Over the years, I’ve been covering tech reviews, I’ve only covered a handful of monitors during this time. Although it is still a staple piece of tech for any gamer, it doesn’t carry as big a need to upgrade as many other components. That isn’t to say the industry has remained stagnant – anything but. We’ve seen some glorious takes on modern gaming monitors recently. ASUS, too, has thrown its hat into the ring with a refreshed lineup. The ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ is one such gaming monitor.
Many gamers would tell you that they tend to keep their screens anywhere in the region beyond the five-year mark. Additionally, with the rise in popularity of the gaming laptop, it’s not seen as a must-have for some. That said, its importance increases exponentially if you are a mid-level to a professional gamer. With a new set of features, how well does the ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ enhance your gaming performance and immersion?
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ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ Build and Design
There isn’t an awful lot you can do with the design of a monitor. Most of the patterns and trinkets would, thus, lie on the back of the screen. With most setups, the desk and, therefore the monitor is against or facing the wall, which isn’t all that useful in terms of added aesthetics. When in use, most of the visible design would be left to the elegance of an edgeless frame and its stand.
It is these latter points that ASUS has focused on with the ROG Strix XG32UQ. For starters, it has a really narrow bezel around the screen. It is only slightly larger at the bottom to support the added ports below it and the ROG logo on the front.
In terms of the specifications of the build, it has a 728.18×428.52×87.12mm without the stand. The stand adds another 110mm to the adjustable height and almost 200m to the depth due to the three-legged design. The screen weighs 5.77KG on its own and another 3KG to the total of 8.9KG with the stand included. Overall, it’s not all that heavy for a monitor of its size and features. That’s in comparison to the 11KG of the previously reviewed ASUS ROG Swift 34″.
Other features of the stand include a 20° to -5° tilt window, along with a side-to-side swivel of 20° to -20°. As mentioned earlier, its height is adjustable. There is about 80mm of height displacement from the included stand. It also includes a VESA Wall Mount on the rear and a Kensington lock for good measure.
Staying on the rear, I did mention previously that most monitor designs are left behind the screen. ASUS has added some design patterns and logos on the rear for those who do wish to showcase this aspect. There are two elements of ASUS’ designs at work here. The of these is the diagonal line from top to bottom to split the pattern on the cover. This diagonal design can be seen in some form in almost every ASUS product released in the past two to three years.
The second aspect is the circuit pattern used in one-half of the cover. It’s an etched pattern, so you can feel the texture. Added to this textured finish is a fairly large ROG logo on the top right-hand side. It has a chrome finish, which is quite reflective, as well as cut-out edges surrounding the logo.
It’s not quite the minimalist approach and far from anything over-the-top or gaudy. There is a nice balance of added textures, patterns, and clean lines across its design. Although it has a predominantly plastic build, there aren’t any loose panels or the like.
Screen and Display
The ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQn has a 32” IPS LED panel with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio and HDR support. It’s a non-glossy finish to prevent unnecessary glare, with a default refresh rate of 144Hz. Additionally, it also has a default 450 nits brightness, which can be maximised at 600 nits.
The panel has quite a few certifications as per the configuration. This includes TÜV Flicker-free, TÜV Low Blue Light, DisplayHDR™ 600, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync certificates.
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Assembly and Ports
Putting together each of the components to assemble the ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ is straightforward. Most of the parts are plug and play, apart from a few screws. The most difficult task, I would argue, is unboxing the unit. Note to anyone planning on purchasing the monitor, or has already done so, is to lie it on its side and pull out the Styrofoam packaging.
Once unboxed, you can easily put together the pieces to build the monitor. The first thing to do is build the stand. It comes in two pieces on its own, in the form of the feet and the body. You can clip the two pieces together and then tighten the screws at the bottom. These specific screws don’t need a screwdriver.
Next is to take out the screen and clip it in place atop the stand. It has a large circular head with a hook, which keeps the monitor in place before needing to fit in place. To fit it into place, there are four screws that come with the contents. These, however, do require the use of a screwdriver to tighten the stand and screen securely.
The final step is to connect each of your cables, including the included power adapter. Behind the screen is a removable cover. The cover itself is quite thin and clips in and out at the bottom of the rear to cover the cables coming out from the screen’s ports. Once you’ve placed the cover back into position, you’re all set for first use.
In terms of the included ports, there are quite a few added. Starting with the HDMI, it features x2 HDMI 2.1 ports, alongside a single DisplayPort 1.4 port. Furthermore, there are two USB 3.2 ports to power your peripherals. One noticeable omission from the set of ports is any Type-C port. This is quite a significant exclusion given the device’s future-forward approach.
In addition to the missing Type-C port, the XG model lacks speakers. The PG version of the unit includes x2 5W speakers but none on the XG variant, which I received for testing. To add to this, in the software menu, you do see the option to adjust speaker settings and volume, although it has been greyed out as non-adjustable.
When it comes to benchmarks and real-world performance, the ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ delivers solid results. As mentioned previously, it has quite a few certifications based on its configuration and benchmark testing.
While all of it is important in protecting your eyesight in the long term, there are two that make the difference while gaming. Having tested out both the AMD FreeSync and G-Sync functionality on different setups, there is a big improvement in my standard gaming monitor. This reduces the screen lag and any visible ghosting you may experience on conventional monitors.
In terms of colour reproduction, it achieves an impressive 96% coverage of the DCI-P3 and 120% on the sRGB colour space. Visually, you can see the difference between my comparative monitor, which lacks the same boldness and contrast from the dark blacks. It’s not quite the OLED performance but it delivers great visuals on its IPS LED panel.
Switching to the refresh rate, the default setting allows for up to 144Hz. The visuals look amazing if your GPU can achieve 100+ frame rates to make for an all-immersive gaming experience. An interesting aspect about the monitor is that it supports overclocking. This, however, is only available via the DisplayPort connection. Additionally, you will need a supporting GPU. Given its recent release, this is currently only supported on the NVIDIA 4000 series GPUs.
Overclocking the monitor pushes the refresh rate to an impressive 165Hz. However, I was unable to test this, as the GPU used during testing wasn’t capable of supporting this feature.
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By today’s standards, power consumption is very important. This is further highlighted in South Africa through the ongoing loadshedding. However, the ASUS has made the ROG Strix XG32UQ quite efficient in this area.
In terms of the specifications, the unit draws around 37W under normal load. This reduces to less than 0.5W in power-saving mode when on standby and below 0.3W when powered off while plugged in. It does exceed the 35W mark when overclocking but most of the draw comes from the GPU.
I tested the monitor on my portable power station during loadshedding and it worked fine. It runs at a voltage of 100-240V at 50/60Hz, which means the draw is fairly minimal. Over a span of one four-hour loadshedding period, it ran alongside my laptop with ease and barely consumed 25% capacity in conjunction.
Is the ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ Gaming Monitor Worth It?
The ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ Gaming Monitor is a great addition for any gamer. With its colour reproduction, 144Hz refresh rate by default and 32” panel, there’s a lot to love about it. It may not have the fanciest of designs but it gets the job done, nonetheless. It works brilliantly.
The monitor carries a price in the range of R15,999 to R18,999, depending on the size and configuration. For most casual gamers, this isn’t a price they’d be willing to dish out. That said, with its features and overclocking performance, the monitor fits into the premium category geared towards serious and professional gaming. As such, it’s an investment worth its price at the end of the day.
ASUS ROG Strix XG32UQ Gaming Monitor
- 4K 144Hz panel (165Hz overclocked)
- Fast IPS LED
- HDMI 2.1 and USB 3.2 support
- Reduced weight of comparative gaming monitors
- No USB Type-C
- No speakers on XG model
Ease of Learning
Ease of Use
Value for Money