As PC gamers, we know the importance of having the best gaming monitor. In our opinion, a monitor is the centerpiece of our gaming setups. It's the device that we spend most of our time interacting with while gaming. Selecting the best gaming monitor can significantly impact your overall gaming experience.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best gaming monitor. In this article, we share our in-depth analysis and comparison of the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF and Dell 27" S2721DGF monitors to determine its suitability for gaming. I also list which aspects are important for choosing a gaming monitor to understand what you should get for your needs.
We ranked each aspect of the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF and Dell 27" S2721DGF monitors based on our analysis to determine if this monitor is good for gaming. We rank them based on our four rankings: excellent, good, mediocre, and poor.
Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF Overall Ranking
- The Refresh Rate of 240 Hz is excellent
- The Response Time of 1 ms is excellent
- The Resolution of 1920 x 1080 is good
- The Color Capability of 99% SRGB is good
- The Display Panel Type of IPS is excellent
Dell 27" S2721DGF Overall Ranking
- The Refresh Rate of 144 Hz is excellent
- The Response Time of 1 ms is excellent
- The Resolution of 2560 x 1440 is excellent
- The Color Capability of 97% DCI-P3 is excellent
- The Display Panel Type of IPS is excellent
Based on our analysis, the refresh rate of the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF is 240 Hz, which we found was excellent for gaming.
Based on our analysis, the refresh rate of the Dell 27" S2721DGF is 144 Hz, which we found was excellent for gaming.
Overall, we found that the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF has a better refresh rate when compared to the 27" S2721DGF.
Why Refresh Rate Matters
In our years of working with monitors, we've observed that a monitor's refresh rate is a critical factor in determining its overall performance. Refresh rate refers to the number of times the display updates the picture being displayed per second. A higher refresh rate means the screen is updated more frequently, resulting in a smoother, more fluid motion and less motion blur.
With some low refresh rate monitors, we've had situations where their low refresh rate resulted in choppy, stuttering motion, particularly during fast-paced action scenes in movies or games. This poor performance of having a low refresh rate is because the monitor cannot keep up with the speed at which the picture changes. A higher refresh rate can reduce this effect, resulting in a more immersive and responsive experience. Our experience with monitors has shown us that a high refresh rate is crucial when playing fast-paced games such as first-person shooters and racing games.
We've analyzed the refresh rates of most gaming monitors available today, and they offer refresh rates ranging from 75 Hz to 360 Hz. In comparison, 60 Hz was the standard refresh rate for monitors. However, we've encountered many users who now prefer higher refresh rates for a smoother and more responsive experience, particularly for gaming. While the difference between 60 Hz and higher refresh rates may only be noticeable to some, we've witnessed that other factors, such as response time, input lag, and screen resolution, can also affect a monitor's overall performance.
What Is a Good Refresh Rate for Gaming?
We have tried and analyzed various monitors with different refresh rates while gaming. From our experience, we recommend getting a monitor with a refresh rate of at least 120 Hz to 165 Hz or above for a smoother and more responsive gaming experience.
One downside to getting a higher refresh rate monitor is that it takes a higher-end graphics card to reach a faster framerate and take full advantage of a faster refresh rate. For instance, we have tested that for a 120 Hz display paired with a lower-end GPU, and it wasn't the same experience. We've also encountered games that are still playable under 120 fps but won't be as smooth during fast movements. You will need a graphics card that can produce a framerate of 120 fps to enjoy the whole experience fully.
- Based on our analysis, the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF and Dell 27" S2721DGF monitors both have a refresh rate of 1 ms, which we found was excellent for gaming.
Response time is another important consideration when choosing a monitor, especially for fast-paced activities such as gaming, sports, and action movies. Ghosting, the blurring or trailing of fast-moving objects on the screen, can be distracting and negatively impact the viewing experience. In our years of gaming, we have tried and tested various monitors and encountered the annoyance of ghosting, which can negatively impact the overall viewing experience.
A lower response time indicates that the pixels on the screen can change color more quickly and accurately, resulting in a smoother image with less ghosting. This is because a low response time allows the monitor to keep up with the fast-changing images without leaving trails or artifacts.
Typical gaming monitors have response times ranging from 1 to 6 milliseconds, which is considered fast enough for most gamers. However, based on our hands-on experience with various monitors, we prefer higher-end monitors with response times as low as 0.5 milliseconds. This lower response time provides even smoother and more responsive motion, ensuring an immersive gaming experience.
We've experienced ghosting on various monitors and know how frustrating it can be when expecting a good experience. We recommend choosing a monitor with a response time of 1 millisecond or lower to ensure a seamless and immersive gaming experience with smoother images with less ghosting.
What Is a Good Response Time for Gaming?
Based on our experience, we recommend getting a monitor with a 1 ms response time for best results for gaming. Monitors with a slightly higher response time (e.g., 5 ms) can still make for a great gaming monitor if you don't mind some minor ghosting.
Some monitors are incapable of being set to their highest refresh rate and achieving their fastest response time. Check the monitor specs to determine what it supports.
Based on our analysis, the resolution of the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF is 1920 x 1080, which we found was good for gaming.
Based on our analysis, the resolution of the Dell 27" S2721DGF is 2560 x 1440, which we found was excellent for gaming.
Overall, we found that the Dell 27" S2721DGF has a better resolution when compared to the 27" Alienware AW2720HF.
The resolution is another critical aspect of a gaming monitor. The resolution is measured in pixels; the more pixels a monitor has, the sharper the image will be. A higher resolution results in a clearer and more detailed picture.
We've tried different monitor resolutions and observed that a higher resolution provides a sharper and more detailed picture, resulting in a better overall gaming experience. A higher resolution means that the games will look more detailed, and you'll be able to see everything more clearly, including text quality, texture quality, aliasing (jagged edges), and HUD elements.
However, screen size also plays a role in the gaming experience. A bigger screen allows you to see more detail at a more comfortable size. While a high resolution is important for detail and crispness, a bigger screen allows you to see that detail at a more comfortable size. For example, a 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 1440p (3440 x 1440) will let you see a lot more detail than a 1080p (1920 x 1080) monitor of the same size. The numbers in the resolution stand for the number of pixels per line. So a 1920 x 1080 resolution monitor would have over 2 million pixels total.
Brandon Jones / TechReviewer
Which HDMI Cable Do I Need?
Most HDMI cables support lower resolutions, like 1080p. Once a monitor needs a higher resolution or faster refresh rate, it's best to use a newer HDMI cable or Displayport cable (if applicable). Both your device (PC or game console) and monitor need to support the HDMI version of a cable, but HDMI cables are backward compatible.
Read more about HDMI 2.1 vs. 2.0.
Based on our analysis, the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF monitor has a 99% SRGB color gamut, which we found was good for gaming.
Based on our analysis, the Dell 27" S2721DGF monitor has a 97% DCI-P3 color gamut, which we found was excellent for gaming.
Overall, we found that the Dell 27" S2721DGF has a better color gamut when compared to the 27" Alienware AW2720HF.
Color Gamut refers to the range of colors that a monitor can display. A wide color gamut means the monitor can display more colors, creating a more vibrant and lifelike image.
Determining what is most important when choosing a monitor depends on which color space (CMYK, sRGB, DCI-P3, or Adobe RGB) you usually use. We recommend choosing a monitor with a wide range of colors. The higher the percentage, the better the experience. The DCI-P3 color space is the most popular and has the widest range of colors.
We've known from experience that a high color gamut is crucial for a great gaming experience. Games today are designed to take advantage of the full range of colors available, and a monitor with a low color gamut may not do justice to the game's visuals.
- Based on our analysis, the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF and Dell 27" S2721DGF monitors both have an IPS display panel, which we found was excellent for gaming.
Gaming monitors can have different display panel types, such as TN, VA, and IPS LCD panels and OLED panels. Each panel type has its pros and cons.
Panel Type Comparison
Below is a comparison of the different monitor panel types. Overall, IPS panels are our favorite because they provide the best features for the price. We've also concluded that OLED displays are excellent for gaming because they offer excellent motion handling, colors, and contrast. OLED provides a high level of detail and vibrant colors, resulting in a lifelike image. IPS LCD panels still have similar levels of color, details, and motion handling but have lower contrast than OLED panels.
Note that LED and QLED are types of backlight technologies and are used in combination with TN, VA, and IPS panels.
|Response Time||Excellent||Good||Very Good||Excellent|
|Refresh Rate||Excellent||Excellent||Very Good||Excellent|
|Viewing Angle||Okay||Very Good||Excellent||Excellent|
If you're not a fan of the stock stand for the Dell 27" Alienware AW2720HF or the Dell 27" S2721DGF, our other article discusses the factors to consider when choosing a VESA mount or stand for these monitors. We go in-depth about each monitor's specific VESA size and weight and the differences between various mount types to get the right one for your needs. Follow the links to our articles below to read about this:
- Monitor Mounts & Stands for Dell's 27" Alienware AW2720HF
- Monitor Mounts & Stands for Dell's 27" S2721DGF
A Note From the Authors
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