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

Sycraft

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Reading Google reviews on this monitor are either LOVE it best gaming monitor ever, or people saying it has issues with flickering and poor HDR black performance and saying it's more of a beta test display.

What does the [H] say?
Seems like about the same here.

Part of it is just different people are going to notice different things. Some people are more sensitive to something than others or notice it more. Like flicker, some people had an issue with the flickering DLP TVs did, others didn't notice it at all. So given that, you are going to find some people that might be bothered by things like the small OLED flicker than others.

Another part is that the flicker in particular is framerate dependent. Every time it does a new frame, it dips brightness just a touch. How noticeable that is will then depend on what your FPS is. If you are running at 175fps, probably not going to see it. If your game is dragging at 40fps, more likely you will assuming you are using gsync. So people with lower end video cards may be more inclined to have an issue with it, since they get less FPS and thus may be more likely to notice it.

Finally, some people are just like to hate when it comes to displays. They either demand a completely perfect monitor, which none are, and then rage on whatever minor imperfections a given display has, or they have their preferred display and hate on all others as a way to justify to themselves that they made the right choice.
 

Zahua

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Reading Google reviews on this monitor are either LOVE it best gaming monitor ever, or people saying it has issues with flickering and poor HDR black performance and saying it's more of a beta test display.

What does the [H] say?

I agree with a lot of the top reviewers.

It's amazing for gaming, easily one of the best. But if you're also going to do a decent chunk of productivity/work on it you might have issues (as Vincent and HUB also mentioned).
 
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Zepher

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Reading Google reviews on this monitor are either LOVE it best gaming monitor ever, or people saying it has issues with flickering and poor HDR black performance and saying it's more of a beta test display.

What does the [H] say?

I love mine
 

fyrie

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Man so torn, this 3423 or the 42" C2?
Both are great so it really depends on your primary use cases and what tradeoffs / idiosyncrasies you want to deal with. I personally think the AW is the better desktop usage monitor since there is no noticeable ABL in SDR mode. It also acts like a monitor when your computer goes into sleep and standby. The QD-OLED panels have much better near black uniformity than the LG WOLEDs too.

That being said, if you want do console gaming, 4K gaming, or really want Dolby Vision for Netflix etc... then the C2 is the way to go.
 

undertaker2k8

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The recent addition of 1440p mode for the PS5 makes the 3423 much more acceptable for that use case, they should just add UW. Remastered SM runs sweet at 100+ UW HDR goodness on my 3090 rig and the PS5 controller works great too, SM MM is just limited to 16:9 unfortunately, a needless artificial limitation.
 

Sycraft

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Man so torn, this 3423 or the 42" C2?
I mean if you are worried about OLED issues like burn in or flicker, both will have that, which is the stuff most people rage about for the alienware. Personally I'd get the AW mostly because 42" is hard to deal with on a desk and at normal viewing distance is going to be too large for my tastes. However that may not apply to you.
 

SirMaster

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Reading Google reviews on this monitor are either LOVE it best gaming monitor ever, or people saying it has issues with flickering and poor HDR black performance and saying it's more of a beta test display.

What does the [H] say?

For me, by far the best monitor I have ever seen.

No issues with near black for HDR, looks better than any WRGB OLED I have seen for that.

Personally have not noticed any flickering.
 

kasakka

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Both are great so it really depends on your primary use cases and what tradeoffs / idiosyncrasies you want to deal with. I personally think the AW is the better desktop usage monitor since there is no noticeable ABL in SDR mode. It also acts like a monitor when your computer goes into sleep and standby. The QD-OLED panels have much better near black uniformity than the LG WOLEDs too.

That being said, if you want do console gaming, 4K gaming, or really want Dolby Vision for Netflix etc... then the C2 is the way to go.
To me the 42" LG is the better value. As you said, it doubles as a smart TV, it can be run as 16:9 or ultrawide. To me the AW still has too many quirks and the lack of firmware upgradebility is a huge minus as that means any software quirks can't be fixed without shipping it back to Dell. I would not even imagine doing that from my country.

IMO the Dell is almost like a prototype of the QD-OLED displays. I fully expect other manufacturers will adopt this panel and we end up with something that is better.
 

Zorachus

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He says the AW3423DW is the best #1 HDR PC gaming monitor, and says the LG C2 42" a close second. Pretty much saying both of these are the only new monitors to consider right now.
 

vegeta535

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He says the AW3423DW is the best #1 HDR PC gaming monitor, and says the LG C2 42" a close second. Pretty much saying both of these are the only new monitors to consider right now.

Such a pity Samsung drop the the ball with the G8 Neo.
 

Zorachus

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bcham

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dell are useless i canceled my order the same day as i purchased one elsewhere and received a refund from dell. around 2 weeks ago , took ages for the refund to get back to me, now i just checked my card and dell have billed me again for the same dell monitor
 

Teenyman45

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Both are great so it really depends on your primary use cases and what tradeoffs / idiosyncrasies you want to deal with. I personally think the AW is the better desktop usage monitor since there is no noticeable ABL in SDR mode. It also acts like a monitor when your computer goes into sleep and standby. The QD-OLED panels have much better near black uniformity than the LG WOLEDs too.

That being said, if you want do console gaming, 4K gaming, or really want Dolby Vision for Netflix etc... then the C2 is the way to go.

I would really appreciate the overall better text clarity if LG didn't rely on W subpixels to go with their RGB, but my case for this monitor would be improved if it had 1600p or better rather than 1440.

Reading Google reviews on this monitor are either LOVE it best gaming monitor ever, or people saying it has issues with flickering and poor HDR black performance and saying it's more of a beta test display.

What does the [H] say?

Blacks are what OLEDs naturally excel at by virtue of being able to turn individual pixels on and off without backlight, edgelight, and/or zone-lights. Pretty much all OLEDs are going to have lesser total brightness than an equivalent IPS or LED or VA or some TV style panel. HDR seems mainly driven by sheer overpowering brightness (and from my perspective a sickening oversaturation of color especially in the red spectrum) in the same way that many songs are "remastered" to MAX ALL the volume channels. Since OLED is inherently less bright... that tends to count against for HDR reviews.
 

Odellus

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Blacks are what OLEDs naturally excel at by virtue of being able to turn individual pixels on and off without backlight, edgelight, and/or zone-lights. Pretty much all OLEDs are going to have lesser total brightness than an equivalent IPS or LED or VA or some TV style panel. HDR seems mainly driven by sheer overpowering brightness (and from my perspective a sickening oversaturation of color especially in the red spectrum) in the same way that many songs are "remastered" to MAX ALL the volume channels. Since OLED is inherently less bright... that tends to count against for HDR reviews.
Quantity vs quality 😉
 

fyrie

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Awww...it seems like he was having issues using HDR 1000 in Windows Desktop work. Not sure why you would even want to do that. I only use HDR in Movies\Games and use the keyboard shortcut in Windows 11 to enable\disable it.
Yeah there is no noticeable ABL in SDR which is one of my favorite things about this monitor. There will be ABL with HDR 1000 in certain scenarios. It's going to be a game by game type deal. A lot of the times the ABL isn't going to be that noticeable, but there are definitely going to be times where it is going to be very noticeable. HDR 400 will have very limited ABL, if ever. However we can expect to pay the price with clipping if the game doesn't support something that low.
 

undertaker2k8

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Currently showing delivery dates for Sep 1, guess the shortage for this panel has eased, so may be Samsung and MSI versions will drop soon too.
 

Zahua

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Currently showing delivery dates for Sep 1, guess the shortage for this panel has eased, so may be Samsung and MSI versions will drop soon too.

Yeah it took my second order 4 days total from order placement to my house (USA). But that was at the start of August so not sure if they still have high supply.
 

Arkanian

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Yeah there is no noticeable ABL in SDR which is one of my favorite things about this monitor. There will be ABL with HDR 1000 in certain scenarios. It's going to be a game by game type deal. A lot of the times the ABL isn't going to be that noticeable, but there are definitely going to be times where it is going to be very noticeable. HDR 400 will have very limited ABL, if ever. However we can expect to pay the price with clipping if the game doesn't support something that low.
And when I do hdr I only do hdr 400. I haven’t even tried hdr1000 yet. HDR 400 looks good enough for me.
 

Sancus

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The much higher ABL threshold is one of the main reasons this monitor is better than any of the LG panels.
 

fyrie

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Yeah it took my second order 4 days total from order placement to my house (USA). But that was at the start of August so not sure if they still have high supply.
Dell is so messed up. I have an RMA cross ship order from July 14th that is still in production with a September 19th ship date. I tried calling to see if someone could get it shipped out to me since people are getting orders within a week now. They just keep repeating that they have supply chain issues and that it won't be back in stock until late September. I can't cancel and re-order because it is a $0 order created by a customer service rep. I'm just stuck waiting. I'm skeptical that it will ship on September 19th but the person I talked to said the order looks good and isn't in limbo. On the bright side, maybe they will fix the screen protector by then. I'm in the US so something is just completely messed up with their ordering system / bureaucracy.
 

SirMaster

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Yeah there is no noticeable ABL in SDR which is one of my favorite things about this monitor. There will be ABL with HDR 1000 in certain scenarios. It's going to be a game by game type deal. A lot of the times the ABL isn't going to be that noticeable, but there are definitely going to be times where it is going to be very noticeable. HDR 400 will have very limited ABL, if ever. However we can expect to pay the price with clipping if the game doesn't support something that low.

I must not be sensitive to ABL because I use HDR1000 mode for watching movies and TV shows all the time and I can't say I have ever noticed an ABL effect on mine.
 

fyrie

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I must not be sensitive to ABL because I use HDR1000 mode for watching movies and TV shows all the time and I can't say I have ever noticed an ABL effect on mine.
I'll have to go digging later for clips, but I saw some obvious scenarios in a video review for the AW. One of them was muzzle flashes in a FPS. Another was Shadow of the Tomb raider IIRC. The reviewer was demonstrating ABL by looking into a dark cave entrance and then slowly moving the view port to look at the sun in the sky. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to see it in movies etc... except for specific torture tests. All and all, this is just a tradeoff with OLEDs whether it be the AW or the C2, or even the Sony A95K. The trick for the manufacturer is to dial in the dimming it so you don't notice it, and I think they all do a good job for the most part.
 
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NemoToad

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I'll have to go digging later for clips, but I saw some obvious scenarios in a video review for the AW. One of them was muzzle flashes in a FPS. Another was Shadow of the Tomb raider IIRC. The reviewer was demonstrating ABL by looking into a dark cave entrance and then slowly moving the view port to look at the sun in the sky. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to see it in movies etc... except for specific torture tests. All and all, this is just a tradeoff with OLEDs whether it be the AW or the C2, or even the Sony A95K. The trick for the manufacturer is to dial in the dimming it so you don't notice it, and I think they all do a good job for the most part.
I mean… do you often look in a cave and slowly look at the sun? How about caring about real world examples instead of looking for faults.

I’m playing tomb raider with 1000 hdr and haven’t noticed any ABL from you know… actually playing the game :)
 

SoCali

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ABL is pretty easy to trigger on this monitor in HDR1000. Item drops in ARPG's with AutoHDR (Lost Ark). Explosions/effects when items are littered on the floor from chainsaw/etc in Doom Eternal. The hit sparks from hitting enemies when there are other highlights present in FF7 Remake. There are a few other examples that I saw when I had this monitor but can't remember at this point.
 
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I'll have to go digging later for clips, but I saw some obvious scenarios in a video review for the AW. One of them was muzzle flashes in a FPS. Another was Shadow of the Tomb raider IIRC. The reviewer was demonstrating ABL by looking into a dark cave entrance and then slowly moving the view port to look at the sun in the sky. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to see it in movies etc... except for specific torture tests. All and all, this is just a tradeoff with OLEDs whether it be the AW or the C2, or even the Sony A95K. The trick for the manufacturer is to dial in the dimming it so you don't notice it, and I think they all do a good job for the most part.
Please provide a link to that video.
 

Odellus

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ABL is pretty easy to trigger on this monitor in HDR1000. Item drops in ARPG's with AutoHDR (Lost Ark). Explosions/effects when items are littered on the floor from chainsaw/etc in Doom Eternal. The hit sparks from hitting enemies when there are other highlights present in FF7 Remake. There are a few other examples that I saw when I had this monitor but can't remember at this point.
I legitimately don't understand how anyone uses this monitor in 1000 mode or doesn't notice ABL when using it. The ABL is constantly triggering in basically every movie or game I've tested it with, it is beyond distracting. TB400 is almost perfect.
 

noko

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Here's one the videos I was thinking of (link is timestamped to 32:45):

HDR + ABL is not a very good combo unfortunately and I can see could be distracting as well. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider has been one of the best HDR implementations I've played in a game. Anyways with dithering on 1080Ti, years ago now, I noticed noise from it, unless that has been improved, I would rather have 10bit vice 8bit + dithering.

Why other 3440x1440 OLED panels have not hit the streets yet is also perplexing. I just can't justify that resolution and price.
 

fyrie

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Why other 3440x1440 OLED panels have not hit the streets yet is also perplexing.
That's a great question. We can only guess. My guess is that Dell either got a window of exclusivity or they effectively engineered a period of exclusivity via the number of panels they ordered with a contractual supply by date or something.
 

MistaSparkul

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I legitimately don't understand how anyone uses this monitor in 1000 mode or doesn't notice ABL when using it. The ABL is constantly triggering in basically every movie or game I've tested it with, it is beyond distracting. TB400 is almost perfect.

Not everyone is the same. Some people don't notice VA black smearing at all while others say it is the most distracting thing ever. Yes this monitor has some ABL kicking in and if you notice it then you notice it but if someone don't notice it then there's no point in trying to make them. It's the same thing with near black chrominance overshoot on LG WOLEDs. Some people claim it to be super distracting a deal breaker for using OLED but personally I haven't been bothered by this issue once.
 

noko

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Not everyone is the same. Some people don't notice VA black smearing at all while others say it is the most distracting thing ever. Yes this monitor has some ABL kicking in and if you notice it then you notice it but if someone don't notice it then there's no point in trying to make them. It's the same thing with near black chrominance overshoot on LG WOLEDs. Some people claim it to be super distracting a deal breaker for using OLED but personally I haven't been bothered by this issue once.
Once you do notice something, it can be hard not to notice it. A curse so to speak. Yes, VA motion is borderline sucky at times.
 

Judd Sandage

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I must not be sensitive to ABL because I use HDR1000 mode for watching movies and TV shows all the time and I can't say I have ever noticed an ABL effect on mine.
Using HDR1000 for just a few minutes I had to kick it down to HDR400, try watching some youtube on one side of the screen and have another window open on the other, like say Discord in dark mode... it noticeably dims discord when say the youtube vid shows a daylight scene somewhere, very distracting.
 
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