AW3821DW (Nov 2020) with GSync Ultimate

Sycraft

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Seems someone if you go to the registry where the configuration is, there's a "Refreshrate" maybe DWORD? Key you can make and set, presumably to 120. Might be worth a shot.
Already did. It does cap it at 120 but still changes the display mode as far as I can tell. The monitor doesn't actually report the BPP it is receiving so no way to be 100% sure.
 

Cisco78

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Nov 1, 2019
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Ordered a 2nd AW monitor to test. Should be here Friday if Dell doesn't delay it and ship 3-day instead of Next Day again.

Going to be interesting to have 2 of the same screens side by side to really see how they can differ due to panel lottery.

I still have the LG WN setup next to the current AW. Trying to recall additional tests for it to compare. Such as
  • Record if it has flickering from local dimming flickers, like the AW
  • How local dimming behaves, including Variable Backlight modes (which already don't seem to change much)
  • etc
Nice, very interested to here how it goes. Mine arrives Friday, I hope,
 

Mystique

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Mar 28, 2009
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271
Already did. It does cap it at 120 but still changes the display mode as far as I can tell. The monitor doesn't actually report the BPP it is receiving so no way to be 100% sure.
Do the values in the NVCP change back to 8bit?; e.g if using exclusive FS, you can output to another display or something? I assume so based on what you wrote. Very weird that the game would take matters into its own hands like that?
 

GoldenTiger

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I'm kind of interested in this instead of an oled due to size.... My question is, though, how does a curved display work for productivity? Wouldn't it distort everything like straight lines for spreadsheets, or art work? I'm more interested in the 48cx but that is way more expensive too by the time I add in a bestbuy 5yr warranty (nearly $2k vs $1.3k) and I worry about burn in a little.

I'm currently on a 28" 60hz TN 4k gsync monitor from 2015. I love the thing but I really want to get back to higher refresh rate (120+). I had that on my xstar dp2710 (IPS type panel, OC to 115hz via dvi) but modern cards don't have dual link dvi and I want gsync! :)
 

Sycraft

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Do the values in the NVCP change back to 8bit?; e.g if using exclusive FS, you can output to another display or something? I assume so based on what you wrote. Very weird that the game would take matters into its own hands like that?
No real way to check as it is using exclusive FS and I don't have two monitors, this chonk is all the desk space I can spare :D. I'm not that fussed about it. The game looks better in HDR than SDR and that's all I really care about. If something looks better in HDR, I'll use it, if not, I'll leave it in SDR.
 

Mystique

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My question is, though, how does a curved display work for productivity?
I am a hobbyist and career programmer, using vscode, separate windows, excel sheets, you name it. It's freaking awesome. Make sure you have enough space between you and the display, since it's rather large. But yeah, It's like having 2 4:3 screens next to eachother, or one massive screen if that's your jam. You can see columns a-zzz @ 3840x1600

I honestly don't see the curve, and don't want a non-curved display ever again.

Just take your time to learn how the snapping functionality works in Windows 10, you dont really need Power Tools, its great by itself; and it will only get better. (Also works fine in RDP)..

You may also wanna run desktop HDR for color sensitive stuff.
 

Mystique

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Has anyone ever used or tried "Smart HDR"?... from my google search I'm not convinced I know much more on the subject. Seems like it changes the nits depending on game/movie/tv mode?
 

TimothyB

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Has anyone ever used or tried "Smart HDR"?... from my google search I'm not convinced I know much more on the subject. Seems like it changes the nits depending on game/movie/tv mode?

I was confused what Smart HDR was too, it's not any kind of unique HDR mode. Dell is over-complicating a basic functionality with an odd name. It just means the monitor recognized an HDR signal and switched to the correct settings for HDR. (locking brightness slider, whatever picture mode you last used, activating local dimming, etc).

So if you go into Windows 10, display settings, and turn on HDR, that will cause Smart HDR to turn on. I wouldn't expect something like that to be called smart. For example, my LG OLED, when I play a movie in HDR, I just expect the TV to switch to HDR with the settings I last used, I wouldn't call that smart. Though, I'd call the TV dumb if some how the HDR source looked broken until I manually changed it to HDR every time to match.

I find it useful to quickly determine if the monitor has HDR one by looking at the status of Smart HDR.
 

TimothyB

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Nice, very interested to here how it goes. Mine arrives Friday, I hope,

Looks like mine is arriving a day early, Thursday. Shipped today with the next day shipping. Hopefully all the storms in my area don't cause problems.
 

doox00

2[H]4U
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Aug 28, 2005
Messages
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Does this monitor have built in speakers?
Looks like mine is arriving a day early, Thursday. Shipped today with the next day shipping. Hopefully all the storms in my area don't cause problems.
Mine shipped today as well, standard shipping, be here friday it says.
 

Mystique

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Been rolling with it mostly in SDR 10 bit 120 Hz, with reference mode checked. Have a script that turns on HDR for work, and when games suck at doing it organically. How are you guys doing it? Anyone else using this option and have strong opinions? My eyes are clearly not as good as some of yours, since I don't react that quickly to 120Hz->144Hz or the saturation on SDR. So far, this might be the way I keep it for the next few years.
1611800207853.png
 

cezarL

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Jan 13, 2021
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Ordered a 2nd AW monitor to test. Should be here Friday if Dell doesn't delay it and ship 3-day instead of Next Day again.

Going to be interesting to have 2 of the same screens side by side to really see how they can differ due to panel lottery.

I still have the LG WN setup next to the current AW. Trying to recall additional tests for it to compare. Such as
  • Record if it has flickering from local dimming flickers, like the AW
  • How local dimming behaves, including Variable Backlight modes (which already don't seem to change much)
  • etc
Oh and the crushed blacks with in-game HDR thingy, please...

My question is, though, how does a curved display work for productivity? Wouldn't it distort everything like straight lines for spreadsheets, or art work?
Mystique has already provided a comprehensive answer, I'll just add that the curve isn't all that pronounced (my AW replaces a Samsung CF791 which had a stronger curve). Don't worry about it, it will feel "natural" after a few hours/days of use.

Been rolling with it mostly in SDR 10 bit 120 Hz, with reference mode checked. Have a script that turns on HDR for work, and when games suck at doing it organically. How are you guys doing it?
I found a tray application that will enable/disable Windows HDR mode. Not sure if I'm allowed to post links here, you can do a search by "github bradgearon/hdr-switch" if interested.
I calibrated mine in SDR for sRGB so I only turn on HDR before launching a game, for work it stays in SDR.
 

Mystique

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Mar 28, 2009
Messages
271
Rock on. Wish I had the ability to calibrate atm, but will look into that in the future. Which calibration tool did you use?

I found a tray application that will enable/disable Windows HDR mode.

The tray app sounds cool. For anyone interested in a non-exe way to toggle it, if you use AutoHotkey (AHK) you can run the following script to toggle HDR the old fashioned way:

Run, ms-settings:display
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
Sleep 1000
WinActivate, Settings
Send, `t
Send, `t
Send, " "
Sleep 500
Send !{f4}

I have a G910, so I bound it to G6 on my logitech keyboard as a shortcut. Pressing it turns it off/on like a switch. Make sure you're not using a ICC profile, otherwise you'll need 2 AHK's since the position moves in the display dialog with the ICC profile being available and all but that works too with minor tweaks (add another Send, `t)

It definitely isn't a beautiful solution, since you can see what is happening to make it work, but I am very picky about using other people's code if I don't have the time to read it/trust how it works, so this just a quick alternative ;) . Tray app may be better for you folks, just wanted to give alt route.
 
Last edited:

evo2point0

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May 18, 2016
Messages
64
AW3821DW side by side with 38GN950, I really can't tell the difference when it comes to G-Sync. (G-Sync Capable vs. G-Sync Compatible).
I even tried to limit framerate to 34, 30, 28, 24 to see how LFC stacks up. I really failed to see any advantages of G-Sync Capable over Compatible. What the heck is the G-Sync hardware ASIC for??
 

Sycraft

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Messages
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AW3821DW side by side with 38GN950, I really can't tell the difference when it comes to G-Sync. (G-Sync Capable vs. G-Sync Compatible).
I even tried to limit framerate to 34, 30, 28, 24 to see how LFC stacks up. I really failed to see any advantages of G-Sync Capable over Compatible. What the heck is the G-Sync hardware ASIC for??
My understanding is that it helps with having variable overdrive which makes it have less blurring over various framerates. Also helps with the transition from LFC to no LFC. Does it actually matter? I don't know that there has ever been a good test. nVidia will of course claim it does, that the module makes for a better experience. AMD will say no that isn't true, no need for a hardware module Freesync 2 is just as good.

It would be nice to see a site with some good test hardware do a test of it and see how they stack up but I've never found one.
 

Murzilka

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Messages
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Opinions are really split on the matter. Some people claim the g-sync module is clearly much smoother than VRR gsync, others say there is no difference. It's the same with some people not precepting any difference in refresh rates above 100Hz, while for me personally the difference between 120Hz and 144Hz is very noticeable, at least on a display with hardware g-sync.
I guess some people see the difference, while others can't. Or maybe not. Probably it also depends on application (game), which is the subject of the measurement.
 

t2uciet

Scalper in FSFT
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Messages
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Can you turn off G-Sync on the monitor itself? I'm not seeing it in the menu.
 

Spartacus09

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Can you turn off G-Sync on the monitor itself? I'm not seeing it in the menu.
In the nvidia control panel you can change it to fixed refresh vs gsync in the manage 3d settings.
or under setup g-sync in the same are you can uncheck the enable g-sync option
 

cezarL

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Messages
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I thought G-sync Compatible only went down to something like 40-45-50Hz whereas Ultimate has a much lower floor?
Not that I would play anything that dips below 45, just sayin'... :)
 

evo2point0

Weaksauce
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May 18, 2016
Messages
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Opinions are really split on the matter. Some people claim the g-sync module is clearly much smoother than VRR gsync, others say there is no difference. It's the same with some people not precepting any difference in refresh rates above 100Hz, while for me personally the difference between 120Hz and 144Hz is very noticeable, at least on a display with hardware g-sync.
I guess some people see the difference, while others can't. Or maybe not. Probably it also depends on application (game), which is the subject of the measurement.
Perhaps. But seeing the difference between 120Hz vs. 144Hz and G-Sync ASIC vs. VRR G-Sync is very different animal, IMHO.
120Hz and 144Hz are distinguishable for me.
I'm all in for VRR and love the feature. But G-Sync ASIC? I don't know.
G-Sync used to be godsend when it was just V-Sync vs. G-Sync. But these days, we have free VRR. G-Sync may have become a snake oil product.
 

Drags

Gawd
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Messages
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It would be nice to see a site with some good test hardware do a test of it and see how they stack up but I've never found one.
TFTCentral have just received this screen so should get a review and loads of testing soon :)
 

TimothyB

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Messages
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Initial Impressions of 2nd AW3821DW, glad I jumped on ordering it, appears to better in several ways.

Color Temp:
  • 2nd AW has a warmer and more pleasing color temp (I'd say closer to what I experienced on the LG WN. With the 2 AW screens side-by-side, same settings, you wouldn't think they were the same product.
Uniformity:
  • 1st AW, the top middle had a darker spot that was regularly noticeable. 2nd AW has it, but very minimal and doesn't bother me like the 1st AW. I think this might be a common trait with the AW, but varies.
  • Color Uniformity. 2nd AW is an improvement as well. I noticed when I set the screens to a muted brown (Win10 color bg option in the 3rd row, middle choice), the 1st AW looked like the hue changed on the left half of the screen, almost like it was darker too. The 2nd AW, mostly appears to keep the color consistent.
Bleed:
  • I haven't had a chance to get a perfectly dark room, but 2nd AW bleed looks very minimal, same as 1st AW.
IPS Glow:
  • 2nd AW is very good, not too distracting and seems even between each side. The 1st AW had remarkably low glow in the bottom left corner, but this may be related to that screen's worse color and darker uniformity towards that side. I still need to get a perfectly dark room to take photos without any glare.

Other:
  • Local Dimming behavior seems to be mostly the same.
  • Flicker is mostly the same as well. I'll post more gifs when possible. The flicker seems to be the worst when you have a plain almost solid background with nothing else on the screen and drag just a cursor or small window. But if you have multiple windows open, suddenly the flicker is less likely to happen.
 

TimothyB

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Quick Update on LG 38WN95c vs AW

HDR Black Crush?
  • I ran the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark multiple times between these two screens. The experience was mostly the same, no major difference. I had to set the game brightness to full once HDR was turned on, same as on the AW. Considering the LG's local dimming doesn't go as dim as the AW, I thought that might help it, not really. I even set the AW to Mode 1 to so that it wouldn't dim to near off. One point I even took pictures with my phone over exposed, blowing out almost everything, just to see if one screen had more detail in dark shadow. Both seem to be the same detail, or lack of detail in the black areas.

Local Dimming Zone Behavior:
  • WN - One unique difference, the top and bottom zones are independent. If I move a cursor to the top, the zone lights up, move it to the bottom, only the bottom lights up. If I tried to get the tiny cursor directly centered, I couldn't get both ( top and bottom) zones to activate at the same time, it consistently faded between the top and bottom.
  • While on with the AW, the top and bottom zones always light up together, as if connected as one. This is with an all black screen with only a cursor moving around. Whether the cursor was on the very top edge, or bottom, the opposite edge always lit up. When the cursor crosses the line between the top half and bottom, both zones would dim for a brief moment, as if the screen was confused if it should dim the opposite side or not, but couldn't. This resulted in a more unpolished behavior compared to the LG.
Does the WN Flicker like the AW?
  • Repeating the harsh test where you set a solid color background and move around only one small window or cursor, the WN didn't seem to have any flickering like the AW. I recorded some video which may reveal something I couldn't see with my eye.
 

Mystique

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
271
Initial Impressions of 2nd AW3821DW, glad I jumped on ordering it, appears to better in several ways.

Color Temp:
  • 2nd AW has a warmer and more pleasing color temp (I'd say closer to what I experienced on the LG WN. With the 2 AW screens side-by-side, same settings, you wouldn't think they were the same product.
Uniformity:
  • 1st AW, the top middle had a darker spot that was regularly noticeable. 2nd AW has it, but very minimal and doesn't bother me like the 1st AW. I think this might be a common trait with the AW, but varies.
  • Color Uniformity. 2nd AW is an improvement as well. I noticed when I set the screens to a muted brown (Win10 color bg option in the 3rd row, middle choice), the 1st AW looked like the hue changed on the left half of the screen, almost like it was darker too. The 2nd AW, mostly appears to keep the color consistent.
Bleed:
  • I haven't had a chance to get a perfectly dark room, but 2nd AW bleed looks very minimal, same as 1st AW.
IPS Glow:
  • 2nd AW is very good, not too distracting and seems even between each side. The 1st AW had remarkably low glow in the bottom left corner, but this may be related to that screen's worse color and darker uniformity towards that side. I still need to get a perfectly dark room to take photos without any glare.

Other:
  • Local Dimming behavior seems to be mostly the same.
  • Flicker is mostly the same as well. I'll post more gifs when possible. The flicker seems to be the worst when you have a plain almost solid background with nothing else on the screen and drag just a cursor or small window. But if you have multiple windows open, suddenly the flicker is less likely to happen.
This makes me wonder if my monitor was one of the good ones in the batch; my experience sounds more like your 2nd panel.

I bet my screen flickers, because it isn't magic, but lucky for me I can't see it. No matter what I do.

Kind of curious how 'out of color' my display is compared to a perfectly calibrated one. Maybe I'll move my old XB271HU here to compare.
 

t2uciet

Scalper in FSFT
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Messages
663
In the nvidia control panel you can change it to fixed refresh vs gsync in the manage 3d settings.
or under setup g-sync in the same are you can uncheck the enable g-sync option

That's interesting you can't turn it off. Maybe since it has the built in module? I'm coming from a Dell S3220DGF and turned it off by default since it was recommended to be off for Warzone due to input lag.
 

Cisco78

n00b
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Nov 1, 2019
Messages
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Thank you for the updates! Mine arrives today, fingers crossed it part of a good bathc.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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Local Dimming Zone Behavior:
  • WN - One unique difference, the top and bottom zones are independent. If I move a cursor to the top, the zone lights up, move it to the bottom, only the bottom lights up. If I tried to get the tiny cursor directly centered, I couldn't get both ( top and bottom) zones to activate at the same time, it consistently faded between the top and bottom.
  • While on with the AW, the top and bottom zones always light up together, as if connected as one. This is with an all black screen with only a cursor moving around. Whether the cursor was on the very top edge, or bottom, the opposite edge always lit up. When the cursor crosses the line between the top half and bottom, both zones would dim for a brief moment, as if the screen was confused if it should dim the opposite side or not, but couldn't. This resulted in a more unpolished behavior compared to the LG.
That is not what I see on mine. When I move my mouse cursor around the top and bottom zones are clearly separate. If I move it close to the bottom, only the bottom lights up, as I move it up the screen, the top activates as well. Now, being edge lit, light leaks up to the top even when the bottom is on. These aren't small or precisely defined zones, but the top an the bottom are clearly controlled seperately.
 

TimothyB

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That is not what I see on mine. When I move my mouse cursor around the top and bottom zones are clearly separate. If I move it close to the bottom, only the bottom lights up, as I move it up the screen, the top activates as well. Now, being edge lit, light leaks up to the top even when the bottom is on. These aren't small or precisely defined zones, but the top an the bottom are clearly controlled seperately.

I'll review some videos I took earlier of both the WN and AW and make a few gifs to see how they behaved.

Curious to see even a picture if yours with the say a black screen and cursor at the top edge.
 

Cisco78

n00b
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Nov 1, 2019
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That sucks :(

Did the box show any damage that would caused that crack?

Hopefully you can still get some quick impressions of the screen to compare with your replacement.
Box looks ok, pretty sure extra pressure was applied when packing.... so far, looks pretty awesome outside of the crack haha
 

GoldenTiger

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Oh and the crushed blacks with in-game HDR thingy, please...


Mystique has already provided a comprehensive answer, I'll just add that the curve isn't all that pronounced (my AW replaces a Samsung CF791 which had a stronger curve). Don't worry about it, it will feel "natural" after a few hours/days of use.


I found a tray application that will enable/disable Windows HDR mode. Not sure if I'm allowed to post links here, you can do a search by "github bradgearon/hdr-switch" if interested.
I calibrated mine in SDR for sRGB so I only turn on HDR before launching a game, for work it stays in SDR.
Thanks to you and Mystique for the answers. :)
 

doox00

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Just received mine and have it hooked up.. looks very nice so far.. have not messed with any settings or anything yet though.
 

Cisco78

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Ok glad I'm getting a replacement ASAP.... when I move the mouse across a pure black screen, zones literally light up. Light giant bands from top to bottom. This screen is borked. there is also a weird glow that follows mouse pointer.
 

TimothyB

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Ok glad I'm getting a replacement ASAP.... when I move the mouse across a pure black screen, zones literally light up. Light giant bands from top to bottom. This screen is borked. there is also a weird glow that follows mouse pointer.

That's the local dimming. On a black screen it dims each zone to near off, but a white cursor triggers the zones it is under.

Modes will have different effects:
  • Mode 0 - Dims to near black, when a zone lights up, the others will remain near black
  • Mode 1 - Dims to near black, when a zone lights up, the other zones will light up 20-30% with it.
  • Mode 2 - This one is weird, almost as if it turns everything into one zone. This may be the best option if a game makes the zone changes really noticeable,
Local Dimming is forced on anytime HDR is active. You can manually enable it for SDR. In most cases, you won't noticed it happening within a game, except for really dark, almost all black screens, loading screens on black, movie credits, etc.
 

Cisco78

n00b
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Nov 1, 2019
Messages
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That's the local dimming. On a black screen it dims each zone to near off, but a white cursor triggers the zones it is under.

Modes will have different effects:
  • Mode 0 - Dims to near black, when a zone lights up, the others will remain near black
  • Mode 1 - Dims to near black, when a zone lights up, the other zones will light up 20-30% with it.
  • Mode 2 - This one is weird, almost as if it turns everything into one zone,
Local Dimming is forced on anytime HDR is active. You can manually enable it for SDR.
Gotcha!
 
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