Dell SE2717H 27-inch IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor Review

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Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response & Lag

The SE2717H excels in our photo contest when compared to typical TN gaming screens. You can see a slight blue tint and 30% light falloff, but detail remains solid, and the differences as you move off center are small. Color gets a little warm in the top-down view, but detail is preserved well in this plane too. While not quite at the level of an AHVA panel, this Dell has some of the better viewing angles we’ve observed.

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.

Our “among the best” commentary applies to all three of the SE2717H’s uniformity tests. These results are better than the majority of displays in our database, regardless of price or technology. While different samples will vary in quality, it’s safe to say that bleed or glow is not going to be a problem for buyers of this monitor.

Pixel Response & Input Lag

Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

The above numbers make it easy to spot which screens have a 75Hz max refresh rate. The first four go up to 144Hz and have correspondingly faster screen draw times and lower input latency. But you don't need super high speed to enjoy smooth gaming. FreeSync provides a tear free experience and keeps input lag low. There are certainly faster monitors out there, but when you’re shopping in this price range the associated gaming system is likely to be modest as well. 144 FPS is great, but you’ll need an expensive video card to hit that level even at FHD resolution. 75Hz is plenty when matched with a complementary level of processing power.

Gaming With FreeSync

Admittedly, we’ve been spoiled by the parade of 144Hz gaming monitors trooping through our lab of late. Some manage even higher speeds, although even our Digital Storm powerhouse PC with its GTX Titan X graphics board can’t push framerates much past 144 at FHD resolution. And QHD screens top out at around 100 FPS in that configuration.

Our FreeSync gaming tower is more modest with its old but still competent Radeon R9 285 board. Playing games on the SE2717H offers a similar experience to what we saw with Asus’ VG245Q. The action won’t reach the monitor’s maximum refresh rate unless detail levels are reduced significantly. But we can enjoy awesome detail at FHD resolution and 50-60 FPS. That’s what we saw in both Far Cry 4 and Tomb Raider. Concerns about the 48Hz lower limit were unfounded. While FRAPS occasionally reported a number beneath that, it was too brief to cause a break in gameplay. Motion remained smooth throughout, and we quickly forgot to watch the FPS counter as we became immersed in the game.

A less demanding title like Battlefield 4 takes things into the 60-70 FPS range. We never quite hit 75 FPS with full detail enabled, which is a good thing. Ideally, you want to stay just beneath the upper limit to avoid any lag associated with frame buffering.

The takeaway is that a monitor like the SE2717H provides an excellent gaming experience for the price. It won’t deliver the smooth motion of its more expensive competition, but removing the tearing artifact and implementing a useful, non-intrusive overdrive feature creates a situation where the user experience is about 95% of what you'd expect from a premium product. That the Dell costs less than half as much as a QHD screen with G-Sync only makes it more attractive to potential buyers.

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?