Gigabyte Aorus CV27F Review: UPDATE: It's actually okay

cybereality

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So I recently purchased the Aorus CV27F. A 27" 1080p VA panel at 165Hz for $319.

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16824012008?Item=N82E16824012008

Marketing was good on this product, checked a lot of boxes: 10-bit color, high refresh, 1ms response, HDR, FreeSync 2, etc.

There were almost no reviews for this from the places I trust, but the few YouTube videos looked promising.

Ultimately, I took a gamble and I think I lost. While there are some highlights to the monitor, I think I'm going to have to get something else (and I purchased on Newegg and they won't let me return it).

Let's start with the good. The build quality is nice. Classy design without going too far over the top. RGB on the back is subtle, but looks premium. Stand is stable and solid.

Aorus_Front.jpg


Aorus_Back.jpg


It has HDR 400 and actually looks okay in a couple games (especially Gears 5) but unfortunately the photos don't do it justice.

Aorus_Doom.jpg


Aorus_Gears.jpg


Aorus_Forza.jpg


Can use 10-bit color with full refresh 165Hz and HDR no problem. Not the best looking colors, but pretty decent for a $300 VA panel. FreeSync works.

1080p is a low resolution, but good if you want to drive high refresh with a mid-range card. I'm using a 5700 XT here, and I can get well north of 100 fps in most games.

Onto the bad (and there are some deal breakers here).

DisplayPort input did not work at first, neither in BIOS or in Windows. I had to boot up with HDMI, then switch to a DP cable, and then got picture (but this was needed every boot).

Eventually I found that the monitor has a mode DisplayPort 1.2 + HDR (enabled by default), which is incompatible with the AMD 5700 XT cards.

It's kind of crazy to me that a FreeSync 2 certified monitor would not work out-of-box with AMD's highest end card available on the market. Luckily I can switch to DP 1.2 in the OSD and everything works (HDR included) but this should not be needed.

My assumption is that Gigabyte is using a non-standard mode, or some other hack, to get HDR on DP 1.2. I tried multiple cables, even a Club 3D VESA certified, and they all didn't work. So something is wrong.

Black crush is pretty strong here. It is not as much of an issue in bright games, but in darker games like Metro or Tomb Raider, you lose a lot of detail. Look at this Metro shot.

Aorus_Metro.jpg


The divider left of the door is almost completely black, all the detail is lost. That was the best photo I could get, but it is even worse in the underground sections.

Next is the black smear / motion blur / trails. It is really bad. If you run at 60Hz it is 100% unacceptable, though the effect lessens with 165Hz and Overdrive (but there are issues with overdrive as well).

Aorus_Blur.jpg


That's Steam at 60Hz dragging the window in a circle. Absolute garbage. I knew VA had problems, and I was rolling the dice with a cheap panel (I think made by Samsung) but this is far worse than I was prepared for.

While the effect is not noticeable as much at 165Hz in games, it still makes the image very blurry and not clear. I can't really show this in a photo though, but you can tell.

So you can enable overdrive and it makes the image clearer to an extent. Still way worse than TN, and even worse than the newer IPS panels, but noticeably better than without.

However, overdrive causes a pixelation effect. My guess that the highest overdrive processes at 540p, because if you look closely you can see 4 pixel blocks changing (especially noticeable on white to black borders).

This was the best picture I can get, it only happens in motion. If you stand still it looks normal, as soon as you start walking forward you start to see this pixels shimmering.

Notice on the diagonal black lines, there are around 2x2 or 3x3 pixel blocks that are not there in the source texture. They only appear while moving.

Aorus_Pixel.jpg


This is the ultimate deal breaker for me. Disabling overdrive sucks, because it's a blurry mess and a waste of 165Hz. But with it on the highest setting it pixelates everything to the point of annoyance (especially since 1080p is low res enough, this looks like 540p).

There is also a balanced mode, which is probably the best compromise, but also the worst because it is both blurry and pixelated. So you can't win, and I'm not happy about this.

Honestly, I should have waited for the Samsung G7, so even just stuck with my 240Hz TN, this is markedly worse. Almost anything would be better here.

To be fair, Gears 5 with HDR actually did look pretty good. I also played a few hours of Forza and it was playable. So it's not that there is nothing here to like, it's just the downsides ruin what good there is.

Not sure anyone here even cares about this, but at least people searching for this monitor might find an honest review.

Definitely not buying another monitor unless it's on RTINGS or somewhere reputable (the reviews I did find said this monitor was good so they were probably smoking something or paid off).

Hope this helps someone not get burned like I did.
 

cybereality

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Well 1080p is nice for high refresh. Since I only have a 5700 XT on this second rig, higher resolutions can really push it too far (unless you are talking about 60 fps, which is too low for me now).

The reason I even got this Aorus monitor is that I couldn't find any of the newer/better monitors in 1080p. But this was obviously a mistake. I'm looking at that Samsung G7 now, I hope a 5700 XT can handle it.

My other option would be to get a 4K display and use integer scaling in AMD driver. I did a few tests and it looks like it should work, I just don't know if it would be worth the premium price of 4K if I'm rendering it at 1080p.
 

primetime

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im thinking 30 inch 4k, some what travel friendly (if they even make this)....that G7 does look pretty nice :)
 

cybereality

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Damn, I looked on Newegg again today. They not only dropped the price, but now there is a $50 rebate!

Maybe they read my review, LOL.

AorusSale.JPG


And I'm going to have to sell the monitor, now the resale price tanked. You can't win.
 

primetime

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Damn, I looked on Newegg again today. They not only dropped the price, but now there is a $50 rebate!

Maybe they read my review, LOL.

View attachment 262905

And I'm going to have to sell the monitor, now the resale price tanked. You can't win.
isn't there a time frame people have to reclaim the price change difference (if you JUST bought it)
 

cybereality

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So maybe I was a little harsh with this monitor. It's not really what I wanted, but for the current MIR price of $229, it's not so bad.

I still plan to sell it and get something better, but I can understand if people are coming from 60Hz TN panels maybe this would seem like a decent upgrade.
 

cybereality

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Actually, I think I'm going to keep the monitor. It's not perfect, and I got a really bad first impression with the DP cable not working (and also getting stuck at 60Hz but this was AMD driver fail).

Ultimately, I don't think I will find much better for the price, and I don't want to buy too many monitors and have to sell or return them with the hassle.

Gonna wait until XSX/PS5 come out and get a real 4K HDR screen for the console and movies. I should be happy with what I have for now.
 

cybereality

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Spent some more time with this Aorus monitor. It's actually okay.

The main issue I ran into is that the HDR is not great, and actually made several games look worse (and tainted my review).

With HDR completely off, and the SDR color setting tweaked in the monitor, the games I've been trying look much better, especially Tomb Raider.

Metro still had some black crush (this is probably unavoidable) but it was generally minor and not as bad as in HDR mode.

I also put overdrive to balance, and this has reduced the pixelation effect.

So yeah, not the best monitor I've owned, but maybe not bad for a $300 kit.
 

cybereality

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Here are some more shots in SDR after tweaking the settings.

Unfortunately there is a bad pattern due to the resolution that is only visible on photos (it looks much nicer in real life).

Aorus_Front.jpg


Aorus_Back.jpg


Aorus_Gears.jpg


Aorus_Doom.jpg


Aorus_Forza.jpg


Aorus_Tomb.jpg


Aorus_Rage.jpg
 

cybereality

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Here is my final review:

Not Perfect But Pretty Great For The Price

Pros:
- Styling is on point, stand is stable and adjustable, and RGB on the back is a nice touch.
- After adjusting settings, colors look pretty good, nice and vibrant. Good brightness.
- 165Hz is smooth as butter. Not as good as TN, but better than IPS.
- Joystick on monitor is easy to use, OSD generally makes sense.
- 1080p is a good choice if you want high frame rate.
- 10-bit color at full 165Hz.
- FreeSync works great.

Cons:
- Had a signal problem with my 5700 XT, had to select DisplayPort 1.2 in OSD.
- Default color settings leave something to be desired, took some time to tweak them.
- HDR is not great, and turning it on will make SDR content washed out. Better to turn off.
- Massive ghosting / black smear on lower refresh rates. This is reduced when using 165Hz.
- Full overdrive causes pixelation artifacts. Setting it to balanced is okay though.
- VESA mount point is recessed and can be difficult to mount (especially with quick connect).

At first I was somewhat disappointed with the purchase, mainly because I couldn't get a signal with my AMD RX 5700 XT video card. The way to fix this is to connect the monitor via HDMI, then go into the monitor OSD and change DisplayPort version to 1.2 (not 1.2 + HDR, which is the default). After this I could connect to DisplayPort and HDR still works fine. Also had to do a full DDU driver uninstall, for some reason I was stuck at 60Hz but the reinstall fixed it (probably an AMD driver problem).

In addition, the default color settings look pretty bland and this took some time to configure. After spending about a week with the monitor, and adjusting everything, I've got it to a good place and it does look really nice. Unfortunately I had to disable HDR because it was too washed out in SDR content and you can't adjust the colors when HDR is enabled in Windows. That said, in the few games with good HDR support (Gears 5, Doom Eternal), I did notice an improvement, but it wasn't mind blowing. This is only HDR 400, so don't expect too much. But it is another feature to play with, so maybe it will work okay in some games.

Played a bunch of games, including Doom Eternal, Gears 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, RAGE 2, Forza Horizon 4, and some older games. With my 5700 XT card I could get close to 165 fps across the board, usually with High or Ultra High settings. Very nice performance. Response time and input lag seemed low, definitely noticed an improvement over my other IPS panel, though still not as good as TN. This monitor is great at 1080p as you can actually get those frame rates with affordable video cards.

The two things that aren't great are the ghosting and the overdrive pixel artifacts. If you set this monitor to 60Hz, the ghosting is massive and unacceptable. This reduces as the refresh gets higher, and at 165Hz it is noticeable if you look but not too bad and fully playable. In most games, you probably won't see it, it is usually on black to white borders it becomes and issue. The other issue is the overdrive. At normal, there is more ghosting, at fast it almost eliminates the ghosting but at the cost of these pixelation artifacts. They are also most visible on black to white, and in some games you can't see it. However, if you look, it is there. I found balanced to be a good compromise and mostly reduced both problems to an acceptable level.

So overall, I like it. It took some time to get everything configured, but now that it is working I think it was worth the purchase. Especially if you are coming from a 60Hz panel, this will be a huge upgrade. It is definitely a gaming panel, if you do any kind of photo editing or content creation, maybe an IPS would be better, but for normal gaming / web browsing this is fine. It's not perfect, but there is no perfect monitor. Even if you spend big bucks, there is always something. So, for this price, I think this is a very reasonable option and worthwhile.
 
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