Dell AW2721D user experience

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.


  • Author
    Posts
  • #63106
    Hanon

    Hello, I have owned the Dell for about a month and I’d like to share my experience with other users since there are some cases of people having doubts about this product. In the past, I have owned a lot of WQHD 27″ monitors:

    -Acer XF270HUA
    AOG AG271QG
    -ASUS PG279Q
    -ACER XF272UP
    -ACER XV272UP
    -ACER VG270UP
    AOC AG273QX
    ASUS XG279Q
    LG 27GL83-A
    LG 27GL850-B
    -HP X27I (Supposed to be IPS but my unit had a TN panel, more like about a manufacturing issue).
    ASUS VG27AQ

    My latest monitor was the VG27AQ, pretty good monitor, however it suffered some issues with strobe crosstalk. The panel wasn’t fast enough overall. It suffered from some backlight bleed as usual.

    I was able to purchase a Dell Alienware AW2721D for 688EUR, which to me looked like a great deal. This monitor costs 1000 EUR+ usually so I pulled the trigger. I am writing to you about this monitor because I saw your G-SYNC ULTIMATE certification issue on twitter and I wanted to give you some feedback about this monitor, which includes specified certification. Out of all those monitors I owned in the past, the Dell is the absolute winner, and not by a tiny margin. I’ll list some features that I was looking for my “ideal” (not 3k monitor):

    – Enough local dimming zones (zones must be well optimized to avoid lag)
    – Fast panel.
    – At least 95% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage.
    – 2560×1440 resolution.
    – At least 165HZ display.

    This monitor has the following features:

    – G-SYNC with VESA DISPLAY HDR 600 certification.
    – More than 500 nits of brightness (without luminance peaks that reach for the specified VESA certification).
    – Very good color calibration out of the box (only a tiny bit over saturation for a NANO IPS panel from LG), which to me is really appealing.
    – 240HZ refresh rate with zero ghosting and thanks to the variable overdrive the whole G-SYNC range is exceptionally consistent.
    – Native 10 bit panel (actually 10+FRC panel) which allows you to activate 12 bits. Yes, this monitor doesn’t have DSC but it’s whatever. Most games don’t support 10 bit color, and I don’t mind lowering the rate to 144hz if necessary for campaign mode games such as Tomb Raider, etc.
    – Anti Glare coating is excellent, not fully glossy, but not greasy at all. It does give a very “realistic” look to it.
    – Backlight bleed is average, same with IPS glow.
    – G-sync V2 module with more I/O than traditional G-SYNC monitors as well as other optimizations i don’t really know myself.
    – Here is the real deal for me: the monitor has 32 local dimming zones, perfectly optimized, able to ramp up brightness to the desired level for adequate HDR experience. This is 4x more zones than my old XG279Q which was a decent monitor as well. This translates to very acceptable image transition instead of just have huge blocks of light around the screen due to the limited amount of dimming zones. The 32 zones are also really reactive and sync up with the content really well, without any lag or other issues that we see in other monitors. I’m really happy with how it performs.
    – Great connectivity, the BEST frame construction i have ever seen on any monitor. Very sturdy, well built, really thin bezels. Build quality is just out of this world really.

    This monitor just ticks too many boxes for me, and I’m really happy with my pick, for 688EUR right now, I don’t think I’d find another monitor any similar to this. It doesn’t surprise me that Nvidia approved this monitor for GSYNC ULTIMATE qualification. I guess they were impressed with it’s performance, compared to other HDR 600 monitors, etc.

    Again, this is not a HDR 1000 monitor with a custom FALD solution, but It’s the closest you can get right now and you won’t get the annoying haloing effect. I think the monitor is worth it in every aspect, if you manage to find it for a good price.

    I can solve questions if needed.

    Have a good day all!

    #63112
    PCM2

    Hi Hanon,

    Thanks so much for sharing your detailed and very positive feedback on the Dell Alienware AW2721D with the forum. It’s a breath of fresh air to be honest, I get quite sick of people (not here, specifically, but more generally) being all too keen to share negative thoughts but keeping positive feelings to themselves. Even with this bias towards negativity, part of the human condition I suppose, the AW2721D is a model I’ve received quite a bit of positive feedback about directly. The fact people, like you, are willing to spend time putting their thoughts into words just shows how positive some of these experiences really are. And with your significant and broad experiences with a range of other models of the size and resolution, it certainly adds a lot of weight to your findings. I hope others reading this will find that reassuring. And it is a model I’d like to take a look at when I can, if a sample can be made available. If it isn’t, then at least the upcoming AOC AG274QG should be made available and that uses the same panel as far as I’m aware.

    I’ve also received some interesting feedback from a couple of users who have used both this model and the Acer alternatives (XB273U GX and XV272U X). So an LG Nano IPS panel in the Dell Alienware vs. AUO AHVA panel in the Acer models. I’ve yet to share this feedback as it didn’t really slot into any of the existing threads, but this one is perfect. So thanks for opening this door! The preferences can sway one way or the other depending on what a user values, but the overriding thoughts reflect a lot of what you’ve said. For example, one of the users noted the screen surface of the Dell was too prone to glare in their lighting environment – it likely has a slightly lower haze value than the Acer models. But they still found this screen surface really nice – it doesn’t give any real ‘layering’ in front of the image, preserves vibrancy and clarity well and doesn’t give a grainy look to lighter shades. Although their comments were a bit muddled and it seems they liked the screen surface on the Acer in terms of the image produced as well.

    One of the users really enjoyed the strong vibrancy of the Acer’s backlight (the colour gamut is similar to the XB323U GP we reviewed, for reference), whereas the other found it too much with overpowering saturation. Both agreed that the Dell offers a nice boost to saturation without taking things to such extremes, however. The user who disliked the Acer’s saturation under SDR enjoyed it more under HDR where the wider gamut is technically more appropriate for the content. So things looked nice and natural and in-place in that respect. But that was more than overshadowed for him by the contrast performance and brightness of the Dell under HDR which he found added depth to some shades and not just lifted up the brightest and darkest spots. “Night and day, quite literally”, were his exact words. A quick question for you, Hanon. I wasn’t actually aware the Dell had 32 dimming zones, I had assumed only 16. Did you confirm this yourself or did you see this confirmed elsewhere? That’s certainly a significant step up from the usual lack of any dimming zones. Not FALD, as you point out, but enough for a nice VESA DisplayHDR 600. Especially if it’s well controlled as it sounds like it is here.

    One of the users is a competitive gamer for the most part and found the Acer models had “marginally better” pixel responsiveness (sensitivity to this varies, of course) at very high refresh rates like 240Hz. Even slight advantages like this matter to him. The Acer models also have a strobe backlight setting, which he makes use for some of his gaming, whereas the Dell doesn’t. And he enjoyed the slight edge going from 240Hz to 270Hz. He was the one who preferred the stronger saturation of the Acer models (he tried both, plus the AW2721D) , incidentally. In the end, he ended up keeping the XV272U X because he found its pixel responses fastest – again, marginal differences by his own admission – at the very top end. He did note overshoot became an issue at lower refresh rates, as observed by the other user below as well, but as he didn’t play anything much below 240fps he didn’t really care about that.

    The other user, who preferred the saturation of the Dell and HDR contrast experience, plays more of a mixture of titles. Including some games competitively at high frame rates, but others in both single player and multiplayer where the frame rate isn’t going to be at or near 240fps consistently. The diversity of games he played was quite something and includes flight simulators, RPG games across a range of subgenres (from The Elder Scrolls series to Cyberpunk 2077) plus a mixture of slower paced tactical shooters, immersive third person shooters and titles like Battlefield V and various Call of Duty games. I envy his free time, to be honest. He found performance at 240Hz and general very high refresh experience more than good enough on the Dell and didn’t see much advantage going up even further to 270Hz. Importantly, he much preferred the Dell’s handling at reduced refresh rates. He observed some overshoot on the Acer Predator model even at 240Hz and this became much stronger at lower refresh rates, which he found quite annoying below about 150fps. In some of his titles he was closer to 100fps even and found the overshoot really off-putting there (sensitivity again varies) but loved the Dell’s pixel response tuning there with its G-SYNC module and variable overdrive. Needless to say he ended up keeping the Dell Alienware AW2721D due to the ‘G-SYNC Ultimate’ experience – the variable overdrive and also HDR capability won him over.

    Another interesting alternative for some would be the soon to be released ASUS PG279QM. I don’t have confirmation on which panel is used yet, but it could be an AUO panel similar to the Acer models with similar backlighting. If it is, perhaps something for those who want the QD backlight with the additional benefits of G-SYNC. It isn’t ‘G-SYNC Ultimate’, though, and only VESA DisplayHDR 400. So not a scratch on the Dell when it comes to a dynamic HDR experience. 🙂

    #63115
    Hanon

    Hello again, I verified it myself. I took a video (my phone is terrible) and I counted them individually. I’ll post it here so you are able to check it more in depth. You can’t actually count 32 probably, but that’s because the cursor lights up more than one zone by default the moment it enters the scene. That is normal because it creates a smoother dark to light transition rather than just having a block of intense light. It’s how the algorithm works I guess.

    AW2721D local dimming

    I hope the video was useful.

    #63117
    PCM2

    That is indeed useful, thanks for sharing! Definitely appears to confirm 32 zones or close to that. Difficult to count exactly in the video as you say. But I could see the arrangement with ~32 individually addressable LED clusters on the bottom edge of the monitor. Which provides light to up to 32 individual zones (horizontal bands). Looks like the AW2721D offers a similar dimming zone arrangement to what I observed on the XB323U GP but with twice as many zones across a smaller screen area. The algorithm is also important to consider, but it sounds like you’re happy with how the dimming zones are controlled. As always with a local dimming solution like this, it will work better in some scenarios than others.

    #63291
    PCM2

    A few additional points to note about the AW2721D:

    – There is no sRGB emulation mode to clamp the gamut to sRGB. Not a problem for everyone, including Hanon and others who like the colour representation under SDR with the native gamut.

    – There’s a fan inside the monitor, as with other ‘G-SYNC Ultimate’ models. Seems to quiet and unobtrusive enough that most users don’t even know it’s there. But I know some will see this as a potential point of failure in the future or would simply prefer an active cooling solution isn’t used. The other models discussed in this thread (without the G-SYNC Ultimate module) do not have a fan.

    #63517
    PCM2

    Another model some people may be considering and weighing up against the 270Hz Acer models and Dell Alienware AW2721D is the Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X. It uses a Sharp IPS-type panel rather than LG Display Nano IPS panel (Dell) or AUO AHVA panel (Acer models). Interestingly it uses the same BGR subpixel layout at the Gigabyte M27Q. As I stated in that review, I don’t see this as a major issue and not something most users will notice. But it’s still something to consider and no matter what I say I know people will worry about it.

    Edit: Currently reviewing the FI27Q-X and will provide some quick points of comparison with the Alienware after the review is published.

    #64242
    PCM2

    As promised, the FI27Q-X review is now live and I’ve drawn up a comparison between that and the Alienware. As you can see they both have distinct strengths and weaknesses – I’d recommend people try either of those monitors, with weighting more towards one or the other depending on exactly what you’re after.

    #65006
    PCM2

    Some more positive impressions on the AW2721D shared here by forum user Pronobly.

    #65826
    PCM2

    Our sRGB emulation article has been updated to include a convenient tool Nvidia GPU owners can use to achieve sRGB emulation even on monitors like the AW2721D which lack such a setting.

    #66265
    Anthos

    – Native 10 bit panel (actually 10+FRC panel) which allows you to activate 12 bits. Yes, this monitor doesn’t have DSC but it’s whatever. Most games don’t support 10 bit color, and I don’t mind lowering the rate to 144hz if necessary for campaign mode games such as Tomb Raider, etc.

    Everywhere I read this panel is listed as 8bit+FRC (even though I am aware in some instances it gives an option for 12bits which I am not sure how that could possible work out if not 10bit+FRC). Is there a clear answer to this?

    #66267
    PCM2

    Good point to bring up. The AW2721D‘s panel belongs to LG’s LM270WQB family. Like the vast majority of ’10-bit’ panels, dithering is indeed used to achieve this – so it’s 8-bit + FRC. Some people mistakenly use the term ‘native 10-bit’ to mean that is handled monitor-side (even with dithering), whereas 12-bit relies on additional GPU processing. The way the bit depth is listed in Nvidia Control Panel or anywhere in the EDID of the monitor does not reflect whether that bit depth includes dithering (monitor or GPU).

    #66291
    sayhejcu

    I was planning to buy this but i found really cheap Acer X27 in my country (not second hand). Even with the relatively acceptable price idk if X27 is worth it. It’s $1037. AW2721D is $930 but may find cheaper one later. (prices are tax + shipping included)

    I have 3080 ti so i’m fine with 4k. 120hz for sdr, 98hz for hdr acceptable too. HDR1000 gsync ultimate great specs. However the monitor doesn’t look that good tbh. It feels like alpha stage of monitor in development. Fan seems extremely bad on this. I don’t know how is blooming. Not sure about screen coating either. Input lag and response times aren’t that good either. I don’t know if colors as good as AW2721D.

    AW2721D design is gorgeous. 0-240hz gsync ultimate is great. I still think 1440p is optimum for 27 inch. Screen coating looks like the best. 32 dimming zones, good color gamut and OLED level brightness capability not that bad. Looks like solid proper monitor for years to use and never heard noisy fan issue with this one. AW2721D will not have amazing hdr but so far i’ve seen from tests it has very similiar (even better) brightness capabilities than LG OLED, it has better calibration and much better color volume. So it has redeeming qualities and may look better than OLED depends on the scene. What you guys take on this ? Any X27, AW2721D, LG OLED user here ? I would actually buy the X27 but seller is not amazon so i can’t return it if i don’t like it.

    #66294
    PCM2

    I don’t want my reply here to prevent others from chiming in, but it seems to me you’d be happier with the AW2721D for the reasons you’ve stated. The X27 is certainly nice if you get a good unit, but that’s not a guarantee and you’d find it difficult to return if not satisfied. The screen surface has a certain layering and graininess to it that’s thankfully absent on the Dell. Based on the PG27UQ I reviewed a while back, I did enjoy the HDR experience and it was something of a highlight of the experience. But the graininess of the screen surface slightly bugged me (I’m notoriously sensitive to this), the aggressive pixel overdrive and remaining issues didn’t make for the cleanest experience either. The very generous colour gamut could go either way depending on preferences, too, for SDR usage. The sRGB emulation mode was nice but some enjoy the balance provided by the AW2721D with its native gamut – less extreme oversaturation but still plenty of extra vibrancy.

    #66299
    sayhejcu

    I was gonna pass like you said but it dropped even more now. It’s $750 tax and shipping included. Ridiculously cheap. But the seller says you can’t return it if you open the box. He wants report from Acer customer service to accept return. Is qc bad with these ? Acer doesn’t qualify return below 5 dead pixel here 🙁 I never considered buying these FALD monitors before because of the immaturity of the tech and the price but now it’s cheaper than even straight up bad monitors.
    For comparison approximately 27gn950: $855 aw2721d: $930 C1 48: $1350.

    On a side note, even at this price i’m not buying it in a heartbeat. Goes to show how overpriced these actually were. It’s $625 without tax right now. It was around $2000 at release.

    #66469
    Solistru

    One of my buddies has one of these and I’ve sat in front of it a few times. ( I have an XB323U GX myself ) And i’ve been very very impressed with what i’ve seen of it.

    I would buy one in an INSTANT if they made a 32 inch panel. It’s so hard to go back to 27 from 32.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your panel! With the way the industry is, panel lottery, defects etc, there’s no better feeling than turning on a panel and actually being impressed with it.

    #66474
    Red_Negan

    The X27 nowadays is less impressive. It is full array but does still have blooming. Motions wise it’s not on par with some modern panels. Picture wise it’s nice, I’ve always felt AUO panels outside of their QC look really good at least the 1440p and 4k offerings. The AW2721D shines in it’s lack of antiglare coating which makes certain scenes look smoother. I love how the AW2721D looks I’ve got a unit here but this is my third unit with stuck pixels I give up finding the perfect panel it just doesn’t exist so just learned to enjoy the picture and not worry about pixel issues that are really unavoidable and really a pointless goal to chase.

    The AW2721D is way brighter than any OLED what you’re quoting is peak brightness for HDR. In SDR the AW is easily 3 times as bright. OLED does look much better than the AW though for watching content, it’s glossy, no backlight, per pixel control it’s no contest you need Full Array pref via MiniLED to compete or exceed for HDR. I recently bought a QN94a which I find a great set that does well for dark scenes and offers better gradients and HDR performance than my OLEDs but for SDR its close.

    For a monitor though, the AW2721D is solid but I’m going to finally give in try the XG27AQM I reckon that’ll have some advantages but I’m expecting it to be grainier.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.