Dell S2721DGF…Panel?

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  • #61162
    zephyrv

    Just got my S2721DGF last week and have been testing it. Pretty impressed with it so far, the blacks aren’t amazing but colours are nice. Plus the build quality is very nice. I’m just running it on a hdmi as my new build isn’t finished yet but happy to try and answer any questions.

    I’ve noticed some weird black swooshes going diagonally across the screen when doing a bleed test but luckily they’re not really visible under normal use so I think it’s fine.

    #61172
    PCM2

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the monitor and you seem to have a good grasp of the relative weaknesses (contrast) and have balanced that out well against the positives. And realise that issues that you only notice under very specific conditions aren’t really worth worrying about at all. It’s a very good attitude to have with monitors, because no screen is perfect – it’s better to focus on things you enjoy about it as you have done. πŸ™‚

    What sort of games have you been playing on it?

    #61266
    PCM2

    ^^ Obviously dodgy games you don’t want to tell us about! πŸ˜‰

    RTINGS has now published their review of the S2721DGF. They recorded reasonable contrast for a Nano IPS panel, more similar to what they saw with the XG270QG than the 27GL850. The black uniformity of their unit was poor, so perceived contrast wouldn’t have been wonderful on their unit. They also uncovered a degree of local dimming. Nothing amazing, but 8 horizontally arranged dimming zones. This allows a situational boost in contrast under HDR (it can only be activated under HDR). The colour accuracy was unimpressive ‘out of the box’. Largely due to it being a wide gamut model without an sRGB emulation mode, partly because the colour temperature of their unit was some way from their 6500K target. The gamma tracking was decent, which is just as well as there are no gamma modes in the OSD. Responsiveness was solid as well using the ‘Fast’ setting.

    Although not uncovered by RTINGS testing, I’ve seen some reports of screen blanking when using Adaptive-Sync. It seems to be tied to sudden dips in frame rate or low frame rates and also seems to occur with GTX 10 series GPUs from reports I’ve seen. If other models with similar issues are anything to go by, the ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ experience is probably absolutely fine on newer GPUs (RTX 20 and RTX 30 series etc.)

    #61575
    Darryl282

    This monitor looks absolutely amazing. Anyone here has it? Not many reviews about it online.

    #61578
    PCM2

    This thread, which I’ve merged yours with, covers the S2721DGF and shares some of my own opinions on it based on user and reviewer feedback. And a bit of user feedback, although I was hoping for more from users who now seem to have abandoned the thread. All I would add is that the user feedback I’ve received on it largely reflects what is already posted here and shared with other Nano IPS models. A user I recently received feedback from ended up returning it because he wasn’t satisfied with the contrast – he accurately measured ~800:1 which is in-line with what I saw on the XG270QG.

    #61587
    Darryl282

    Hopefully, we see a review here soon πŸ™‚ That panel coating looks pretty damn light, which I’m happy to see as high refresh rate glossy panels are non-existent.

    #61589
    PCM2

    The screen surface should be similar to the XG270QG so in that respect it’s relatively “ungrainy”. There’s not enough impetus for us to review the product unless Amazon stocks it, so for the moment it’s not a consideration. I’m also more interested in products using a panel I haven’t used before (new AUO panel).

    #61623
    theoderic

    I also have the S2721DGF I bought it as an upgrade from my s2716dg. I had that for 4 years and after calibration the picture was good. I read about the S2721DGF on a website so investigated it. And decided to order it. It Arrived on 22/9/2020 was very easy to setup . I calibrated it with my spyderx elite. The response and picture quality is very good .The only minor issue is when that virus called windows 10 crashes and reboots the pc you get the dp error message but the solution is easy. I bought the S2716dg years ago after reading about blb etc as tn do not suffer from that. But my S2721dgf has no blb or other ips probs so dell has a good gaming monitor now I think.

    #61625
    PCM2

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the S2721DGF and thanks for sharing your feedback. Although it isn’t correct to say that TN models don’t suffer from backlight bleed – they most certainly can. The S2716DG is a model I have a lot of experience with and it’s prone to backlight bleed and clouding towards the bottom of the screen. Obviously, it doesn’t suffer ‘IPS glow’. Whilst you may not notice or care about the ‘IPS glow’ on your S2721DGF, by the way, it most certainly is there. πŸ˜‰

    For the benefit of others reading this it would be helpful if you were more specific about this DP issue you were having and how you solved it. πŸ™‚

    #61630
    theoderic

    In answer to your question. As the S2721DGF is a freesync monitor natively you need to make sure in the OSD that it is on premium then go to nvidia gsync and it recognises it as compatible. But on the crashing occasions the monitor or pc shows a message no DP input. I looked this up and believe it or not basically you turn off both monitor and pc and unplug wait about a minute then turn on. So in effect maybe the link is reset. Also being a 1.4 dp as against the s2716dg which was 1.2 I have also found better bandwidth in mmo games and no minor stutters I used to have.

    #61632
    PCM2

    Yes, that would cause the monitor to power cycle – isn’t necessary on most models but good to know if people come across that issue. What GPU do you use out of interest? Not to get too sidetracked here, but the full capability and all the bandwidth the S2716DG needs is supplied via DP 1.2. Any stuttering you experience isn’t caused by a lack of bandwidth – although I wouldn’t rule out an issue with the G-SYNC module or DisplayPort controller of the monitor or possibly GPU.

    #61633
    theoderic

    At the moment its a MSI GTX1080TI gaming x which has also a 1.4 dp connection. so hence my comments. But as and when I can get one I will pair the monitor with a rtx3080 27″ 1440p is ok atm I have not the space on my desk for the larger ones. But yes I think Dell have a good gaming monitor now.

    #61635
    PCM2

    Good call on the GTX 1080 Ti to RTX 3080 upgrade – I’ll be doing the same myself, as soon as it’s actually possible. πŸ˜‰

    #61688
    theoderic

    Just to let you know on youtube there is another review of this monitor by “Hardware unboxed ”

    #61690
    Darryl282

    Watched the video. Mostly informative for the average consumer. I find it truly bizarre that monitor coatings are always overlooked. There’s a reason Apple does glossy only. Sigh…guess I’m just fed up trying to get my hands on a 144hz glossy panel. I’ll be living with my, overclocked to 75hz, Dell s2415h lol.

    #61694
    PCM2

    Good informative review by Hardware Unboxed with some good numbers to crunch. I’m a fan of their work more broadly even if I don’t always agree with the weight they give to certain data. I appreciate some of you reading this thread are already enjoying the monitor – so you should be, it’s a great monitor! But I am going to provide a slight critique of the Hardware Unboxed review here, not so much the product itself but more with how they weigh things up. Not just with this model but how they stack Nano IPS models up against others. I feel they put too emphasis on pixel responsiveness and too little on contrast. Monitors are very subjective and I completely understand where that preference comes from. I personally still use the Dell S2716DG as my own main monitor, which should give some indication of where my own preferences lie! It isn’t because I love everything about the monitor though – if I didn’t spend so much time using other monitors I’m reviewing I might be a bit sick of the old TN Dell by now. I got it for Β£90 due to a pricing error, I couldn’t argue with that at the time. But we reviewers have a keener eye for detail than most and our preferences don’t necessarily reflect those of the wider public. Having engaged with many users on the topic who have tried both the Innolux and Nano IPS panels, preferences are pretty split but I’d say more notice and appreciate the slight contrast boost vs. lower pixel response times. This echoes some things I said in this post and more recently I’ve received further feedback of this sort.

    The Hardware Unboxed review is also a bit negative towards the XG270QG, in my opinion. They downplay the advantages of variable overdrive, which are admittedly less critical on models like this with a natively fast panel in the first place – but still useful for some users. The Dell does pretty well with its ‘Super Fast’ setting across most of the range, according to their data, but at 85Hz and moreover 60Hz (likely <80fps in practice) overshoot becomes potentially overbearing. It's certainly well-tuned in the triple digits using the 'Super Fast' setting, though. The pixel response time measurements they took on the XG270QG are at odds with what some others have measured. TFT Central recorded a maximum 5.3ms grey to grey response time at 165Hz, which is similar to the 27GL850 (at 144Hz). RTINGS measured 3.7ms maximum using a comparable methodology. Various Asian and German monitor reviewers achieved similar results to these sorts of figures, ~3-5ms max. Hardware Unboxed on the other hand measured a maximum of 8.11ms and for the transition where TFT Central recorded 5.3ms (grey levels 0-50 vs. 0-51 = negligible difference), 8.03ms. I do now know that Hardware Unboxed test with Adaptive-Sync (or G-SYNC) active and I do this by default as well because it’s a feature that most will just leave enabled. RTINGS take their pixel response time measurements with Adaptive-Sync disabled.

    Going by my own testing on the ViewSonic, I’m not convinced that G-SYNC being active or not accounts for these differences in response time measurement. On my unit at least, having the setting active didn’t make much if any difference, either in-game or using TestUFO. I admit I only carried out limited testing with the technology disabled (I spent almost all of my time with G-SYNC active), but I did test a bit in-game and on TestUFO and did not come across any clear or noteworthy differences. Nothing that I felt warranted further analysis. So I’m not sure what happened with the Hardware Unboxed measurements there, it’s almost as if their ViewSonic was tuned relatively poorly. Or perhaps it was just a penalty with G-SYNC active that I simply didn’t observe on mine or didn’t find significant enough to investigate further. Either way I wouldn’t really recommend users obsess about these differences – the vast majority of users will find the ViewSonic and indeed the Dell excellent for responsiveness. Perhaps the Dell is objectively faster, they do seem to have tuned the panel very well. That ‘Extreme’ mode in particular looks a nice way between the ViewSonic’s ‘Standard’ and ‘Advanced’ settings, it has certainly piqued my interest. Importantly, each model is much closer to each other than it is to the slower alternatives with the Innolux panels. So these cross-comparisons with the Nano IPS models are a bit nitpicky really. Still, I do have to bring this up because it seems to heavily skew the conclusions made by Hardware Unboxed.

    They base a lot of their praise (and 144-165Hz comparisons) for the Dell’s fast response times using the ‘Extreme’ setting. I’ve received some feedback outside of this thread that the ‘Extreme’ setting provides strong and obvious overshoot at 165Hz (see edit below – only with Adaptive-Sync disabled). Hardware Unboxed measured some fairly strong overshoot with the ‘Extreme’ setting but nothing too extreme or widespread. RTINGS on the other hand showed very clear overshoot with the ‘Extreme’ setting in their photographic motion test. And recorded insane amounts of overshoot. So, theoderic and others with the Dell – this is where you come in again! πŸ˜€ Please set your Dell to the ‘Extreme’ setting and see how you find things in terms of overshoot. Is it obvious? Please test both with Adaptive-Sync enabled and disabled, making sure the frame rate is 165fps – it should be when you’re just on the desktop or using TestUFO and that will be fine for assessment. But any in-game observations are welcome as well.

    Edit: It was clarified that the Hardware Unboxed testing performed on the Dell was with Adaptive-Sync enabled and this is their default stance for any monitor. I agree with this. Disabling Adaptive-Sync signficantly alters the pixel overdrive behaviour in this case, much as we saw on the Dell Alienware AW2521HF.

    I’m still interested in subjective assessment from owners using the “Extreme” setting of the S2721DGF with Adaptive-Sync enabled. πŸ™‚

    #61833
    demonunter

    Hello PC Monitors! Thanks for the great, unique, deep content, it helped me a lot.
    I have lately seen your matte vs glossy monitor guide. I would be happy if could get some advice.
    I had the BenQ EX2780Q for a couple of days before returning it because of ips glow, got the FHD AOC 24G2U, didn’t like the non-sharp text after trying the said 1440p (27 inch though) monitor, and now decided to get a 1440p again. The main reason (and main use) is text clarity.

    I was wandering, as I can’t decide between the new Dell S2721DGF and the BenQ (or even a Viewsonic), if a matter monitor means less crisp/with any blurriness text (my mortal enemy). I don’t remember the BenQ having any trouble showing crisp text, and I remember you describing it as light-matte, and the Dell seems matter (according to other review site).
    Will I be taking a chance not getting this prime criteria of crisp text with the Dell? (I was even considering a monitor 4k with 60Hz, but seems that it can’t scale well to 1080p when gaming)?
    Thank you again!

    #61835
    PCM2

    Hi demonhunter,

    The Dell S2721DGF‘s screen surface is similar to the ViewSonic XG270QG. The screen surface has a good light surface texture, even if the haze value is slightly higher than on the BenQ. It just has a different 3D structure really – it’s still a light matte screen surface and you’ll likely enjoy it. It doesn’t have that kind of layered or ‘smeary’ appearance of stronger matte screen surfaces, so it doesn’t impede text clarity in that way.

    ‘IPS glow’ in isolation won’t be better on that one than the BenQ, in fact it’s a bit stronger if anything. Plus you’ve got weaker static contrast to boot. I assume you had an issue with clouding on the BenQ (like our review sample had), which would bring the ‘IPS glow’ out more strongly. If you like the sound of the S2721DGF due to the strong responsiveness than certainly consider it – and don’t be put off by the screen surface, you’ll likely find that just fine. But if your primary interest is a strong contrast performance it doesn’t really make sense.

    #61836
    demonunter

    Wow thank you so much!!! Didn’t expect such an elaborate, full, and full of extra information response. I appreciate it very much!!!
    I have now checked the ViewSonic review, and the BenQ review again, and the info is there!!! πŸ™‚

    Then clarity-wise, Dell is a winner. That’s great to know as the Dell is also a bit thinner and has a good stand. The responsiveness is actually not the most important thing for me, the nice EX2780Q-grade responsiveness is fine by me (I don’t play serious competitive FPS, which, if I am not wrong, demands the highest standards of responsiveness). The black uniformity is on the other hand important (I like dark environment for movies and games), and black level desirably also. I have read that this HP’s panel is low on contrast, but can’t decide if it’s something to consider, when the numbers are about 1:800 vs 1:1000. Is this kind of difference visible?

    Many thanks again!

    #61838
    PCM2

    There’s a bit of inter-unit variation with contrast, but on average it’s more like ~750:1 for the Nano IPS panels and 1150:1 for the Innolux panels following appropriate adjustment. I’ve made by thoughts on this contrast difference clear in the context of the Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-P (Innolux panel, my unit had good uniformity) in both the review and this post.

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