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AOC just made 540Hz gaming monitors a sensible price

With its Agon Pro AG246FK, AOC just knocked $400 off the going price for a 540Hz gaming screen, undercutting displays from Acer and BenQ.

AOC has just unveiled the Agon Pro AG246FK, a new 1080p gaming monitor with a ridiculous 540Hz refresh rate. However, while we can debate the need for such a fast display all we like, we can’t deny that this new AOC model is far more affordable than its 540Hz gaming monitor competitors.

The chief competition for this new AOC display are the Asus ROG Swift PG248QP and BenQ Zowie XL2586X, both of which cost over $900. The new AOC display, though, is set to cost just €699, which equates to around $750. That won’t guarantee it a place on our best gaming monitor guide, but it gives it a good chance of earning a spot.

This is still an expensive display, then, especially considering it only has a 24.1-inch panel with a resolution of just 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. However, for those that revel in having every possible competitive advantage, there’s no denying that 540Hz is a higher number than 360Hz, so the technical advantage will be there for the games that support such high refresh rates.

aoc agon pro ag246fk 540hz gaming monitor 02

To help make this display feel a little more like good value, AOC has added a handful of modest extras. On the rear of the display is a significant patch of RGB lighting, which isn’t a tiny token effort like on the MSI MPG 271QRX, for instance. Meanwhile, practical aids include a pop-out headphone/headset stand, a carry handle on the stand, and a four-port USB hub. The latter doesn’t include a KVM feature, though, and you don’t get speakers.

Otherwise, this is very much just a pure, thoroughbred esports gaming monitor, with its TN LCD panel only able to hit the basic DisplayHDR400 HDR standard. The use of this panel technology means it will have poor viewing angles too.

As for which games will take advantage of such a display, there are only a handful right now. Many games can run at ludicrous frame rates but not many benefit from it. As such, it will mainly be Counter-Strike and Valorant players that can potentially sync their frame rate with this monitor, as even the likes of Apex Legends and League of Legends are capped at 300fps.

The technical advantage a 540Hz display will get you over a 360Hz panel is that, instead of getting an updated frame every 2.7ms, you’ll get one every 1.8ms. That’s actually quite a decent decrease in terms of proportion, but it’s also a very small amount of time. Given how many other factors can cause tiny delays in your system, it’s incredibly easy for a 1ms advantage to be wiped out. That said, with a claimed 0.2ms grey-to-grey response time, in theory this display’s pixels are actually fast enough to transition colors at such a high refresh rate.

If you simply can’t stand the idea of the poor viewing angles of a TN panel, and don’t think 540Hz will quite be needed, AOC is also today announcing the AG256FS, which offers a 24.5-inch fast IPS panel running at 390Hz. It has a slower 1ms grey-to-grey response time, but will have better viewing angles, and it’s priced much lower at €449.

Both the AG246FK and AG256FS will be available in July 2024, so if you’re looking for a new monitor now check out our MSI MPG 271QRX review for a look at a monstrously quick 360Hz OLED display.