Dell Alienware AW3423DW 34″ QD-OLED 175Hz (3440 x 1440)

l88bastard

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What equipment is needed to calibrate the AW for max PQ and accurate colors? Assuming time isn’t an issue.

The Samsung variant, it’s probably the same thing with a different badge.
The ARK is needed!

78xi.gif
 

christpunchers

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Ok I saw the classy review. Yeah it looks like at least through the menus and modes, you can’t totally calibrate it to perfection. Waiting for LG or maybe even Sony to release a full version, with backend that allows you to tweak any setting you want
 

Sycraft

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Basically my response as well...doomsayers are alive and kicking around this monitor, moreso than almost any monitor I've seen in ages lol.
Happens with any new monitor. No monitor technology is perfect so there are always drawbacks and for some reason, some people seem to just hyper-focus on the downsides. I've never got it myself.
 

christpunchers

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They are actually good, but the issue is certain picture modes are required for sdr to be able to use sRGB colorspace unless you have external software to clamp the gamut down.
I wish there was a clear guide on what software and hardware are needed to calibrate a unit like the AW and run it optimally. I guess eventually someone will create a guide like that. I don’t mind calibrating. I’ve had 5 FW900’s and spent hundreds of hours over the past 6-7 years calibrating them just for fun according to the hardforum guide. Don’t mind spending money to buy the equipment to get it done (what’s the point of gaming or watching movies and other high fidelity content if the PQ is sub optimal?). Just don’t have the know-how.
 

x3sphere

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Just got mine hooked up - super impressed! Coming from a 38" LG 38GL950G. I've also had an OLED TV since 2017, feels amazing to now have the same kind of PQ in a monitor.

The colors seem pretty good to my eyes. I can't speak to accuracy as I don't have a colorimeter but it's in the same ballpark as the 38GL950G. I went with the Creator preset and changed Gamma to 2.4. May tweak it more but that gets me colors close to the LG panel I had before.

The text quality is a step down however it does not really bother me. Looks a little worse in Windows than macOS to me, which is interesting as I've read opposite from some others. I write code for a living too, can't say I have any problems with the text quality for my use case. YMMV though!

I do miss the extra real estate of the 38" but I knew that going in, so not really a negative. Whenever they come out with a 38" I will likely upgrade to that. For me, the PQ improvement outweighs any loss in size.

Fan is not audible to me either unless putting my ear up against the display. My 38GL950G also had a fan and that was louder, could hear it slightly in normal use.
 
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DaRkL3AD3R

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I've skimmed this entire thread because this seems to be the best place to speak to people who actually have this thing in hand to run tests with and give feedback, and most of us seem fairly knowledgeable about something as niche as monitor specs etc.

I'm here to talk to you guys about our Lord and Savior BFI, and how on a self-emissive display like OLED, it can be a complete game changer. I know what some of you are thinking: "but hey dark, this Alienware doesn't have BFI!" True. That's why I present you with this nifty little program: https://github.com/squeaksci/desktopbfi

I stumbled upon this great utility when I was trying to run my 31khz CRT at 240p and 120hz, to restore the native motion clarity of 60hz strobing. The program works flawlessly, and has only one limitation: you must be able to run your game in some form of windowed mode so that the alternating half refresh rate black frames can be drawn over your game. There's nothing else to configure, just run the program and it'll immediately engage 1/2 refresh BFI with no restrictions.

I would absolutely love to see some feedback and especially video recordings comparing this software BFI trick at various refresh rates (just don't try it at 60hz native if you don't want to get neuralized :p) to hear how much flicker there is, especially at 120hz with 60hz strobing etc. Looking forward to any results!
 

kasakka

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Regarding calibration, it only truly matters for people who actually need that color accuracy. If you don't work with graphics and video but use yours for e.g. programming, gaming etc like I do then absolute perfect color accuracy is not going to matter that much.

What I want is reasonably good color accuracy. I can't tell if a monitor is slightly off for some color, but I can tell if my whites and grays are noticeably tinted or if the overall image has a clear tint to it. A good example would be whatever mode most monitors come as standard, it's usually some sort of oversharpened, overly bright, blue, green or red tinted mess. Then the simplest thing if you don't own a calibration device is to just find a good review, plug in their recommended OSD settings but not ICC profiles or specific RGB color values as those are pertinent to the display unit the reviewer has. That usually gets you into the "good enough" territory for the average user.

Forums like this rip apart pretty much any flaw in any display and often lose the forest for the trees. No display is perfect and you choose what compromises you are willing to work with. That doesn't mean e.g the Dell doesn't have some clear issues but they are not likely to be dealbreakers for most users who will be just happy to get OLED image quality on their desktop system. While it's important we do discuss these flaws, we have to also consider what are the level of issues that make a display a bad purchase and what is nitpicking over the details of a good display.
 

l88bastard

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Happens with any new monitor. No monitor technology is perfect so there are always drawbacks and for some reason, some people seem to just hyper-focus on the downsides. I've never got it myself.
Yea...but it's a $1400 monitor that can be had for much less depending on sales, discounts and circumstances.

Even at full price it delivers a picture quality and gaming experience even $3,000 monitors could not deliver.

I could understand the butthurt over pg32uqx as price was very high, quality control was questionable, inventory low and drawbacks of FALD and low motion clarity.

But this AW34 would still be amazing for $2500....but it's affordable and attainable, which I think is very exciting. The more this monitor sells, the more other manufacturers get the memo we want MOAR versions like 4k240 oled-qd and 38" UW
 

Ray2097

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Why can't every monitor that is this expensive have some noob friendly mode like apple displays have? Everything is set up perfectly by default and you can only adjust brightness( backlight). We are talking about professional calibrators and expensive equipment and all that is a solution for the problem that shouldn't exist.

Every single display produced should at least be calibrated to an acceptable, good enough level. What they are giving to people is pure garbage of an experience, and solution wouldn't be expensive for them at all.
 

christpunchers

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Regarding calibration, it only truly matters for people who actually need that color accuracy. If you don't work with graphics and video but use yours for e.g. programming, gaming etc like I do then absolute perfect color accuracy is not going to matter that much.

What I want is reasonably good color accuracy. I can't tell if a monitor is slightly off for some color, but I can tell if my whites and grays are noticeably tinted or if the overall image has a clear tint to it. A good example would be whatever mode most monitors come as standard, it's usually some sort of oversharpened, overly bright, blue, green or red tinted mess. Then the simplest thing if you don't own a calibration device is to just find a good review, plug in their recommended OSD settings but not ICC profiles or specific RGB color values as those are pertinent to the display unit the reviewer has. That usually gets you into the "good enough" territory for the average user.

Forums like this rip apart pretty much any flaw in any display and often lose the forest for the trees. No display is perfect and you choose what compromises you are willing to work with. That doesn't mean e.g the Dell doesn't have some clear issues but they are not likely to be dealbreakers for most users who will be just happy to get OLED image quality on their desktop system. While it's important we do discuss these flaws, we have to also consider what are the level of issues that make a display a bad purchase and what is nitpicking over the details of a good display.
But I want to be color accurate. Money isn’t an issue for myself. I just want the best PQ possible. Just hoping the AW over time will be easier to calibrate instead of being compromising. I guess I don’t want to compromise.
 

vegeta535

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Why can't every monitor that is this expensive have some noob friendly mode like apple displays have? Everything is set up perfectly by default and you can only adjust brightness( backlight). We are talking about professional calibrators and expensive equipment and all that is a solution for the problem that shouldn't exist.

Every single display produced should at least be calibrated to an acceptable, good enough level. What they are giving to people is pure garbage of an experience, and solution wouldn't be expensive for them at all.
Cause these are not expensive compared to apple displays. People got this monitor for less then the freaking stand...
 

Soulshot96

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Why can't every monitor that is this expensive have some noob friendly mode like apple displays have? Everything is set up perfectly by default and you can only adjust brightness( backlight). We are talking about professional calibrators and expensive equipment and all that is a solution for the problem that shouldn't exist.

Every single display produced should at least be calibrated to an acceptable, good enough level. What they are giving to people is pure garbage of an experience, and solution wouldn't be expensive for them at all.
This is calibrated to a level that is more than acceptable to 99% of consumers. Chill.
 

Ghoststalker

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LMAO, is that from Chat support? We know how that can be sometimes =P

If it really is that, ooof


Dang was hoping to see input lag numbers just to know.
This was their dell cares social media account on Twitter, so I suspect more accurate info
 

SirMaster

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They are locked out if using HDR modes.

There is no white point adjustment in any HDR mode?

When calibrated using cleartype, text quality is on par with my IPS panels. Also, you can control custom RGB values in custom mode but I'm choosing to keep the Nv CP adjustment above and the display on standard mode because I don't want HDR preset calibration impacted. It dynamically switches to DCI-P3 using HDR on in windows and adjusting the primaries via OSD is likely going to mess with HDR output. Still more testing to be done. If using custom color, lowering green to 95% seems to match (visually) sRGB 6500k whitepoint on my IPS screens.

How does ClearType help when it doesn't work in basically any apps?

The only place I see ClearType change my test is on my desktop icon text and notepad.exe

Windows taskbar, Windows settings app, Chrome, Firefox, MS Office, Adobe software, Visual Studio, etc all do not change the text when toggling ClearType.

Are you saying that you see a change in the text in these apps or similar when toggling ClearType on and off?

The near black on the AW is significantly raised and the 1dlut could not correct it.
LG C1 is very easy to correct near black.

Why can't a 1DLUT correct it? I see no reason why one could not be crafted to correct it any way you like. Possibly by hand if the meter is not good enough to read that near black levels correctly.

Are you talking about a 3x1DLUT, one for each color as that's what I typically use.

A 3x1DLUT can be loaded into the VCGT which will then apply to all software including FSE games.

There is still the ability for an ICC profile, just was very buggy in Calman. DisplayCal doesn't list support for my i1 spectro and wouldn't have a profile for qd OLED yet.
When that changes it will make it easier.

DisplayCAL supports all x-rite i1 spectros and colorimeters (via the ArgyllCMS open-source driver)

i1 Pro, i1 Pro 2, i1 Display Pro, etc


Do you know if the HDR mode has white balance controls in the OSD?
 

undertaker2k8

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This is calibrated to a level that is more than acceptable to 99% of consumers. Chill.
I completely agree, I have intentionally not done any calibration with i1Pro on this, just eye balled it to my NEC for SDR. While I appreciate reading some of the posts here on detailed calibration, it should not be a concern for most users. I'd also wait till prad or tftcentral do a thorough review since that would be a good starting point on how to properly calibrate these if needed to pro standards.
 

SirMaster

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I mean I fully intend to accurately calibrate mine. I do for all my displays and I guess over the years that has made me sensitive to any miss-calibration.

But I don't need any instructional info as I know what I am doing in this regard. I generally know how to make a display look the way I want and expect through calibration controls and other software that can be used to alter the video signal in a windows pc.
 

undertaker2k8

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I mean I fully intend to accurately calibrate mine. I do for all my displays and I guess over the years that has made me sensitive to any miss-calibration.

But I don't need any instructional info as I know what I am doing in this regard. I generally know how to make a display look the way I want and expect through calibration controls and other software that can be used to alter the video signal in a windows pc.
Correct white point setting on OLEDs and wide gamut displays in general is quite challenging. If fact Windows HD mode does a remarkable job of gamut mapping for SDR content imho.
 

SirMaster

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Correct white point setting on OLEDs and wide gamut displays in general is quite challenging. If fact Windows HD mode does a remarkable job of gamut mapping for SDR content imho.

Well, I do suspect that I will have to set white point by eye to perceptually match, but that is OK. I can still calibrate around that custom white point and calibrate the gamma in a way that I like as well, especially to dial in near black, and grayscale. And to tweak gamut tracking if need be, but that is the least important as long as it's not crazy off on saturations or something.

https://www.lightillusion.com/perceptual_match_guide.html
 
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Soulshot96

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There is no white point adjustment in any HDR mode?



How does ClearType help when it doesn't work in basically any apps?

The only place I see ClearType change my test is on my desktop icon text and notepad.exe

Windows taskbar, Windows settings app, Chrome, Firefox, MS Office, Adobe software, Visual Studio, etc all do not change the text when toggling ClearType.

Are you saying that you see a change in the text in these apps or similar when toggling ClearType on and off?



Why can't a 1DLUT correct it? I see no reason why one could not be crafted to correct it any way you like. Possibly by hand if the meter is not good enough to read that near black levels correctly.

Are you talking about a 3x1DLUT, one for each color as that's what I typically use.

A 3x1DLUT can be loaded into the VCGT which will then apply to all software including FSE games.



DisplayCAL supports all x-rite i1 spectros and colorimeters (via the ArgyllCMS open-source driver)

i1 Pro, i1 Pro 2, i1 Display Pro, etc


Do you know if the HDR mode has white balance controls in the OSD?
HDR in custom color mode has white balance controls. I am using them to get rid of a very slight green tint. Mode seems to be the same as standard in every other way.
 

Soulshot96

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Correct white point setting on OLEDs and wide gamut displays in general is quite challenging. If fact Windows HD mode does a remarkable job of gamut mapping for SDR content imho.
Agreed on windows HDR. I've checked out a few test sites and it appears to properly map sRGB and P3 very well, and the SDR brightness slider is very useful as well. Can keep SDR brightness in a comfortable zone, especially ABL wise, but have HDR content use the full HDR 1000 mode when needed, without touching the OSD.

Also upgraded to Windows 11 finally...seems to handle it even better, and my HDR games no longer take ages to alt tab in and out of. Was a nice upgrade.
 

Soulshot96

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Guys I need to know, are the colors really that much more vibrant then the LG c line?
In bright, colorful HDR content, yes. Otherwise not much of a difference. That's where the main color benefits lie with these. You don't get that white sub pixel dilution or generally dim colors.

LG's still look great, this just looks better.
 

Colonel Sanders

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Also upgraded to Windows 11 finally...seems to handle it even better, and my HDR games no longer take ages to alt tab in and out of. Was a nice upgrade.
yep, the alt tabbing improvement alone made the upgrade worth it. but it's just better in handling HDR in general, too.
 

pj-

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Man, it feels like Apple goes out of their way to make using non apple peripherals a hassle.

The os doesn't seem to pick up the monitor as hdr. You also have to trick the OS with dummy hidpi displays to make text rendering somewhat OK, but that seems to limit the monitor to 60hz.

I was getting some intermittent elevated black levels on the desktop for no apparent reason as well.

Way different than windows where it just worked properly right away
 

Cecil

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There is no white point adjustment in any HDR mode?



How does ClearType help when it doesn't work in basically any apps?

The only place I see ClearType change my test is on my desktop icon text and notepad.exe

Windows taskbar, Windows settings app, Chrome, Firefox, MS Office, Adobe software, Visual Studio, etc all do not change the text when toggling ClearType.

Are you saying that you see a change in the text in these apps or similar when toggling ClearType on and off?



Why can't a 1DLUT correct it? I see no reason why one could not be crafted to correct it any way you like. Possibly by hand if the meter is not good enough to read that near black levels correctly.

Are you talking about a 3x1DLUT, one for each color as that's what I typically use.

A 3x1DLUT can be loaded into the VCGT which will then apply to all software including FSE games.



DisplayCAL supports all x-rite i1 spectros and colorimeters (via the ArgyllCMS open-source driver)

i1 Pro, i1 Pro 2, i1 Display Pro, etc


Do you know if the HDR mode has white balance controls in the OSD?
I have the i1pro3 which isn't supported by DisplayCal unless there is a driver work around.

I use Calman Ultimate and was surprised that the monitor had DDC connection. Though I wonder if it really was full support.
The 1dlut autocal (14pt or 17pt I believe) was done which did well to correct rgb balance and grayscale, but could not correct the luminance from just out of black through 25 ire.
 

x3sphere

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Man, it feels like Apple goes out of their way to make using non apple peripherals a hassle.

The os doesn't seem to pick up the monitor as hdr. You also have to trick the OS with dummy hidpi displays to make text rendering somewhat OK, but that seems to limit the monitor to 60hz.

I was getting some intermittent elevated black levels on the desktop for no apparent reason as well.

Way different than windows where it just worked properly right away
Hmm, it did detect the monitor as HDR for me. I haven't tried it, but showed up in the Display settings anyway.

Screen Shot 2022-03-15 at 10.06.48 PM.png
 

SirMaster

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I have the i1pro3 which isn't supported by DisplayCal unless there is a driver work around.

I use Calman Ultimate and was surprised that the monitor had DDC connection. Though I wonder if it really was full support.
The 1dlut autocal (14pt or 17pt I believe) was done which did well to correct rgb balance and grayscale, but could not correct the luminance from just out of black through 25 ire.

Ah.

Well, first and please don't take this the wrong way and maybe I am saying things you already know.

But I assume you are not using the i1 Pro 3 directly to do the calibration. That's a spectrophotometer and is terrible at low light reading accuracy. It is not suitable at all for a gamma calibration, especially on a display with actual low black levels like an OLED. You should be using a colorimeter which is much, much more sensitive to low light to perform the calibration, and using the i1 Pro 3 only as a reference meter. So you should be creating a colorimeter correction matrix with the i1 Pro 3 to the colorimeter, and then using the colorimeter for the calibration.

You can use the i1 Pro 3 directly for bright readings though like setting the white balance and such, but you can't use it for measuring a patchset for a 3DLUT or 1DLUT as it just wont be accurate for the dark patches at all.

If you did indeed use it directly for your 1DLUT then that is the explanation for why it did not correctly handle the near black area at all.


Also, the i1 Pro 3 is supported by the open source ArgyllCMS driver, but DisplayCAL has not been updated since that driver update, so it won't automatically download that newer version of the driver.

You can manually download the new ArgyllCMS and point DisplayCAL at it and it may then allow DisplayCAL to work with the i1 Pro 3, but there may possibly be other issues.


But, all you really need to and should be doing is using the i1 Pro 3 to create a correction matrix for a colorimeter such as an i1 Display Pro (now called Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro).


If updating the ArgyllCMS manually in DisplayCAL works, then you can create the correction matrix (CCMX) via DislpayCAL and use it with a colorimeter to create a nice accurate LUT. If the i1 Pro 3 still doesn't work with with DisplayCAL after the ArgyIICMS update, then you will have to use ArgyllCMS command line tools manually (ccxxmake) to create your ccmx correction matrix that way, and then you can install it into the proper folder so it can then be selected in DislpayCAL when you use the colorimeter, so the colorimeter will be reading the display as the i1 Pro 3 sees it to do the LUT.

With these open source tools you can do like a 256 point 1DLUT (I don't think a 14 or 17 point is going to be good enough) and you could even manually edit the values to achieve the results you want if the measurements near black are not proving fruitful even with the above method with a colorimeter.
 

GameLifter

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Does anyone know the best way to calibrate the screen just with the OSD without any special tools? Or will I just need to wait for an ICC profile to become available?
 

Lepardi

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I'm not down for an ultrawide either. I'm excited about the upcoming ASUS PG42UQ which I think may be perfect for me as long as ASUS doesn't price me out of it.
42" is too large though, no room for speakers on my corner desk.

LG also released those 42" C2 OLEDs, if you can take that size.
 
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