I WON A GAME OF APEX LEGENDS! And that’s something that doesn’t usually happen. The day I won however, I switched out my monitor from a 32″ Cello W3203SH to the AOC 24G2U. Is this the reason I won? Possibly.
The AOC 24G2U is a follow on from last year’s G1 which was a superb little monitor indeed, and one of my favourite budget gaming monitors. I very much enjoyed having the G1 on my desk, and now it’s starting to go the same way with the G2.
I opted for a 24″ from a gaming standpoint. I’ve had 27-inch monitors on the desk before, which seems to be a common size people go for. But 24″ means everything is much smaller, and you’re not relying on your peripheral vision to scope out enemies coming into frame while playing games. There’s a 27″ model available too, if the 24″ is too small.
The AOC 24G2U uses an IPS display which can hit a resolution of 1920 x 1080p with a refresh rate of 144Hz. And because of its IPS display, it can produce some wonderful colours inside of games, and I really noticed this while playing Destiny 2. The new Shadowkeep DLC is based on the Moon, and you have to traverse dimly lit caves during your objectives. Everything is dark and dank, and a real juxtaposition when against flashing lasers and exploding electric grenades.
The whole thing is wrapped up in a nice sleek, near bezeless frame, that stands on a very sharp looking monitor stand. The side and top bezels almost sink into the actual frame, putting them on the same plane as the monitor. The stand has some red detailing, most notably around the rim of the monitor arm and across the bottom bezel which is following on from previous AOC gaming offerings, almost a staple of their design. It’s subtle and looks tidy. The monitor itself has a 3.5/21.5° tilt, has a -30/30° swivel and raise up and down up to 130mm. If you’re so way inclined, you can twist the monitor into a vertical aspect ratio.
On the rear of the monitor you will find a DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 1.4 inputs, both of which AOC provide cables for in the box. There are also four USB 3.0 inputs which is hugely generous for a monitor. Saves me using inputs on the back of my tower for my mouse and keyboard. I just plugged them straight into the monitor. To finish off there is a line-in, a headphone out and also two 2w speakers which sounds alright, but as expected, very tinny. I wouldn’t recommend using these if you’re doing any kind of serious gaming. Stick a set of headphones into the monitor instead.
In terms of screen detail there’s already a lot going for this monitor. I’ve already spoken a little about my experience with Destiny 2, but what about everything else? Let’s dive into the spec and what to expect from the AOC 24G2U. The monitor as we said uses an IPS panel with an 144Hz refresh rate with an MRPT of 1ms. It can hit 126% of the sRGB colour spectrum which is absolutely fantastic. Viewing angles are absolutely superb, thanks to the IPS display, and a dynamic contrast ratio of 80M:1 which is incredibly huge ensures your image stays alive with lots of rich colour and detail in those highlights and shadow areas. It has Freesync support for any of you AMD heads out there, although I will say during our testing, I was using an nVidia GTX980TI, so didn’t really take much advantage of that. As I’ve said in previous reviews, for the games I play and the streaming I do, there’s no need to really upgrade yet.
Everything inside of games felt super smooth with this monitor. Coming from my Cello with a 5ms response time, dropping from 5ms down to 1ms, there was some notable differences, especially with faster paced games. Apex Legends, my battle-royale of choice looked notably smoother as I was sliding and jumping around the map, especially when it came to gun fights.
Even on my Playstation 4, I spent a lot of time this weekend reviewing this monitor playing Marvel’s Spider-Man, and I must say, especially during the darker scenes, where Mr Negative is flashing off his powers, or during the final boss fight against Dr. Octavius, the bright flames looked great against the musky backdrop. Even the bright purple Ozcorp logo was incredibly vivid against the night’s sky. I’ve personally not noticed any kind of screen tearing when using this monitor. I turn off V-Sync is pretty much all games I play, and just rely on it hitting the maximum frames per second it can. In slower games that I’ve been playing, like Planet Zoo for example, EVERYTHING looks fantastic, and colours absolutely pop!
In true AOC fashion, they’ve given users a number of game focussed settings on their montir which range from shadow control, to game colour and Overdrive setting which is designed to push the monitor response time setting. In my menu I used the Gamer 1 custom profile, and dropped the colour down to 8 to save images looking too oversaturated and my overdrive setting to ‘Weak’. Anything set higher than this caused some ghosting and artifacting on the monitor and was somewhat offputting. Not sure if AOC has made any significant improvements in this area from the original G1, but it’s nice to see them return none the less.
The problem with their menu system though is that it’s so hard to get from one menu to the other. Having the older style button system on the underside of the right is a little dated. I would have loved to have seen this updated into some kind of joystick like we’ve seen on LG monitors of late. It takes some getting used to, and as the symbols of each button are the same colour as the frame, it makes it very annoying to know which button you need to press next.
Alongside this I set my contrast to 60 and brightness to 100. There is an ‘Eco Mode’ where it adjusts your settings on the fly, but the ‘Game’ setting just made my image look too dark. Don’t touch the ‘HDR Effect’ either. It doesn’t do your image justice, and again, makes it look very dark.
AOC do a fantastic job with their budget gaming monitors. I said it before with the G1 and I will definitely say it again with the AOC 24G2U. Go get one. If you’re on a budget, but want the best performance you could possibly get, then the AOC 24G2U would be the monitor for you. It’s got a fantastic refresh rate and response time, and colours are hugely vivid and make your games look super sharp. I would have liked it to hit a 1440p resolution, but you can’t have everything right? And if you’re in a situation like me where you’re still rocking a GTX980TI, then you’ll be gaming at 1080p anyway, and still manage to hit decent frame rates. For more information on this monitor, then head over to the AOC website.