Dell S2417DG 24-inch 165Hz G-Sync Gaming Monitor Review

Conclusion

For a manufacturer to enter the gaming display market as recently as Dell has, you'd expect a few compromises as it finds the right balance between features, quality, and price. Well, it seems that Dell doesn’t realize this sort of thing is hard because its initial efforts are pretty much a home run.

The S2417DG is clearly one of the very best gaming monitors we’ve tested. The category is relatively new, having been ushered in by the Asus VG248QE just a few years ago. Since then we’ve seen a whole slew of 120Hz and 144Hz screens, and now FreeSync and G-Sync further up the video processing ante. We’d have to say that this display has also upped the quality ante big time.

Obviously choosing G-Sync means paying a higher price, but Dell has included features here that make the additional cost worthwhile. QHD resolution is coming closer to becoming a deal-breaker now that mid-price video cards can drive the extra pixels at respectable framerates. Even though you can save a lot of money buying an FHD FreeSync screen, the added resolution is a temptation that’s hard to resist. By the way, Dell can satisfy lower budgets with the SE2717H, a 27" IPS screen with FHD and FreeSync that sells for less than $250. We hope to review it very soon.

For those already committed to Nvidia and G-Sync however, the S2417DG is a seriously compelling choice. It offers excellent out-of-box color accuracy, a reliable 165Hz refresh rate, and ULMB, in addition to its high 122ppi pixel density. And if you plan to run two or three of them, a 6mm bezel means the thinnest of lines between panels. Add to that Dell’s solid build quality and flexible OSD, and you have a display that should satisfy nearly everyone.

The only flaws we found in our sample were gamma tracking that wasn’t quite right and a little less contrast than the competition. The first issue can be mostly fixed by simply reducing the contrast control, which fortunately doesn’t reduce the actual measured contrast ratio. If you implement our suggested RGB values, grayscale accuracy approaches that of a professional display with color gamut and luminance results not too far behind.

Ultimately though, motion processing is the star of this show. Even if we were less impressed with its image accuracy, the super smooth, blur- and tear-free action we observed while gaming is something that borders on intoxicating. Color and contrast matter less if what you see on the screen takes you further into the gaming experience. That is something the S2417DG does better than nearly every other monitor we’ve tested. The only other panels in its league cost far more. Suddenly the G-Sync premium doesn’t seem so dear.

For its superb gaming performance, out-of-box accuracy, and comprehensive feature set, we’re giving the Dell S2417DG our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended Award.

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21 comments
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  • Blair_1
    It's a shame this monitor is so much more expensive in Canada, $739 CAD which is about $545 USD. That's not even including taxes :(
  • apertotes
    For the love of God, add contrast information to the chart in the first page. It's the single most important piece of data after the resolution.
  • Robert-Jan
    Does this kind of screen support Nvidia 3D Vision? The refreshrate is more than enough since 120hz sufffices......
  • heyhihowyadurrin
    2362288 said:
    The refreshrate is more than enough since 120hz sufffices......


    For you. Some people want more. Thats why BenQ is releasing 240hz monitors.

    http://zowie.benq.com/en/product/monitor/xl/xl2540.html
  • s4fun
    I never thought I would say this, but DO NOT buy Dell monitors especially of the current vintage. Dell's quality control has gone to hell. I had to buy 6 of the S2716DG the 27" version of this thing and return 5 of them just to get one without a bad pixel, or some other defect. If it weren't for Best Buy return policy I would have been SOL.
  • s4fun
    The bad ones have defects and failure modes of the follow:
    1. Bad pixels - usually pixel stays black or fails to get past dark gray
    2. Buzzing Coil whine, some much louder than others
    3. Backlight white is not always the same "white" and it differs from monitor to monitor, and changing the brightness setting does NOT equalize them. Some "white" looks more yellow than others, the variation is too wide for something that should be consistently manufactured.
    4. Deep sleep failure mode 1: refuse to wake up
    6. Deep sleep failure mode 2: refuse to go into deep sleep mode even with the setting enabled and sits and vampires 12 watts of power while supposedly in "off" state, screen is black.
    5. Bezel plastic has rough cut unpolished edges but not always at the same spots.
  • Nintendork
    What a piece of trash.

    Until OLED reigns supreme, we must only allow AMVA+ panels with 60-120-240Hz. TN looks like c*rap and IPS with the annoying IPS glow too.
  • shrapnel_indie
    1383246 said:
    For the love of God, add contrast information to the chart in the first page. It's the single most important piece of data after the resolution.


    You don't really want MFR contrast info... only because, like TVs, it's MFR subjective. If TH or other testers have a specific test that uses the same criteria across all brands and models, then fine... it will actually be a comparable attribute. (Someone PLEASE correct me if I am wrong here.)
  • -> TN panel, nearly 2017. As if there aren't a dozen or more G-Sync TN monitors already in all refresh rates and resolutions.

    What a waste.
  • apertotes
    330834 said:
    1383246 said:
    For the love of God, add contrast information to the chart in the first page. It's the single most important piece of data after the resolution.
    You don't really want MFR contrast info... only because, like TVs, it's MFR subjective. If TH or other testers have a specific test that uses the same criteria across all brands and models, then fine... it will actually be a comparable attribute. (Someone PLEASE correct me if I am wrong here.)


    If they add Response time and Brightness, which manufacturers also lie about, I do not see why not add contrast too. We then have the actual review to see the real number, but at least, if the chart on first page says contrast 1000:1, we know that the actual contrast will be between 800:1 and 1100:1, and not 4000:1.
  • photonboy
    Lemonsquare,
    TN is not "a waste" of the features and price put it in its own niche. IPS with the same feature set would be more expensive.
  • alidan
    1383246 said:
    For the love of God, add contrast information to the chart in the first page. It's the single most important piece of data after the resolution.


    After you hit 1080p at 80-120dpi, contrast is the most important. I argue 4k at 40 inch + is the next time that resolution is even a factor in a display. Personally use a 1200p monitor, wish more 16:10 monitors existed.

    2362288 said:
    Does this kind of screen support Nvidia 3D Vision? The refreshrate is more than enough since 120hz sufffices......


    military did research, we are able to on average accurately identify things shown at 300fps, and the upper limit is thought to be around 500 for what we would call perceivable.
  • therealduckofdeath
    This is why I jumped off the Team Green coach and joined the Red Team. Yes, Nvidia has better performing hardware, but, I am not going to pay 400 bucks for a TN-based 24" display just because Nvidia wants their cut with the $100 Gsync tax.
  • quilciri
    452962 said:
    2362288 said:
    The refreshrate is more than enough since 120hz sufffices......
    For you. Some people want more. Thats why BenQ is releasing 240hz monitors. http://zowie.benq.com/en/product/monitor/xl/xl2540.html


    The 240hz models are only available in 1080p. tthe 1440p version of the BenQ are 144hz. This monitor pushes more pixels than even the 240hz BenQ. You'd have to have a 1080p monitor at nearly 300hz to match the bandwidth Dell pulled off here.

    This Dell is a pretty sexy monitor for the price.
  • Lilscooter
    I'm extremely confused by this review. Are we sure this was for the Dell S2417DG? The review states that it has tiny speakers, I don't think it does. It also claims a good level of out-of-the-box color accuracy but elsewhere it's noted that the color gamut and accuracy is weak. What gives?
  • Hazeion
    I want to clarify. There are no speakers on this product. I have the product myself. I don't know where that came from. Maybe they were reviewing the 27" monitor?
  • bobpage
    The S2417DG I received from Dell (US) this week has a gamma of ~1.3 across the board, requiring a gamma correction curve of ~0.65 to get somewhere near 2.2 gamma. The colors then look approximately right, probably more saturated than the IPS panels I'm used to.
  • dreambig207
    Does anyone know the shortkeys to adjust levels on your keyboard?
  • dreambig207
    does anyone know the shortkeys to change settings via a keyboard?
  • Daniel_374
    how do i get the speakers to work they are not working with hdmi or display port
  • Ryan_268
    What calibration did he end up using it made no sense