Dell S2722DGM Review: 1440p 165Hz FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor

The Dell S2722DGM is an affordable 27" 1440p 165Hz gaming monitor based on a curved VA panel with AMD FreeSync.

Bottom Line

In case you don’t mind the usual VA panel weaknesses (smearing and unstable VRR performance), the Dell S2722DGM is an excellent budget gaming monitor at $200. It offers a high contrast ratio for deep blacks, vivid colors, crisp details and a height-adjustable stand.

Design:
(4.5)
Display:
(4.7)
Performance:
(4.1)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
4.3

If you’re looking for a 27″ 1440p high refresh rate gaming monitor, the Dell S2722DGM is one of the cheapest models available, so here’s everything you need to know about it!

Image Quality

The Dell S2722DGM is based on a curved VA panel with a high 3,000:1 static contrast ratio, which results in deep and inky blacks.

What’s more, unlike IPS panel displays, it doesn’t suffer from IPS glow, so the overall viewing experience is more immersive, especially when watching dark content in a dark room.

While VA monitors have the same 178° viewing angles specification as IPS models, there are some minor gamma/saturation shifts on the Dell S2722DGM when looking at the screen at certain angles.

This isn’t noticeable during everyday use, but it’s an issue for professional color-critical work, which is why serious designers and photographers opt for IPS technology. For basic content creation, however, the Dell S2722DGM will do just fine.

Moving on, Dell specifies a 99% sRGB color gamut for the monitor, but there’s actually some extension beyond that with a ~110% sRGB relative gamut size. So, you get some minor over-saturation when viewing sRGB content, but it’s very subtle and most users will prefer the extra color vibrancy anyway.

In case you want accurate sRGB colors, there’s no sRGB emulation mode available, but you can use a software solution to clamp the gamut down to ~100% sRGB if you have an AMD or NVIDIA GPU.

Next, the Dell S2722DGM monitor has a strong 350-nit peak brightness, meaning that it can get more than bright enough, even in well-lit rooms.

Finally, the QHD (2560×1440) screen resolution suits the 27″ sized screen of the monitor very well. You get a high pixel density of 108.79 PPI (pixels per inch), resulting in sharp text and details with plenty of screen real estate available.

While 1440p is more demanding than 1080p, it’s not nearly as taxing on your GPU as 4K UHD, allowing you to enjoy smooth frame rates even with a mid-range graphics card. Another advantage is that you don’t have to use any scaling at this pixel density.

Performance

Amd Freesync

There are three response time overdrive modes: Fast, Super Fast and Extreme.

We recommend using the Super Fast mode as it provides you with the best performance across the entire refresh rate range. It has the least amount of ghosting without introducing any overshoot.

As expected from a VA panel gaming monitor at this price range, there’s noticeable trailing behind fast-moving objects, especially in dark scenes.

Some users are more sensitive to this than others, but we find that the amount of smearing is tolerable for casual gamers.

If you mostly play fast-paced competitive games or are particularly sensitive to ghosting, we recommend getting an IPS gaming monitor instead. There are VA displays with quick response times as well, such as the Samsung G7 models, but they go for at least ~$550.

The Dell S2722DGM supports a variable refresh rate (VRR) with a 48-165Hz dynamic range for tear-free gameplay all the way up to 165FPS. It’s not officially certified by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’, but you can use VRR with GTX 10-series or newer GPUs over DisplayPort.

With AMD GPUs, VRR is supported via FreeSync Premium over both DisplayPort and HDMI – and you can use FreeSync over HDMI on Xbox consoles.

One more thing to keep in mind about high refresh rate VA gaming monitors is that they’re prone to VRR brightness flickering. This issue varies from unit to unit of the monitor and it might not be noticeable in all games.

Related:What Is FreeSync Brightness Flickering And Can You Fix It?

Usually, you’ll be able to notice minor brightness oscillations in in-game menus and loading screens, in games with fluctuating frame rates or when you’re around the LFC threshold (~48FPS).

Input lag performance, on the other hand, is excellent at around 4ms of delay, which is imperceptible.

Setting the overdrive setting to MPRT enables Motion Blur Reduction (MBR), which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur. In order to activate this feature, VRR must be disabled and your refresh rate set to at least 120Hz.

Note that MBR introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye, but it can cause headaches after prolonged use to sensitive users. Additionally, screen brightness is reduced while backlight strobing is active.

Features

Dell S2722DGM OSD Menu

At the rear of the monitor, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, as well as four hotkeys for certain shortcuts, while the power button is placed beneath the bottom bezel on the right side.

Useful gaming features include Dark Stabilizer (improves visibility in dark scenes by altering the gamma curvature), various picture modes (including three customizable modes), a refresh rate tracker and on-screen timers.

Besides standard image settings (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), the Dell S2722DGM also offers hue/saturation (in certain modes only), sharpness, automatic input detection and aspect ratio control (4:3, 16:9, 1:1 and auto resize).

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless MPRT is enabled) and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter (ComfortView).

HDR is not supported, which is not a drawback since HDR implementation on this type of budget (and even some significantly more expensive) monitors is worthless anyway.

Design & Connectivity

Dell S2722DGM Design

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers height adjustment up to 100mm, tilt by -5°/21° and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Next, the screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy, as well as a moderate 1500R curvature for added immersion.

Beneath the bottom bezel, there’s a small LED strip with blue lighting that can be disabled in the OSD menu.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 144Hz), DisplayPort 1.2 and a headphone jack.

1080p 120Hz and 1440p 120Hz modes are supported on the PS5 and the Xbox Series/One S/X, but variable refresh rate only works on Xbox consoles.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Dell S2722DGM price ranges from $200 to $275. At $200, it’s one of the cheapest 27″ 1440p high refresh rate gaming monitors, so it’s a great option if you have a limited budget.

However, if you’d rather have a faster response time and smoother VRR performance than a high contrast ratio, we highly recommend going with the HP X27q or the Acer XV272UV with IPS panels, which can be found for $230 – $250.

There’s also a 32″ version of this monitor, the Dell S3222DGM, but if you want a 32″ 1440p high refresh rate gaming monitor, we recommend the Gigabyte M32Q or Gigabyte M32QC instead.

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

Overall, the Dell S2722DGM is an excellent budget gaming monitor if you can find it on sale for ~$200 and if you’re not sensitive to smearing and screen tearing (or VRR brightness flickering); otherwise, we recommend getting an IPS model instead.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Screen Curvature1500R
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time (GtG)2ms (GtG)
Response Time (MPRT)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-165Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness350 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
99% sRGB
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio, vivid colors
  • Plenty of features, including VRR and MBR up to 165Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand

The Cons:

  • Visible ghosting behind fast-moving objects, mainly in dark scenes
  • Prone to VRR brightness flickering
  • Design lacks swivel option

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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.