Dell S2417DG monitor review: This bargain G-Sync display is a genuine steal
G-Sync monitors aren't cheap, but this 24-incher from Dell is one of the better values out there.
It's a sad truth that if you're interested in an adaptive sync monitor and you use an NVIDIA GPU, you're going to be spending more than if you were an AMD customer. But, while there will always be a premium over a comparable FreeSync monitor, the landscape isn't as bleak for folks on a tighter budget as it used to be.
Monitors from the likes of AOC and Dell are both feature-packed and somewhat affordable, and that's where the S2417DG comes in.
It's a 24-inch G-Sync monitor that costs only $430. And it's very good.
About this review
This review was conducted using a monitor purchased by Windows Central, connected via DisplayPort to an Alienware Aurora R5 PC with a GTX 1080 Ti GPU for G-Sync.
Dell S2417DG tech specs
|Viewing angle||170 degrees|
|Response time||One milliseconds|
|Refresh rate||144Hz (with 165Hz factory overclock)|
|Resolution||2560 x 1440 (123 ppi)|
|Speakers||Audio-line out only|
|Sync technology||Nvidia G-Sync|
four USB 3.0
|VESA||100 mm x 100 mm|
|Dimensions||21.3 in x 7.1 in x 14.3 in (with stand)|
Dell S2417DG design and construction
You know how gaming monitors are usually aggressively styled, maybe painted red or given some LED lighting to show off its gamer credentials? This isn't one of those monitors.
If the aggressive, sometimes-childish design of gaming hardware gets you down, allow Dell to come to the rescue with a PC monitor that looks like all its other, regular PC monitors. If you looked at the S2417DG next to one of Dell's Ultrasharp monitors you wouldn't be able to point out the one for gamers.
What you get is a sleek, sophisticated design that marries super-slim bezels with a professional looking rear and the weight of a small child. Dell monitors are usually pretty solid pieces of equipment and there's no deviation here. The stand is plastic but has a fairly large cutout to route your cables through and keep them in some form of order.
It has no built-in speakers, which isn't the end of the world, but it does have at least an audio output so that you can hook it up to some much better speakers than you'd ever get built in. The rear of the monitor is instead an almost unbroken sea of glossy black. While solid, the lack of metallic build and the glossy back is perhaps an indicator of where some of the savings have been made to get this monitor down to the price it is.
Dell S2417DG display and performance
Like a lot of super-fast gaming monitors, the S2417DG packs a TN display over an IPS panel. The tradeoff is the fastest response time and a lower price while sacrificing viewing angles and color quality. Viewing angles are OK, but if you move much away from dead center you're soon losing color and clarity. That's just how it is with TN panels.
Performance-wise, you're getting a lot for your money. With that one millisecond response time you're also getting an extremely fast 165Hz refresh rate. The panel is natively 144Hz, but Dell includes a factory overclock. To get the maximum you'll need to enable it in the monitor settings menu and reboot it, and then Windows 10 will allow you to select 165Hz in the display settings.
It also has NVIDIA G-Sync, where your NVIDIA GPU will communicate with the monitor to ensure every frame produced is drawn on the display. What that means in terms of performance is fast, sharp images, and smooth, tear-free gaming. If you're playing at high frame rates, a monitor like this really shines.
More: Explaining G-Sync and FreeSync
Despite being TN and not IPS, colors on the S2417DG aren't bad. I used the Spyder 5 Pro from Datacolor to calibrate the monitor prior to using it, and it reports a 98 percent sRGB coverage.
As seems to be the norm, out of the box the calibration was pretty bad, in this case the colors were far too warm. Calibrating with a colorimeter is best, but not everyone has those, so Dell included some color presets in the settings that can make things a little warmer, or cooler, or tailor to some specific games like FPS mode. This lightens the shadows.
The onboard menu is pretty good. The buttons are beneath the bottom right-hand bezel, and there's not a lot to mess around with. What the S2417DG lacks, though, is a native blue light filter. Windows 10's Night Light feature or an app like f.lux can help, but given the amount of time you might spend locked on a gaming monitor, it's a nice feature we'd like to see built in at a hardware level.
Using the Backlight Bleed Test to check out how well the monitor fares in this regard yields pleasing results. There are very slight hints of bleed in the lower corners, but on the whole it's a first-rate performance.
Dell S2417DG review bottom line
This monitor has been on the market for a while, but even though it debuted in 2016, it's still an excellent choice. The price alone makes it worth consideration.
It isn't perfect, and out of the box, you'll notice warm colors in particular. TN panels aren't traditionally for creatives looking for color accuracy, but the S2417DG does pretty well in this regard.
- 165Hz refresh rate.
- Good colors for a TN panel.
- NVIDIA G-Sync.
- Skinny bezels, great for multi-monitor setups.
- Amazing price for a QHD G-Sync monitor
- Really heavy for a 24-inch monitor.
- No blue light filter.
- Dodgy calibration out of the box.
What you're paying for is blistering gaming performance, and in that regard it delivers in spades. When you consider the experience, this monitor is an absolute bargain. Personally, I'd pay a little more for an IPS panel, especially since it's crying out for a multi-monitor setup. But that doesn't take away anything from how good this monitor is.
If you want something a little bigger, you can have virtually the same monitor in 27-inches as well.
More: Best G-Sync monitors
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine