Looking for a budget 4K monitor? Before you do think about the video card you’re going to need to power it and remember that 4K offers up four times as many pixels as a 1920×1080 display – so it’s going to need a meaty graphics card to get the most out of it.
My personal preference when gaming at this resolution would be a GTX 1080, and if you’re going to spend the best part of $600-$700 on one of these monsters you’ll want to save money on other components.
Enter the AOC U2477PWQ.
AOC is renowned for producing affordable screens for gamers that deliver fantastic performance and value, and this budget 4K gaming monitor ticks all the boxes.
Let’s take a closer look at the U2477PWQ.
With a screen size of 23.8 inches the U2477PWQ is a budget 4K monitor that’s ideal for people with limited desk space but who still want the ultra high definition experience.
As you’d expect the picture quality is first class.
This is helped by having a high number of pixels squeezed into a screen that measures just 23.6 inches diagonally, resulting in an impressively high number of pixels per inch.
What this means is that you have more screen space on your Windows desktop.
If you’re using the screen for work, for example, this means you’ll be able to see absolutely masses of spreadsheet before you need to zoom out.
However, the disadvantage is that text and icons look absolutely tiny at their native 100% size, so you should look at bumping up your scaling settings to find a size that suits you.
The design is very similar to other AOC monitors, with a black bezel and brushed silver base, and despite its price the monitor doesn’t look like it’s a ‘budget’ offering.
Unlike AOC’s frame-syncing screens the G2460PF and G2460PG, there is no bright band of color along this budget 4K monitor’s base, and this lack of frame-syncing technology is one of the screen’s weaknesses.
However, the trade off is that your screen doesn’t look quite so garish.
Most video cards will struggle to deliver high frame rates at this resolution so frame smoothing technology would have been a nice offering for gamers.
The monitor comes with a sturdy stand, that’s attached with a single screw and that offers full height and tilt adjustment.
There’s no swivel adjustment, but hey you can just turn it round on your desk if you need to.
There’s plenty of connections too.
The screen provides DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0. DVI and VGA inputs.
The HDMI 2.0 compatibility alone is a great reason to invest in this screen, allowing you to display content from Blu-Ray players and PCs at 60Hz, instead of the 30Hz provided by the HDMI 1.4 connector.
The DisplayPort connector supports 60Hz at 4K resolution, which is a basic requirement if you’re investing in this screen for gaming.
The screen delivers a 4ms response time, which is perfectly adequate for gaming, and during tests I found it worked really well for fast-paced games such as Project Cars and Overwatch.
AOC U2477WQ Specs
|Maximum Resolution||3,840 x 2,160|
|Maximum Refresh Rate||60Hz|
|Video Inputs||1 x DisplayPort, 1 x VGA, 1x DVI , 1 x HDMI 2.0|
If you’re looking to get into 4K gaming on a budget you could do a lot worse than this offering from AOC.
That’s why it’s received the Building a Gaming PC Top Budget award.
The U2477PWQ is a budget 4K monitor that packs a punch. Whether you’re looking for strong gaming performance, or are looking for a screen for workj and 4K movies this screen will deliver.
No, it’s not gigantic like the majority of 4K monitors, but that means it will fit on the smallest of desks, in the most compact rooms.
If you’re on a limited budget and want to get into 4K gaming, buy the U2477PWQ and use the money you saved on the screen to buy a GTX 1080.
The only thing letting the screen down is lack of frame-syncing technology like FreeSync or G-sync.
However, if you’ve invested in a GTX 1080, smooth frame rates shouldn’t be too much of a problem at 4K – and if it does start to stutter you can simply dial down the detail settings a notch or two.
IPS versus TN versus PLS
The AOC U2477PWQ is a plane to line switching (PLS) panel. If you’re researching monitors for your next gaming PC build you’re likely coming across plenty of references to TN and IPS panels.
So what is an PLS panel, and how does it compare to IPS and TN displays, and what are the differences?
To simplify it, the differences between IPS and TN displays can be explained like this:
IPS stands for in-plane switching, which is a newer type of display technology, while TN stands for twisted nematic, which is an earlier form of display technology.
The advantages of IPS displays over TN displays:
- The colors in IPS displays look bright and strong from all viewing angles
- IPS displays do not ‘lighten’ when you touch the screen surface
- IPS offers clearer images
The disadvantages of IPS displays compared to TN displays:
- IPS displays are generally more expensive
- IPS displays tend to require more power
- In general IPS displays tend to have longer response times than TN displays
But what about PLS?
Well, plane line switching means your screen will feature great viewing angles, high brightness and rich colors, although there is a trade off in response time. however, as we have seen this doesn’t impact massively on the screen’;s gaming performance – even in fast games.
Remember, what you choose for your gaming PC is up to you and is largely down to how much money you have to spend.
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