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Dell S3220DGF Gaming Monitor Review: High-Performance Work and Play

A 32-incher fit for office work and speedy gaming.

Dell S3220DGF Gaming Monitor
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Dell)

The S3220DGF offers four HDR picture modes. Three of them add edge enhancement, which makes the image look a bit artificial. Only the one labeled Desktop keeps the picture free of artifacts. It also offers the best accuracy for both color and luminance mapping.

HDR Brightness and Contrast

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Any concerns about the S3220DGF’s brightness capability were addressed when we activated our HD Fury Integral. A full white field measured 506.7 nits brightness, which amply exceeds the monitor’s 450-nit rating. With so much output available, highlights really pop in HDR mode, making both games and videos look fantastic. A super-low black level delivers an impressive 18,026.2:1 HDR contrast ratio. Of all the edge-lit HDR displays we’ve reviewed, the S3220DGF has the largest dynamic range. Only a monitor with an OLED panel or full-array local dimming (FALD) backlight can do better. 

Grayscale, EOTF and Color

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It is possible to adjust the S3220DGF’s grayscale tracking in HDR mode, but those settings will carry over to SDR mode too. Luckily, the same tweaks work for both signal types. Brightness levels from 70% and up are a tad blue, but in actual content, this error will be very hard to spot. The EOTF high clip point of 69% is due to the excellent contrast built into this monitor.

In the color gamut tests, we see a general over-saturation of the inner targets with red hitting its 100% mark and green and blue coming up slightly short. That’s the color compromise we talked about earlier. The net result is a good picture that competently walks the line between sRGB and DCI.

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  • closs.sebastien
    2560x1440 for a 32 inch? no way. we don't want so big pixels. I use a 4k on a 27'.
    and va... is not from the past? no new fast-ips?
    Reply
  • closs.sebastien
    why are the manufacturers still putting speakers or headphone outputs on screens? screen is screen.. soundcard is soundcard... speakers are speakers...
    Reply
  • FastAddons
    I want to buy this monitor for few weeks now and after reading this, I really don't see why not buy it right now.
    I already bought two DELL 27" QHD monitors for work and they are simply amazing.
    So having slightly bigger one, curved and 165Hz with HDR seems like the best combination for home, right?
    Reply
  • DookieDraws
    I too have been reading up on this monitor lately, as I am also interested in possibly buying it. Thing is, there are so many positive reviews from buyers, it made me suspicious! No kidding! Just look at the reviews for this monitor on the best Buy and Dell websites. Certainly not saying any are fake, but when I see so many positive reviews for ANYTHING, it raises a red flag. :p

    So I have some questions about the monitor, and would love to get some answers, from not only Tom's, but from owners of this monitor.

    Are there any issues at all using one of the latest NVIDIA GPUs with this monitor? No flickering, or briefly going blank issues?

    How does text look on this monitor? Can you adjust the sharpness of text?

    Are there any smearing / ghosting while gaming?

    Lastly, the monitor supports DisplayPort 1.4, yet when I look at the included accessories on the Dell website, it says it comes with a DisplayPort 1.2 cable. If true, could this possibly be the reason some are having flickkering, and the brief blanking out issues? Can anyone confirm what the included cable version is? If it is, in fact, a 1.2 included cable, would it be best to purchase a certified 1.4 cable?

    Thanks everyone!
    Reply
  • jeremyj_83
    closs.sebastien said:
    2560x1440 for a 32 inch? no way. we don't want so big pixels. I use a 4k on a 27'.
    and va... is not from the past? no new fast-ips?
    The DPI of 1440p at 32" is the same as a 1080p at 24" so that isn't bad. Also VA is the panel type used on the majority of LED TVs. While IPS is nice, I prefer VA for the added contrast.
    Reply
  • JKTexas
    I have had this monitor for about 5 weeks now. I use it more for work than gaming but do that too. Its a great monitor - the curve doesn't bother me at all (which was one of my main concerns because gaming is maybe 2-5% of my total time) and the adjustable stand is nice. I like the headphone port on the machine because I use 3 computers with the monitor (2 personal and 1 work) and I can send the output to one set of speakers (not sure how this degrades audio but I am not a purist. I haven't noticed any flickering yet but use HDMI cables for my personal machines... Lastly, I work in a well lit room and really have no problems with glare or being able to see the monitor during the bright part of the day.

    I am coming from a 27" QHD monitor and I think the text may be a little less sharp but it is more than acceptable.

    The monitor is a little pricey in the mainstream line up but how often do you really need to upgrade once you get to this size of monitor. For me, it was worth paying a little extra.

    Hope this helps someone.
    Reply
  • tribeofham
    Alright, so I bought this monitor based on this review. I was really excited but I found myself quickly let down. I can't get G-Sync working. I know it's not officially supported but the review here says they were able to get it working. How?!

    I went through the normal rundown: fresh install of Win10 LTSC, used the supplied DP cable, using the latest nvidia drivers, installed the monitor's INF driver, etc. For those of you are curious, I'm running a GeForce GTX Titan X.
    Reply
  • linovi
    tribeofham said:
    Alright, so I bought this monitor based on this review. I was really excited but I found myself quickly let down. I can't get G-Sync working. I know it's not officially supported but the review here says they were able to get it working. How?!

    I went through the normal rundown: fresh install of Win10 LTSC, used the supplied DP cable, using the latest nvidia drivers, installed the monitor's INF driver, etc. For those of you are curious, I'm running a GeForce GTX Titan X.
    Make sure to enable freesync on the monitor. Then it should show up in the Nvidia control panel
    Reply
  • tribeofham
    linovi said:
    Make sure to enable freesync on the monitor. Then it should show up in the Nvidia control panel

    Thanks for your reply. Freesync is enabled on the monitor. Is there anything else I may be missing?
    Reply
  • linovi
    tribeofham said:
    Thanks for your reply. Freesync is enabled on the monitor. Is there anything else I may be missing?
    check the Pendulum demo from nVidia, it's perfect to see if your Freesync/GSync is working.

    https://www.nvidia.es/coolstuff/demos#!/g-sync
    Also make sure you use a Displayport cable, Freesync compatible with GSync monitors don't work with HDMI cables if you're using a nVidia GPU.
    Reply