AORUS is everywhere in the current PC hardware scene. They started out with a few high-end gaming laptops a few years ago, and now offer just about every piece of PC hardware you can think of, from power supplies to GPUs, and everything in between.

All that’s really left for AORUS to tackle is CPUs and monitors, and though it’s unlikely we’ll see them going head-to-head with Intel or AMD any time soon, one of their newest products is a bold step into the display market. This step makes sense given their increasing presence in the gaming space, a monitor is a very different animal than RAM or power supplies.

With the AORUS AD27QD, GIGABYTE’s gaming brand is putting their best foot forward with a high-quality panel and some seriously feature-rich hardware. The sheer amount of built in options with this display is almost overwhelming, culminating in some interesting, and unexpected, audio tech. This prioritization of improving the user experience in addition to an emphasis on solid build quality has the potential to set the AD27 out in a crowded field of gaming focused displays.

You can pick up the AORUS AD27QD gaming display for $599 on Newegg, GameCrate’s parent site.

Design and construction

Modern PC gaming hardware puts form right up there with function, and it’s clear AORUS is embracing that mentality with the AD27.

They very much embraced the “aggressive is better” look, similar to Acer’s Predator line. Nothing wrong with that, the angular, edgy look is popular for a reason, and with the build quality being so high, nothing about this display has the cheap, plastic-y feeling this look can sometimes mask.

The RGB lighting on the back of the display consists of two angled stripes of bright light, and the screaming eagle logo on the stand. The splash of color looks great, though it isn’t bright enough to notice from the front, or to act as ambient lighting, so your enjoyment may vary depending on your setup. The lighting is controlled via GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion software, so if you’re already a part of that ecosystem, you’ll know what you’re getting here.

What really stands out when first encountering the AD27QD is just how well-built it all feels. The metal base is smaller than you might think given the weight of the display. This could be a concern, but the stand is balanced nicely, and provides a sense of stability that is very important in a high-end display like this.

The height and angle adjustment also feel similarly stellar. The amount of resistance for the 130mm height adjustment is close to perfect. It’s easy to move, but never goes beyond where you want it to go, with a satisfying resistance. It also has a handle at the top of the base which is a nice touch.

The panel can rotate 90 degrees if you’re looking to use portrait mode, and this also allows you to easily access the numerous and somewhat unusual inputs (more on those in a bit.) It also allows for a -5º/+24º tilt, and a 20 degree swivel. You can also go with a standard VESA mount if you want it on your wall, and the stand is easily removed with a single screw.

The reason the display is so heavy is that the power supply is built into the chassis of the monitor. This means all you need for power is a single standard three prong power cable, so there’s no large PSU brick to deal with. This adds weight to the display, but it’s a great tradeoff if, like me, you detest clutter and don’t plan on moving the display much.

Another excellent design choice is the almost non-existent bezels on everything except the bottom. It looks incredibly clean, though it should be noted that the image doesn’t display all the way to the edge of the bezel, meaning you’ll see a little more black than you might think.

All things considered, the build quality is stellar. There are some high-end gaming monitors that perform nicely, but feel fragile. Fortunately, that is not the case here.

The panel

The panel offers a 2560x1440 resolution, with the now almost standard 144Hz refresh rate, and an excellent 1ms response time. In addition to these high-end features, it also supports HDR, albeit entry level HDR 400. We tested some HDR videos, and you could definitely see an increase in peak luminance. The panel really shone when we tested it with games. Dante and friends looked suitably excellent in Devil May Cry 5, and we experienced very little light bleed, and almost no ghosting or motion blur, even in the most action packed scenes.

The display looked great with every game we tested, and viewing angle didn’t seem to have much of a negative impact at all.   

The AD27Q also supports AMD’s FreeSync over both DisplayPort and HDMI, so those of you with AMD GPUs can enjoy a smoother gameplay experience. What’s really cool is that the display is also G-Sync compatible. While this iteration of G-Sync support doesn’t mean Nvidia's proprietary chip is in the display, Nvidia has recently moved to support some FreeSync displays in recent months, with the AD27 among them.

While Nvidia is quick to point out that performance isn’t on par with those displays that have a dedicated G-Sync chip, it’s still very awesome that a FreeSync monitor and an Nvidia card can live in screen tear-free harmony. Whether Team Green or Team Red, the Aorus AD27QD has you covered, and that’s a glorious thing.

The monitor supports one DisplayPort 1.2 input, two HDMI, a standard headphone jack, a mic input (you’ll see why,) and a USB 3.0 hub.    

Feature riches

So, it’s a great looking monitor with a high build quality, and a solid gaming panel. What else you got AORUS?

Quite a lot as it turns out.

The AD27QD has a huge selection of features built into the display that provide an almost unprecedented level of display customization options.

AORUS’ software suite, ODS Sidekick, allows you to control everything your display can do straight from a software suite on your desktop, so you don’t have to fumble with buttons and toggle sticks to access your brightness settings if you don’t want to.

One of the coolest features of the AD27QD is that you can display live system stats directly on the monitor, including CPU temperatures, frames per second, and a huge variety of other useful information. While none of this is new, what is new is that it’s all handled by the monitor itself, as opposed to software on your computer.

Thanks to a chip in the monitor, this system information is passed directly to the display from your computer via USB. That means that your operating system has no idea what is being shown on the monitor, so games and software have no knowledge of what the monitor is overlaying. In addition to system specs, there’s a whole suite of other available options, like cooldown timers, customizable crosshairs, counters, and plenty more. The best part is that this multitude of customization options is all mappable to keyboard shortcuts to keep things simple.

This does mean you have to connect your PC to the monitor via USB, but in return you get two USB 3.0 ports in addition to all of that information at your eyeball’s...fingertips?

A solid trade if I’ve ever seen one.

Cancel the audio

The AD27QD is also experimenting with some exciting audio tech we haven’t seen in a monitor before. The AD27 features active noise cancellation, which is achieved with three microphones that are built into the display. You’ll need to connect your microphone to the monitor in order to use this feature, and the three microphones will work to determine any ambient or background noise that isn’t your voice, and delete it from the feed.

Though this won’t impact your experience, it means the person you are talking to won’t hear sound like fans, other conversations, or the clickety clack of your favorite blue switches.

It’s a cool concept, and from what we can tell, one that works fairly well. As long as you don’t mind a slight loss of quality, it’s a remarkably ambitious step, and one that could be excellent for people who rely on their computers for communication.

This is a very cool idea, and it will be interesting to see if it catches on. You don’t normally associate audio with a monitor (especially one without speakers,) but I applaud AORUS for trying something a little different.

A strong step in the right direction

AORUS managed to pack so much into this display, it’s hard not to be impressed.

The angular visual design might be hit or miss, and the placement of the RGB might confound some, but the build quality is exceptional, the panel is a solid performer, and the extra pile of features via OSD Sidekick that are offered here are second to none. Most people probably won’t use all of these features, but having the options is excellent. Even without on-screen hardware displays and noise cancellation, the AORUS AD27QD would already be a stellar choice.

This is a remarkably strong first step into the competitive gaming monitor space, and an impressive entry in AORUS’ swiftly growing lineup of gaming PC hardware.