Whereas console players are getting enthusiastic about their new 120Hz refresh charges, PC {hardware} producers proceed to push the boundaries additional, with 240Hz gaming screens and even 360Hz gaming screens packing as many frames into your eyeballs as doable. Alienware’s AW2521H is one such show, with a 1080p decision, 360Hz refresh charge, and G-Sync in a trendy panel for esports fanatics. We put it by way of a battery of exams to see the way it stacks up.

Alienware AW2521H Evaluation

Alienware AW2521H – Design and Options

$900 is fairly expensive for a 1080p show, however 360Hz continues to be absolutely the quickest refresh charge you should buy, so you may should pay a premium if you happen to’re critical about aggressive gaming. These are related specs to the previously-reviewed Asus ROG Swift PG259QN, which prices $200 much less – in reality, I would not be shocked in the event that they used the identical panel.

Alienware’s AW2521H – to not be confused with Alienware’s way-too-similarly-named Alienware AW2521HF, a less expensive 240Hz monitor – largely units itself aside from Asus’ 360Hz mannequin in design. It is really relatively understated for an Alienware product, a minimum of from the entrance. The show itself sports activities a nearly-frameless bezel aside from the underside, with a text-only Alienware emblem within the center.

The relatively thick monitor sits atop a two-legged stand with no adornments apart from just a few “G-Sync” and “360Hz” stickers you could pull proper off. Aside from the facility button, which comprises a built-in LED ring, the one lighting comes from the again of the stand, which displays off your wall for some good refined bias lighting. You may modify the colour of this gentle within the on-screen show or flip it off solely. I used to be dissatisfied to seek out that it solely supplied 20 colours, although, none of which had been plain white (my most well-liked bias lighting coloration).

The stand is top, swivel, and tilt adjustable for optimum ergonomics, and there is a cable administration gap on the underside so that you can route all of your connections. You will discover two HDMI 2.0 ports on the again, in addition to one DisplayPort 1.4 port, a headphone jack, and 4 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports – two on the again, two alongside the underside of the panel for straightforward entry. You will want to make use of DisplayPort to achieve 360Hz; because the HDMI ports are solely able to 240Hz at 1080p.

1080p at 24.5 inches is on the small and low-res facet, however once more, the monitor is designed for aggressive esports gaming, the place you need to have the ability to see the complete display screen with out darting your eyes round. The decrease 1080p decision ensures you possibly can push as many frames as doable to achieve that super-fast refresh charge, so whereas it is not very best for desktop work, it is all of your graphics card can in all probability deal with for gaming this {smooth}. And if you cannot fairly hit 360Hz, G-Sync is there to make sure you do not get any stutter or display screen tearing.

Alienware claims 1ms grey-to-grey response time, however there are quite a few methods to fudge this spec, so it is largely meaningless – real-world testing is way extra revealing of a monitor’s capabilities on this realm. Nvidia additionally provides its Reflex Analyzer inbuilt to the monitor – we have dug deep into this characteristic earlier than, so I will not rehash that right here, however suffice to say it is a cool characteristic that helps you narrow down on enter lag, nonetheless marginal the enhancements could also be.

Alienware AW2521H – Testing

To check the efficiency of screens, I run a DisplayCal verification utilizing an X-Ceremony i1Display Professional colorimeter, alongside just a few by-eye exams utilizing Lagom’s LCD take a look at patterns. The AW2521H isn’t an HDR or huge gamut monitor, as an alternative hitting about 450 nits of most brightness and overlaying 92.8% of the sRGB coloration area. It’s, nonetheless, extraordinarily correct inside that sRGB area.

When measuring coloration accuracy, a deltaE worth describes how carefully a coloration matches its goal level on the spectrum. In it is out-of-the-box Customary mode, the AW2521H hit a median deltaE of 0.61 – that is phenomenal, contemplating something lower than 1 is indistinguishable to the attention. Just a few values got here in over 1, which continues to be shockingly good, and imperceptible to all however probably the most educated people. I did discover that the goal white level was simply barely heat, although backing off the blue within the Customized Shade preset mounted this proper up. Once more, we’re speaking a deltaE of about 2, which continues to be one thing most individuals won’t discover.

That mentioned, within the Lagom exams, black ranges appeared simply barely crushed on the lowest couple values. Meaning shades simply above the darkest black will seem too darkish, obscuring wonderful particulars in shadows – not very best for aggressive gaming, which might imply lacking a stealthy opponent. Turning up the Darkish Stabilizer setting might help with this, although it would cut back the distinction ratio and make blacks look greyer – which is tough, on condition that the IPS panel on this show already has a weak 1029:1 distinction ratio by my measurements. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re shopping for this monitor, black ranges in all probability aren’t your essential concern, and the monitor in any other case performs superbly.

White ranges had been on level, that means spotlight element will seem as supposed. Gradients confirmed no seen banding, viewing angles are nice because of the IPS panel, and gamma adopted the two.2 curve carefully, deviating only a tad on the brighter finish of the spectrum. With all that in thoughts, the default Customary mode might be one of the best to stay with, except you wish to futz with the Customized mode to get every part good. This monitor additionally has a G-Sync Esports Mode that tweaks settings to Nvidia’s advisable for esports, although Customized mode is extra configurable.

Movement is a very powerful efficiency metric for a 360Hz monitor, although, so the response time must be low to keep away from ghosting. Lagom’s response time take a look at consists of a variety of squares shortly alternating between two shades – if the squares flicker, then the response time is sluggish for that transition, that means you might even see a path behind transferring objects. Fortunately, this take a look at confirmed nearly no flickering, and Blur Busters’ UFO take a look at confirmed extremely clear movement with nearly no ghosting. The AW2521H’s overdrive characteristic (labeled Response Time within the menu) can enhance movement even additional, although it does introduce slight haloing artifacts. You may attempt these settings your self to see which you like. It’s also possible to attempt the ULMB strobing backlight characteristic for even clearer movement, although it solely works when G-Sync is off and the refresh charge is ready to 240Hz – and comes with some artifacts behind transferring objects.

Alienware AW2521H – Gaming

Whereas cinematic first-person video games actually profit from giant, high-res shows, on-line multiplayer video games like Overwatch and Counter-Strike: World Offensive actually shine with excessive refresh charges. The butter-smooth, blur-free movement of quick panels just like the AW2521H is one thing you must expertise to know, and it provides you this sense of management that 60Hz does not fairly hit. I am hardly a professional gamer, and I can not present any stats to show that 360Hz really made me any higher – however racing across the area in Overwatch and spraying bullets on the competitors simply feels extra fluid and exact in comparison with your common show. Bear in mind, it isn’t nearly that 360Hz refresh charge – the response occasions are additionally a giant enchancment right here, and I’ve used 144Hz screens that felt a lot worse as a result of smeary movement.

That mentioned, in comparison with a superb 144Hz show, the AW2521H is a minor improve designed for a really particular sort of participant: critically aggressive esports fanatics. The 360Hz movement is a noticeable leap from 144Hz and 240Hz, nonetheless slight – I ran an ABX take a look at myself – however for most individuals, it isn’t well worth the few hundred further {dollars} it at the moment prices.

You additionally should sacrifice decision and display screen measurement, which is not very best for extra informal players with combined preferences. In the event you play as a lot Tomb Raider as you do Overwatch, you may in all probability discover this monitor a bit missing for video games within the former class. A 1440p monitor at 144Hz with a superb response time – just like the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG – goes to be a greater decide for most individuals, and at a a lot cheaper price. In the event you’re critical about esports, a 360Hz monitor could also be well worth the sacrifices to you, although I might argue the Asus PG259QN is a greater worth than the Alienware, regardless of the Alienware’s extra enticing design, barely higher port choice, and built-in Reflex Analyzer.


By tracy