Dell doles out a duo of variable-refresh gaming displays

We don't have a lot of love for pre-built desktop computers around these parts, but we're fond of Dell anyway. That Texas company produces some of the finer monitors around. Dell has two more monitors on the way, called the S2417DG and SE2717H, and both are gaming monitors. That commonality aside, they serve very different markets.

The S2417DG is the more impressive of the two. As the model number suggests this is a 23.8" display, with a relatively high (given the size) native resolution of 2560×1440. This monitor supports Nvidia's G-Sync, with a variable refresh range of 30-165 Hz. Naturally, as a G-Sync monitor, the display also supports the ultra-low motion blur low-persistence mode. Dell rates the contrast at 1000:1, the brightness at 350 cd/m2, and the response time at 1ms.

That last number probably has more savvy gerbils groaning. Yes, this is a TN panel, with the typical 170° horizontal and 160° vertical viewing angles. Still, the viewing angles and color accuracy shouldn't matter too much for a gamer—particularly not one interested in the monitor's 165 Hz maximum refresh rate. The S2417DG includes both HDMI and DisplayPort inputs, as well as a four-port USB 3.0 hub.

The other monitor Dell is bringing out is the SE2717H, and it's a bit more pedestrian. It supports FreeSync instead of G-Sync, but the variable refresh range is only 48-75 Hz. With its 27" diagonal and 1920×1080 native resolution, the SE2717H's PPI is some two-thirds of its G-Sync cousin. On the upside, this monitor does use an IPS panel, and has the 178° horizontal and vertical viewing angles expected of such. It has the same 1000:1 native contrast, but slightly worse brightness, at 300 cd/m2. The response time is much worse too, at 6ms.

All told, these two monitors are pretty different, and should serve different customers quite capably. The S2417DG has a very high refresh rate given its WQHD resolution, while the biggest thing the SE2717H has over the S2417DG is the price. TFTCentral reports that the S2417DG will retail for $570 when it hits e-tail later this quarter. Meanwhile, the SE2717H will be out August 16 for just $250. Thanks to Anandtech for the heads-up on these displays.

Comments closed
    • GatoRat
    • 3 years ago

    I’ll stick with my U2415 (IPS) which, aside from the ridiculous USB connect in the middle of the back of the monitor, is awesome! Dell deserved special kudos for the incredible stand they ship with that series of monitors.

    (I should also add that Dell has been fantastic to my dad. He’s been able to buy decent and remarkably reliable systems and has received excellent support from Dell for all the dumb things he’s done. (The support calls usually consist of, “Well, your sons are right, you need to reinstall, let me talk you through the steps.” )

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    If I’m going to buy enough graphics card to push 1440p @ > 90Hz it most definitely won’t be on only 24″ of real estate.

    • DrDominodog51
    • 3 years ago

    I’m not impressed. For $570, I would much rather buy the UP2516D and save $120 because I don’t particularly care about high refresh rates or adaptive sync.

      • Laykun
      • 3 years ago

      You will once you’ve used them for a good amount of time. Going back to a 60hz monitor now, even for programming, feels sluggish.

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    Dear Dell, $570? for a 24-IN TN (even if it’s a good 8-bit panel, like in the S2716DG or PG278Q)?

    Bwhahaha.

    Wait, you were serious. Let me laugh even harder. BWAHAHAHA.

      • torquer
      • 3 years ago

      When you can invent a technology that blends the picture quality of IPS with the high refresh rates and low lag time available in a TN and at an affordable price, I’m sure they’d be happy to know.

      Until then keep laughing in the same cage of compromise we all live in.

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        Laughing at the price, not the quality per se.

        And for what it’s worth, the TN screen on the S2716DG and PG278Q are *very* good – they’re 8-bit TN panels with 10-bit FRC. The panel on my Rog Swift (also overpriced at MSRP, but I got mine at a good price refurb) is as good or better than the 8-bit AHVA (technically IPS) panel on my secondary Acer monitor at color reproduction. The only downside is the (slight) loss of contrast off-center, but fortunately it does not suffer from color inversion.

        I’d like to see G-Sync monitors come down in price to make them more accessible, and at the same time, I’d like to see Freesync monitors stop gimping their VRR range, to make them more useful. This may mean they meet somewhere in the middle price/performance wise, but the cheaper and better quality VRR monitors become, the better off it is for gamers.

          • torquer
          • 3 years ago

          I’d be happy for them to get cheaper and better too. But picking on Dell for prices that are in line with equivalent competition isn’t really fair.

          Hell its not easy to find a decent 144hz monitor without adaptive Sync for less than $250 and that’s with a much cheaper panel.

          The volumes on these probably aren’t high enough to drive down prices

        • guardianl
        • 3 years ago

        [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0JC-000P-00083&cm_re=ips_144hz-_-0JC-000P-00083-_-Product<]Yes, keep laughing.[/url<] Acer XF270HU 27" IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor 144 Hz 4ms Response $549 Don't get caught up on the 1 ms TN response times, they achieve those with overdrive (overshoot) levels so high you might as well disable the "film grain" effect in game, because you've already got it "for free". [url=http://tftcentral.co.uk/<]http://tftcentral.co.uk/[/url<] does actual detailed measurements. I love Dell's monitors and I've got a pair of U2713HM's on my desk with a Acer XB270HU (gsync version) but Dell is just late to the VRR party with bad pricing to boot. I guess the SE2717H looks OK, although it would make more sense at 24".

    • meerkt
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]with the typical 170° horizontal and 160° vertical viewing angles[/quote<] Why repeat the meaningless stuff manufacturers like to spew in "spec" sheets? It's 160-170 if you consider a contrast ratio of 10 to be a valid point of reference. Maybe we could get meaningful viewing angle specs if tech sites started ignoring the current "specs" and instead lambasted manufacturers .

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      The way I see it, meerkt, monitor specs are kinda like that one late friend.

      You know that guy. He’s always like, “yeah man, I’ll be over in like 20 minutes” and then 2 hours later he drags in with some lame story about how he ran over his cat or something.

      But you’ve known this guy for years, he’s always like that. You know when he says “like 20 minutes”, he means six times that.

      That’s kinda how I see monitor specs. When they say 160-170 degrees, you know what they really mean. Same thing with response time. That monitor up there PROBABLY doesn’t have a 1ms real BTB response time. But when they say that, you pretty much know what you’re getting. It’s a best-case number, a theoretical, and from there, you can work out what the real performance is like. 🙂

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        man, I totally balled up my fist reading that comment. I hate that guy. 20 minutes my ass.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Response times are always given as GTG not BTB….so there’s that.

        • meerkt
        • 3 years ago

        It’s not that we don’t know what it means. But it means very little (in this case just whether it’s TN or not). It could be very useful if “specs” really provided the claimed info, and tech sites are in a position to try to campaign for that, rather than ignore or condone the current status quo.

        Right now you have to wait/hope for reviews, not all of which measure difficult-to-measure things like viewing angles and response times. And when they do, measurement methods might differ between reviewers.

        How cool would it be if you knew with high reliability how a monitor performed just by reading the spec sheet? Not only viewing angles and pixel response times, but I wouldn’t mind also getting input lag (especially for TVs), among other bits of info.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 3 years ago

          Don’t get me wrong, man. I feel you. And I totally agree! I just don’t think it’s realistic. In what industry does this happen? Car specs are decidedly ‘best-case’. Same for audio equipment. And don’t get me started on TVs.

            • meerkt
            • 3 years ago

            I think in this market the reviewers and target audience have more influence. Tech people + internet means it’s easier to team up, get the word out, etc. 🙂

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 3 years ago

    If it’s anything like the s2716dg, that price on the s2417dg will be lowering by 100 or more and then it’ll be considered an amazing deal

    • The Egg
    • 3 years ago

    These monitors would be great if the specs were flip-flopped for the different sizes.

    • Techgoudy
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve yet to buy an “expensive” set of monitors let alone see them in person to judge them since they’d likely set me back $700-$1000~.

    Are these monitors really worth the price tag? I see the specs but I don’t really see the translation to price (probably because I haven’t seen any of them in person). Do you guys see a different level of quality in both picture and build that makes these monitors cost so darn much?

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]Are these monitors really worth the price tag? I see the specs but I don't really see the translation to price (probably because I haven't seen any of them in person). Do you guys see a different level of quality in both picture and build that makes these monitors cost so darn much?[/quote<] Value is subjective, and depends on the user and the use case. That said, I do think G-Sync monitors are more expensive than I'd like, even though they do make up [i<]some[/i<] of the difference by generally having higher quality panels than most Freesync monitors (larger refresh range, 8-bit TN panels in many models) and added features (ULMB, 3D, windowed VRR). I'm very happy with mine for gaming, 2D tasks, watching video and RAW editing (8-bit panel), and it has unexpectedly taken over nearly all primary duties from the secondary AHVA monitor that I had kept as a standby for RAW editing. There are some nice deals from time to time, but I don't think the MSRP of most G-Sync monitors puts them in the "must buy" category for me.

        • Techgoudy
        • 3 years ago

        What kind of monitors do you have?

          • Voldenuit
          • 3 years ago

          Ah, sorry, should have mentioned,main is an ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q, 27″ 1440p 144 Hz G-Sync with an 8-bit TN panel. Functionally very similar to the Dell S2716DG, which uses a similar (but not identical) panel.

          The secondary is an acer KHUL27bmiidp, 27″ 1440p 60 Hz with an AHVA (IPS) panel.

    • Bomber
    • 3 years ago

    Lets make a 24″ 1440p monitor and release a similar and cheaper 27″ 1080p monitor to confuse people!

    -Dell

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      I hate options.

      -Bomber

        • Bomber
        • 3 years ago

        I LOVE options. Options would be both monitors available in both resolutions though. This makes little sense.

          • slowriot
          • 3 years ago

          It might make more sense to you if you didn’t just consider these two models in a vacuum. Dell has a couple of existing gaming monitors and clearly they’re just working through fleshing out the line up. To also fit in their dozens of other models…

            • Bomber
            • 3 years ago

            It’s also refresh time, so adding isn’t really adding anything. It’s replacing. I am a huge proponent of Dell monitors. Quality and price cannot really be beat. This says to me that people are going to look at price point and not the monitor. They are going to see a sub $300 freesync 27″ monitor and the masses won’t get that 1080p is terrible at 27″. A 27″ 1080p panel costs next to nothing to manufacture at this point after all so they will bank on marketing to make them more money instead of offering those options they have in the past.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 3 years ago

        You can have any monitor you want, as long as it’s 27″ 1440P IPS and G Sync.

        -Henry Ford

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    Would there be a good way to objectively quantify the differences between ULMB and non-ULMB? That along with minimum framerate differences appears to be the big technical difference between G-sync and Freesync, and I’d be curious to see if it has a tangible benefit.

      • Fieryphoenix
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t think so. The benefit of ULMB is largely that images in motion are significantly more clear. Are there blurriness metrics?

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, I guess that’s the problem. You can’t quantify it for a review very well.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      Blurbusters has tests and screencaps of blurriness using ULMB and without.

      Note that because ULMB strobes the backlight, it is fundamentally incompatible with VRR, because the level of lighting depends on the width, power and frequency of the pulses, and you can’t control that if every frame has a different frame time. You have to choose to use one or the other at any given time.

      I’ve found ULMB to have a noticeable positive effect in both games and movies, but I ended up preferring turning G-Sync on, and leaving ULMB off even in 2D apps because I’m too lazy to have to fiddle through menus to enable/disable it every time I switch between gaming and non-gaming.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      It’s difficult to objectively quantify because while the difference is objective (meaning there is a real, tangible difference), it doesn’t matter to everyone. Which is to say that some people don’t notice or care about the difference.

      I suppose you could say “well that sounds like a placebo to me!” but there are people who claim to be unaffected by aspirin too. For what it’s worth, most people can tell the difference between a strobing display and a static display side by side, and some people seem to be more sensitive to blur than others. I prefer ULMB, but it doesn’t kill me if I have to use a non-strobing display. My friend, on the other hand, gets nauseous if she has to play games on a static LCD anymore.

      The real problem with ULMB and strobing in general is that it reduces the perceived brightness of the screen. Because the backlight is off for up to 90% of the time, the display [b<]appears[/b<] to be much darker. And because the display appears darker, this means the perceived contrast is worse, too. To make matters worse, that also throws off the color balance on a lot of displays. What this means in practice is that I think a lot of people are enabling ULMB out of curiosity on the desktop -- likely not even knowing what it is or does -- and seeing that it makes the picture look "bad", shaking their head, disabling it, and forgetting about it. Which is a real shame, because in certain types of games (particularly, FPS games with consistently high framerate; say, 90+) it is really an experience to be had. The first time you play a really fast FPS game with a high framerate you will realize how much data you were missing, visually, due to your eyes blurring the image. Not even gameplay-relevant data; the first time I started using it I was on a CS:GO kick and I started noticing a lot of visual details around the levels that I had never even noticed before. And then I realized an hour later that I was 2nd on the server, which is not all that typical for me. Other friends have had similar experiences. My best friend plays a lot of Battlefield 4, and when he switched from an ASUS VS229H-P (1920x1080 60Hz e-IPS) to a PG278Q (2560x1440 144Hz TN monitor using ULMB) he immediately started placing higher in servers. Our resident auxy was already good, but she became one of the top Blacklight: Retribution players in the world after she got her VG248QE. (Of course, she's also one of like, four people playing that game, so... 🙂 Anyway, this kinda turned into a blog post but seriously, you should check out ULMB on a suitable game if you have the chance. And if your monitor has multiple configurable profiles for color and brightness/contrast, I recommend turning it off on the desktop, or at times when you're doing things (including playing games) that won't benefit from it.

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        I just tested ULMB @ 120 Hz + FastSync on my 1070+PG278Q, and BY GOLLY, IT’S GOOD. Seems to be a good compromise between G-Sync and vanilla ULMB, the input lag is noticeably better than vanilla ULMB, though not as buttery smooth as G-Sync.

        RAGEPRO does have a point about being able to identify objects (and enemies) better with quick flicks, I suppose it depends a lot on your playstyle as well. In Overwatch, for instance, it depends a lot on which characters I play. I main Zarya and don’t flick as much because her primary weapon is a continuous beam that you have to keep trained on the enemy, but when I’m playing squishy characters like Genji or Tracer, flicking is much more important to maintain your situational awareness.

        Still, I’d advise anyone with a G-sync monitor to at least give ULMB + FastSync a shot. Even if you weren’t happy with ULMB before due to the fixed refresh rate, you might find that FastSync helps with the input lag. You’ll need to download nvidiaProfileInspector and set vsync to 0x18888888 manually. Hopefully nvidia bakes it into nvidia Control Panel sooner rather than later*.

        As for ULMB in desktop mode, I actually find it to have higher perceived contrast than Normal (non-PWM) mode, it might be because the backlight is quite powerful on this monitor, so I don’t see any loss of brightness at my typical settings.

        *EDIT: Some ppl are saying it shows up on their nvidia control panel as a ‘Fast’ option under ‘vsync’, but sadly I don’t see it on mine (using 368.95 drivers).

          • RAGEPRO
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah, monitors capable of strobing (whether old Lightboost or newer ULMB stuff) tend to have ridiculously powerful backlights. I think mine goes up to like 450 cd/m2 or something.

            • ozzuneoj
            • 3 years ago

            I have a BenQ XL2720Z and the BenQ Blur Reduction feature on this model (and others) is phenomenal. I wish I didn’t have to compromise and get a TN display to get these features, but alas… until BenQ makes an OLED monitor with similar specs and features, it seems like the best choice.

            I prefer CRTs to pretty much any other kind of display technology when it comes to gaming, but the XL2720Z is reasonably close due to the motion clarity, high refresh rates and flexible settings (it has 4:3 and 5:4 modes for running lower resolutions).

            I’d like to see ULMB but I’ve heard that it isn’t as flexible as BenQ’s solution. I can hook my monitor up to a 20 year old computer via VGA and play old games at 60Hz with perfect motion clarity without having to change any settings. I don’t think you can do that with ULMB, but I’m not sure.

        • Fieryphoenix
        • 3 years ago

        That’s my experience, I play BF4 a lot and ULMB is a great help in situational awareness.

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