Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response, Lag, G-Sync, ULMB
To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.
A 24-inch TN panel of this quality can almost fool you into thinking you're looking at an IPS panel, until you move past 45° off-axis. There you’ll see the expected green color shift and 50-60% light falloff. From the top, detail is reduced significantly as well. However, at normal viewing distances and angles, the S2417DG is one of the better TN monitors we’ve seen. When gaming, we didn’t notice a problem, and we didn’t pine for an IPS screen.
The S2417DG’s black field uniformity result is mainly due to a light area visible at the extreme bottom of our sample. There are no obvious blotches, nor is there bleed between the zones of a checkerboard pattern. At any higher brightness levels, there are no visible issues. This is confirmed by the winning white field result of just 4.51%. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Color uniformity, while in last place among the group, is still an invisible 2.33dE. The right side of the screen was the culprit this time with higher error values than the center or left zones.
Pixel Response & Input Lag
Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.
Dell markets the S2417DG as a speedy gaming monitor, and in our tests it handily delivers. 25ms is one of the lowest latency scores we’ve ever recorded, and the screen draw time of 6ms is equally far above the norm. It’s all due to the panel and its rock-solid 165Hz overclocked refresh rate, of course. Overdrive doesn’t affect the result, which is a good thing because it causes ghosting. We also ran a few of BlurBusters’ tests and found motion resolution to be exemplary with no need for the ULMB feature. This is one of the smoothest and most-responsive gaming monitors we’ve ever reviewed.
Gaming With G-Sync, ULMB & 165Hz
After our impressive lag and response test results, we were itching to boot up our favorite twitch-inducing games and get to some fraggin’. We started with our usual suite of Far Cry 4, Battlefield 4, and Tomb Raider. Turning off G-Sync and dialing back to 120Hz for a few ULMB tests revealed what we already suspected. There’s no real benefit to using a backlight strobe when a monitor has adaptive refresh. The loss of contrast was immediately obvious for starters. At QHD resolution, framerates run at between 60-100 FPS for most games, so our system can’t really take advantage of 165Hz just yet. At speeds over 80 FPS, tearing is harder to spot but it is there. And it really shows up when rates drop during intense action sequences.
We’d had enough after a couple of hours, so we re-enabled G-Sync and engaged the 165Hz overclock. It becomes immediately apparent why any gamer would want a monitor like this. When motion is this smooth and inputs are so immediately responded to, the whole experience becomes one where you're disconnected from your computer hardware and vaulted into the gaming world in front of you. It’s the difference between watching the action fly by and truly becoming a part of it.
Of course like any other fast refresh gaming monitor, its ultimate performance is determined by how much money you’ve spent on your graphics board. The more processing power you have, the better it will look. Higher framerates make a huge difference, and there is definitely something to be gained when you can stay above 80 FPS. The S2417DG is also one of the only monitors we’ve reviewed that doesn’t need its overdrive feature. Many monitors force you to turn that off to prevent ghosting, but in the Dell’s case, it just doesn’t need more help to maintain motion resolution. There is so little processing lag here that motion blur is almost completely eliminated. To say we’re impressed with its gaming performance is a vast understatement.