductory offer, and the suggested retail price remains at $1,200. It will be intriguing to see what Asus has implemented to justify a slightly higher price tag, though that analysis may have to wait until we test some of the other models.

Specs and Design

The PG32UCDM embodies the ROG Swift product line in its design, incorporating several familiar elements we’ve seen in other monitors. The front is dominated by the large QD-OLED panel, of course, with relatively slim bezels on all four sides, as well as an ROG logo below the panel, which houses the directional OSD toggle on the back. This is a premium-looking monitor, elegantly utilizing metal for the stand legs and plastic in other areas.

On the rear, you’ll find a design typical of OLED monitors, featuring a central box housing all the components, from which the display panel extends outwards, presenting a sleek aesthetic. The central box resembles what we saw on the 27-inch PG27AQDM from last year, just scaled up for the larger 32-inch QD-OLED panel. This monitor is passively cooled, using what Asus describes as a custom heatsink and graphene film for temperature management.

True to the Asus ROG brand, the monitor includes lighting features, such as an RGB LED matrix on the rear and an Asus logo projection from the base of the stand pillar. We appreciate that Asus has moderated the gaming aesthetic in their high-end monitors over time. The current design is still targeted at gamers but is less overt than some previous models.

The stand is sturdy, offering height, tilt, and swivel adjustments. The stand legs require a standard amount of desk space – this is not a small monitor – but their elevated design allows for some storage underneath.

Connectivity

For ports, there’s a decent selection, including one DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, two HDMI 2.1 48 Gbps ports with DSC, and a USB-C port supporting DP-Alt mode and up to 90W of power delivery. Additionally, there are several USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a headphone jack, and optical audio out. Both DisplayPort and HDMI support running the monitor at its maximum 240Hz refresh rate without compromise, and with the inclusion of multiple USB ports, a KVM switch is also provided.

The OSD is controlled through a directional toggle hidden behind the ROG logo on the front. It’s a user-friendly interface that saves your settings in SDR and HDR modes separately. There’s a comprehensive range of Asus features, including gaming-specific functions like crosshairs, FPS counter, sniper mode, shadow boosting, and a substantial array of color controls. Support for ELMB black frame insertion, something unique to their version of these OLED monitors, will be discussed further.

A major talking point with the new 4K QD-OLEDs is text quality. Previously, gaming OLEDs were capped at 1440p with 27-inch sizes, or you had to opt for a 42-inch model to obtain 4K resolution. With the PG32UCDM, we witness a significant increase in pixel density thanks to the transition to a 32-inch 4K panel, now achieving 140 PPI versus 110 PPI for the 1440p variants – a 27% improvement. Moreover, compared to first-generation QD-OLED panels, the refined subpixel structure of the second-generation QD-OLED further improves the apparent pixel density for text and high-contrast edges.

We were genuinely impressed with the text clarity on this 4K QD-OLED monitor. The slight pink-green fringing observed on first-generation QD-OLED ultrawides, and to a lesser extent on second-generation variants, is much less noticeable at this 140 PPI pixel density. For someone who found the fringing issues with initial QD-OLEDs more apparent than others, it’s almost a non-issue here and not something you’ll notice in daily use, even when using the panel alongside a traditional LCD with an RGB stripe subpixel layout. When used alongside a 32-inch IPS LCD, we found the text clarity and quality from this QD-OLED to be very similar, perhaps not quite as sharp or identical to the IPS, but certainly sufficient to satisfy even the most detail-oriented users.

The text clarity is such that you should be able to use the UCDM at a wide range of scaling factors in Windows. The default is 150%, but we typically use a 32-inch 4K panel at 125%, and it looks great. Even at 100% scaling, text is very readable and free from annoying artifacts. The smaller the scaling, the more challenging it is to compete with LCDs, but we still commend the usability at 100% scaling. Overall, this 32-inch 4K QD-OLED panel is the first OLED panel we’ve used that offers text clarity on par with, if not better than, an equivalent LCD.

Regarding panel composition and coating, this panel offers the classic Samsung QD-OLED experience, which includes a glossy surface with an “anti-reflective” treatment. As demonstrated in our MSI monitor preview earlier this year, while Samsung labels this as a “third-generation” QD-OLED panel, its composition seems identical to the second-generation QD-OLED, which was a slight improvement over the first generation.

This means the panel shares the same challenges noted in previous QD-OLED reviews. In bright environments with light sources facing the display, the panel tends to reflect ambient light, causing blacks to appear somewhat grey. This diminishes one of OLED’s key advantages: its deep blacks, which won’t appear as rich or deep in bright conditions, especially when compared to glossy WOLED panels. While general reflection handling is decent, avoiding mirror-like reflections, any glossy panel will display a certain degree of defined reflections, which worsen in brighter conditions.

However, these issues can be minimized by optimizing light source placement in the room, positioning lights behind the display. In darker environments, such as gaming in a dim or fully dark room, the QD-OLED panel truly excels, offering a rich, deep OLED black experience. Whether this becomes an issue depends on individual circumstances. While we find it bothersome and a significant drawback of QD-OLED panels, it’s less concerning for those who primarily game at night. At minimum, it’s a factor to consider.

It’s also crucial to note that OLEDs are not typically ideal for desktop use, productivity apps, and web browsing due to their susceptibility to permanent burn-in. The new 4K QD-OLED is no exception. Static content, such as toolbars or icons displayed for extended periods, risks burn-in. Conversely, dynamic content like gaming or video watching poses virtually no burn-in risk. Therefore, occasional desktop app use is acceptable; however, prolonged daily productivity work could lead to burn-in, a topic we plan to explore further.

As for burn in warranty, Asus has recently updated its warranty for their OLEDs to offer at least 2 years of burn-in coverage. For the PG32UCDM, we’re receiving 3 years of coverage as specified on their website, a satisfactory duration that aligns with competitors such as Alienware and, more recently, MSI. This assurance provides peace of mind, allowing you to use the display under normal conditions without worrying about burn-in. If burn-in does occur, you’ll be able to file a warranty claim.

Nevertheless, we still recommend taking measures to minimize burn-in risk during usage, such as minimizing the taskbar, setting the display to turn off after a short period of inactivity, and reducing static app usage. These precautions should help extend the life of your monitor beyond the 3-year warranty period. Considering it costs over $1,000, we hope to get at least 5 years out of it, if not more.

Response Time Performance

In terms of response time performance, it’s no surprise that this QD-OLED panel delivers lightning-fast speeds, similar to other QD-OLEDs we’ve tested. At its maximum 240Hz refresh rate, we observe a 0.3ms average response time, which is exceptionally quick and contributes to excellent motion clarity. With no noticeable inverse ghosting, this Asus model matches the speed of other OLEDs and surpasses any LCD at the same refresh rate. Moreover, you’ll notice improved motion clarity at the highest refresh rate compared to first-generation QD-OLEDs, thanks to the increase from 175Hz to 240Hz.

The best part of how OLEDs function is that performance is basically identical at all refresh rates. This means whether we’re testing at 240Hz, 120Hz or 60Hz, we’re still seeing about a 0.3ms response time average. LCDs typically get slower as the refresh rate decreases but this isn’t the case here, so the UDCM offers a single overdrive mode experience – without any overdrive settings of course, as they aren’t required for an OLED.

There is effectively no difference in response time performance between this QD-OLED and other OLED monitors. As the UDCM has a high 240Hz refresh rate, you can ensure when buying this display that its motion clarity is excellent. Where the big difference lies is between OLED and LCD. This Asus monitor is much faster than the fastest LCD we’ve tested, which is a big win for OLED, and it only gets better when looking at average performance. While LCDs may slow down at lower refresh rates, OLEDs maintain their speed, widening the performance gap between OLED and LCD. For a consistently high-quality gaming experience from your monitor, OLED is the unmatched choice.

We can also confirm excellent cumulative deviation results, consistent with most other OLEDs. As anticipated, this technology delivers the same response time performance as other QD-OLED ultrawides.

The PG32UCDM supports black frame insertion via Asus’ ELMB feature, identical functionality introduced on their WOLED-based PG34WCDM that we reviewed a few weeks ago. This is the OLED equivalent of backlight strobing, where the monitor flicks to black between frames to reduce sample and hold motion blur and enhance clarity. Since OLEDs lack a backlight, the term “black frame insertion” is used instead of “backlight strobing”.

ELMB on this OLED is very restrictive as it only works at a fixed 120Hz, no other refresh rates are supported and there’s no tuning ability. This is because at 120Hz with ELMB, the monitor is effectively running at 240Hz, just showing every second frame as black. The need for tuning is less on an OLED as there’s no difference in clarity between the top and bottom of the screen as the strobe is perfectly synced across the display, but you can’t tune the strobe length which typically would adjust clarity and brightness.

At 120Hz using ELMB does look clearer than not using ELMB, but the implementation is far from perfect. As this is simply showing a black frame every second frame, the non-black image frames have a long strobe length – the length of each refresh cycle – which does lead to some blur relative to a well strobed LCD that typically would produce a much shorter, sharper pulse. A short image pulse with a long black cycle produces the best image clarity, but this OLED really isn’t capable of doing this, all it’s doing is running its normal refresh cycle and switching between an image frame and black frame.

The end result is that the ELMB mode at 120Hz looks similar, maybe a little clearer than 240Hz without BFI, while being much more restrictive. You have to sacrifice VRR and HDR, the brightness output is lower, and it requires running games at a fixed 120 FPS. It’s a nice bonus feature but I personally wouldn’t use it and it’s not able to deliver the crystal clear output of the best backlight strobed LCDs like the BenQ XL2566K or Asus PG248QP.

Input latency is excellent, offering a sub 0.5ms processing delay in both the SDR and HDR modes. Combined with fast response times and a high refresh rate, this OLED feels very snappy to use and is well suited to competitive multiplayer titles, although the resolution may prevent high levels of performance without upscaling. This is as fast as you’ll get on a 4K monitor right now, although for extreme gamers there’s also the dual-mode 480Hz displays coming later in the year, we’re about to test some 360Hz QD-OLEDs and there’s also 540Hz LCDs on the market at a 1080p resolution – plenty of choices for those that are latency sensitive.

Power consumption is on the high side when displaying a full white image, although this is to be expected from OLED monitors where full white is a worst case scenario. This 32-inch 4K panel has a 9% larger screen area than 34-inch QD-OLEDs from before, yet power consumption is 27% higher than the AW3423DWF, one of the more efficient QD-OLEDs I’ve tested. Full white power consumption is about three times what you’d see from a modern efficient 4K IPS LCD of the same size such as the LG 32GR93U, obviously not ideal for productivity work.

With that said, OLED power consumption is heavily dependent on the average picture level or APL of the content being displayed. Content with less white and therefore a lower APL noticeably reduces power consumption. For example the homepage of Google in a fullscreen Chrome tab is about 95 watts, the YouTube homepage about 68 watts, a default Windows 11 desktop with the standard blue default wallpaper about 51 watts and the Steam interface showing the store homepage about 32 watts. Showing a pure black image consumes 28 watts, about 3 watts of that is attributable to the RGB LED lighting enabled by default. Only in the best cases will this OLED match the power consumption of the 32GR93U, but typical numbers aren’t outrageous in comparison to some other LCDs I’ve tested like the Odyssey Neo G7 that uses 62 watts at 200 nits.

Color Performance

Color Space: Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM – D65-P3

The color space on offer from these new 4K QD-OLED panels is very similar to previous QD-OLEDs. We’re getting 99.1% coverage of DCI-P3, and 97.7% coverage of Adobe RGB, both strong results for work in those color spaces or for viewing HDR content. In total I saw 79.3% coverage of Rec. 2020 which again is very similar to previous QD-OLEDs. This panel technology has a notably higher color gamut than WOLED, and there’s an even higher discrepancy in HDR color volume which also factors in brightness at various color outputs. QD-OLEDs can typically get much brighter than WOLED when displaying highly saturated colors.

Default Color Performance

Default color calibration is pretty good from this monitor, although it’s unclear exactly what mode it will ship in by default. When I received my unit it was configured to use the sRGB Cal mode, however a factory reset put it in the Racing mode. As such I’m showing the Racing mode results here.

Grayscale performance is pretty good in this mode, especially for white balance which is close to accurate and maintained across the range. This leads to good deltaE performance and no obvious color tint, some OLEDs I’ve tested have been blue tinted by default but that isn’t the case here. However in this configuration there is no sRGB clamp enabled by default for SDR content, so we do get oversaturation and higher deltaE averages.

Compared to other monitors the grayscale results are good, in the upper tier of similar products. ColorChecker results are average though, and impacted by the display’s especially wide color gamut.

sRGB Mode Color Performance

Luckily it’s very easy to improve factory performance on this monitor and there are multiple ways to achieve strong sRGB performance. The most flexible way is simply to change the display’s color space from Wide Gamut to sRGB. This effectively enables an sRGB mode while keeping other settings unlocked for adjustability. The other way is using the built in sRGB Cal mode, a more locked down sRGB mode. I found the first method, simply changing the color space, to be more accurate.

This sRGB mode is excellent with very strong factory grayscale results, a deltaE ITP average of 3.25 is fantastic among gaming monitors and it’s complemented by a great color temperature. Performance is even better looking at saturation and ColorChecker results, where the dEITP average is below 3 in both cases. Outstanding performance for those wanting better SDR accuracy with a single setting change.

Compared to other monitors, sRGB mode grayscale performance is right up there with the top handful of monitors on the market. In ColorChecker the PG32UCDM is able to top the charts which is a perfect result from this high end monitor and shows how well calibrated it is.

Calibrated Color Performance

Performance in the SDR mode can be improved slightly for sRGB after a full Calman calibration. I was pretty happy with these results given the dynamic nature of OLEDs can affect results compared to an LCD. Even for wide gamut P3 work, this display is capable of a very accurate experience after calibration.

Maximum brightness in the SDR mode is very similar to other QD-OLED monitors at 245 nits, within 10% of the best OLED results I’ve seen though naturally still a bit low relative to LCD monitors. Asus ship this display with a uniform brightness setting that you can enable which disables the automatic brightness limiter and caps the brightness to 245 nits (or lower depending on your brightness setting) regardless of window size or APL. With the setting disabled, brightness will vary and could get higher in the SDR mode, though I find this annoying for desktop usage.

Also worth pointing out is that peak SDR brightness in real world content is affected by the auto logo brightness feature in the OSD’s screen protection section. With this feature disabled, you can consistently get up to 245 nits in apps. If it’s enabled, most real world app brightness is capped at around 220 nits so a little lower than the full capabilities. You’d only then see 245 nits in some scenarios (like full screen white or other optimal/dynamic conditions). This applies to all brightness settings, so for example if you calibrate to 150 nits in a full white window, real app brightness is going to be more like 125 nits with auto logo brightness enabled. It seems this setting loves to trigger and dim brightness slightly when there is any hint of static content on screen in certain conditions.

Minimum brightness is very low at just 14 nits, great if you need a dim viewing experience when trying to read web pages at night.

I was very impressed with the viewing angles of this panel, they are very wide which makes it easy to view the display even at quite extreme angles, it really looks excellent. This also means that there is a large sweet spot for viewing this QD-OLED and you won’t notice issues like the edges being slightly lower contrast or a bit washed out, which can be an issue with some flat LCD panels, particularly VAs. Uniformity was also very good with my unit, nice and uniform viewing full white and no dirty screen effect viewing dark greys.

HDR Performance

The Asus PG32UCDM is an outstanding HDR display, thanks to the inherent hardware qualities of OLED technology that are perfectly suited for displaying HDR content. The critical feature here is that each individual pixel is self-lit, allowing the display to turn on or off at a pixel level to accurately portray everything from dark shadows to bright highlights. When the display needs to show pure black, it can fully switch off, giving us the trademark rich zero-level blacks and deep shadows that OLED is known for.

This capability sets it apart from most HDR-capable LCD panels, which cannot be controlled at the pixel level. LCDs rely on a backlight, and for HDR displays, this usually involves the use of full-array local dimming technology, which divides the backlight into zones. While OLED can turn off each pixel individually, LCDs with local dimming can only turn off zones comprising hundreds or even thousands of pixels.

Although this can be effective for HDR content and appear impressive, it introduces fundamental flaws under challenging conditions. For instance, when displaying a bright and dark element in close proximity, an OLED can precisely control each pixel as needed, ensuring a sharp, accurate separation between light and dark areas. In contrast, LCDs with local dimming must adeptly manage the zones to achieve the necessary distinction between light and dark areas. However, when the element is too small or not ideally positioned, the bright element can bleed into the dark area within the backlight zone, resulting in unwanted blooming artifacts.

OLED therefore holds an advantage in displaying clean HDR content with minimal blooming or haloing. In certain scenes, this difference can manifest as either raised blacks or deep blacks, such as in starfields and Christmas lights. Additionally, OLED can offer a brightness advantage for small bright objects within a dark scene. Subtitles will appear cleaner on an OLED, with reduced blooming. Generally, OLEDs produce richer shadows thanks to their inherently higher contrast ratio.

Beyond brightness and shadow detail, OLEDs offer other advantages for HDR. With no backlight zones to manage, OLEDs can transition between bright and dark more swiftly, with no visible zone transitions. OLEDs are less prone to suffer from backlight flickering, although light PWM behavior, especially when using a variable refresh rate, is common. Additionally, OLEDs like this one do not increase input latency in HDR mode, as they do not require a backlight zone algorithm to operate.

The PG32UCDM comes well configured for HDR out of the box, and has graceful, painless switching between the HDR and SDR modes that requires no user OSD interaction after you set up each mode to your liking. Asus offers several HDR modes, though I found the default Console HDR setting to offer the best, most accurate experience.

In this mode EOTF tracking is excellent at a 10% window size, perfectly following the curve with good rolloff near the maximum and strong dark performance so the monitor is neither too dark nor too bright in this crucial area that impacts shadow detail. A HDR grayscale deltaE average of 3.41 is very good and also indicates little to no color temperature issues, whites are not tinted even when bright, a good sign to see.

I was also impressed with HDR color accuracy, when looking at saturation sweeps and other tests this display is well tuned and delivers a nice, accurate experience while gaming. This is further complemented by its wide Rec. 2020 color gamut, so typically this display looks fantastic showing HDR content that makes use of brightness, shadow detail and color saturation. Very few complaints here.

Like other QD-OLEDs, EOTF tracking isn’t as strong outside of 10%, so for example when we test 2% which shows the monitor is capable of 1000 nits of peak brightness, rolloff isn’t as nice near that 1000 nit mark. You’ll see similar at a 25% window size but still the performance is good and this doesn’t have a huge impact on the experience.

What I thought was very strange though is the experience testing on Nvidia and AMD GPUs. Previously we’ve seen some monitors where we can achieve the expected brightness on an Nvidia GPU, but not an AMD GPU; the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 comes to mind. On this Asus monitor in both our test patterns and video content, you get the same performance and experience regardless of what GPU brand you have.

However while gaming, I found that in some games (not all, but some, like Cyberpunk 2077), the UDCM only delivered about half the real world brightness on an AMD GPU versus an Nvidia GPU testing in the exact same area. So for example, if the Nvidia GPU did 1000 nits, the AMD GPU would do 500 nits. This was only true in these games, and not true while (for example) watching an HDR movie, where both the Nvidia and AMD GPU would do 1000 nits.

Asus believes this issue is caused by AMD using GPU-side HDR tone mapping in some situations with their FreeSync Premium Pro HDR pipeline, a possible explanation we’ve mentioned in other reviews. Nvidia always sends the signal to the display for display-side tone mapping. It’s odd to see that with this specific monitor, this only affects some content, not all content like on the Samsung OLED G9. It’s also not clear whether this is Asus’ fault because they haven’t properly implemented FreeSync Premium Pro, or whether it’s AMD’s fault for botching FreeSync Premium Pro with this monitor on the GPU driver side.

Either way it’s a problem that Asus and AMD will need to sort out for regular buyers. For those that want to tinker, there is a workaround where you can force FreeSync Premium Pro to revert to FreeSync Premium without GPU-side tone mapping by editing the EDID in CRU. This fix allowed the PG32UCDM to deliver the same in-game brightness and performance on an AMD GPU as on an Nvidia GPU. Hopefully there will be a better solution in the future that is enabled through a firmware or driver update.

For now let’s look at best case brightness, the default experience on an Nvidia GPU. Again no real differences compared to previous QD-OLED monitors, the PG32UCDM does about 260 nits full screen white, 475 nits at a 10% window size, and 1042 nits at a 2% window size. This gives the display strong brightness for small bright elements, but fairly weak brightness around 10%, as seen in the brightness vs window size chart. Large screen brightness is decent for an OLED but not a standout.

Real world brightness in scene 1 was surprisingly low at just 230 nits, and while it’s a mid APL type of scene I was still a bit puzzled by this result. However in our low APL scene 2, the PG32UCDM is much more in line with expectations, pushing 898 nits which is very strong. While gaming I saw just shy of 1000 nits peak, and in several other tests saw normal real scene brightness in line with other QD-OLEDs so it seems that scene 1 result is an outlier.

HUB Essentials Checklist

The final section of this review is the HUB Essentials Checklist 2.0. In the first part, we assess the accuracy of Asus’ spec sheet and provide some additional information ourselves. Generally, Asus does a great job of advertising their monitor, aside from the unrealistic response time numbers. We appreciate how Asus explicitly states the 250-nit brightness level is for 100% APL, while also providing peak HDR brightness results of 1,000 nits, making it very clear to consumers what to expect in terms of brightness.

The second section looks at key features and whether Asus supports them with this monitor. It’s no surprise to see an OLED performing well in motion and contrast areas, earning lots of green ticks. We also noted a few borderline results for aspects such as factory calibration, as it wasn’t clear which mode is enabled by default. The Rec. 2020 coverage just fell short of 80%, and of course, there was the odd AMD HDR performance issue.

Some other important areas to mention are that Asus are planning to add in Dolby Vision support in a future firmware update, however the shipping firmware does not support this feature as of yet. I do believe this 4K QD-OLED panel has RGB Stripe Level text clarity, and it was also nice to see features like passive cooling, and no flickering in our stress tests. DSC can also be disabled, though you can’t use the monitor at 240Hz without DSC, even over HDMI 2.1. VESA mounting is provided through an included bracket.

What We Learned

The Asus ROG Swift OLED PG32UCDM is precisely what many high-end gamers have been craving: a QD-OLED experience scaled up to a 32-inch 4K panel format. The end result is an exceptional gaming experience: it’s large, high-resolution, fast, and offers proper HDR support. We believe 4K OLED monitors like this will be the obvious choice for most people willing to invest over $1,000 in a desktop gaming display.

The performance characteristics of the PG32UCDM aren’t particularly surprising. This is the QD-OLED technology we’ve grown to appreciate over the last 18 months, resized to a new format. So, we’re receiving the same elite response time speeds, the same brightness characteristics including 1,000 nits peak brightness, the same sort of HDR performance, and similar flaws to other QD-OLEDs as well.

This consistency is desirable because we already know QD-OLEDs excel in gaming. Combining a 240Hz refresh rate with super-fast response times results in elite motion clarity unprecedented at this resolution. 4K gaming has never looked or felt this clear, and although the GPU requirements to drive such high resolution and refresh rate are substantial, this OLED performs brilliantly at lower refresh rates, providing ample headroom for future PC hardware upgrades.

There are benefits for all types of gamers here. Competitive or faster-paced games shine at 4K 240Hz, while single-player titles also benefit from the combination of high resolution and true HDR. Deep blacks, per-pixel dimming, bright highlights, and excellent tuning from Asus deliver stunning visuals across the board. It’s probably the most suitable of the OLED formats yet for console gamers, given its 4K resolution, HDR, and HDMI 2.1 support.

The increased pixel density of this panel greatly benefits text clarity and productivity work, although risks still exist when using an OLED for static desktop apps, a topic we plan to explore further. Asus is now offering a three-year burn-in warranty for their OLEDs, providing some peace of mind. This monitor is the most suitable OLED yet for desktop work, but until we better understand how it fares against burn-in, we hesitate to recommend it for that specific use case.

We were impressed with Asus’ color tuning in both the SDR and HDR modes, outstanding compared to most other gaming monitors we’ve tested. The port selection is excellent, including most desired features, support for firmware updates, and the upcoming addition of Dolby Vision. There’s even ELMB at 120Hz if you choose to use it, a feature unique to this product.

So, what are the drawbacks? What reasons might prevent someone from immediately investing $1,300 in this monitor? Honestly, there aren’t many issues, the most significant being the previously discussed QD-OLED panel coating issues and some AMD GPU HDR performance issues. For mixed workloads or heavy productivity, we’d also hesitate due to the burn-in risk.

We’ve seen this monitor, or this type of 4K QD-OLED panel, described as an “endgame” product or an “ultimate” display you’ll never need to upgrade from. While it is an excellent product, we disagree with that assessment. We expect OLEDs to become brighter, more resilient against burn-in, offer higher refresh rates, better panel coatings, and become more affordable over time – as well as more accessible through other panel formats. It feels like we’re just beginning with high-end OLED monitors for gaming, moving beyond the early adopter phase to where the market opens up to a broader audience.

The big question is whether to purchase the Asus PG32UCDM, at a $100 premium over some competitors, or wait for a different variant. Given the imminent arrival of other products using this panel, it’s worth waiting to see how they compare; we’re already testing two others. As with the ultrawides, there can be surprising performance differences between models that are worth noting.

Additionally, it might be worthwhile to wait for the WOLED equivalents, especially given their intriguing 1080p 480Hz mode, though they’re not expected until later in the year, depending on your willingness to wait. Either way, these are exciting times for those in the market for a new high-end gaming monitor in 2024.

Shopping Shortcuts:
  • Asus ROG Swift PG32UCDM on Newegg
  • Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 on Amazon
  • Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD on Amazon
  • Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 on Amazon
  • Alienware AW3423DW 34″ QD-OLED on Amazon
  • LG C2 42″ OLED TV on Amazon
  • Corsair Xeneon Flex on Amazon
  • Asus ROG Swift PG42UQ on Amazon



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