Dell SE2717H 27-inch IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor Review

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Grayscale, Gamma & Color

Grayscale Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

The SE2717H offers 10 picture modes, each with slightly different grayscale tracking behavior. Standard is our recommendation for users who want the best possible accuracy without calibration. It also happens to be the default mode. You’ll just be able to see a green tint at the 90 and 100% brightness levels, but all the others are free of visible error.

Gamers might be tempted to try the FPS Game mode, but we don’t think its white point is ideal. Red/green errors rise along with brightness and you’ll see the problem from 50% on up.

If you have calibration gear, or you’d like to try our settings, choose Custom Color for access to the RGB controls. A few tweaks will maximize the SE2717H’s performance potential. Now the errors are extremely low. We’ve gone from very good to excellent in the grayscale tracking department.


The SE2717H becomes the latest monitor on our list of displays that don’t require calibration. Its second place finish in both the before and after calibration measurements is a boon to the price/performance ratio. It’s not too difficult to find gaming monitors that can match grayscale results with professional screens, but at this low price point, such accuracy is more rare.

Gamma Response

The SE2717H’s best metric by far is gamma tracking. With no adjustments at all, the trace is almost invisible as it follows the 2.2 line with near perfection. What that means is absolutely no detail is clipped, and color tracking, both in the saturation and luminance tests, will be very tight. It also increases perceived contrast. Getting gamma right can go a long way towards improving image depth in monitors that don’t have spectacular native contrast. Again, the Dell is outperforming its price tag.

The FPS Game mode presents a skewed gamma result because it engages the Dynamic Contrast option. That particular setting is grayed out in Custom Color and Standard modes. We suggest avoiding it for two reasons. First, it will clip highlight and shadow detail making gameplay challenging. And second, you can see the image brightness change with content. The compensation lags just a little behind the action and creates a pumping effect; not a distraction you’ll want during intense action sequences, or when watching video content.


A .19 range of gamma values is among the lowest in our database. It compares favorably with the most accurate displays we’ve reviewed. And only a very few screens have ever measured right on the 2.2 average in our test. This is excellent performance.

Color Gamut & Luminance

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.

The Standard mode gives us a good look at the SE2717H’s native color gamut. Blue is slightly under-saturated no matter what mode you choose. And red misses a couple of its saturation targets near the center of the triangle. These are minor points though. Color luminance is right at the neutral point almost across the board. The resulting errors are pretty much impossible to see with the naked eye.

To measure the FPS Game mode, we had to turn off Dynamic Contrast so the saturation chart looks about the same as the one for Standard. Luminance is quite a bit higher though, which gives colors an artificial look. This is further reason to stick with either Standard or Custom Color regardless of application or game type.

Calibrating the Custom Color mode brings every single color point on target except for 100% blue, which is still a little short of the mark. Fortunately, its luminance level has been raised to compensate, making the actual error invisible. All DeltaE values are now below three except the brightest green, which just crosses the line. It really doesn’t get much better than this.


There’s little reason to calibrate the SE2717H for the sake of gamut accuracy. In the default Standard mode, we measured 2.14dE before adjustments and 1.50dE after. That's an imperceptible change, but we always believe in wringing every last drop of performance from every display we test. Dell is certainly offering a high-quality product at an extremely attractive price.

sRGB gamut volume is just a little short of 100% due to under-saturation in the blue primary. If you look back at the CIE charts, you’ll see that cyan and green are pulled in a little as well. We’re nitpicking here, and none of this will have any impact on image quality for gaming, video, or productivity. Users needing a proofing tool will want to use an ICC profile with the SE2717H.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • ArnisR
    Pixel Response & Input Lag diagrams are wrong. They are duplicates of uniformity diagrams.
  • Adroid
    You know, I have been eyeing the ASUS Rog PG279Q because I'm currently running a NVidia card, but at 800$ it's a hard pill to swallow. Seeing a good quality screen like this, when you add a 500$ graphic card, it's still less than the Asus monitor alone, makes you really second guess spending that much.

    I'm an "old school" gamer, and I am pretty bummed that 16:10 is essentially a lost cause. People don't realize that it's a superior resolution, in particular for MOBA and RTS games where battles can be taken place vertically... I'm thinking about the 1440p screen because it will give a bit more than the 1920x1200 I'm currently using, but dang I wish I could find a ULMB Gsync/freesync screen with 2560x1600 and at least 120hz - but I'm sure not holding my breath.
  • Rassalas
    Isn't 1080P kind of out of date nowadays? I would think at least 4K would be the lower threshold for something to brag about.
  • Adroid
    1080p is OK. Depends on what you are doing. You have to consider on FPS games the larger the resolution, the smaller your targets will be. For example, CS:GO at 4k would be very difficult to make "flick shots", which is game lingo for flicking your mouse and shooting faster than your eyes can keep up. It's essentially a controlled shot blind, developed from many hours of play and settings on the mouse that fit the player.

    For MMO games, and I'm sure a number of other games and genres, the bigger the resolution, the better - provided the game has proper scaling for text and interface. What I mean is there are certain games if you run at 4k the text is unreadable because it's so small... In this case a smaller resolution is the only answer. 1080p is pretty much the "standard" that all games work towards, so I would guess confidently that most, if not all, games will support it (modern games do undoubtedly).

    But to answer your question, no, I wouldn't say it's out of date. It's the most common resolution for streaming, video, and compatible with 99.9% of game systems, TVs, media, and the list goes on (albeit 1080p is not 100% to scale in most video thanks to the biggest blunder of our time).
  • photonboy
    You do not gain anything with a more square aspect, in fact you LOSE by seeing less information to the sides.

    Scaling issues aren't much of an issue today either in terms of game text. Also, I have no idea what "blunder" you are referring to with 1080p and video scaling.

    16x9 is the ideal ratio for a screen.
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  • p8ball4life
    1440p @ 144hz IPS with Freesync. Common Dell, you can do it.
  • dusty13
    1440p freesync 144hz and touch would do it for me
  • Syed_Listening
    How about the after purchase experience on this? Will there be replacement or repair?
  • Syed_Listening
    How about the after purchase experience on this? Does Dell provide a replacement or repair?