Pros: FreeSync, 144Hz, Great base and stand, Price
Cons: Slight image issues
A lot of products out there today are either too low quality to be worthwhile, or too expensive to be practical. The monitor market exemplifies this. Depending on the image quality and features, the exact same size and resolution monitor can double or even triple in cost from top to bottom. With new buzzwords like Adaptive Sync, FreeSync, G-Sync, 144Hz, response time, and IPS, it can be difficult to navigate and find a good monitor for your needs. Today I will be taking a look at AOC's new G2460PF gaming monitor. We'll see how it stacks up against other monitors and whether or not it's worth your hard earned dollar.
The shipping box was nothing special but it all arrived safely with no internal damage. The box highlights the FreeSync feature as well as the 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate. Inside we find everything you need. The monitor comes pre-attached to the stand (not visible in the picture). Also included is a cable management clip, a USB2.0 uplink cable, an AC power cable, a DisplayPort cable, an HDMI cable, a user's guide on a CD, and finally the base. I'm not sure why AOC felt the need to include the user's guide on a CD though. It's not really an issue since no one will really need it, but hardly anyone looking at this type of monitor is going to have a CD drive. In the age of USB3.0, I was also surprised to only find a USB2.0 uplink cable. I can see why AOC did this though, as it will mainly be used for wireless mouse receivers and keyboards which wouldn't benefit from the extra speed.
Moving down to the base and stand now. The base is just a matte black, plastic covered aluminum circle. I like the minimalist industrial design with no accents or anything like that. There is just a cutout at the back for a single screw. This attaches to the bottom part of the vertical stand. Even when fully screwed in it was still a bit loose but as long as you don't repeatedly shake your monitor you'll be fine.
The G2460PF has a very professional looking aesthetic. Its bezel is matte black plastic finished in such a way to mimic brushed aluminum. This is just one of the many things that make this monitor feel high end. Be careful when handling it though as it is a fingerprint magnet around the sides. I like the red accent on the bottom to highlight the Red Team as opposed to the Green Team's similarly colored stripe on their monitors. The side bezels aren't anything special but they aren't huge either. The lower bezel is rather thick but unless you're doing a portrait surround setup it doesn't matter.
The build in stand is excellent. It offers the full set of tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustment. If that isn't enough it is also VESA compliant with an external monitor mount. In terms of technical specification, it will pivot 90 degrees between portrait and landscape, swivel 165 degrees in either direction, tilt between -5 and +22 degrees, and travel 130mm from top to bottom. The monitor uses 22.7W while on and 0.3W when off. Most of the monitor is around an inch thick but near the center is grows to about 3" to accommodate the mount and display circuitry.
In terms of I/O options, we get the standard set with everything you'd expect. From left to right we have the USB uplink, two USB downlink ports, a power rocker, the power plug, a DVI port, an HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, and finally audio out. Some higher end monitors have multiple HDMI or DisplayPort inputs but I really think a single one is just fine. On the user's right side are also two more USB ports with one of them offering high current for mobile device charging. Also on the user's right are the buttons for the on screen display. They are tactile and feel nice to the touch. I also really appreciate the function descriptions being on the front too. These are often left out from monitors leaving you guessing at what each button does.
The on screen menu is very well developed. There are tons of options for visual and color settings. I lowered the brightness and changed the gamma settings around a little but besides that, I left most of it at the default.
Moving on to image quality now. It's a standard 8-bit panel with 16.7 million colors. The short and sweet version is it's fine for the price you pay, but nothing special otherwise. Now for the more detailed explanation. It's a TN panel so right away we know the viewing angles will be less than spectacular. There is some color shifting from white to yellowish white when you move outside of the suitable viewing zones. Moving up and down tends to wash out and destroy the saturation of the image with everything essentially morphing in to a black mess. Considering the stand is so flexible, there should be no issue to get it to an acceptable position.
Looking at the monitor with some test images, I noticed faint color deviations towards the edges. It's not really noticeable in normal use but it goes without saying you shouldn't use this for any type of color production work. The grayscale and black performance was pretty weak and the colors just don’t pop. The blacks weren’t very deep and appeared slightly gray, especially near the edges. The lowest segments on my grayscale test also blended together indicating less than stellar performance. Of all the colors, the greens were off the most. It wasn't any glaring issue and you probably won't notice it unless you compare it to a more accurate monitor. For this monitor's price and intended customer however, it's adequate.
Finally, on to gaming performance (or the real reason you are reading this review). The G2460PF is a typical gaming monitor plain and simple. What it lacks in color fidelity it makes up for in additional features. Boasting a 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync compatibility, it's a force to be reckoned with on paper. Super low response time can be a gimmick at times with most believing anything under 7ms is fine for gaming. There are always those looking for the best and at 1ms, you won't find anything lower. The 144Hz refresh rate is a very noticeable upgrade from the standard 60Hz too. Games look smoother and movements flow much nicer; even the cursor on the desktop feels noticeably better. You'll of course need a graphics card that can push out 144FPS or more to get the full effect.
If your framerate drops too low, you can start to experience tearing. This is where the monitor tries to display two different images on the screen at the same time. Note the image below with FreeSync disabled; the wooden pillars are broken up. This is caused by the GPU rendering a frame at a different time than the monitor is displaying one. If they happen to overlap, you get a tear. It is most noticeable in trees or other vertical objects. Adaptive sync technologies like FreeSync fix this by coordinating the GPU, game engine, and monitor to all produce images in the correct sequence. FreeSync is most useful in a certain framerate range. If you are over that range then the issue of tearing goes away, but this can mean very powerful and expensive hardware. If your framerate is too low, the game is unplayable no matter what fancy technologies you have. With the G2460PF you will need to keep your framerate between 35Hz and 144Hz to use FreeSync.
Looking at this monitor from an image accuracy and quality point of view, it's not the best. Looking at it from a gaming feature point of view it starts to look much better. When you see that it can be purchased for just over $200, it looks excellent. Depending on your setup and the way you like to game, FreeSync isn’t always necessary. You will need to make that choice when selecting a monitor. If you are looking to step up from a commodity or entry level monitor to a real gaming monitor, there are many options. Sure you can get monitors that look and perform much better, but at this price point it's pretty hard to beat the G2460PF from AOC.
Here is a link to the forum post for any questions or discussions