AW3821DW (Nov 2020) with GSync Ultimate

killabunny

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Hello from Finland! I've always owned quality IPS panels because of coding and graphics work. so I was curious if this AW3821DW monitor would be enough for my work.
Because of this amazingly high quality forum thread, I already knew, that it would be somewhat of a compromise to buy it, but I did buy it..

Here are my thoughts after 2 weeks of use:

1. Calibration/color/brightness settings out of the box are all HORRIBLE. You can literally burn your eyes with the default settings and lose your sight temporarily.

2. Learning curve to get settings right is steep, I literally used DAYS trying to figure out how to get this monitor to display even something close to sRGB or CMYK with natural brightness. I've never used this much time for color correction on ANY monitor, usually it takes few minutes to get the brightness and colors right.

3. HDR is unusable. Your eyes will be burning into your sockets on longer use and there are not enough settings currently available to make it better.

4. Some days, when the monitor is first time turned on, it can flicker few times during first seconds of use. It feels like it needs to warm up or something before it's fully operational. Can grow into a problem in longer term?

5. Ambient light sensor seems to somewhat work now - after I did the reset thing found on Reddit, but it's still not perfect and it would be great to have some adjustment setting on it.

After all of that being said, I gotta say.. I do LOVE❤️ this monitor! :D It's crisp enough and so amazingly wide, 120-144Hz is a bliss and now when I've gotten the color/brightness settings to somewhat close to the real world - I have no regrets!

Comp: Omen 30L i7-10700K with Nvidia RTX 3080

Thanks for everyone who has contributed into this thread! Great stuff!
What do you think about the color accuracy with HDR ON in Windows?
 

cezarL

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What do you think about the color accuracy with HDR ON in Windows?
Mine needed considerable adjustments to RGB controls, but once set the delta-e measured by DisplayCal with an i1D3 meter was 0.1-0.2 for the whitepoint.
 

Sycraft

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Hey fellows,

The ambient sensor DOES NOT work with HDR ON in Windows. Correct?
No it doesn't. HDR is mastered to absolute brightness levels meaning that the user isn't supposed to have control over the brightness. It's kinda annoying, but that is the standard.
 

thelead

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Mine needed considerable adjustments to RGB controls, but once set the delta-e measured by DisplayCal with an i1D3 meter was 0.1-0.2 for the whitepoint.
I know that each panel is different but just for a ballpark, what are your RGB settings?
 

FaRKle0079

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So apparently these monitors have an issue with HDMI input that causes the flickering issue I had on my first panel. Well, the 2nd panel does it too!.

If you're on HDMI input and 60Hz or less the screen will start to flicker and burn in the image of whatever you have on the screen. This image stays even after hard power off (disconnect power cable), and will show up in the diagnostic mode. If you leave the unit unplugged for days, then it'll finally go away. Using DisplayPort I haven't been able to reproduce this issue, but HDMI it occurs once the monitor has been on for a bit (like 30min). I saw on reddit a good amount of other people have had the same issue as me.
 

cezarL

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I know that each panel is different but just for a ballpark, what are your RGB settings?
R-100, G-94, B-85
Mine's from the first batch sold in Eastern Europe.

So apparently these monitors have an issue with HDMI input that causes the flickering issue I had on my first panel. Well, the 2nd panel does it too!.

If you're on HDMI input and 60Hz or less the screen will start to flicker and burn in the image of whatever you have on the screen. This image stays even after hard power off (disconnect power cable), and will show up in the diagnostic mode. If you leave the unit unplugged for days, then it'll finally go away. Using DisplayPort I haven't been able to reproduce this issue, but HDMI it occurs once the monitor has been on for a bit (like 30min). I saw on reddit a good amount of other people have had the same issue as me.
Hmmm interesting.
I'm using DisplayPort with the desktop PC, but expecting a docking station for the work laptop to be delivered in a couple of days, will be connecting that through an HDMI input, hope it will run at 85Hz... (a direct HDMI connection from the laptop only gives me 30Hz :) )
 

nighthink

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Ca anybody please confirm how does this monitor behave with macbook pro connecting via HDMI? Really considering this one but in my setup I would use DP for gaming PC and the plan was to use HDMI for connecting macbook pro. But if I can achieve only 60Hz at most via HDMI that is disappointing.. I saw somewhere the limitation over HDMI shall be 120Hz for this monitor.
 

Cali3350

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Ca anybody please confirm how does this monitor behave with macbook pro connecting via HDMI? Really considering this one but in my setup I would use DP for gaming PC and the plan was to use HDMI for connecting macbook pro. But if I can achieve only 60Hz at most via HDMI that is disappointing.. I saw somewhere the limitation over HDMI shall be 120Hz for this monitor.
It will entirely depend on the resolution you are trying to drive. You will be limited by the HDMI 2.0 spec. At native resolution you will only have 60hz, yes. If you reduce the resolution to 3440x1440 you can get up to 110hz.
 

Cali3350

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It will entirely depend on the resolution you are trying to drive. You will be limited by the HDMI 2.0 spec. At native resolution you will only have 60hz, yes. If you reduce the resolution to 3440x1440 you can get up to 110hz.
Can anyone confirm this monitor does not support 4k downsample? IE I plug in a PS5, it will not accept a 4k signal from the PS5 and internally sample it to a resolution that works? The LG does this, so that's a point against this for me if so.
 

terve

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What do you think about the color accuracy with HDR ON in Windows?
The accuracy of HDR doesn't matter if it's unusable. Atleast my eyes get burned and tired instantly (even with contrast below 60), so not sure why anyone would want to use it with this monitor.. you should wear sunglasses if you do?
 

terve

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4. Some days, when the monitor is first time turned on, it can flicker few times during first seconds of use. It feels like it needs to warm up or something before it's fully operational. Can grow into a problem in longer term?
Edit: Dell changed my monitor and the problem is gone. -- I changed the DisplayPort cable and the flicker is gone! \o/
 
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thelead

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The accuracy of HDR doesn't matter if it's unusable. Atleast my eyes get burned and tired instantly (even with contrast below 60), so not sure why anyone would want to use it with this monitor.. you should wear sunglasses if you do?
You can set the HDR/SDR brightness balance slider to 0 in windows HD color settings if you're sensitive to bright screens.
 

terve

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You can set the HDR/SDR brightness balance slider to 0 in windows HD color settings if you're sensitive to bright screens.
Yes, but then the greys get dimmed and you lose ambient sensor. Atleast for me, the SDR is the only way I get natural brightness with this monitor, that work in any room lighting without any adjustments needed during the day. Might be different for you, or for your monitor, but atleast my retinas are burning hot with HDR on and none of the adjustments make it better or more suitable for longer use. If they develop adjustable brightness curve setting for it, I will definetly give it another chance.

OLED panels don't seem to suffer from the same problem and they can be fitted with ambient sensor to produce natural colors according to room lighting. I guess we just need to wait for OLED's to enter the FPS market (AW5520QF anyone?😀), hopefully with a bit more affordable pricing.

> Edit: I got my replacement monitor from Dell and this doesn't seem to have such huge fluorocent brightness effect, with this the HDR is much more settle. Seems there are differences between monitors.
 
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terve

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Here's my AW3821DW random flicker problem, which I'm currently trying to figure out with Dell support:
AW3821DW-flicker-problem.gif


> Edit: Dell sent me a new monitor and this problem seems to be fixed.
 
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Sycraft

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Here's my AW3821DW random flicker problem, which I'm currently trying to figure out with Dell support:
In any cases of trouble like that, always make sure to try a different Displayport cable. The ones Dell includes are not great and issues are easier to find since this display literally pushes it to the limit of the technology. Not saying that is what is happening here, but it can be. I had a few issues with mine with a longer cable that I used, worked fine for my old 2560x1440 144Hz monitor, so I replaced it with a fiber optic cable and the issues went away. For normal length cables just get a good quality one and see if it helps. If it doesn't then ya time to get a repalcement.
 

thelead

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Yes, but then the greys get dimmed and you lose ambient sensor. Atleast for me, the SDR is the only way I get natural brightness with this monitor, that work in any room lighting without any adjustments needed during the day. Might be different for you, or for your monitor, but atleast my retinas are burning hot with HDR on and none of the adjustments make it better or more suitable for longer use. If they develop adjustable brightness curve setting for it, I will definetly give it another chance.

OLED panels don't seem to suffer from the same problem and they can be fitted with ambient sensor to produce natural colors according to room lighting. I guess we just need to wait for OLED's to enter the FPS market (AW5520QF anyone?😀), hopefully with a bit more affordable pricing.
42" OLEDs will likely be released next year but ABL is a pain. But if you like low-brightness all the time, that won't be an issue for you. I like HDR (real HDR anyway) and can't stand using my OLED tv as a monitor. Any time I full screen a white window, the brightness dims considerably and when I exit out of the windows, the brightness ramps back up. It's a jarring experience. But for those that like their monitors to never go above ~100 nits, you'll love OLED.
 
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Sycraft

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42" OLEDs will likely be released next year but ABL is a pain. But if you like low-brightness all the time, that won't be an issue for you. I like HDR (real HDR anyway) and can't stand using my OLED tv as a monitor. Any time I full screen a white window, the brightness dims considerably and when I exit out of the windows, the brightness ramps back up. It's a jarring experience. But for those that like their monitors to never go above ~100 nits, you'll love OLED.
That, and the burn in potential, are what stop me from getting one for my living room. I do use my TV in there for computer duties sometimes and it just seems like trouble for that purpose. So I have a FALD TV out there. That was also part of what sparked me to get this screen. It isn't the perfect everything I want display, and I know that in the future there will be better HDR screens for computers... but it is also clear that isn't happening any time soon so I might as well have something I like a lot now, and then get a new display in the future, whenever in the future it ends up being, that they have one with tech that works well for desktop functions AND HDR.
 

thelead

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That, and the burn in potential, are what stop me from getting one for my living room. I do use my TV in there for computer duties sometimes and it just seems like trouble for that purpose. So I have a FALD TV out there. That was also part of what sparked me to get this screen. It isn't the perfect everything I want display, and I know that in the future there will be better HDR screens for computers... but it is also clear that isn't happening any time soon so I might as well have something I like a lot now, and then get a new display in the future, whenever in the future it ends up being, that they have one with tech that works well for desktop functions AND HDR.
Agreed. I bought my OLED as a night time movie watching display. For that, it's great for now. That said, image retention (not burn-in) is a big problem. Literally 2 seconds of my apple tv home screen displayed will result in the icons being visible on an all gray screen for ~20 seconds (some apps open up this way which makes the image retention super noticeable). I know it's not burn in but it makes me wonder how resilient they really are to static images like an excel spreadsheet that stays up for 4 hours.
 

Sycraft

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Agreed. I bought my OLED as a night time movie watching display. For that, it's great for now. That said, image retention (not burn-in) is a big problem. Literally 2 seconds of my apple tv home screen displayed will result in the icons being visible on an all gray screen for ~20 seconds (some apps open up this way which makes the image retention super noticeable). I know it's not burn in but it makes me wonder how resilient they really are to static images like an excel spreadsheet that stays up for 4 hours.
Ya that is my worry. Computer usage is literally worst case scenario as you have not just a long term static image, but large parts of it are monochromatic so pixel shifting won't help. Like for a videogame HUD or TV logo that can do the trick but not so much for desktop usage. I wouldn't want to have to worry about ruining my expensive toy any time I used it for desktop work.
 

thelead

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Ya that is my worry. Computer usage is literally worst case scenario as you have not just a long term static image, but large parts of it are monochromatic so pixel shifting won't help. Like for a videogame HUD or TV logo that can do the trick but not so much for desktop usage. I wouldn't want to have to worry about ruining my expensive toy any time I used it for desktop work.
Yeah. I think it's highly dependent on the user. I know that I like to walk away from my computer and not worry about leaving the static image up for however long until I sit back down. I'm more about function over form for my use case.
 

luzx

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Anyone has this issue?

I have two monitor both of them connect through DP port (RTX 30800), main monitor is AW3821DW.

When win 10 turn off monitor automatically (I set 10 min), both of them will turn off their backlight normally but after a while (maybe 1hr or 2hr), AW3821DW will turn on backlight...

it is annoyed me and i am not sure if this will hurt monitor?

Thanks!
 

Sycraft

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Anyone has this issue?

I have two monitor both of them connect through DP port (RTX 30800), main monitor is AW3821DW.

When win 10 turn off monitor automatically (I set 10 min), both of them will turn off their backlight normally but after a while (maybe 1hr or 2hr), AW3821DW will turn on backlight...

it is annoyed me and i am not sure if this will hurt monitor?

Thanks!
No I haven't noticed that, when I lock my screen it turns the monitor off and it stays off any time I've looked at it. Connected through DisplayPort here too to a 3090. One thing to try is a "hard reset" of your monitor meaning unplug the power, leave it unplugged for like 20 seconds, then back in. That will reboot the onboard stuff. Might help. Also it might possibly be a DP cable issue. I've never seen it myself but some people have reported issues with sleep on other monitors with certain DP cables that have one of the pins wired up they shouldn't. So you can try a different cable, see if that helps. Never seen it myself, but seen it around online enough that I would consider it possible.
 

luzx

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No I haven't noticed that, when I lock my screen it turns the monitor off and it stays off any time I've looked at it. Connected through DisplayPort here too to a 3090. One thing to try is a "hard reset" of your monitor meaning unplug the power, leave it unplugged for like 20 seconds, then back in. That will reboot the onboard stuff. Might help. Also it might possibly be a DP cable issue. I've never seen it myself but some people have reported issues with sleep on other monitors with certain DP cables that have one of the pins wired up they shouldn't. So you can try a different cable, see if that helps. Never seen it myself, but seen it around online enough that I would consider it possible.

Thank you, it is very strange problem... i try to reproduce this issue tonight, but it seems normal... the backlight will not turn on after disable monitor (~4hr).
(but last week, i face this problem maybe 3 times)

I want to ask another question, Does anyone of you have the same issue?

I have the same issue and can reproduce this problem easily, just follow the instruction in the youtube link.
want to know if this is hardware issue or common issue.

Alienware AW3821DW left side flicker on HDR​

 

terve

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Here's my AW3821DW random flicker problem
Wow, Dell sent me a replacement monitor and all the things I said (page 12) seems to be fixed with this one! Colors and brightness levels are straight out of box 10 x better, no more flicker and image is much more natural. Feels like totally different monitor! Happy!
 
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luzx

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Wow, Dell sent me a replacement monitor and all the things I said were wrong, seem to be fixed with this one! Colors and brightness levels are straight out of box 10 x better, no more flicker and image is much more natural. Feels like totally different monitor! Happy!

Hello sir, would you help to confirm this AW3821DW flicker on HDR issue?
Just want to know if this is common issue or should i RMA my monitor.
Thank you very much.

 

terve

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You can set the HDR/SDR brightness balance slider to 0 in windows HD color settings if you're sensitive to bright screens.
With the new replacement monitor I got, the over-bright HDR-fluorocent colors are non-present. I can almost get natural levels of brightness now straight out of the box with this new monitor. Such huge difference in overall brightness and color accuracy between the two. I think my faulty monitor had close to 1000 nits - it was that bright... I literally lost my eye-sight for few seconds while I was adjusting it... It's a lot better, but I still prefer SDR coz of the ambient sensor :)
 

terve

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Hello sir, would you help to confirm this AW3821DW flicker on HDR issue?
Just want to know if this is common issue or should i RMA my monitor.
Thank you very much.

With HDR on, yes - darker greys flicker on the top-left side. HDR off works fine. Contact Dell support? (edited)
 
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luzx

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With HDR on, yes - darker greys flicker on the top-left side. HDR off works fine. Contact Dell support? (edited)

Thank you very much.

It seems common issue, everyone will have this issue, not a fault monitor, when you test you can press space it will hide the right information box then left/right side will both flicker.
Hope Dell will release a new firmware to address this issue...

You can read this comment from another forum (less backlight zones).
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/forums/threads/new-alienware-q3-2020.18895590/page-48
 
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djase

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Thank you very much.

It seems common issue, everyone will have this issue, not a fault monitor, when you test you can press space it will hide the right information box then left/right side will both flicker.
Hope Dell will release a new firmware to address this issue...

You can read this comment from another forum (less backlight zones).
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/forums/threads/new-alienware-q3-2020.18895590/page-48
I have this monitor since December and I don't have this problem at all.
 

1Wolf

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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??

So my replacement AW3821DW finally came in and I had some time to compare all three (LG 38GN950, defective AW3821DW, and new AW3821DW) screens.

First off, getting the new AW3821DW highlighted some other things that were broken on my original. I thought it was some weird thing locked to the preset modes that prevented me from accessing the brightness control (contrast was available, but not brightness), and similarly being able to turn variable black light off (I could select any mode except "off"). The new screen lets me adjust all of those where the old screen had them greyed out and unselectable.

Speaking of variable backlight, the LG never fully turns off the backlight like the AW does, so the AW is able to achieve deeper blacks. As other has mentioned, the AW has more/finer variable backlit zones than the LG too. Backlight bleed-wise, my LG is more uniform than both AWs. The LG has bleed at all four corners, and the amount of bleed is pretty much the same from all of them. It's not too much. On both AWs the bleed is more variable coming from all four corners. On my new screen it ranges from practiaclly no bleed on the lower left, to a lot more bleed than the LG on the upper right. The defective AW was difficult to test since I can't turn off the variable backlight mode so I had to use the mouse to get the local backlight zone to turn on.

Using the Eizo monitor test, it looks like the gamma on both AWs is 2.5, and it's 2.6 on my LG. Also using their response time test the results were interesting. On the LG I can set the pixel distance to 20 before the blocks look like they're starting to overlap at the fastest scroll speed. This is using the default/slowest response setting. With both of the AWs the minimum distance is 35 pixels, even if I increase the response time settings.

A few of you have mentioned that you have have both the 38GN950 and the AW3821DW, or have had a chance to compare the two side by side. I was just hoping I could ask anyone who has had a chance to closely compare the two if they could give me their opinion on something...

Like a few others have mentioned in this thread, I'm looking to pick up a new monitor and am torn between these two. I went to my local Microcenter today and they didn't have either in stock. They certainly didn't have the AW3821DW to check out, and they didn't have the 38GN950 either. However, they did have a 38GL950G which I figured would be "close enough" to be able to get at least a "feel" for it.

I'm one of those folks that likes a bit of "gloss" to my screen to make the colors pop. Not necessarily a full-on glossy screen but I like a little gloss to make those colors pop. Even though the LG 38GL950G that I looked at today is listed as a "Matte" screen I felt it had a nice touch of gloss to it. I actually really liked it. It was just the right amount of "gloss" for my tastes. How does the screen on the AW3821DW compare? Is it more matte? Glossier? Or is it identical to the LG? I've read here they use either the same or very similar panel but I wasn't sure if that meant they had the same coatings well.

Also, if there are any other opinions or observations you have when comparing those two panels that you haven't shared so far in the thread, please let me know. I'm really on the fence between the two and I can't really see either of them first-hand and can't compare them in person. I am a "casual" gamer so I do worry that the LG 38GN950's lack of a G-Sync module (G-Sync compatible instead) might be a bad thing. I also don't do any sort of content creation or professional work where I'd really need the sRGB mode that the Alienware panel is dinged for not having.

Thanks!
 

luzx

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I have this monitor since December and I don't have this problem at all.
Thank you for your feedback.
Very strange, according to my statistic:

Non-flicker : 2 persons
flicker when HDR-on : 5 persons

Hope more people can do this test and feedback their result.
 
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AthlonXP

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Wow, Dell sent me a replacement monitor and all the things I said (page 12) seems to be fixed with this one! Colors and brightness levels are straight out of box 10 x better, no more flicker and image is much more natural. Feels like totally different monitor! Happy!

Yeah I have seen this issue as well and was thinking of getting a new cable. Any recommendations?
 

terve

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Yeah I have seen this issue as well and was thinking of getting a new cable. Any recommendations?
Got flicker ~week ago also with the this monitor, but not as bad. I think it's the Dell cable, it's just horrible quality. I bought Fuj:tech Profinity 8K HBR3 DisplayPort 1.4 cable last week and no flicker yet :fingers-crossed:
 

AthlonXP

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Got flicker ~week ago also with the this monitor, but not as bad. I think it's the Dell cable, it's just horrible quality. I bought Fuj:tech Profinity 8K HBR3 DisplayPort 1.4 cable last week and no flicker yet :fingers-crossed:
Got a link for it?
 

Sycraft

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Got flicker ~week ago also with the this monitor, but not as bad. I think it's the Dell cable, it's just horrible quality. I bought Fuj:tech Profinity 8K HBR3 DisplayPort 1.4 cable last week and no flicker yet :fingers-crossed:
They do seem to be cable sensitive, probably because of the fact that they push DP bandwidth the the max, and maybe the Gsync module on top of it. I had some minor, intermittent issues with mine after I got it over my very lengthy (20') DP cable so I decided to get a fiber optic one and that solved the problems.
 

terve

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Thank you for your feedback.
Very strange, according to my statistic:

Non-flicker : 2 persons
flicker when HDR-on : 5 persons

Hope more people can do this test and feedback their result.
Could the non-flickers have Variable Backlight: Mode 2 active? I noticed it's bearly visible in mode 2, but modes 0 and 1 have clear dark grey flicker.
Edit: Mode 2 seems to have a hidden bonus level: left and right side of the monitor flicker when taking cursor from edge to edge, has anyone succesfully used HDR on this monitor? :D
 
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