AU Optronics plans a 540Hz Esports display

Can it? Panel manufacturer AU Optronics recently unveiled a 500Hz esports gaming monitor in partnership with Asus and Nvidia. In case that isn’t enough for some players, reports indicate that AUO is pushing that refresh rate even higher. However, some question whether current consumer graphics cards can achieve those framerates.

According to an report from TFT Central, an internal roadmap from AU Optronics highlights a pair of upcoming high-resolution, high-refresh-rate monitor panels. With one of them, the company is trying to reach 540 Hz, but does not yet know if it can get there.

The panel marked M241HTN01.0 may be the same as the ROG Swift 500Hz display unveiled in May by Asus, Nvidia and AUO during Computex. Like the Swift, this panel is intended to power a 24″ 1080p display. AUO sets the latency at “less than 3 milliseconds G2G” and “2ms on/off”.

TFT calculates that it must fall below 1.85 ms to reach 540 Hz. The panel’s specs also include HDR, which isn’t mentioned in the Swift announcement (although it could be “fake” HDR).

Even in esports titles optimized for high frame rates, 540 FPS is a tall order, although features like Nvidia’s DLSS could put it within the reach of flagship graphics cards. Nvidia’s tests show Rainbow Six Siege can achieve 281 fps at 4K with DLSS Performance mode (1080p internal resolution). A Reddit post has an RTX 3080 in 1440p DLSS quality mode (also internal 1080p) to manage an average of 372 fps and a maximum of 428.

AUO plans to start production of the new panel in Q1 2023, by which time Nvidia RTX 4000 and AMD RX 7000 graphics cards should be here. Maybe one of them can reach 500 or higher FPS. CPU power is also becoming an important factor in delivering performance at low resolutions and thus high frame rates.

The other panels coming from AUO have more attainable but still high refresh rates at higher resolutions. The roadmap lists several 4K and ultra-wide displays with refresh rates up to 165 Hz, an 8K 60 Hz panel, and a 1440p 360 Hz display. The company also showed 480Hz monitors earlier this year.

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