AW3821DW (Nov 2020) with GSync Ultimate

Sycraft

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I've done some testing with the response time settings. The first thing to note is that no matter what it is set to, when the menu is open the response time is "Fast". So if you are doing like me flipping them back and forth and going "I don't see a difference!"... well no you don't. You have to close the menu. Very strange, but there you go. With the menu closed it is evident that the names are pretty accurate. Fast is indeed quite fast and I would say what you should leave it on. Minimal blur, no real overshoot/inverse ghosting I can see. Super Fast introduces a fair bit of overshoot. I haven't tested it out in games yet to see how noticeable it is there, but on a test you can see it real easy. Extreme is, well, extreme. Looooots of overshoot/inverse ghosting. Super noticeable.

So this is not like movie theater drink sizes where they are using naming to overstate things and "Fast" is really "Slow". The choices are pretty well named.
 
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Mystique

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When I was playing with response time "Extreme" my colors kinda warped a bit. Super fast is what I roll with. Any ideas what the exact difference is?
 

Sycraft

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When I was playing with response time "Extreme" my colors kinda warped a bit. Super fast is what I roll with. Any ideas what the exact difference is?
The difference is how heavy it overdrives the voltage, and thus how fast the transition is and how much overshoot there is on a transition. On Fast it is pretty well controlled, meaning they push it as fast as they can without overshooting much. On Super Fast that trade off some overshoot for faster response times and on Extreme they take it even further.

A bit more in depth explanation: To get a subpixel to a given brightness level, it needs to be fed a given voltage. Straight forward enough, same idea for audio amplifiers, and so on. However if you set the voltage output to be precisely what is needed, LCDs change slowly. This was how it was done back in the day and why they always looked so blurry. The time it took to transition between two voltage levels was really long. I mean you could have some transitions that took 50-100ms, even more sometimes. Consider that at 60fps you get a new frame every 33ms and you are talking pixels not even being done updating by the time a new frame came in.

Well the figured out a fix for that: Send more voltage than you actually need until the pixel gets to where you want, then back it off. That extra voltage makes it change faster. It can make it a loooot faster, to the point that we see LCDs these days that really are achieving times of 1ms or less to change states. Clears that smearing right up... but it comes at a potential cost. Since you are driving the pixel with more voltage than it needs, it may overshoot the brightness it is supposed to be, and then settle back down. If that overshoot is big enough, it is noticeable and is often called "inverse ghosting".

So the trick is to try and find the best balance between getting a low response time, and not too much overshoot. Many monitors, these included, let the user decide the tradeoff to an extent. They'll let you make it more aggressively overdrive the voltage, which changes the pixels faster, but at a cost of bigger amounts of overshoot.

In terms of an exact table of difference for this monitor? No, sorry, I don't have the tools to test it (you need some expensive stuff) and so far none of the review sites that do have done it. In general though I would imagine that it is similar to the LG models that share a panel with it, though Dell will be using their own response time programming. So Fast is probably pixel response times around 4ms, maybe a little less, with no overshoot on most transitions, and minimal amount when it does happen. Extreme is going to get the transitions down around 1ms and have overshoot possibly exceeding 100%, meaning double the intended brightness, in some cases.

The right answer is whatever looks the best to you. None of it will hurt the screen. So whatever gives you the image you like best, that works. Fast is a good default because that is still a seriously fast pixel response time, faster than what 144Hz would require (it needs about 6ms or less) and doesn't seem to have any visible overshoot. However if you feel Super Fast looks better, then by all means use it. You can also change it game to game. Perhaps you find it looks good in most games, but in some games you notice the inverse ghosting. No problem, just turn it down to Fast for those games.
 
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Mystique

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Props and thank you for that post. Makes sense, and cheers!

Glad to hear none of it hurts the screen !
 

yomike007

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My AW3821DW just arrived. I mounted it using a single Ergotron LX standard height arm. I still have an 1080GTX and using DP it defaulted to 3840 x 1600 @ 144Hz right out of the box with G-GYNC active. Will be upgrading to a 3080 RTX as soon as I can get one. At first glance there are no dead/stuck pixels. Backlight bleed is slight and only on the very 4 corners, maybe a half in radius around each, which is about as good as you are going to get. Much better than my dell U3415W I'm replacing it with. Going from 34" to 38" isn't a huge difference, but its noticeable, and I'm glad I went with the 38. I don't hear any fan noise sitting 2' away from it. There are a bunch of lights on this thing (rear alien logo, down desk lights, stand lights, power light in the bot right). All the lights are customizable, and best of all you can turn them off if you don't want your desk looking like a night club. I haven't played around much with the settings but so far I'm happy!
 
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Spartacus09

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Has anyone run into bios/post display issues with this monitor? I cant seem to get it to display bios settings in HDMI or DP display.
(it even gives the beep boot warning that display isn't working, but is fine once it boots to the OS)
 

Mad[H]atter

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View attachment 300478

Final price with tax/ship ~ with the 5 year coverage
If it had been anymore I probably would have gone with the 27" but my budget was right around 1k pretax, so I splurged a little to future proof myself for a bit.
I'm hoping to have this last me the next 3-4 years in which ideally there will be a 35-40" OLED selection available.
I'd pick one up in a heartbeat at that price, I keep hoping it goes on sale since I don't have a work liaison, lol :p
 

Sycraft

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Has anyone run into bios/post display issues with this monitor? I cant seem to get it to display bios settings in HDMI or DP display.
(it even gives the beep boot warning that display isn't working, but is fine once it boots to the OS)

Nope. My BIOS (Gigabyte Z370 board) seems happy. It shows up and actually prints the text really big which it is programmed to do automatically if you have a high rez display.
 

Mystique

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I am unable to get into my bios with a MSI Z370 Gaming M5. It's as if the monitor skips the whole part of the boot where it's in a low resolution like 640x480, and only starts reacting when it is in windows.

Turned off eco mode to see if that made any difference; it did not. I am using DP1.4

Might have to plug in my old 27" to play with my bios lol
 

Mystique

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My AW3821DW just arrived. I mounted it using a single Ergotron LX standard height arm. I still have an 1080GTX and using DP it defaulted to 3840 x 1600 @ 144Hz right out of the box with G-GYNC active. Will be upgrading to a 3080 RTX as soon as I can get one. At first glance there are no dead/stuck pixels. Backlight bleed is slight and only on the very 4 corners, maybe a half in radius around each, which is about as good as you are going to get. Much better than my dell U3415W I'm replacing it with. Going from 34" to 38" isn't a huge difference, but its noticeable, and I'm glad I went with the 38. I don't hear any fan noise sitting 2' away from it. There are a bunch of lights on this thing (rear alien logo, down desk lights, stand lights, power light in the bot right). All the lights are customizable, and best of all you can turn them off if you don't want your desk looking like a night club. I haven't played around much with the settings but so far I'm happy!
I have the same mount. I have been trying to remove a tiny desk wobble; does your mounted monitor have any?
 

Sycraft

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I am unable to get into my bios with a MSI Z370 Gaming M5. It's as if the monitor skips the whole part of the boot where it's in a low resolution like 640x480, and only starts reacting when it is in windows.

Turned off eco mode to see if that made any difference; it did not. I am using DP1.4

Might have to plug in my old 27" to play with my bios lol

Do you have your BIOS in Legacy/Compatibility mode? That might be the issue if so. I have that disabled, have mine in pure UEFI mode and it seems to work well. Legacy mode stuff doesn't know how to work with high resolutions as well.
 

Spartacus09

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I am unable to get into my bios with a MSI Z370 Gaming M5. It's as if the monitor skips the whole part of the boot where it's in a low resolution like 640x480, and only starts reacting when it is in windows.

Turned off eco mode to see if that made any difference; it did not. I am using DP1.4

Might have to plug in my old 27" to play with my bios lol
Good to know, I'm not the only one then, I read on some forums this occured with the AW3420 and it got either a driver or FW update to fix it I think.

Do you have your BIOS in Legacy/Compatibility mode? That might be the issue if so. I have that disabled, have mine in pure UEFI mode and it seems to work well. Legacy mode stuff doesn't know how to work with high resolutions as well.
Pretty certain, legacy/compatibility has to do with how it boots to the drive not the display, or is there some other option I'm un-aware of.
Mine is in UEFI mode only also, but I'm encountering the issue, I have tried with both HDMI and DP with the same issue didnt have this issue with DP on my U3415W.
 

Sycraft

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Good to know, I'm not the only one then, I read on some forums this occured with the AW3420 and it got either a driver or FW update to fix it I think.


Pretty certain, legacy/compatibility has to do with how it boots to the drive not the display, or is there some other option I'm un-aware of.
Mine is in UEFI mode only also, but I'm encountering the issue, I have tried with both HDMI and DP with the same issue didnt have this issue with DP on my U3415W.
It is not only how it boots, it also has to do with how the firmware acts pre-boot. I'm not sure why, and I don't know that it is the same issue on all firmwares. But like I said, on my board that is how it works. If I set it to compatibility mode, it does a lower rez display, if I set it to UEFI only mode, it does a high rez one.
 

Mystique

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It is not only how it boots, it also has to do with how the firmware acts pre-boot. I'm not sure why, and I don't know that it is the same issue on all firmwares. But like I said, on my board that is how it works. If I set it to compatibility mode, it does a lower rez display, if I set it to UEFI only mode, it does a high rez one.
Will try when off work!
 

Sycraft

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Will try when off work!
Can't hurt to try. If you are in UEFI only mode, you can turn on Legacy/Compatibility mode no issues. However if you are in legacy mode, you do need to make sure you OS is installed in UEFI mode, otherwise switching it will cause your system to not boot.
 

Mystique

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So updating my bios completely resolved the issue. Was already using UEFI.
 
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Spartacus09

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I'll grab my wifes monitor tonight and see if I'm on the latest version (got a RMA replacement board after my old one randomly died so not sure what BIOS its on).

Also is anyone else getting rather high cpu usage on the alienware command center (like 6-8% usage), except when reopen then close it?
 

Sycraft

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I'll grab my wifes monitor tonight and see if I'm on the latest version (got a RMA replacement board after my old one randomly died so not sure what BIOS its on).

Also is anyone else getting rather high cpu usage on the alienware command center (like 6-8% usage), except when reopen then close it?
I did not like it so I uninstalled it. I just control the lights in the monitor itself.
 

Spartacus09

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Yeah I'm not a super fan of it so far, it does offer a convenient place to auto change the monitor color settings though and imports pretty much all games for easy launching, I'm trying to give it a fair shot.

I was able to get it working to BIOs, I was already on the latest bios but I had to disable CSM support in BIOS, as soon as I did the bios popped right up on boot on the new monitor easy peasy.
 
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yomike007

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I have the same mount. I have been trying to remove a tiny desk wobble; does your mounted monitor have any?
No wobble but my desk is 2" thick HDF and the desk is pretty solid overall. I did have to tighten the crap out of multiple ergotron joints though since the monitor is so heavy. I have the ergotron set such that it takes a decent amount of force to rotate/move the monitor, which works for me as I don't plan on moving it much. I also dont have the monitor extended very far from the mount. I'm also using both ergotron extension arms (you can forgo this middle piece), but neither is articulated far from the base.
 

cvinh

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For anyone who paid full price recently for this monitor, it's now got a $450 discount when you add it to cart. After talking to customer service they cannot match my existing order price to the discount since it's a Black Friday deal.
Instead they are giving me a return shipping label and a full refund and I can just order another one with the new discounted price. Kinda dumb if you ask me but whatever, I'm saving almost $500.
Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter for a 10% coupon. It should come out to $1304 before tax.
 

exlink

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Saw this deal a few hours ago and was anxiously waiting for Dell’s 10% newsletter coupon to finally come in. I was afraid the monitor would go out of stock before it came in.

I paid $1399 after discount, 10% coupon, sales tax and shipping. But I’m also getting an additional 9% cash back ($126) on my Amazon VISA (5% Dell targeted + 4% targeted cash back on all purchases). Lastly also got $38 in Dell Rewards. So if you subtract the extra cash I got back from the total I essentially “paid” $1235.

This was one hell of a deal for me. I was going to get the LG 38GN950-B from Costco tomorrow but this is a much better deal for an even better monitor!
 
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Sycraft

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For anyone who paid full price recently for this monitor, it's now got a $450 discount when you add it to cart. After talking to customer service they cannot match my existing order price to the discount since it's a Black Friday deal.
Instead they are giving me a return shipping label and a full refund and I can just order another one with the new discounted price. Kinda dumb if you ask me but whatever, I'm saving almost $500.
Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter for a 10% coupon. It should come out to $1304 before tax.
Well that kinda sucks. I'll have to harass them and see if I can get them to relent and just give me some money back rather than wasting time shipping.
 

joshbarro

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Anyone know if this is suitable for freesync (i.e. freesync compatible, even premium?) if i end up buying a AMD 6800 xt card instead of RTX (when they eventually become available). thank you for the help in advance.
 

exlink

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Anyone know if this is suitable for freesync (i.e. freesync compatible, even premium?) if i end up buying a AMD 6800 xt card instead of RTX (when they eventually become available). thank you for the help in advance.
Don’t quote me on this but I believe the new G-Sync modules have support for both versions of adaptive sync. The LG 38GL950-B (has the G-Sync Module) apparently supports FreeSync according to Hardware Unboxed (starts at 6:13):


I’d be surprised if this monitor was any different. But I can’t say yes or no for sure.
 

joshbarro

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thanks for replying so quic
Don’t quote me on this but I believe the new G-Sync modules have support for both versions of adaptive sync. The LG 38GL950-B (has the G-Sync Module) apparently supports FreeSync according to Hardware Unboxed (starts at 6:13):


I’d be surprised if this monitor was any different. But I can’t say yes or no for sure.
thanks for replying so quickly.

anyone any guidance on buying this dell vs alternatives like samsungs 35 inch Va panel with HDR1000 and 500 or so FALD zones? (gaming usage)
 

Spartacus09

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Personally the only reason I buy Dell is for the warranty and qa of their panels seem to be top notch otherwise LG has basically the same thing for cheaper.
 

exlink

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thanks for replying so quic

thanks for replying so quickly.

anyone any guidance on buying this dell vs alternatives like samsungs 35 inch Va panel with HDR1000 and 500 or so FALD zones? (gaming usage)
I’m not very familiar with Samsung’s FALD panel (assuming its the one used in the 35” ASUS and ACER FALD variants). FALD is probably the way to go if you want to prioritize HDR gaming as edge lit panels won’t hold a candle to them.

Only downsides I’m aware of for those monitors is the fan is very noticeable especially in the X35 and that the FALD does create a halo effect around the mouse cursor since the 500 local dimming zones are not small enough still. But I haven’t researched the monitors much to know if there are any more issues.
 

thelead

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I really wanted to wait for the 32 inch FALD mini led panel from Asus but also not wanting to spend the estimated $3,500 price tag.

Anyone know off hand what the best refresh rate I can run this at off of the hdmi port (for a secondary computer)?
 

Sycraft

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thanks for replying so quic

thanks for replying so quickly.

anyone any guidance on buying this dell vs alternatives like samsungs 35 inch Va panel with HDR1000 and 500 or so FALD zones? (gaming usage)

So the reasons I went with this one, instead of one of those VA FALD monitors, which I was seriously considering, are as follows:

1) They seem to be hard to get/have manufacturing problems. I've observed this with high end AUO panel monitors before, they are trying to do something that the technology really isn't there for, and so they have issues and they are perpetually hard to get your hands on. When I look around often you can only find them from scalpers for way over MSRP and vendors have a "backordered, we don't know when we'll get more" statement which is never good. They should always have an idea when the supplier will send more, when they don't, that indicates problems.

2) ASUS and Acer, the only people I know that make them, are not great at quality control and support. In particular my experience with ASUS support is that it isn't there. If their products don't work, you are SOL. For an expensive monitor, I want some good support which Dell has.

3) Fan issues. People report persistent noisy fan issues with these two, which would drive me crazy. The Alienware's fan is so quiet, people didn't even think it had one (and thus questioned the presence of Gsync).

4) Smearing issues. VAs have long had this problem and new ones are better, but these ones are not great at it from what tests show.

5) Uniformity and "dirty screen effect" issues which these allegedly have more than a normal amount of.

While none of these, other than the fan, are necessarily a dealbreaker taken together I just decided I didn't want the trouble. Yes, it would be better for HDR gaming but at this point there's like 40ish titles that support it at this point, most of which I don't own and plenty of which don't really do a good job in HDR (RDR2 supposedly looks worse in HDR than SDR). So I'd much rather have a monitor that is good overall, than one where I like it for HDR, but don't like it for anything else.
 
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