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Dell S2716DG G-SYNC Gaming Monitor Review

AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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5,274
NVIDIA’s G-SYNC is about two years old and in most respects, it has aged gracefully. The technology has undergone a number of different evolutions, gamers have –for the most part- bought into its benefits and the number of monitors it is integrated into has expanded at a relatively rapid pace. Granted, there has been some rising competition from AMD’s FreeSync and the price associated with many G-SYNC equipped displays can be staggering for gamers on a budget but for the most part, NVIDIA has delivered on all their promises. Now with Dell’s new S2716DG, G-SYNC has yet another major backer in its quest for broader appeal.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5bInlia1ghc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>​

When it comes to their monitors and the technology behind them, Dell has historically taken a conservative approach. Despite being, by volume at least, among the top five monitor suppliers in the world they were among the last to implement key advances such as DisplayPort and IPS panels into their highly regarded lineups. In addition, being a company that has typically targeted the volume-focused business and home use markets, certain niches have gone without a Dell monitor to address their needs. One of those is the gaming segment (though many UltraSharps were highly regarded among gamers) but that is about to change with the S2716DG.


At face value, there really isn’t anything to distinguish the S2716DG from other G-SYNC equipped monitors that have been around for a while now. It has a refresh rate 144Hz, a TN panel and a diagonal size of 27”. That TN panel may prove to be a limitation in some people’s eyes since companies like Acer have proven even high quality IPS panels can successfully hit 144Hz without costing an absolute fortune. Indeed, the S2716DG somewhat staggering price of $799USD may prove to be its largest drawback given some of those IPS alternatives are over $100 less.

So beyond the potential legitimacy it bestows upon NVIDIA’s G-SYNC why is the S2716DG such a talked-about product? First and foremost Dell’s “standard” price is rarely in effect and this monitor can typically be found for anywhere between $625 and $675. At that cost it is an awesome contender for gamers’ hearts, minds and investment. In addition, while it may not have Dell’s Premium Panel Guarantee, the S2716DG is still covered for three years by what many feel is one of the best customer support teams around. That in itself has a certain amount of value attached to it.


Past the obvious benefits when it comes to sale prices and service, Dell has worked hard to make their first real gaming-grade display as adaptable as possible. This means its design is meant to look beyond just a one-track “we’ll be awesome for gamers and not much else” approach by giving users enough tertiary features that utilization beyond gaming becomes a very real possibility.

One of the best additions is an excellent anti-glare coating which effectively cuts glare without making images overly ‘fuzzy’. This is one area Dell has a lot of experience in, making the S2716DG every bit as good in the glare department as the 10-bit IPS UltraSharps that we use on a daily basis.


Beyond the anti-glare coating, Dell has given their first G-SYNC monitor a great looking yet understated exterior design which boasts an extremely thin bezel or what Dell calls ‘edge-to-edge’ panel. In addition, when viewed edge- on this thing almost disappears.

Those elements in conjunction with a stand that is as useable as it is pretty makes for one rather good looking monitor. However, unlike some ‘good looking’ monitors we have recently looked at, Dell has not hobbled the stand’s capabilities. It offers 26 degrees of tilt (-5 to +21), swivel, and even landscape to portrait modes. Add in 130mm of height adjustment and adding multiple S2716DG’s in portrait mode for the ultimate surround gaming setup is certainly a possibility.


The only area that anyone can accuse Dell of skimping on is in the input department. However, this is not necessarily their fault since the G-SYNC module effectively eliminates the possibility of DVI or daisy-chaining multiple monitors together. There does however need to be some kudos doled out since there’s also a HDMI input here; one which can be used as a separate input for a secondary device. This puts the S2716DG well ahead of many other G-SYNC monitors and it could be a serious selling feature for anyone who wants to run a pair of systems off one panel.

Other than the display options, Dell has also added a four-port (two ports behind and two along the edge of the monitor) USB 3.0 hub. This is another great feature but we have to wonder how long it will be until we start seeing some forward-thinking USB 3.1 hubs on these displays.


Dell has also included multiple physical buttons for command and control of the On Screen Display. This will make adjusting this monitor much easier than on others we have seen which used a capacitive design.
 
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AkG

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Menu Layout & Observations

Menu Layout & Observations


While it is certainly true that the Dell S2716DG is not part of the UltraSharp line, its On Screen Display is still extremely good. In fact, for anyone who has used a Dell in recent years the OSD for the 2716 will seem like an old hat – as it is basically the same, albeit with a few extra features added in to help users take full advantage of the advanced gaming abilities baked right into it.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu0.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

As with any good monitor worth its salt, the Dell S2716DG’s OSD doesn’t instantly open up on to the main menu when any of the four buttons are pressed. Instead a small pop-up is presented that contains a short list of most-used features. This is certainly a time saver as for most users, the less time spent hunting for the brightness setting, changing the default profile, etc. the more time there is for <i>gaming</i>.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu1.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

For those times when someone is not just looking to change some basic settings, the mini-menu also grants access to the full OSD. Running along the left side are eight main sections that are labeled in clear and easily understandable terms. When you highlight and then press the right arrow key the right side of the screen will change to show the appropriate subsection. Almost none of the options are hidden in sub-sub menus and navigation is quick and painless.

The first of these eight sections is the Brightness/Contrast area, and while it is a bit redundant considering its also offered on the initial startup menu, anyone can use this to change the brightness levels. Considering the default level is 75% - or about 270cd/m2 – this will likely be your first stop if it was overlooked it in the mini-OSD.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu2.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

The next area deals with Input Source and it is a step in the right direction given the dearth of options available on other G-SYNC compatible displays. Here you can easily switch between DisplayPort and HDMI. However, we wish this option was available as a stand-alone dedicated button since it would make that switching so much more seamless compared to jumping through a few menus.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu3.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

For users of UltraSharp models, the Color section will be a tad disappointing but that’s to be expected considering this monitor’s target market. There are no 6 color axis color correction options and your choices are limited to Standard, Warm, Cool, and Custom. Of these four only Custom allows for individual R,G,B color correction and none allow for degrees Kelvin presets. Also missing is Gamma correction which is quite surprising as even the least expensive of monitors includes <i>some</i> gamma correction abilities. Luckily, this can be set in your graphics card’s driver control panel but that’s not exactly an optimal route.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu4.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

The next section is the most interesting; if G-SYNC is disabled you will be to access the Ultra Low Motion Blur abilities but also fine-tune them to your heart’s content. Of course the more optimal solution would have been to allow ULMB and G-SYNC to be used together but anyone who doesn’t own an NVIDIA card will appreciate this as it allows them to customize their gaming experience.

One small distinction though: ULMB is not available when running the S2716DG in 144Hz mode. Instead it is only available when running at 85, 100 or 120Hz. This does somewhat limit its appeal as a 144Hz refresh rate is a big selling feature of this monitor.

There is also one more caveat worth pointing out: ULMB and brightness levels. Obviously few users will run this panel at 100% brightness output (120Cd/m2 is at 27’ish percent) but for ULMB 100% really is the best choice. This means that you need to use both of the custom profile slots just for this feature: one with ULMB on and one with it off.

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu5.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

The Audio and Menu sub-sections are fairly self-explanatory. The volume section grants the ability to control the volume outputted via the integrated 3.5mm headphone jack, while the Menu section allows users to customize the OSD itself. Everything from changing the language to transparency levels to even how long the OSD will stay on the screen before disappearing is covered here.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu6.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

The Personalize section is an interesting one as well since you can use it to populate the two shortcuts with custom profiles. Brilliant stuff – and the kind of little details that make Dell On Screen Display’s so nice to work with.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/menu7.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Usually the Others section is where Dell sticks all the various features that are not easily classified under one of the other main headings. In this instance the list consists of monitor deep sleep and factory reset options. Both of these features hardly warrant their own section, but it is nice to see that Dell grants the ability to turn off the energy saving feature that annoys so many – Deep Sleep!
 
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AkG

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Image Quality (Uniformity / Panel & Gamma Performance)

Image Quality (Uniformity / Panel & Gamma Performance)


<i>Calibrated Settings</i>
Please remember that the settings below have been calibrated for our specific environment and your viewing conditions may differ from ours.

<b>Mode Used</b>: "Custom Color Mode"
<b>Notes</b>:
- All tests done at default settings at 120 cd/m2.
- Unless otherwise noted, the tests were carried out via DisplayPort


Panel Uniformity


<i>In a perfect world a screen’s brightness output would be equal throughout the entire panel. This is not a perfect world, but the lower the variation the less chances you will notice overly bright or dark sections on the screen. For the consumer LCD marketplace, a variance of 10% is our gold standard but anything below 15% can be considered excellent as we doubt anyone will notice a -7.5 to +7.5 variation. A variation above 15% but below 24% can be considered adequate, but anything above this does not meet our basic minimum standards. </i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/uniform.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

A panel variance of just 9 percent is rather impressive for any class of monitor, but it is quite amazing for a large 27-inch monitor. Even though it may not be the first time we have seen single digit panel variance it is certainly always welcome. To us, it looks like Dell is using some high grade TN panels for their first dedicated gaming monitor.


Panel Performance


<i>In a perfect world a screen’s real world response rate would be so high that motion blur, ‘ghosting’, ‘reverse-ghosting’ would be a thing of the past. No matter how fast the action on screen all images would be represented in pristine condition similar in quality to a static image. This is not a perfect world, but the less amounts of blurring which occurs the less chances you will notice the issue in real world scenarios. While the panels response rate (ms) <i>and</i> and frame rate (Hz) can give a fairly rough idea of how much blurring to expect it is not the end all and be all.

To this end we have taken PRAD’s Pixel Persistence Analyzer ‘Streaky Pictures’ program and using a high speed camera captured exactly how much and what kind of motion blur you can expect from a given monitor.
</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/blurr.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

While the Dell monitor doesn't have the absolute clearest image of the group (ironically, that achievement goes to the IPS-based Acer), it is among the best we have seen when G-SYNC is enabled. Unfortunately, a camera can only pick up so much.

Ghosting and judder are almost completely eliminated when G-SYNC is enabled, allowing for motion fluidity that can't be beat. Some may not notice all that much of a difference initially but going back to a monitor without G-SYNC will be like a slap in the face. Luckily, the Dell SD2716DG is able to deliver one of the best gaming experiences around in this respect.


Gamma Performance


<i>Gamma correction is one of the hardest terms to explain. However, for our purposes the gamma correction of any electronics device is how bright or dark an image will be displayed on a screen.

All PC devices now use 2.20 gamma as the default. Any variance from this will result in an image being either underexposed which will create black crush and underexposed shadow detail or washed out with too little black level detail (aka being over-exposed).

While 2.20 is the gold standard, a minor deviation of 0.10 will in all likelihood never be noticed by anyone other than professional photographers. Higher levels of deflection however will be noticed by just about everyone. </i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/gamma.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

While seeing a sub 2.20 gamma is a touch unusual for a modern monitor, in the grand scheme of things a default of 2.19 is every bit as good as 2.21. In other words, for most users the out of the box gamma the S2716DG offers will be impressive and be damn near perfect. If on the other hand you demand actual perfection an inexpensive colorimeter is always a good investment.
 
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AkG

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Colour Saturation Levels / Default RGB Levels

Colour Saturation Levels


While there are numerous colors the human eye can’t “see”, the human color space confined to three primary colors and combinations thereof. To make things easier for manufactures (and not waste resources displaying colors we can’t see) a color space was mathematically described and while various models do exist, the CIE RGB color space is the de facto standard.

In the below image, the dark triangle which isn’t highlighted is the sRGB color space while the overall CIE color space is displayed as the background colors. Meanwhile, the white triangle with highlighted color represents the results of what a given monitor can display. No monitor can display the entire CIE color spectrum but a good monitor should be able to display the sRGB spectrum of possible colors as this is usually used as the standard for image encoding.

A monitor which uses the “wide color gamut” moniker can display more than the sRGB spectrum and is considered primarily for professional use. If a monitor cannot cover off the entire sRGB triangle, the resulting image will appear “off” to an observer. The end result is a picture displayed on the panel which won’t be as rich, vibrant or as correct as it should be.



For a TN panel this CIE result is actually quite impressive. By the same token it was not entirely unexpected as this AU Optronics TN panel is very similar to the one used in the ASUS RoG Swift PG278Q - and that was a downright fantastic monitor….in 2014.


Default RGB Levels


An LCD or LCD LED backlit panel relies on accurately blending Red, Green and Blue pixel clusters to create an overall image so closer to each of these colours is to a “perfect” 100 output, the better and more accurate the default colors will be.
In this case, we have a low tolerance for anything less than perfection since any color shift can be noticeable even to untrained eyes and will require a color correction be applied at the software level to overcome a monitor’s stock output. We do however consider a minor variation of only a few points per color to be acceptable.



Dell has always had very good default color profiles on their more expensive models and while the S2716DG is not as good as the UltraSharps this level of quality will be as close to perfect as can be. With that being said, if for some reason you need absolutely perfect R,G,B levels a hundred dollar investment in a colorimeter will pay dividends.
 
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AkG

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Viewing Angles / Contrast Ratio / Power Consumption

Viewing Angles


<i>Unlike CRT displays, the manner in which LCD panels create an image can result in one large weakness: the image can lose contrast when viewed off angle. While we do not recommend watching an LCD at anything besides perfectly straight on, the reality is this cannot always be done.

To help give you a glimpse of what a panel will look like when seen from either above the horizontal or vertical plane we have taken pictures at fairly extreme angles. </i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/view.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

As expected the viewing angles of this monitor are touch narrow when compared to IPS, PLS, and AMVA panels. That is to say while you do not need to be precisely in front of the Dell S2716DG the closer to center you get, the better the color fidelity and contrast will be.

As to specifics, when viewing this monitor in off-horizontal angles expect color fidelity to quickly be frog marched out the nearest airlock. However, off-vertical viewing will result in lost contrast long before it loses colors. In either case, thanks to the superb stand, actually adjusting the monitor for that sweet spot viewing is rather easy. We honestly wish our ASUS PG278Q was as adaptable.


Maximum Contrast Ratio


<i> While manufactures love to throw around “maximum” contrast ratios in the millions, the fact of the matter is that to get these high numbers they have to use "dynamic contrast" which—at best—results in overly optimistic specs. With DC turned off, the number of shades between purest white and blackest black a given monitor can display is usually in the low hundreds rather than the thousands.
The higher the contrast ratio, the better the monitor will display shades of dark and light. For IPS monitors, anything below 450:1 is unacceptable, with 500:1 or above considered optimal. For TN anything above 120:1 will be considered “good enough” for most consumers.</i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/contrast.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

It’s a TN panel, and by very definition plays second fiddle to IPS, AMVA, and even PLS technologies. If contrast ratios really matter that much to someone, the less expensive Acer XB270 is a more optimal choice. By the same token this level of performance is basically the same as what the ASUS PG278Q is capable of so the Dell S2716DG is not exactly a poor performer either.


Power Consumption


<i>To obtain the maximum number we set the monitors brightness to 100% and the contrast to 100%. The Calibrated results are taken at 120 cd/m2 with the contrast set to the default level.

</i><div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/power.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Because this monitor has rather heavy duty internal electronics it comes as no surprise to see it uses a touch more power than the typical TN monitor. By that same token this level of power consumption is still quite decent and more than adequate for the typical PC gaming enthusiast.
 
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AkG

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Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance


<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/g2.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

It is an interesting time for gaming monitors right now. Whereas 27” G-SYNC displays like the Dell’s SD2716DG used to be leading-edge products, 34” 21:9 curved panels are now taking over the lion’s share of headlines. However, while everyone may want to get their hands on the latest and greatest, those curved screens come with their fair share of challenges. They have a resolution which isn’t natively supported by all games, a loss of image fidelity when viewed off-center, lack vertical viewing space and can exhibit slight image warping when a game’s interface is forced to stretch across their width.

The Dell SD2716DG on the other hand may be a more “classic” format but is still provides an absolutely stellar gaming experience. Its 144Hz refresh rate and surprisingly top-tier TN panel combine to bring motion fluidity and a very good color pallet to the table without the need to spend over a grand. In addition, it doesn’t need nearly as much GPU horsepower of achieve high framerates as those massive 3440x1440 screens. The key here is one small word: complete immersion.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/g9.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

While it seems like Dell does indeed get to bin their panels (we have seen three of these displays and every one was top-notch) there is a slight hiccup in their plans for gaming domination: the ASUS RoG Swift PG278Q. That monitor was launched a year ago and yet easily holds up to the test of time.

Put the PG278Q next to the SD2716DG and you’ll struggle to see anything but the most subtle of differences. Indeed, ASUS might actually hold the edge for some folks since their Swift series includes some gamer-centric features like the GamePlus suite of add-ons. Dell meanwhile seems to be using their tried, tested and true OSD but it lacks some of the options associated with higher end gaming displays.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/g3.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

One of the challenges for Dell was to design a higher end monitor that was obviously outside their typical comfort zones. They have done exactly that since the SD2716DG is everything we could want in a gaming monitor save for a few key points. Its abilities are impressive but, as we mentioned above, they have been available on the market for the better part of 18 months now so there’s really nothing new being offered up for gamers. Granted there’s that HDMI input which we will cover in the next page but we doubt that would factor into anyone’s gaming sessions on a G-SYNC equipped monitor.

Another issue is the availability of high refresh rate G-SYNC IPS panels in approximately the same price bracket. Visually, even a great TN panel like the one Dell included lacks the color vibrancy, viewing angles and contrast depth seen in quite a few competitors. All in all it just feels like Dell took a bit long to actually release this thing and they may be relegated to also-ran status given how quickly monitor technologies are moving forward these days.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/g8.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Pricing is one factor that could be both beneficial and a detriment to the S2716DG since it is actually a moving target with any Dell monitor. On one hand its standard price of $799 is completely out to lunch given the presence of those aforementioned 27” IPS competitors between the $750 to $800 marks. However, as with many things Dell, that high price is just a guidance and we’ve already seen this monitor on sale for around $650. At that price, it is almost a no-brainer.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/g4.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>
 
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AkG

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Movie Performance

Movie Performance




We actually moved into this section with pretty low expectations. The Dell S2716DG is first and foremost a gaming monitor which relies upon TN technology and most of its key features are simply nullified by movies. First and foremost, a 144Hz refresh rate is not particularly useful during most movies, though it can be beneficial when leveraged properly. This however is cold comfort when dealing with a small 27-inch monitor that costs more than some 50-inch TVs.


Sadly, G-SYNC is also wasted since it won’t actually work with movies displayed through your graphics card. In fact, it can be considered a negative as – just like the ultra-fast refresh rate – it makes this monitor more expensive than it would need to be for movies and even TV shows.

With the two main reasons for this monitor’s existence basically nullified, this unfortunately leaves the S2716DG’s panel to carry the burden. It actually does a pretty decent job considering it is based on TN technology. Colors are accurate, there’s a good amount of black depth, flesh tones are warm without being overly red and motion smoothness is certainly achievable given the inherent benefits of a fast panel refresh rate.



Unlike other G-SYNC displays, Dell had the forethought to also include an HDMI input so their $800 monitor didn’t have to rely exclusively upon a single DisplayPort. This opens up a whole world of possibilities for input; from a set top box to a notebook or a SHIELD tablet / console. These can be hooked up without needless cable switching.

With all of that being said, the S2716DG simply left us vaguely wanting more. After experiencing the inherent color depth and immersive qualities brought to the table by similarly-priced IPS alternatives, it is tough to make the switch back to TN. It can be done an Dell is able to provide a passable movie watching experience but, like other TN-based gaming displays, this monitor is really built for gaming above all else.


 
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AkG

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Non-Colorimeter Tweaking and Results

Non-Colorimeter Tweaking and Results


<i>In a perfect world either every monitor would come factory calibrated to perfection or every single consumer would own a decent colorimeter. We don’t live in such a world and as such most consumers simply use the old Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball to fix any imperfections with the stock colors of their new monitor.

In order to gauge how easy this is to do for a given monitor we have included a new set of tests. These tests will be carried out before any of our standard tests and will consist of us using a combination of the free online LCD Monitor Test Images (found here LCD monitor test images) and then if necessary the free Hex2Bit Monitor Calibration Wizard (found here Hex2Bit - Software by Mike Walters). The goal of these tests is to not only gauge how easy it is to accurately calibrate a given monitor using only the onboard monitor tools, but to see how closely we can come to what a Spyder3 Elite can do. </i>

To obtain these results we did the following
- used “Custom Color” mode
- adjusted the brightness to 26% (which resulted in a 119.8 cd/m2)
- All other settings left to default levels

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/man_gamma.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Dell_S2716DG/man_rgb.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

With an almost perfect out of the box color profile, adjusting the S2716DG takes only a few moments worth of work that boils down to entering the OSD, navigating to the brightness level section and lowering the output level to 26 or 27 percent. Your needs may vary though.

In terms of actual usability, this monitor might technically have physical buttons but they are small, hard to find, not precisely instantaneous in their reactions. This sometimes makes menu navigation frustrating.
 
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AkG

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Conclusion

Conclusion


There has been a lot of excitement surrounding Dell’s S2716DG and with good reason. This monitor represents their first foray into adaptive synchronization technology through G-SYNC, it is backed by a well-reviewed support structure and it comes at a time when many 144Hz TN panels have matured to the point where they can offer significantly better image quality than their predecessors. However, out of all the monitors we have reviewed to date this one is by far the hardest to classify and judge.

Dell obviously did their homework when engineering the S2716DG. It is perfectly understated in its exterior design, proving that the term “gaming monitor” doesn’t have to equate underglow LEDs, clear Lucite panels or distracting glossy bits. Their anti-glare coating is one of the best around, the OSD is a poster-child for intelligent layouts and the added HDMI input may be what pushes it over the edge for anyone looking for a bit more flexibility.

Moving on to gaming, the raison d’être for the S2716DG, and it delivers in spades. With G-SYNC enabled motion is fluid, judder is eliminated and immersion is increased tenfold and Dell even has you covered in titles that don’t support adaptive synchronization with a robust implementation of ULMB. Color fidelity, black depth and contrast are also surprisingly robust given the TN panel working behind the scenes.

Ultimately though it is that TN panel coupled with an $800USD “suggested” price which may work against what is an otherwise excellent monitor. The RoG Swift was launch a year ago at this same price point while offering everything here (minus the HDMI input) and ASUS even added in a few gamer-centric features that some will appreciate. There are also significantly higher quality G-SYNC equipped 144Hz IPS displays which retail for between $750 and $800. This all goes to point towards the S2716DG being a latecomer to the party but its arriving without taking the competition’s pricing structure into account.

Luckily, Dell is the king of sales which makes buying the S2716DG at full price pure folly. There have already been numerous times when this monitor could be found for around $650 which, while still not inexpensive, represents a pretty solid deal. Just take this into account before considering jumping into Dell’s arms.

All in all the Dell S2716DG is a very good gaming monitor but one which may have taken just a bit too long to get to market. As it stands the competition has moved their $700+ offerings on to IPS panels, higher refresh rates and other gamer-centric features. If you can find the S2716DG on sale (if it isn’t now, wait a week or two) there’s very little that should stop you from buying but if you have $800 burning a hole in your pocket, there are better display options out there for gamers.
 
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