The Benq Zowie XL2450 is the opposite when compared with the XL2735. With a relatively modest diagonal of 25 inch the monitor only offers 1920x1080 pixels, or full hd. Both are not without reason: competitive gamers at the highest level prefer – without exceptions – a screen size that allows them to see the entire image at a glance. It is not without reason that hard-core CounterStrike 1.6 players still prefer to play at 1024x768. Aside from that, this select world has a preference for extremely high framerates. The idea is that you see more at 300 frames per second than say 60 when you quickly rotate around your own axis. That one frame where the enemy shows their head might be the frame where you find cover – or take him out with a well-placed headshot. A relatively low resolution has the preference there, because even the fastest graphics cards provide less frames per second as the amount of pixels increases.
While the XL2540 cannot show 300 frames per second, it can show 240; that is something remarkable. In the past we only covered a ‘240Hz’ monitor once, but in that case it was about 120Hz with a black frame every other image. This is something completely different than the native 240Hz tn-panel that Benq uses in the XL2540. The big question remains whether or not you will notice the difference between a 144Hz monitor and a 240Hz model – the answer will be: not for most people under most circumstances, but a select group of people will definitely notice it. This year at Dreamhack we saw multiple gamers that play first person shooters at a (semi-)professional level and they were clearly convinced by the added value. Especially with fast movement where you are zoomed in at a small part of the image – or looking through a scope of a sniper rifle – the higher frequency absolutely gave them an advantage, according to them.
The second important question that arises with the refresh rate is if and what games you can play at so many frames per second. If you follow our site closely you know that we published an article about what graphics card you need to play at 120 or 144 frames per second for quite a few games last year. As long as you keep to full hd resolution and medium settings this was doable with 19 of the 20 games we tested at 120Hz – with an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080, a card of about 694 pounds / 800 euros. With a higher quality preset – ultra – this amount goes down to 10 for that card. All other graphics cards show results that are even worse. At 144Hz this number goes down even further. In Battlefield 4 a GTX 1080 can produce about 200 fps – still a lot less than the limit of this monitor.
The solution for seasoned professional gamers is simple: simply change the resolution to 1280x720. This is how Benq demonstrated this monitor at Dreamhack, with CS:GO and Overwatch. We are not going to cover the quality settings of these games. While it might seem like a logical step to a professional gamer, for someone that also wants to enjoy the graphics this might be a bridge too far. It is something to bear in mind, because the XL2540 costs 433 pounds / 499 euros and you can purchase a 144Hz wqhad-monitor for that price as well. This truly is a monitor for hardcore fps gamers that are prepared to compromise when it comes to the image quality in order to achieve as many frames per second as possible.
The Benq Zowie XL2540 mostly has the same characteristics as the XL2735. Again we find the two ‘ears’ that you can mount to the panel, a height adjustable base, a headset holder, two times hdmi, one time displayport, a usb 3.0 hub and headset-connectors. One of the hdmi-connectors is hdmi 2.0 – needed for the amount of bandwidth that is necessary in order to achieve full hd at 240Hz. The convenient S Switch is also supplied with this monitor.
In terms of functionality the same ingredients are included: Black Equalizer and Color Vibrance to optimize the image in order to see enemies as soon as possible, multiple pre-programmed game-modes and the possibility to define your own presets.