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.
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.