If you’re looking to build or buy a top shelf gaming computer, you’re going to need more than just a run of the mill display. Gaming monitors are built from the ground up with the needs of serious players in mind, but even by those standards, the ASUS ROG Strix XG49VQ takes things to the next level. This is an enormous monitor packed with gaming features and a price tag to match. But is it worth your money? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Gaming monitors have a habit of sporting extravagant design. Sharp angles, bright coloring, and RGB lighting are the standard rather than the exception in this field. The Asus ROG Strix has none of these things, but it doesn’t need to, and it probably couldn’t fit them in if it did. The ultra wide design of this monitor is intimidating in its own right, spanning a frankly absurd 49 inches.
That size speaks for itself, and it will demand a sturdy desk capable of fully containing it. There’s a relatively thin bezel along the sides and top that extends significantly for the bottom. Swivel and tilt adjustment are supported and allow you to angle the screen to suit your needs, a necessity given its almost impractical size. Both work as capably as you could expect.
The base itself doesn’t stand out, but it still looks good. If the size alone weren’t enough to tell you that this was a serious, specialized monitor, that industrial design and matte black finish certainly would. The simple fact is, there’s not a lot going on here. It doesn’t even make use of Asus’ trademark lighting systems. But that’s as much a practical decision as anything. Given the size of the screen, Asus has made to make the most of the space available to them, and that doesn’t leave much room for anything but the display.
The biggest selling point of the Asus ROG Strix is obviously going to be its screen size, but that won’t mean much if the quality takes a significant hit. The Double Full HD resolution of 3840 x 1080 isn’t exactly approaching 4K resolutions, and the pixel density is a little below average as well. But that means that Asus is able to focus on a metric that arguably matters more to gamers: frame rate. The ROG Strix maintains a maximum frame rate of 144Hz, and the relatively low resolution means that you can comfortable achieve it even with an upper mid-range graphics card like the GTX 1070 or RTX 2060. The monitor itself may cost a lot, but it’s a feasible choice even if you aren’t rocking the latest and greatest rig.
With an eye towards gamers, the ROG Strix also employs FreeSync2 technology. Designed to minimize tearing and create a smoother picture, FreeSync2 should work with any modern AMD graphics card. It’s an approach that can also reduce input lag, something that esports players and more competitive multiplayer gamers will really appreciate.
The inclusion of FreeSync 2 is also part of Asus’ larger intent to support great HDR as well. FreeSync2 is designed with high dynamic range in mind, and it can enhance the contrast and brightness of your gaming experience, but it’s just one of the utilities in the ROG Strix’s tool belt. Each monitor is meticulously tested to ensure it meets the standards for DisplayHDR 400 certification. And with a peak luminosity of 450 cd/m2, the Strix actually performs 50% better than the typical HDR monitor in this regard. It sits comfortably within the top 15% of HDR monitors.
Multiple HDR modes are included, with options for both watching movies and playing games. If you’re connected to a machine with an AMD card, you’ll also have access to a dedicated interface that allows you to manually configure your HDR settings.
Modern gaming is often about more than just displaying a single game on the screen. Whether you’re looking to handle your Discord chat interface, stream your experience to gamers, or manage guides and utilities for more complex games like MMOs, the ROG Strix is built with the most resource intensive needs in mind. The picture by picture interface allows you to segregate the monitor into three separate panels, and each of them can be connected to a different source so you don’t have to worry about slowdown from a single machine trying to handle significant multitasking.
Switching between displays is a simple process as well. The ROG Strix supports picture by picture hotkeys that allow you to quickly shift between any conceivable configuration for one, two, or three different video sources. The monitor will automatically adjust the given sources to provide you with the ideal fit regardless of your preferred layout.
The breadth of features available in the ROG Strix are pretty astounding. In addition to picture by picture and HDR modes, there’s dedicated Shadow Boost tech that can help you better identify what you’re seeing in darker game worlds. Gameplus technology offers a variety of different overlays that can enhance your gaming experience. The four crosshairs options are built with shooters in mind, but the other overlays can suit just about anyone. An FPS counter is a great diagnostics tool for helping you get the most out of your gaming experience, display alignment lets you manually configure your input to match your screen, and a timer lets you manually track playtime.
Free with the ROG Strix is the expansive Asus software platform known as DisplayWidget. This can be used to adjust your BlueLight settings (for reducing eye strain during long play sessions) and sync specific display configurations to specific games and apps. While you’re free to tinker with your own display settings, the ROG Strix also comes with seven presets – four specific to the needs of specific game genres and three for more general purpose use. Your DisplayWidget settings can be saved as an easily shareable file as well.
Asus ROG Strix is a fringe monitor through and through, but it does what it sets out to do admirably. The few sacrifices made, like the lower resolution, can actually serve as a benefit to some players. It’s a monitor that comes with a premium price tag without demanding a premium computer to work, and that means that it’s also a feasible choice for console gamers.
And the simple fact remains that there are few if any gaming monitors quite like the Asus ROG Strix available on the market. Just be aware that some of the available features are optimized with AMD cards in mind. If you want to find the best AMD options available, head over to our guide to the best graphics cards.