Dell Alienware AW2524H Review: 1080p 500Hz G-SYNC IPS Gaming Monitor

The Dell Alienware AW2524H is a 24.5" 1080p 480Hz (500Hz) IPS gaming monitor with a dedicated G-SYNC module.

Bottom Line

The Dell AW2524H is an overall excellent gaming monitor, but it’s held back by its pixel response time speed – it’s fast, but not fast enough. We recommend checking out some of the alternatives we mentioned or waiting for faster 500Hz panels.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.0)
Performance:
(3.5)
Price/Value:
(2.5)
3.8

The Dell Alienware AW2524H is the first 500Hz gaming monitor available, but should you buy it? Let’s see!

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel, the Dell AW2524H provides accurate, consistent and vibrant colors thanks to its 178° wide viewing angles, Delta E ≤ 1.5 factory calibration and full sRGB color gamut coverage. Its gamut even extends beyond the sRGB color space with a ~115% relative size for a bit of added saturation (mainly in reds).

Further, it has a strong peak brightness of 400-nits, meaning that it can get more than bright enough even in well-lit rooms.

As expected from an IPS display, there’s some manageable IPS glow, while the static contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, so blacks won’t be particularly deep.

Its 24.5″ viewable screen uses a Full HD resolution, which makes sense considering how demanding reaching ~500FPS in games is on the CPU and GPU. Luckily, you get a decent pixel density of roughly 90 PPI (pixels per inch), resulting in decent text and detail clarity.

The Dell AW2524H monitor also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), but since it lacks proper display capabilities for a noteworthy HDR image quality, HDR should be disabled/ignored.

Performance

G Sync Module

Thanks to its dedicated G-SYNC module, the Dell Alienware AW2524H offers flawless VRR (variable refresh rate) performance all the way up to 500FPS for tear-free gameplay. You can also use VRR with AMD Radeon graphics cards on this monitor.

However, given that screen tearing is basically unnoticeable at 500Hz, we feel that most gamers will play with uncapped frame rates for the lowest input lag, which is imperceptible at ~1.2ms of delay.

NOTE

You will need to enable the ‘Overclock’ option in the OSD menu to increase the refresh rate to 500Hz from the native 480Hz.

The Dell AW2524H also supports backlight strobing via NVIDIA ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) for reduced perceived motion blur at the cost of picture brightness. Sadly, it’s limited to 360Hz, 240Hz or 120Hz.

There’s also the ULMB Pulse Width option that allows you to adjust the ratio between image clarity and brightness (the lower the brightness, the clearer the image when using backlight strobing).

Keep in mind that backlight strobing introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye, but can cause headaches after prolonged use to users sensitive to flicker. The backlight is otherwise flicker-free (unless ULMB is enabled) and there’s a low-blue light filter (hardware solution).

Moving on, there are three response time overdrive modes: Fast, Super Fast and Extreme. We recommend using the Super Fast mode and avoiding the Extreme mode as it adds too much pixel overshoot.

Now:

While Dell specifies a pixel response time speed of 0.5ms – 1ms GtG, this refers to the fastest possible pixel transition – not an average, which is closer to ~1.8ms.

The BenQ Zowie XL2566K with a 1080p 360Hz TN panel and the ASUS PG27AQN with a 1440p 360Hz IPS panel actually have a faster pixel response time speed with average transitions closer to 1.4ms.

This means that even though the Dell AW2524H has a higher refresh rate, fast-moving objects will appear clearer on the BenQ XL2566K and ASUS PG27AQN.

However, due to its higher refresh rate, the AW2524H has a slightly lower input lag (by 0.78ms) and smoother panning/tracking of fast-moving objects – given that you can maintain around 500FPS.

Features

Dell AW2524H OSD Menu

Beneath the bottom bezel of the screen, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, while the power button is placed on the right side of the display.

Useful features include Dark Stabilizer (improves visibility in darker scenes), a refresh rate tracker, an integrated ambient light sensor (automatically changes brightness according to ambient lighting) and NVIDIA’s Reflex Latency Analyzer (measures input lag if you have a compatible mouse).

Using AlienFX RGB lighting, you can adjust the LEDs on the monitor separated into three zones (the number 25, the Alienware logo and the power button).

Design & Connectivity

Dell AW2524H Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is quite sturdy yet it doesn’t take up a lot of your desk space, allowing you to position your keyboard close to the screen.

You also get full ergonomic support with up to 110mm height adjustment, +/- 20° swivel, +/- 90° pivot, -5°/21° tilt and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a light (25% low-haze) matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy. There’s also a detachable headset hanger.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC (Display Stream Compression), two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 240Hz), a headphone jack, an audio line-out port and a quad-USB 3.0 hub.

Note that in order to get 500Hz, you’ll need a GPU that supports DP 1.4 DSC (NVIDIA 16-series, 20-series or newer, and AMD 5000-series or newer); otherwise, you’ll be limited to 360Hz.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Dell Alienware AW2524H price ranges from $500 to $800, which is a bit steep. The FreeSync version, the Dell Alienware AW2524HF with Alienvision (crosshair overlays and similar features) can be found for as low as $550.

Keep in mind that the first 1080p 360Hz G-SYNC IPS monitors were initially released for ~$700, but dropped to as low as $350 a year later.

Either way, if you really want to take advantage of ~540FPS, we recommend the ASUS ROG Swift Pro PG248QP or waiting for the Acer XV242F or the BenQ ZOWIE XL2586X with 540Hz TN panels.

Otherwise, we recommend saving ~$200 by going with the BenQ XL2566K if you want CRT-like motion clarity or investing in the ASUS PG27AQN or the Acer XB273UF with a 1440p 360Hz panel and a wider color gamut.

Finally, for those with a more limited budget, you can find a decent 1080p 360Hz IPS gaming monitor for as low as $300, such as the Acer Aopen 25XV2QF.

Conclusion

The Dell Alienware AW2524H is an overall excellent gaming monitor, but it’s hampered by its insufficiently fast pixel response time speed.

Specifications

Screen Size24.5-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate480Hz (500Hz OC)
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Motion Blur ReductionNVIDIA ULMB
Adaptive-SyncG-SYNC (30-500Hz)
+ Adaptive-Sync
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, Audio Line-out,
4x USB 3.0
Brightness400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Accurate and consistent colors
  • Plenty of features, including VRR up to 500Hz and ULMB up to 360Hz
  • Low input lag, decent response time
  • Fully ergonomic stand, USB hub

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Pixels not fast enough to entirely keep up with the refresh rate
  • ULMB limited to 240Hz
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.