Is that this the place all of it begins? Is the brand new Alienware 34 AW3423DW QD-OLED the gaming monitor that sparks an OLED revolution on the PC? The one we’ve been ready years for? Please, please, let it’s so.
As you’ll see, this monitor isn’t good. However it’s dramatically higher than any LCD-based monitor by a number of gaming-critical metrics. And it’s a real thrill to make use of. In fact, that’s getting forward of ourselves. First, we have to cowl off the fundamentals.
By many measures, this isn’t actually a radical show. The 34-inch 21:9 proportions, the mild 1800R curve and the three,440 by 1,440 native decision are all comparatively routine within the present gaming monitor market. Ditto the 175Hz refresh price. It’s no slouch, this new OLED panel, however there are LCD screens with a lot larger refresh charges obtainable for a lot much less money.
Ah sure, the sordid matter of cash. The AW3423DW weighs in at $1,299 within the US (UK pricing hasn’t landed but). Relying on the way you slice it, that’s both a tonne of money for a gaming monitor or surprisingly affordable for one thing on the vanguard of latest know-how. In any case, that is the primary true PC gaming panel primarily based on OLED know-how.
And never simply any previous OLED package. Many OLED TVs, together with the LG units which have turn out to be so common amongst players, use WRGB subpixel substructure to spice up brightness at the price of diluting color saturation. WRGB will also be problematic for PC purposes that assume an RGB subpixel construction for tremendous management of rendering, together with for fonts. That drawback isn’t actually related for gaming. However the backside line is that WRGB OLED panels include downsides.
That’s why this new Alienware is doubly thrilling. Not solely is it OLED, it’s additionally Samsung’s sizzling new QD-LED tech, which mixes the best RGB subpixel construction with quantum dot know-how to provide each wonderful color saturation and an excellent brighter panel. Web outcome? Alienware is claiming each a formidable 99.3 p.c protection of the demanding DCI-P3 color area and totally 1,000 nits brightness, albeit that brightness degree can solely be achieved on a small portion of the panel, not throughout the complete display.
Alienware 34 AW3423DW specs
Display screen measurement: 34-inch
Decision: 3,440 x 1,440
Brightness: 1,000 nits peak HDR
Response time: 0.1ms
Refresh price: 175Hz
Viewing angle: 178° H&V
Distinction ratio: 1,000,000:1
Options: QD OLED panel, 99.3% DCI-P3, Nvidia G-Sync Final, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, USB hub, AlienFX lighting
Worth: $1,299 | £TBA
Frequent to all OLED tech are two important benefits over any LCD panel, particularly distinction and response. Put merely, each pixel in an OLED panel is its personal gentle supply, which could be turned fully off, primarily delivering ‘true’ black ranges and kind of infinite distinction. There’s no want for any of that difficult, problematic native dimming to cease the sunshine from leaking by an LCD panel. OLED is the true HDR deal.
OLED can be far quicker than LCD. By how a lot relies on the way you measure issues. The quickest present IPS displays are quoted at round 1ms for grey-to-grey response. However that solely measures a part of the transition between colors. The complete change takes for much longer. By comparability, Alienware is quoting this OLED panel at 0.1ms. And that’s probably for the total transition. It’s no less than an order of magnitude quicker.
Anyway, if that’s a fast refresher as to why this factor guarantees to be so good, what’s it truly like? First impressions are literally disappointing. Fired up in SDR mode, the Alienware 34 AW3423DW QD-OLED seems to be a bit of uninteresting and dingy. What occurred to that 1,000 nits declare? Then there’s the mediocre pixel density that comes as a consequence of the mixture of 34-inch diagonal and three,440 by 1,440 native decision. Oh the horror, is that this factor a dud?
Don’t panic. Not like LCD displays with claimed HDR functionality, this OLED display must be in HDR mode to do its factor. And that applies to SDR content material, too. Alienware has supplied two HDR modes, HDR 400 True Black and HDR Peak 1000. The latter allows that most 1,000 nit efficiency in small areas of the panel however truly seems to be much less vibrant and punchy more often than not.
As a substitute, it’s the HDR 400 True Black mode that typically offers one of the best outcomes. That features SDR content material. For SDR content material to look its greatest, it’s important to bounce into the Home windows Show Settings menu and crank the SDR brightness up, after which it’s far more zingy throughout. That’s truly useful as a result of it implies that after you have the AW3423DW arrange correctly, you’re all carried out. There’s no want to modify modes for SDR and HDR content material.
However let’s get again to gaming. Boy, it is a particular show. In response phrases, it’s unimaginable. Regardless of how violently you tear your mouse throughout the mat, every part on-screen stays so crisp and clear and sharp. That unimaginable in-game response is backed up by take a look at animations like TestUFO. We’ve by no means seen the little alien spacecraft look so blur-free.
Comparability of the blur-free UFO on the Alienware AW3423DW versus a typical IPS panel.
As for the colors and distinction, this panel is absolutely the bomb. There’s a lot depth, saturation and readability to the in-game picture because of that per-pixel lighting. Abruptly, each LCD monitor ever looks as if you’re trying by a filter, like they’re all only a tiny bit watery and translucent.
Need examples? With many supposedly HDR-capable panels, Cyberpunk 2077 truly seems to be greatest in SDR mode. Not with this Alienware. In HDR mode, shafts of daylight positively pop in out of doors scenes, whereas the deep, inky blacks distinction dramatically with neon gentle sources indoors. It truly is one thing particular.
Heck, even usually underwhelming titles—in visible phrases—like Name of Responsibility: Warzone look nice because of the quantum dot-enhanced saturation and speedy response. The slight softening of the picture that it’s important to put up with just about any LCD panel when flying round maps in on-line shooters and different fast-paced video games merely isn’t there.
If all this sounds a bit of hyperbolic, it doesn’t truly imply that each one LCD displays are actually terrible. In truth, with regards to refresh charges and subsequently latency, LCD displays with 360Hz-plus refresh are clearly faster. Latency is historically a weak level for OLED, and whereas we didn’t sense any subjective challenge with this 175Hz monitor, there’s little doubt that in case your gaming enjoyable and success hinges on having the bottom doable latency, there are quicker screens obtainable.
Latency isn’t the one OLED-related challenge, in fact. Burn-in is the nice concern and that leads to a couple quirks. For starters, you’ll often discover the complete picture shifting by a pixel or two. The panel is definitely overprovisioned with pixels by about 20 in each axes, offering loads of leeway. It’s a bit of just like the overprovisioning of reminiscence cells in an SSD and it permits Alienware to stop static components from “burning” into the show over time.
The opposite anti-burn-in measure is an ABL (Computerized Brightness Limiter) system. Look rigorously, and also you’ll see the general panel brightness various a bit of in response to what’s on the display. A big brilliant object, as an illustration, will trigger the panel to dim barely as a way to management total energy consumption and shield the panel. It’s not terribly intrusive, however it’s one thing to concentrate on. Alienware reassuringly offers three-year cowl for the chance of OLED burn-in.
If time will inform if that ever proves a major drawback, what we are able to say for certain, at this value level, is that there are higher general-purpose panels with superior pixel density, larger decision, and extra desktop display real-estate. The dearth of USB-C connectivity can be a limitation for broader usability. If you need a extremely massive show, a 120Hz OLED TV for comparable cash is likewise clearly higher worth.
What’s extra, it’s value noting you may solely obtain the total 175Hz with the one DisplayPort enter. The 2 HDMI sockets are restricted to 100Hz. It’s simply one of many the explanation why this factor ain’t an amazing selection for pairing with the newest video games consoles. It’s actually solely optimised to be used with a PC. However for many forms of gaming on that very platform, that is nearly as good because it presently will get. Put merely, the Alienware 34 AW3423DW units new requirements for distinction, HDR efficiency and response.