A gaming monitor can be as important as any other PC component in a built, so choosing the right one can be a difficult task for gamers, especially with so many options available on the market. The AOC AGON AG251FZ gaming monitor can make the choosing process an easier one.
It’s really unfortunate that the computer industry, particularly the companies that make monitors, have backed themselves into a corner by using terms and expressions that were designed to sell products and not necessarily reflect the truth.
We always see some new technology touted on the official website, with a pompous name that’s supposed to revolutionize everything. If we were to take the companies on their word, each new generation of monitors is going to be the next revolution.
The truth is that for the most part, monitors, like any other piece of hardware, are getting marginally better with each new generation. If we look at a display from today and compare it with something we used a decade ago, we would be surprised of how much things have changed.
On the other hand, if we look at a 2018 model for any display and we take a look at the 2017 version, we’ll hardly spot any significant differences. And the only ones to blame are the companies. Customers are going to have a difficult time getting what they want.
That’s why it’s important to know what you’re looking for, especially if you’re a gamer. Unlike office work, which is not all that demanding on hardware, a gaming environment is much more restrictive and users need particular features.
Let’s face it; the AOC AGON AG251FZ is not designed to look good. But the good news is that is no looking bad either. It sits somewhere in the middle, and it’s clear that its makers were focused on bringing quality and features to users, and not looks.
The design of the monitor seems a little bit spartan, but it’s for a good reason. The monitor hides lots of features and cool options, even if it appears rather basic, at first glance. It’s enough to take a look at the back to realize that’s more to this monitor.
One of the things that were sacrificed is the support. Most of the monitors nowadays come with systems that allow users to secure the support without having to use a screwdriver, and AOC is one of the companies that actually do this, but they didn’t include such system with the AG251FZ.
Surprisingly, gamers don’t look for beautiful colors and contrast, although they are important nonetheless, but for other more relevant stuff. For example, the response time needs to be as low as possible, and the main reason for that is to prevent ghosting. It’s a nasty effect that appears when things on the screen move very fast, leaving an almost imperceptible trail.
The AOC AGON AG251FZ has a 1ms response time, so you’re not going to encounter any kind of ghosting. Secondly, gamers need to know the refresh rate, which for this monitor is at 240Hz. It sounds a lot and it is, but there are a couple of caveats.
The refresh rate is tied to another technology called V-Sync. On a regular monitor, if the game allows for it, you can set the refresh rate to sync with the in-game FPS, resulting in a smooth experience. The problem is that for regular monitors you’re usually forced to use the default 60Hz.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad experience, and most consoles would love to run any game at 60FPS, but bigger is better. A monitor that supports a higher refresh rate, coupled with a powerful PC, will produce some great results.
The only drawback is that you need a powerful computer that can go above 60FPS so that V-Sync actually works. And I don’t need to explain just how difficult it is to achieve 240FPS in most modern games.
The savior is a technology called FreeSync, which allows the monitor to dynamically adjust the refresh rate so that it syncs with the in-game FPS. And while it works great, users will need an AMD graphics card to experience this technology.
Another cool feature is the implementation of Shadow Control, a function available directly from the display that makes the dark areas a little bit darker and vice-versa. It’s done on the fly, so users don’t need to worry too much about it, although it’s not going to enhance an already dark game.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the specs. The AOC AGON AG251FZ is a Full-HD monitor, and that means 1920x1080 resolution and a WLED panel. It’s interesting to note that it also comes with a VGA port as well, which is not all that common nowadays. It also features one DVI port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a single DisplayPort 1.2. Users will find four USB 3.0 ports and even a 3,5mm port for headsets.
The caveat I mentioned earlier refers to the fact that people will have to use the DisplayPort to access the 240Hz refresh rate. It won’t work otherwise.
You will be surprised to know that the AG251FZ has a couple of small speakers, and by small I mean you will barely hear them. But they are there and have proved useful when nothing else was on hand. Gamers also have a valuable support for headsets on the right side.
The support for the monitor is pretty versatile as well, allowing for three degrees of freedom, including the option to place it vertically. It’s sturdy, and it won’t move, not to mention that it has a handle to make it easier to carry it around.
Lastly, I need to say a few things about the external commands for the display. As you all know, all of the commands for a monitor are placed below the monitor, but this version comes with external controls as well.
The small remote has a cable that plugs in the back of the monitor, in a mini USB port. It’s a much more accessible way of changing the settings for the monitor, without having to blindly fiddle with the buttons on the bottom. It’s also quite useful when switching between different presets.