Asus ROG Swift PG34WCDM 240 Hz OLED gaming monitor review: Premium image quality and gaming performance

34-inch 21:9 OLED curved gaming monitor with 800R, WQHD resolution, 240 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR400 and wide gamut color

Asus ROG Swift PG34WCDM
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The Asus ROG Swift PG34WCDM is pretty much flawless as a gaming monitor. It delivers accurate color without calibration and a premium OLED image. Its video processing is as good as it gets. Paired with a premium PC or console, it’s hard to imagine anything better in this size and shape.

Pros

  • +

    Stunning image with saturated color and deep contrast

  • +

    Color accurate out of the box, no need for calibration

  • +

    Spot-on sRGB mode

  • +

    Variable Brightness option

  • +

    ELMB option

  • +

    Incredibly smooth and responsive

  • +

    Premium build quality

Cons

  • -

    No internal speakers

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best ultrawide gaming monitors come in many forms, with screens ranging from 32 to 49 inches diagonal and 21:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios. There are also many different curve radii, each of which delivers a different gaming experience. Tighter curves mean greater immersion and suspension of disbelief, while more subtle curves are better suited for general use and productivity.

Asus ROG Swift monitors are all about gaming and include some extreme screens. OLED is the latest technology added to the line, and I have tested one of the more exotic panels available, the PG34WCDM. It’s a 34-inch OLED with 3440x1440 pixels (WQHD) and a 21:9 aspect ratio. It runs at 240 Hz and provides Adaptive-Sync, HDR400 and wide gamut color. However, there’s also a curve radius of 800R. That’s tighter than nearly every curved screen out there, and it provides a unique view into virtual worlds that can’t be duplicated with a less curved monitor. Let’s take a look.

Asus ROG Swift PG34WCDM Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Panel Type / BacklightOrganic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)
Screen Size / Aspect Ratio34 inches / 21:9
Row 2 - Cell 0 Curve radius: 800mm
Max Resolution and Refresh Rate3440x1440 @ 240 Hz
Row 4 - Cell 0 FreeSync: 40-240 Hz
Row 5 - Cell 0 G-Sync Compatible
Native Color Depth and Gamut10-bit / DCI-P3
Row 7 - Cell 0 HDR10, DisplayHDR 400
Response Time (GTG)0.03ms
Brightness (mfr)450 nits
ContrastUnmeasurable
SpeakersNone
Video Inputs1x DisplayPort 1.4 w/DSC
Row 13 - Cell 0 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x USB-C
Audio1x 3.5mm headphone output
Row 15 - Cell 0 1x optical digital output
USB 3.21x up, 2x down
Power Consumption47.5w, brightness @ 200 nits
Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base30.9 x 17.4-21.7 x 11.5 inches (785 x 442-551 x 292mm)
Panel Thickness6.3 inches (160mm)
Bezel WidthTop/sides: 0.3 inch (8mm)
Row 21 - Cell 0 Bottom: 0.4 inch (11mm)
Weight18.5 pounds (8.4kg)
Warranty2 years

There have been so many new OLEDs to review lately that I haven’t seen an LCD panel in quite some time. Don’t worry; there are some in the pipeline. OLED is the latest and hottest tech for gaming, not only for its stunning image quality but also for its incredibly smooth motion processing.

The PG34WCDM is a 34-inch 21:9 panel with WQHD (3440x1440) resolution. That means a pixel density of 110dpi, which is in a sweet spot between sharpness and speed. 4K delivers more pixels per inch but also creates a significant load for your video board. With less expensive graphics hardware, QHD and WQHD monitors can more easily hit frame rates over 200fps.

The PG34WCDM runs at 240 Hz, which is the top speed for OLEDs I’ve reviewed. I’ve consistently found 240 Hz OLEDs to equal or surpass LCD panels running at 360 and 500 Hz in both smoothness and response. You get the benefit of higher resolution (500 Hz panels are typically FHD), next-level contrast, and greater color gamut volume.

The PG34WCDM doesn’t have a Quantum Dot layer but still manages to top 97% coverage of DCI-P3. I’ve seen a few OLEDs that crack 100%, but this difference is small. I would rather pay for speed than a few more percentage points of color volume in the gaming monitor realm. Of course, you also get the tremendous contrast that OLED is known for. This panel is rated for DisplayHDR 400, and my sample delivered over 700 nits in my HDR tests. It’s also very accurate, with no need for calibration.

Of course, gaming is the focus here, and Asus will not disappoint. You get 240 Hz along with Adaptive-Sync for Nvidia and AMD hardware (it’s certified for both platforms). I recorded some impressive numbers for response and input lag. Spoiler alert, it’s one of the fastest screens you can buy at any price or refresh rate. Asus has included the full suite of GamePlus features like aiming points, sniper mode, timers, frame counter and alignment marks. You also have many options for image adjustment.

Physically, the PG34WCDM meets the standard set by all ROG Swift monitors with slick LED lighting, solid build quality, and a nice bundle of extras in a zippered pouch. You get all the latest inputs, including DisplayPort 1.4 with Display Stream Compression (DSC), HDMI 2.1 and USB-C with charging capability. There’s even an optical S/PDIF output, which is rare. I can’t think of anything that was overlooked, and the price, while not low, is reasonable for what you get, around $1,300 at this writing.

Assembly and Accessories

ROG Swift monitors always come with plenty of accouterments. The PG34WCDM carton reveals a zippered pouch with HDMI, DisplayPort, and two USB cables, A/B and C. There are extra lenses for the LED projector to show different images on the desktop. And you get a 100mm VESA-compatible mounting bracket adapter. I applaud Asus’ use of recyclable packaging that lacks crumbly foam. Everything is well secured in molded pulp with just a bit of Teflon to protect the shiny bits.

Product 360

The PG34WCDM’s tight curve is the first thing you notice, although you might be distracted by its gorgeous image. In the 34-inch 21:9 configuration, an 800R curvature is about as tight as it gets. Three of these monitors will nearly accomplish a 180-degree view surrounding the user. I can already imagine them in high-end driving simulators. The dividing line between screens won’t be too obvious, as the bezel measures 8mm on the sides. The bottom frame is narrow enough that the ROG logo requires a little tab that hangs down. This is handy because it contains the OSD joystick with two control keys and an LED backlight.

Further lighting is in the base, where a projector casts images on the desktop. The PG34WCDM includes interchangeable lenses that attach magnetically. This is a nice improvement over past products that required some disassembly for lens changes. You also get an LED pattern in the back that forms a large ROG logo. All this flashy goodness is programmable in the OSD for specific effects or in concert with what’s happening on the screen.

The stand is rock solid and provides a 4.3-inch (110mm) height adjustment, 5/21 degrees tilt, and a slight swivel of 15 degrees in either direction. There is no portrait mode. It is built with the same premium quality as the panel. A standard-threaded tripod mount is at the top of the upright, perfect for webcams or microphone clips. Asus has provided internal heatsinks and generous ventilation to keep the PG34WCDM always running cool.

The input panel is split in two. One side has two HDMI 2.1 ports and an optical digital audio output. You can also feed video through a USB-C port which supports 90 watts of power for charging. KVM functions are supported by one upstream and two downstream USB ports. One is right up front and center, just to one side of the little ROG logo tab. Opposite that is a 3.5mm headphone jack. There are no internal speakers.

OSD Features

The PG34WCDM’s OSD appears in the center of the screen when you press the joystick. You can move it to one side if you wish. It has eight sub-menus with everything you need to adjust the image, tweak gaming parameters, maintain the OLED panel, and more.

Gaming is first with a VRR toggle, GamePlus features, GameVisual picture modes, and a Shadow Boost control (Hint: you won’t need this). The PG34WCDM has fantastic contrast and accurate gamma, so you’ll never have difficulty seeing fine shadow detail. I noted an ELMB option, which is a first for an OLED in my experience. It only works in SDR mode up to 120 Hz. If you are limited to 120fps, then it makes a significantly positive impact. Without it, motion at 120 Hz or lower is blurred. The only caveat is that when turned on, there’s no Adaptive-Sync or HDR. If you can run at 240fps, then it’s best left off.

GamePlus includes a frame counter, crosshair selection, sniper mode with multiple magnifications, night vision, timer and stopwatch, and display alignment marks. GameVisual has nine picture modes for popular game types plus Cinema, sRGB, Scenery and User. I used the default, Racing, for all my tests and calibration, which is completely unnecessary. The PG34WCDM is spot-on out of the box for both DCI-P3 and sRGB color.

In the Image menu are two enhancement options, VividPixel, and Clear Pixel Edge. I suggest leaving them alone as they only add edge enhancement (ringing), ultimately making the image less sharp. The critical feature here is Uniform Brightness. When turned on, brightness will not change depending on the average picture level. This limits peak brightness, which is a good thing for most users. If you turn it off, highlight areas will become much brighter, too much so for indoor use unless you have a very sunny space. This is true for SDR. In HDR mode, Uniform Brightness should be turned off for best results. More on that later.

In the Color menu, you can select a color gamut, preset color temp or RGB sliders, change color saturation, and pick a gamma value. The defaults are all free of visible errors. I was able to affect a tiny improvement in measured values with a grayscale calibration, but this is completely unnecessary. The PG34WCDM is extremely color accurate.

The PIP/PBP feature can show you two video sources at once in either windowed or split-screen mode. You can pick the layout from the graphical options shown in the photo above. This is a very good use of any 21:9 monitor since you have that extra width.

The LED lighting is fully customizable and can play set effects or sync with on-screen action. You’ll need Asus’ companion app and a USB connection for this. The OSD joystick directionals can be programmed to provide quick access to different functions. In Customized Setting, there are two memories where you can save your configurations.

Asus takes OLED maintenance seriously, and it has a myriad of refresh and shift options. The Screen Saver dims the image after a few minutes of inactivity. Pixel Cleaning is a routine that plays patterns on the screen to refresh the matrix. Screen Move shifts the image by a few pixels and can run constantly. You won’t see it in action. Auto Logo Brightness dims the screen's bottom corners to prevent static objects from burning in. In my experience, common sense use will avoid any sort of screen damage.

Asus ROG Swift PG34WCDM Calibration Settings

The PG34WCDM doesn’t need to be calibrated in its Racing mode, but if you want to tweak it, there are precise RGB sliders in the User color temp slot. You can also specify the full native gamut, which covers 97.61% of DCI-P3, or sRGB, which is also very accurate. This is handy for color grading work. HDR mode has three presets, and Gaming is the default and best choice. My SDR settings are below. Note that the brightness values are with Uniform Brightness turned off. If you turn it on, the image gets considerably brighter, so you’ll want to adjust accordingly.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Picture ModeRacing
Brightness 200 nits84
Brightness 120 nits47
Brightness 100 nits38
Brightness 80 nits29
Brightness 50 nits16 (min. 18 nits)
Contrast80
Gamma2.2
Color Temp UserRed 97, Green 98, Blue 100

Gaming and Hands-on

I’ll deliver the spoiler up front: the PG34WCDM is superb in the way that all OLED gaming monitors are. It’s super-fast, responsive, motion blur-free, and incredibly colorful. HDR content is at its very best here with true blacks, highlights that pop, and seemingly endless color. I have played on a few monitors with more color volume, but the difference is slight. I’m looking at almost 98% coverage of DCI-P3 versus 109% in the most colorful monitors I’ve reviewed. In practice, this is a tiny thing. No one will complain about color here.

The PG34WCDM was also consistently accurate. Though I calibrated for testing, there was no need to and no visible benefit. Everything looks right from the get-go. The only choice was whether to have Uniform Brightness on or not. For SDR content, games and productivity, it’s easier on the eyes to turn it on. Color and contrast are the same; only peak brightness is lower. Editing graphics and photos is easier when the light level remains constant. My only gripe is that you can’t set it one way for SDR and another way for HDR without changing the option manually each time.

Video processing is stunning, just like all other OLEDs. I appreciated the inclusion of ELMB because it will be a boon to users with consoles or less expensive video cards who can’t run above 120fps. It removes blur without the phasing artifact common to LCDs. In my case, it was unnecessary since I could run at 240fps. At any frame rate above 200fps, Adaptive-Sync is the better choice. The only bummer is that ELMB also takes HDR out of the picture.

I’ve become spoiled by 240 Hz OLEDs because they are the fastest and smoothest monitors available. I can only wonder why one would want a 500 Hz LCD when they can have this.

The extreme curve also enhanced gaming. Though a 49-inch 32:9 screen is more dramatic, the PG34WCDM is a more practical size for most desktops. It delivers much of the same immersive feel and suspension of disbelief.

For workday tasks, the curve might be a distraction for some. I got used to it after a short while, but my perspective comes from testing hundreds of monitors in all shapes and sizes. If you are unsure, try the PG34WCDM for work before deciding. There are other screens with less curve, like the Alienware AW3423DWF, that provide comparable picture quality.

Takeaway: In my experience playing on hundreds of different gaming monitors, there is no better display than a 240 Hz OLED. Only size and shape differentiate them as a category. The PG34WCDM is a perfect example of the smoothness and response possible in this format. It ups the ante with plenty of brightness, a Uniform Brightness option, ELMB and perfect color out of the box. It’s a product that supports the axiom, “You never regret buying the best.”

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test PC Monitors

MORE: How to Buy a PC Monitor

MORE: How to Choose the Best HDR Monitor

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.