It’s safe to say that adaptive-refresh in the form of G-Sync and FreeSync is no longer a new or emerging technology. We’ve seen dozens of new displays sporting one or the other, all introduced in the past three years. What is becoming clear is that G-Sync, with its added cost, is anchoring the high-end product lines, while FreeSync lives in more value-oriented products.
Of course this is not an absolute. Some more expensive displays, especially those of the ultra-wide and curved varieties, incorporate FreeSync and will lighten your wallet by $1000 or more. But AMD’s technology has brought premium video processing to a more approachable price point.
After reading our comments on the benchmark results, it’s clear that we’re fans of the SE2717H. For around $200 (at this writing) you get a quality IPS panel with FreeSync and excellent out-of-box color accuracy. Gamma is especially tight and rivals most of the displays in our review database. Contrast is about average, but the perception of depth is heightened thanks to extremely accurate gamma tracking. And color is equally exemplary. Aside from a minor under-saturation in the blue primary, our gamut and luminance tests show results that are nearly all on target. While you can wring every last drop of performance from the SE2717H with a calibration, it’s really not necessary. We think it looks great as is.
There will be concerns from some potential buyers about its FHD resolution and fairly small FreeSync operational window. Our gaming tests showed neither to be an issue. We’ve said time and time again that resolution does not matter nearly as much as motion quality, contrast, and color accuracy. When the gaming planets are aligned, the extra pixel density provided by a QHD or UHD screen just doesn’t have much additional impact.
We’ve maintained our FreeSync test system at a modest level for a reason. It represents a more typical configuration than our no-holds-barred Digital Storm PC with its GTX Titan X and liquid-cooled CPU. For less than a thousand bucks, anyone can put together a decent gaming system based on a value-priced Radeon board and anchor it with a display like Dell’s SE2717H.
We’ll all be playing games at UHD and beyond with 144Hz and adaptive-refresh someday. But that day isn’t here yet; nor is it likely to be soon. For now, and the reasonably near future, those of us with average gaming system budgets can delight in products like the SE2717H. It offers a great gaming experience and has the chops to get work done too. For its solid performance and great value, we’re giving it our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended Award.
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