Review: The Dell P2715Q 27-Inch 4K Monitor
February 10, 2016
I did it! I finally made the jump to 4K. After a few weeks of research I decided to go with the Dell P2715Q, a decision that I haven’t looked back on yet. I’ve been using the monitor for about a month and absolutely love the thing. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the review I’d like to get a few boring details out of the way. Specs: 3840×2160 resolution(a.k.a 4K), 27 inches, 60Hz refresh rate, IPS display, 9ms response time. I bought this monitor for gaming, video and photo editing, and general internet use, so my review will be based off the monitors performance in those areas, primarily focusing on gaming though . It’s also worth mentioning that I didn’t pay full price for the monitor. The current asking price while writing this article is around $520.00, I bought the monitor in used condition for $450.00. All done, let’s jump in.
Going into this purchase I was worried about this monitors gaming performance. The refresh rate is fine at 60Hz, that supports 60 fps gameplay, but the response time was a little troubling. At 9ms, this monitor is on the edge of what many people would deem an unplayable response time. The monitor does have a 6ms mode that can be enabled, but even that response time is generally looked down on. I was worried because my previous monitor has a response time of 1ms and I thought that switching from 1ms to 9ms or even 6ms would be extremely noticeable. Turns out I had nothing to worry about, I honestly can’t tell a difference. I haven’t even bothered to switch the monitor to its 6ms mode. I’m guessing that all of the fuss over extremely quick response times is for people that play a lot of competitive twitch games like CS Go or other shooters. Even playing Smite, a competitive moba, I didn’t suffer from any noticeable lag other than the occasional drop in internet connection thanks to my rural isp. I’ve played about ten different games on the monitor and haven’t had any problems related to input lag.
Games look great on this monitor. The ISP display results in richer and truer colors, and I noticed a BIG difference from using my old TN monitor. Honestly, switching from TN to IPS is almost as big a difference as upgrading in resolution is. Having an IPS display is also a must if you’re planning on professionally editing photos and videos. That kind of work requires you to see colors in their truest form, and TN displays just won’t make the cut. If you’re interested in seeing the difference I’d recommend this video.
Even more of a factor than the IPS display is the 3840×2160(4K) resolution that this monitor offers. I couldn’t believe how good my games looked when I booted them up in 4K for the first time. I think the best way of describing it would be to equate the experience to washing a thin layer of grime off your windows. Grime won’t make your views disappear, and you might not even notice that it’s present, but after a little windex and a few paper towels you’ll be looking at what seems like a whole new crystal clear view. Games that I played on the PS3 looked like whole new experiences when I played them at 4K on my pc. That brings us to one caveat of the 4K experience though, and a big one at that.
The only downside to gaming at 4K is the gpu power that’s needed to run games at the resolution. Games that I used to be able to max out at 1080p and play at 60fps were now running at medium-high settings and maybe making the 40-50fps range. I’m using an R9 390, a card that would be considered mid-range, and it’s struggling to pump out 4k on recent titles. If you have tons of cash this isn’t a problem, but a lot of us probably can’t afford to drop upwards of $600.00 on a gpu, and even at that range you won’t be able to max new games at 4K. This isn’t a complete downer though, older games run great at 4K on mid-range gpu’s. You can enjoy high-max setting at 60fps on titles like Skyrim, Dishonored, Final Fantasy XIII, Smite and some newer games that aren’t that graphically intensive. For more on 4K gaming you may want to check out this article I wrote up about a week prior to this one.
Another large factor that plays into gaming and browsing in general is the refresh rate. I would say that 60Hz is a must, anything lower and you’ll be noticing some considerable ghosting. When I initially plugged in the monitor I was using a hdmi cable and was only able to utilize a 30Hz refresh rate. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, even moving my mouse across the screen was laggy. Trying to play Smite at 30Hz was a complete nightmare, it was an experience comparable to trying to play games on a bad public access Wi-Fi signal. Definitely make sure you use a displayport cable or something comparable. You really want to take advantage of the full 60Hz that this monitor offers.
As far a video and photo editing go I couldn’t be happier. The size of the screen coupled with the 4K resolution has resulted in a huge amount of screen real estate. I did have to set my windows scaling to 150% though, anything lower and I was having to squint to see text. Don’t try to use the monitor at 0 or even 25% scaling, I’m pretty sure this would result in some serious eye strain. While on eye strain, I did have a little bit of strain for the first week of using the monitor, I’m not sure what caused that but it’s gone now.
I’ve been really impressed with the monitor’s stand as well. I know it may seem a little silly to mention the stand, but if you’ve dealt with bad monitor stands in the past a good stand will be extremely noticeable. The monitor’s height is easily adjustable and screen rotation is also pretty easy. The stand and the overall physical design of the monitor leaves little to be desired. Even the menu system and corresponding buttons are pretty intuitive to use. I really can’t find anything to complain about with the monitor. It’s a great choice for anyone that enjoys gaming and media editing. Thanks for reading!