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AMD R9 290 Review (1600P, 4K and CF)

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This is the first 4K/Ultra HD resolution monitor that Kitguru has looked at. It is based around a Sharp IGZO panel and measures 31.5 inches. The PQ321QE is a plain looking monitor, comprising a black matte plastic body and it seemed to attract dust quite easily over the last week in our labs. For those interested, the screen weighs a whopping 13.5 kg.
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In the flesh, this screen is noticeably bigger than the Dell 3011U or Apple Cinema HD screens which normally grace our testing equipment. Adjusting to the 3840×2160 resolution took me a little time, even though I was regularly using a 30 inch 2560×1600 panel.

The Asus PQ321QE also features a pair of tiny speakers which are handy if you have nothing else at hand. The sound is weedy and lacking in bass although surprisingly they do reproduce voices rather well.
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Along the side of the panel are the menu buttons which are traditional mechanical switches, rather than touch sensitive flat panels. ASUS supply a little sticker which you can attach to the front of the screen on the bezel. This is optional, if you feel it ruins the appearance. Just be prepared to fumble around regularly if you are adjusting the screen.
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The monitor stand took me around 5 minutes to assemble, not because it was difficult, but ASUS are using little ALLEN head screws for connection to the base and then to the monitor. These are really awkward to bolt in place, especially as ASUS only supply a tiny little driver with the screen. Once assembled however it feels as if it could withstand some serious abuse. It is height adjustable and can be rotated left and right. If you want to use it in portrait mode then you need to bolt the stand to the screen at a 90 degree angle.
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On the left side of the screen is the power connector alongside a power switch. This cable shown in the image above connects to an external power supply.
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For those of you expecting multiple inputs, such as HDMI and DVI then you may be disappointed. The PQ321QE is DisplayPort only, although this is the only connector that supports the native 3840×2160 resolution. Alongside this are an audio in and out connector.
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We wanted to show you how easy it is to read the menus, even with white windows and text behind the onscreen interface. We actually found that most of the default settings were spot on, which is very uncommon.
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Initially, we were only able to get 24hz or 30hz refresh on the monitor with both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. Within one of the submenus is a setting called ‘DisplayPort STREAM’. When changed, the PQ321QE has to reboot, taking a couple of seconds.
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By changing this from SST (Single Stream Transport) to MST (Multiple Stream Transport) the refresh options changed to 50hz and 60hz.
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The image above is a screenshot taken from a browser window opened to the full size of the screen. It will give you an idea of just how big the 4K resolution is.

Below is a video created by ASUS detailing how to set up the ASUS PQ312QE Monitor.

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