Dell SE2717H 27-inch IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor Review

Conclusion

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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11 comments
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  • 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
    Adroid,
    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?
  • Claybomb
    Is 75hz possible with a Nvidia Card?