The Dell 24 Gaming Monitor S2417DG ($569.99) offers many of the features that gamers crave, including a fast, adjustable refresh rate, Nvidia G-Sync technology, and gamer-friendly presets. It doesn’t come cheap, and it only has two video inputs, but its WQHD (2,560-by-1,440) resolution is rare for a 24-inch gaming display and produces a sharp, highly detailed picture. It also provides excellent artifact-free gaming performance. All this makes it our top pick for midsize gaming monitors.
Design and Features
There’s nothing about the S2417DG that would suggest that it is a gaming monitor. In fact, it looks nearly identical to the Dell UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge Monitor U2417H. Both have a bezel-free design and are supported by a gray-and-black stand that provides tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments. Only the cabinet color differentiates the two: The Dell U2417H has a gray cabinet, while the S2417DG’s cabinet is glossy black.
The S2417DG uses a 23.8-inch Twisted Nematic (TN) panel with a 350 cd/m2 peak brightness, a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 1-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and a 2,560-by-1,440 resolution, a rarity among 24-inch monitors (most top out at 1,920 by 1,080). It contains Nvidia G-Sync circuitry to help combat screen tearing and deliver ultra-smooth gameplay, and it has a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz.
You only get two video ports with this monitor: a DisplayPort input and an HDMI input. They are joined around back by an upstream USB 3.0 port, two downstream USB 3.0 ports, and an audio line-out jack. On the left side of the cabinet are two additional USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack. The bottom edge of the cabinet holds three function buttons for navigating the settings menus, and a power button.
In addition to Brightness and Contrast settings, there are seven picture presets, including Standard, FPS Game (optimized for first-person-shooter games), RTS Game (for real-time-strategy games), RPG Game (optimized for role-playing games), Warm (increases color temperature), Cool (decreases color temperature), and Custom Color (allows you to manually adjust red, green, and blue intensity levels). There’s also an Overclock setting that allows you to bump the panel’s 144Hz refresh rate to 150Hz, 155Hz, 160HZ, or 165HZ (this only works when using the DisplayPort input). There’s an Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) setting that you can enable to help reduce motion blur, but G-Sync must be disabled. Missing are the advanced 6-Color Hue and Saturation settings that you get with the LG 24GM77.
Dell covers the S2417DG with a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. Included in the box are DisplayPort and USB (upstream) cables, and a resource CD containing a user manual and drivers.
When it comes to gaming performance, the S2417DG knocks it out of the park, thanks to its speedy screen refresh and pixel response rates. Motion handling was outstanding in our Crysis 3 (PC) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Sony PlayStation 4) tests, with no obvious motion blur or ghosting and only a trace of screen tearing. Gameplay was fluid, but appeared even smoother when I enabled G-Sync. It also completely eliminated the screen-tearing artifacts.
The monitor’s input lag (the time it takes to react to a controller command) of 13.3 milliseconds, as measured with a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Lag Tester, is relatively short and means you won’t have to worry about controller latency. Our current leader, the BenQ SW2700PT, measured 9.5 milliseconds.
The S2417DG’s WQHD panel delivered a very sharp picture and did a good job of displaying light and dark shades of gray in the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test. Highlight and shadow detail were superb in my test images, and viewing-angle performance was generally good, although the picture became a bit washed out when viewed from a top angle. This is not uncommon with TN panels, and the flaw was minor, compared with what we saw with the AOC G2460PF, which suffered from color shifting when viewed from top, bottom, and side angles.
Out-of-the-box color accuracy was good, though not great. As shown on the chromaticity chart below, red and blue colors, which are represented by the colored dots, are closely aligned with their ideal CIE coordinates, represented by the boxes. Green is outside of its zone, which, again, is common with TN panels. The good news is that there was no tinting in my test images, and colors appeared evenly saturated in my gaming tests and while displaying Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War on Blu-ray.
The S2417DG consumed 24 watts of power during testing while set to the Standard preset (it does not offer an ECO power-saving mode). That’s a bit more energy efficient than the AOC G2460PF (30 watts) and the AOC G2460PG (32 watts), both of which do not offer ECO modes. That said, the Acer R240HY used just 19 watts while set to Standard mode and 12 watts while set to ECO mode.
Don’t let the Dell 24 Gaming Monitor S2417DG fool you; despite its business-like appearance, it is equipped with a high-resolution 24-inch panel that can be clocked up to 165Hz to deliver outstanding fast-action gameplay, and it uses Nvidia’s G-Sync technology to eliminate screen tearing. You can choose one of three picture presets that are optimized for specific types of games, and the ergonomic stand lets you position the screen for maximum comfort. A few more video inputs would be nice, and greens can be more accurate, but the S2417DG’s WQHD resolution and gaming performance more than make up for its shortcomings, and it is our Editors’ Choice for midsize gaming monitors.