Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.
October 6, 2021 at 1:17 pm #66400uriel250
I currently have an Acer XB271HU 1440p 144Hz that I used for 5 years, it still works perfect but I want to upgrade to 240Hz.
Which monitor is currently the best 1440P 240Hz? With support for PS5 (with upscale to 4K?) if possible – not that important.
I thought about AW2721D which is currently on sale on Amazon France.
On the other hand I saw the Asus PG279QM which costs ~$200 more than the Alienware, is it worth it?
I heard it has things such as sRGB clamp built in rather than in Nvidia drivers on the Dell (what’s that and how important it is?)
Is the fan on the Alienware considered a problem?
I have a high end PC that can run most games on high settings at 240 fps, is turning G Sync ON necessary? On my current Acer monitor I barely used G-Sync.
And is G-Sync causing input lag?
I can even wait if there’s something new around the corner.
Thanks.October 6, 2021 at 1:45 pm #66404PCM2
Hi uriel250 and welcome,
The gaming recommendations page of the website points towards my current favoured option, which is the Dell Alienware AW2721D. There are links there with further feedback on that model alongside comparisons, including this thread which includes detailed user feedback. Additional feedback on the ASUS PG279QM can be found on this thread.
There are a few advantages to the ASUS PG279QM in my view:
– It offers slightly faster pixel responsiveness. Something you may not appreciate as the Dell is already fast and the differences won’t be hugely noticeable to most people.
– It offers a highly flexible sRGB emulation setting, whereas the Dell does not. Many users prefer the more saturated appearance of using these monitors with their native gamut. If you prefer the more toned down appearance of an sRGB emulation setting, you’re correct to identify that you can use the GPU-level methods discussed in our article. For general purpose usage they should work fine – and I’ve received direct feedback that they do work properly on the Dell. You can’t use these methods with the PS5, though, and you must remember to deactivate them if switching to HDR as explained in the article.
– The ASUS doesn’t have a cooling fan. The Dell does – it’s not an obnoxious one according to most feedback, but I know some people prefer there not to be one.
– The screen surface offers superior glare handling.
– The Quantum Dot backlight solution offers a superior colour gamut for those who like a really strong dose of extra vibrancy. Or if you wish to use the colour space for editing purposes (Adobe RGB coverage is excellent). For HDR purposes the colour gamut is more appropriate due to extra encroachment towards Rec. 2020, too. And there are potential viewing comfort advantages to the more balanced spectrum.
– ‘4K’ UHD downsampling for console purposes.
However, the Dell Alienware AW2721D has advantages which may outweigh these depending on your perspective. For me it’s still the one I’d recommend for the following reasons:
– VESA DisplayHDR 600 support with a well-tuned algorithm delivers a much more dynamic and impactful HDR experience. Whilst the ASUS may technically offer a better colour gamut for HDR, the Dell still offers excellent DCI-P3 coverage so delivers a good HDR experience from the colour side as well. And the superior luminance control helps add some extra depth even to certain medium shades. In my view there’s no contest; it’s delivers the better HDR without a doubt.
– The screen surface is lighter and significantly less grainy. I’ve received reports from users who found the ASUS too grainy – sensitivity to this varies and it’s far from the worst model out there in that respect. But as far as matte screen surfaces go the Dell Alienware has one of the cleanest and clearest you’ll find with good direct light emission. I’m sensitive to this sort of thing and readily appreciate the difference, so for me this would sway things quite heavily towards the Dell. If you prefer sitting in a bright room with light potentially striking the screen directly, you may find the Dell less forgiving.
– The native colour gamut delivers a good dose of extra vibrancy but doesn’t provide the same level of strong oversaturation as the ASUS. Particularly in the green to blue region but also for some red shades, you’ll see less of an ‘overdone’ and heavily saturated look there than with the ASUS (using the native gamut). Some people again enjoy the strong extra saturation of the ASUS and its QD backlight. I describe the sort of look that provides in this review of a model with a similar backlight and colour gamut.
– Entirely subjective, but I think it’s beautifully well-built and offers the more tasteful design. Others may disagree with the design as it really is an individual preference. 😉
As for upcoming options, there’s the Acer XB273U NX with 275Hz refresh rate that may be worth considering. No idea how it performs in practice as it hasn’t been released in most regions yet so feedback is yet to be provided. It is Eyesafe certified so could potentially improve viewing comfort for some people and the colour gamut is less generous than the other options discussed here. Which again, some people may like due to it offering a nice dose of extra vibrancy without as much oversaturation. The HDR capability is simply not at the level of the Dell. As for G-SYNC, it does still serve a purpose even if you’re able to frequently maintain 240fps+ in your game titles. Because without it, you’d need to use VSync (latency penalty) or suffer some tearing due to the frame and refresh rate not being perfectly synchronised with the display (yes – that applies even if you’re apparently ‘locked’ at 240fps).October 6, 2021 at 2:37 pm #66405uriel250
Dang, I am now even more confused 😀
Thanks for the great breakdown of both models.
I always used V-Sync on my monitor (on SOME games, like league of legends, with csgo, warzone, always off) – I thought G-Sync won’t limit fps to the refresh rate value?
Regarding the glare coat on those monitors, how they compare to my XB271HU?October 6, 2021 at 2:39 pm #66407PCM2
G-SYNC on its own doesn’t limit the frame rate. But you can use it with a frame rate limiter so that you always stay within the VRR range without imposing the VSync latency penalty. If you don’t have a VRR technology in use and limit frame rate, it won’t be correctly synchronised with the refresh rate and you’ll get tearing. Sensitivity to such things varies and you may not find this problematic – if you don’t use G-SYNC on your Acer are you perfectly happy with the experience? Your current monitor has a screen surface some way between the other two, really.October 6, 2021 at 2:55 pm #66408uriel250
I am super happy because on some games V-sync works pretty well. The only time I used G-Sync was when I sold my previous GPU so I had to use GTX 1060 till I found an RTX 3080, so the 1060 gave me 50-70fps in GTA V (2K res), and G-Sync literally saved me. It still felt smooth.
Also, what’s the best method to limit G-Sync framerates and on a 240Hz monitor should I limit it to 239fps?October 6, 2021 at 3:01 pm #66412PCM2
The 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p) resolution is not ‘2K’. Frame rate limiters aren’t perfect and 239fps would be cutting it too fine, so you’d usually give yourself more headroom and go for say 237fps. There are various methods to achieve this, including Nvidia Control Panel. Such discussion is beyond the scope of this forum and not specific to monitors or the PG279QM and AW2721D, so that’s the last I’ll say on this subject. 🙂October 6, 2021 at 3:31 pm #66413uriel250October 6, 2021 at 3:33 pm #66415PCM2
Definitely. You’ll be able to take advantage of the higher frame rate, pixel responsiveness is a bit stronger, things will look more vibrant and a bit ‘cleaner’ and you’ll be able to enjoy a pretty nice HDR in some titles as well. The link in the news piece or recommendations page should point you to your local Amazon (just checked the link configuration – but let me know if it doesn’t). 🙂October 6, 2021 at 3:46 pm #66416uriel250
TFT Central settings suggest not to use the led dimming option and HDR, isn’t it?October 6, 2021 at 3:47 pm #66418PCM2
TFT Central calibrated the monitor under SDR without local dimming active. That’s for consistency during the calibration process and when taking measurements and nothing to do with what they recommend you do or do not use for your own enjoyment of the monitor. 🙂October 6, 2021 at 4:48 pm #66419uriel250
And have you heard about the issues with Alienware such as blue vertical line and black screen issue?
I remember when I purchased my Acer XB271HU there were so many issues reported online, but I literally had 0 issues. Not sure if I was lucky or some people are very picky.October 6, 2021 at 4:53 pm #66421PCM2
I have not heard of such an issue and I’ve received quite a lot of feedback from users of the monitor, so it’s undoubtedly a fault with a minority of units. The PG279QM certainly has its own potential Quality Control related issues, some of which are raised in this thread. I’ve given you my opinion own already in the first post here. I specifically said “the Dell Alienware AW2721D has advantages which may outweigh these depending on your perspective. For me it’s still the one I’d recommend for the following reasons…” And I do explicitly recommend it. Monitors are subjective and you won’t find absolute agreement about which model is best, which is why I’ve taken time to specifically run through the advantages of each model. 😉October 6, 2021 at 4:56 pm #66422uriel250
Thank you so much. I will order the Alienware and hope for the best.
Thanks again for all the help.October 21, 2021 at 8:13 pm #66541framedragged
I’m looking to purchase a new monitor for the first time in 8 years and I’m struggling to pull the trigger. I’m currently using a Qnix qx2710 evo II (single input) and have been primarily researching monitors of the same size and resolution, 27in 1440p. I’m also interested in a more effective high refresh rate monitor which includes vrr, as I’ve recently upgraded my pc and it should be able to handle whatever I throw at it.
Now, the game I play most is minecraft which, thanks to its top-notch optimization, has a framerate that fluctuates wildly between 150 and 300 in general use (and which can even dip below 60 fps when using shaders) so that has led me to prioritizing monitors with a Gsync module over framesync/adaptive sync. The other games I play are mostly first person shooters.
As I progressively climbed the ladder of higher performance monitors and excluded those with poor picture/color and pixel performance I converged to the two monitors under discussion in this thread: the PG279QM and the AW2721D. As far as their differences go, I worry that the Asus will be too warm in color, (but presumably that can be calibrated?) and I’m worried that the Dell might be too reflective in the space I work in. But those seem like minor issues in comparison to my actual issue.
Initially I was anticipating spending $600 on my new monitor, but everything seemed to have too much compromise in one way or another so I bumped my budget up as I still had some available runway. Then I decided to accept the cost of the gsync module on top of that. It’s a nearly once in a decade purchase that will receive a huge amount of use, the cost seems justified.
But now I’m faced with decision paralysis. This paralysis is fueled by two things: quality control and the possibility of missing a monitor that will meet my needs at a lower price point. I feel I have mostly ruled out the lower cost options in my research, these two seem to be the only monitors that have everything I want, but I could be very wrong. High quality monitors with a gsync module are a premium price no matter what.
So I’m left with quality concerns.
It seems like the Dell monitor has some reports of stuck pixels, while the Asus has reports of dead pixels. As I didn’t purchase a ‘pixel perfect’ Qnix display, supposedly there could be up to 5 dead pixels on my panel. However, I haven’t ever seen one in the entire time I’ve used this monitor (multiple hours a day, every day) which leads me to believe those are something I can easily see past as long as they’re not in the central area of the screen. Stuck pixels, however, I’m quite confident I would quickly notice (for instance, some subreddits use style sheets that simulate a stuck pixel as a visual annoyance and those are quite easy for me to spot).
Now I know that either monitor could/will have one or both of those issues, these reports are all anecdotal and producing panels without defects is a huge engineering challenge, so I don’t want to give that demarcation between the two monitors too much weight, but it’s ultimately just a symptom of my overall concern.
While I have the budget for the $900 expense, I don’t know that I have the stomach for it given everything I’ve read. At this point I’m strongly considering a lesser display just because it won’t sting as much if there’s a manufacturing issue with it. In the PG279QM Impressions Thread, the wonderful PCM2 even goes far enough to voice their fear about a potential resurgence of quality control issues across the market.
Could it be the case that it’s just not the right time to make an entry into this market segment as a consumer right now? And if so what direction should I look instead?October 21, 2021 at 8:26 pm #66543PCM2
Hi there framedragged and welcome to the forum!
The monitor market is indeed a bit of a minefield at the moment when it comes to Quality Control (QC), and this is something that applies very broadly. However; this has been the case for several years now and I don’t see this changing any time soon. The early native 144Hz IPS panels using the AUO panels such as the ASUS PG279Q were good examples of problematic quality control, whilst TN panels of the era (Dell S2716DG) had their own issues. I don’t consider the ASUS PG279QM to be any worse than this, but I don’t really have enough data to say for sure. The Dell AW2721D I consider better in this respect and I don’t think it’s worthwhile holding your breath for things to improve beyond that.
You simply have to take the plunge and be prepared to return the monitor if you’re not satisfied. I’ve used various models with minor pixel defects, incidentally, and unless they’re in the central region or in large clusters they’re not generally annoying. If somebody has a monitor with a few peripheral pixel defects but the monitor is otherwise to their liking I’d advise they stick with it. Significant uniformity issues can be far more problematic and if your unit is good in that respect and doesn’t have significant pixel issues it’s probably best to keep it. Trying to get a monitor that’s ‘pixel perfect’ and one also shows excellent dark and light uniformity is difficult. Uniformity will shift a bit over time, but if it’s particularly poor initially it’s unlikely to become ‘good’ over time even if it does improve slightly. I really wish the market wasn’t like this, but it is and has been for some time. I’m not hopeful this will change in this era of mass panel production and companies being forced to be as efficient as possible with manufacturing. Panel manufacturers won’t throw away panels with ‘minor defects’ that are considered acceptable under the warranty of the monitor they’ll end up in.October 22, 2021 at 8:52 am #66544uriel250
I ordered the Alienware AW2721D. Should be here in a week or two.October 22, 2021 at 5:25 pm #66547SorcyOctober 22, 2021 at 5:26 pm #66549PCM2
I look forward to the feedback as well, uriel250.
Sorcy; there’s a thread covering that specific comparison – https://forum.pcmonitors.info/topic/gigabyte-aorus-fi27q-x-vs-dell-alienware-aw2721d/.October 23, 2021 at 7:35 am #66551framedragged
Thanks so much for the response!
Hmm, well I certainly don’t expect a ‘pixel perfect’ monitor anymore than I expect a processor that’s been implemented on perfectly doped silicon. I only used the term because it was a marketing term the higher bin qnix’s used and I always found it amusing. And coming from said display I imagine any backlight bleed or non-uniformity is probably going to be leagues better than what I’ve been working with unless I get super unlucky or buy a garbage monitor.
Given the sRGB emulation discussed in the sRGB Emulation article, it seems likely that the picture quality is ultimately a wash between the two (I would much prefer a less saturated image).
I guess that just leaves me with my reflection concerns with the Dell. Now, you may not be able to help with this last concern (and it may not belong in this thread, if so I apologize!), but if you have ever experienced the Qnix qx2710 would you be able to comment at all on the surface of the Dell and Asus relative to the matte screen of the qx2710 (it’s semi-glossy/light matte)?October 23, 2021 at 7:56 am #66556PCM2
I didn’t use the QNIX QX2710 myself but I’m familiar with the panel it uses. The PG279QM is more matte and less reflective than that. The AW2721D is less matte and potentially a bit more reflective. But in practice I suspect you’ll find you have to control your lighting in a similar way. The issues with direct light striking the screen would manifest in both cases, though in some instances the QNIX might give a slightly more ‘diffused’ look to that light and the Alienware a slightly sharper reflection. In many cases you’d observe similar light glare behaviour, as the screen surface isn’t actually massively different between the QNIX and Alienware.
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