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Asus PQ321Q 4K Monitor Firmware update

Regular readers will know that KitGuru has been using the Asus PQ321Q 4K monitor for a long time now in many of our reviews. The image quality is truly excellent and it is one of the only 4K monitors (along with the Sharp PN-K321) that Apple have certified to work perfectly with their latest Mac Pro system (OSX 10.9.4).

We managed to get our hands on a new loaner Mac Pro system this week, featuring a 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 16GB 1866MHz of DDR3 ECC memory and dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics cards. We ran into some issues when using the Asus PQ321Q monitor with the Mac Pro – with the display flickering intermittently and sometimes not switching on from boot.

As our ASUS contacts were not working this weekend, the obvious first step was to check the official ASUS support website to get any updates. Sadly no updates seemed to be available for the PQ321Q 4K screen.

After some Google research we stumbled upon this thread on the Geforce forums. It would appear that members of the public were also experiencing various PC issues between now and late last year. The cold boot issue was also mentioned in this thread. A SCAN computers representative had made attempts to get the firmware updates for the screen by contacting ASUS directly. They got version 1.020 of the firmware to try and all went well.

Later in the same thread V 1.100 of the firmware was supplied by a support representative of ASUS to a member of the public over email. None of these firmware updates are available on the ASUS website.

So how to update?

Kitguru is hosting this V1.100 of the Asus PQ321Q firmware file in case you are experiencing some cold boot or random glitching with the screen. You can download V1100 it from us, HERE.

Download V1.100 of the BIOS (1.9MB) and copy the extracted PQ321_Main.hex file into the root directory of your USB drive (6.5MB). On the rear of the ASUS PQ321Q 4K panel there is a covered USB service port (see picture above). Turn the screen off.  Remove the USB cover on the port and insert the small FAT32 formatted flash drive with the hex file into the USB port on the screen. Turn the PQ321Q on. An update process will start which takes around 3 minutes. The firmware on our screen was initially 1.000, so it was probably one of the oldest from the first batch of screens released to market.

The outcome after the firmware update? All the issues have been resolved.

Obviously you do this at your own risk, we would imagine that ASUS are not hosting this file themselves in case the end user bricks their own screen, however if they trust users to update the BIOS on their motherboard we can see no difference. It is worth bearing in mind that many wireless enabled high definition television sets now offer firmware updates – my 55 inch Sony television has had 3 updates alone in the last year. We see no reason why ASUS are leaving their customers in the dark with problems that can be fixed with a simple firmware update.

We hope this helps some of our readers. If you are not experiencing any issues, it is likely you have a later version of the firmware. We would imagine most of the issues will be limited to early adopters who bought the PQ321Q shortly after it was released.

Obviously with any firmware update there is a certain amount of risk involved. We did apply the update ourselves, and it was smooth sailing. Well worth doing if you are experiencing scaling, cold boot issues or random glitching.

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  • Thanks for the share. No doubt 4K is the next trend. And Asus has always been a great computer monitor manufacturer. Its PB287Q and the upcoming PG278Q are considered top rated 4K monitors in the world.

  • Aaron Marks

    Thanks so much for posting this info. This is the #2 non asus.com result when googling: “pb279q firmware”. (A newer model Asus 4k display). I too found no firmware information on Asus’s website. While it’s disappointing (and somewhat shocking) the way they are handling firmware update download availability, I’m thankful to learn that firmware updates may be available from contacting Asus support. Interestingly, the PB279Q does not have USB anything, so it would have to transmit the firmware update through the Displayport connection. If support has anything helpful to add I’ll come back and share an update.

  • Guerric

    Thanks for the explanations. Would the firmware work on a PQ321QE as well?
    Unfortunately, the link for the v1.100 firmware is dead. Could you resuscitate it? The support guy from Asus looks not really responsive up to now.

  • Andre Araiz

    I ran into a similar problem.. Half the screen is black. Turns out the MST stream is no longer working and need to downspeed to SST. I spoke to ASUS and they acknowledged this problem.. sent me an updated Firmware via email but with PC instructions. I followed your directions with a FAT formatted USB.. turned the monitor off, inserted the USB; yet nothing happened. I know this is an old topic.. but I would appreciate any additional thoughts on this?? I am stumped and ASUS is not able to assist any further. Thank you

  • KillerDoc

    What was the version of the firmware that they gave you?

  • Andre Araiz

    The firmware they gave me was Main1.140; however, they did not provide all the needed contents for me to install it correctly. I have not yet been able to resolve this issue. Major bummer

  • KillerDoc

    Could you email the firmware and I’ll see if it’ll work for me? dmjenks at g*m*a*i *l*.*c*o*m (sorry, just wanted to not make it easy for bots to get my email address) . I will, of course, send you any info I find out. Thanks!

  • Andre Araiz

    will do