Asus’ First-Ever 500Hz Monitor Is Coming, And You Probably Don’t Need It

Asus’ First-Ever 500Hz Monitor Is Coming, And You Probably Don’t Need It

Asus just revealed the world’s first 500Hz monitor, the ROG Swift 500Hz. To be clear, this monitor is for the 1% of gamers — a tiny sliver of esports competitors who need the fastest refresh rates and lowest latency to give them an edge over the competition.

Though a technical feat, a 500Hz monitor won’t be of much benefit to most gamers unless they have a rig that consistently plays games at 500 frames per second. Even then, refresh rates are subject to potential diminishing returns the higher you get, where going from 60Hz to 120Hz can have a profound effect on your experience while the jump from 240Hz to 360Hz is less likely to be noticeable to the average player.

Obviously, the specifics of how you perceive different framerates differs from person to person, but let me explain. At CES 2020, Nvidia sat me in a room filled with monitors, each with a different refresh rate. The goal was to snipe an enemy soldier as they briefly ran across an opening in their cover. If I’m remembering correctly, I hit 2 of 10 on a 60Hz panel and 9 of 10 on a 240Hz display. Moving up to the first-ever 360Hz monitor didn’t improve my accuracy.

Then again, I’m not a professional gamer, and my 28-year-old hand-eye coordination isn’t what it used to be during my high school days when I spent every day playing either sports or video games. Either way, owning a high refresh rate monitor is like using a gaming mouse with a 20K DPI: only the twitchiest will get anywhere close to maxing out, but it doesn’t hurt anything (except maybe your wallet) to have the extra headroom.

Asus and Nvidia clearly felt they needed to prove this point. To that end, Nvidia used a Phantom VEO 640S motion camera with 72GB of RAM to record Valorant running at 1,000fps. You can see in the video that the gameplay captured on the 500Hz monitor appears smoother, with less ghosting and lower latency than both the 144Hz and 240Hz panels. Remember, this is being shot on a super slow-motion camera — at full speed, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference.

If you buy this monitor — Asus hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet — you will need hardware powerful enough to play games like Valorant, CS:GO, and Apex Legends at 1080p at around 500fps. Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 40-series graphics cards could be capable candidates, though I don’t want to think about street pricing after they launch.

Even if its 500Hz refresh rate isn’t much of a benefit, this ROG Swift has other compelling features. The monitor has a 24.1-inch, 1080p E-TN (eSports TN) panel with 60% faster response times than a standard TN panel. It supports Nvidia G-Sync and Reflex Analyser, so you can tune your settings for the lowest possible input lag.

Asus promises minimal motion blur and no screen tearing as you pick off an enemy the moment they round a corner. And while TN panels aren’t known for their colour output, Asus added an enhanced Vibrance mode to increase saturation and highlights so you can more easily see an enemy’s position in darker settings.

We don’t know when the ROG Swift 500Hz will start shipping, but if its presence on the market drops the price of 144Hz or 240Hz monitors, then call me excited.


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