by Lim, February 25, 2018 10:30 pm
 

 

Alienware AW3418DW Introduction

Finally, I received the Alienware after 4 months from a pre-order. The Alienware AW3418DW is the first of three newest upcoming native 100Hz IPS (120Hz Overclock) ultrawide curved gaming monitors next to the Acer Predator X34P and the LG 34GK950G (NANO IPS) on the market. Its design is very sci-fi oriented but overall it has a fantastic look. The Alienware AW3418DW offers high refresh rate panel with a 4ms response time, a 3440 x 1440 (Ultrawide-QuadHD) resolution on 34 Inch with a PPI (Pixels per Inch) of 109.68, G-Sync with a range of 30-120Hz, a curved panel with 1900R (radius), a maximum brightness of 300cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of around 1000:1. With its 8-Bit panel, the AW3418DW has a
  • color gamut coverage of 99.1% sRGB
  • and a color gamut coverage of 109.2% sRGB.
Thanks to the IPS panel (In-Plane Switch) the AW3418DW has great viewing angles for bright image content, whereas viewing angles in dark image content (horror or sci-fi titles) are still not good as all other current gaming monitors with a TN, VA or IPS panel on the market.
 
With the AlienFX led lighting, you can set one of 19 available different RGB colors fully customizable on three or rather four different areas of the monitor:
  • On the bottom of the screen
  • On the back of the monitor
  • On the foot stand
  • and the power led

The Alienware AW3418DW has a very interesting price tag (of course depending on your region) between 999 and 1300$ so that you even can pay less than for the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A. An overall better monitor for less money? Yes, definitely! The 21:9 aspect ratio offers an immersive gameplay experience combined with a high refresh rate panel and a crisp sharp image.

 

Check Price for the Alienware aw3418dw

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Deviations in gaming monitors measurement results

There is one thing you strongly(!) should keep in mind. Individual units will differentiate in terms of nearly all aspects of a gaming monitor, especially in measurement results. This means, that one unit can have a contrast ratio of around 800:1 while another unit can have a contrast ratio around + 1100:1. Gaming monitors and PC monitors, in general, differentiate in terms of
  • Gamma settings
  • Contrast
  • Native sharpness settings
  • Max brightness
  • Response time (overdrive settings)
  • Pixel inversion and many more.
Why I'm telling you this? Simply because of two reasons. If you are buying a monitor, you should compare different measurement results and buying/not buying a monitor because of one result. Sometimes, monitor manufacturers also send their golden (quality controlled) exemplary to big review sites so that these monitors can have better results. To cover and bypass this "issue", my goal for the future is to review 3 same models (3 different units) to find out what the average customer will get. For this, I still have to grow but as soon I will have this opportunity, this is something I definitely will cover.
 
 
The build quality of the Alienware AW3418DW is fantastic, especially its heavyweight full out of metal foot stand. The design, of course, is personal taste and usually, I'm the type of guy who prefers a minimal look, but the AW3418DW simply has a pretty nice design for my taste.
 
Alienware AW3418DW Review - Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
The Alienware AW3418DW has a curvature of 1900R which is twice as much as the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A. Combined with this, the AW3418DW offers less IPS glow issues. A better immersive gameplay experience with a better image quality, especially in dark.
 
Note / Information:
Ratings have been removed. In near future I will add comparisons (Rankings) - This will have two huge benefits. First: You will be able to compare a monitor within each topic (Coating, Black level, Black uniformity, VA Glow, Panel Frame Construction etc.) to find the best gaming monitor to for your personal preferences and second I can concentrate on much more reviews.

 

 

Updates

  • Five people reported me that they could not observe any retention issues. So in fact, this is an "issue" which can occur in individual units (lottery)
  • One user had "horrible" calibration out of the box, probably gamma settings can vary strongly within this gaming monitor
  • Several users reported flickering issues on the Alienware when enable 120Hz overclocking (The cable has been checked and it should be an issue on the gaming monitor)
  • (24.03.2018) (Moving) Scanlines can occur when enabling G-Sync. These are very faint and hard to see. However, some users have clearly visible moving (darker) scanlines when enabling G-Sync in uniform colors (e.g. G-Sync Pendulum Demo)
  • Some people in different forums have micro stutter issues when using G-Sync. I could not really observe stutter issues and there are also many other users that do not really can observe this stutter problem.
  • (03.04.2018) Still, many people have Scanline issues on the X34P and the Alienware AW3418DW and people on a German forum reported that Scanlines becomes worse over time. In addition, some people have reported that Scanlines started to occur after several weeks or months.
 
 

Specifications

Panel Type IPS
Backlight EDGE LED / W-LED
Display size and format 34" Inch
Maximum Resolution 3440x1440 (UWQHD "Ultrawide Quad-HD")
Pixel density 109.68 (Pixel per inch)
Refresh rate 100Hz native (120Hz Overclock)
Native color depth 8-bit (native)
sRGB Color Space Coverage / Volume Coverage: 99.1% / Volume: 109.2%
Response time (GtG) 4 ms
Brightness 300cd/m2
Integrated speakers No
Video inputs 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x DP 1.2
Audio 1x 3.5mm out
USB Hub Yes 4x USB 3.0 downstream (1x quick charge)
power consumption ~ 60 watt (class C)
Frame width ~11 mm in total
Warranty period 2 years
Ergonomics Tilt, Height, Swivel
Adaptive Sync G-Sync
G-Sync Range 30-120Hz
Contrast (Native) 1000:1 stated
Vesa Yes 100mm support
Curved Yes 1900R
 
 
 

 

Alternative Ultrawide QHD 1440p +100Hz G-Sync Gaming Monitors

Alienware AW3418DW Review 120Hz Ultrawide Gaming Monitor 3440x1440

 
Find all Alternative (G-Sync & Freesync) Ultrawide +100Hz QHD (3440x1440p) IPS & VA gaming monitors to the Alienware AW3418DW here: Gaming-Monitor-List

 

Ultrawide QHD +100Hz Gaming Monitors with IPS/VA and G-Sync:

IPS:

Asus ROG Swift PG348Q Check Price / Watch Review

Acer Predator X34A Check Price

Acer X34P Check Price / Watch Review

 

VA:

HP Omen X35 Check Price / Watch Review

AOC AG352UCG6 Release soon.

AOC AGON AG352UCG Check Price

Acer Predator Z35P Check Price

 

Measurements

 
 

Contrast Overview

 Alienware AW3418DW Contrast
 
  

Optimal OSD Settings (on this unit)

Alienware AW3418DW Best Settings
 
 

Test-Photos

  • Color Temperature Homogeneity (on its native white point)
  • Scrolling Text, Eiffel Tower, & Chase Square Test
  • Response Time (UFO Test)
  • Brightness Distribution
  • Sharpness Test
  • Overdrive Settings
  • Frame Skipping
  • Retention issue on the UFO Test
 
 

Comparison Charts (Ultrawide Monitors)

 

Maximum Brightness

Maximum brightness in cd/m2
Asus Rog Swift PG348Q
367
HP Omen X35
353
Acer Predator X34P
337
Alienware AW3418DW
324

 

Maximum Contrast

Maximum contrast x:1
HP Omen X35
2218
Asus Rog Swift PG348Q
1172
Alienware AW3418DW
1094
Acer Predator X34P
1082

 

Black point on 120 cd/m2

Black point with optimal settings (120 cd/m2 , 6500K)
HP Omen X35
0,06
Asus Rog Swift PG348Q
0,11
Alienware AW3418DW
0,11
Acer Predator X34P
0,11

 

Brightness ULMB (Backlight Scanning)

ULMB not supported

 

Find your best gaming monitor (in progress)

Compare a monitor in a specific topic (Response Times, Black Uniformity, Homogeneity, Backlight-Bleed, Clouding, Brightness, Contrast, etc.) soon
 
 
 

Conclusion

Overall the Alienware AW3418DW is a fantastic gaming monitor. It also has good improvements compared to the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A. No horizontal scan lines and (much) fewer IPS glow. Is it worth it to switch from the Asus or Acer to the Alienware or one of the newer native 100Hz IPS gaming monitors? No. Here I definitely would say that you should stick to one or both monitors if you own one of these. But if you are planning to buy an ultrawide gaming monitor, the Alienware is definitely the best choice right now.
 
Is it worth it to wait for the new 200Hz ultrawide HDR quantum dot IPS monitors? Maybe. As mentioned, if you are willing to pay around 2000$ than probably yes. But since these monitors are not released yet we don't know how much "issues" they will have in which specific topic. I definitely will test all these upcoming HDR gaming monitors on Lim's Cave.
 
Alienware AW3418DW AlienFX RGB lighting
The AlienFX RGB lighting of the Alienware AW3418DW on the backside of this monitor. Choose from 19 different colors located in three different areas (+ a customizable power LED).
 
The biggest problem with the Alienware probably is the retention issue which is covered in detail in the video review. The good: I couldn't notice this while playing games. The bad: It still can occur. In theory, you will lose contrast the longer you are playing a game on this monitor and the retention is gone after around 10-15 minutes on a static image. While testing a high contrast image for 30minutes on this monitor, I couldn't notice any retention issues so this "issue" should not become a real dilemma. However, I had this problem also on the Asus PG279Q, but a bit less visible. Many people are reporting "white spots" on their Asus PG279Q and this probably occurs when a static image after a while has burn in the IPS screen. I also have this same problem on my IPS laptop, which I was using for everyday +5hours a day when I have studied. In the end, the stupid thing is that you have this problem constantly in mind and we are afraid that something could burn in. I will update this review above in the update section as soon as I will have new information from other users regarding the retention issue.
 
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So as mentioned, the Alienware AW3418DW overall is an excellent gaming monitor which I really suggest if you are looking for a high refresh rate ultrawide panel. If you can deal with its disadvantages, you have of course decide for yourself but I definitely would prefer the Alienware over current ultrawide VA panels because of less motion blur, no smearing issues and no VA Glow (color and gamma shift in viewing angles). 
 
 


Tipps & Tricks For the Alienware AW3418DW

 

First

Use lamps in your room to increase the subjective black level and lower the perception of the IPS Glow. Even small desk-lamps can help.
 

Second

Try to sit at a good viewing angle with good height + tilt adjustments and increase the distance to the panel in dark image content + dark environment, so that you also can avoid as many IPS glow as possible.
 

Third

Do not sit too close to the monitor, this will increase the IPS Glow drastically.
 

Fourth

Try to get used to a lower max. brightness. Many people are using their monitor in very extreme brightness settings. After you will get used to the lower brightness (around 1-2 days, depending on how long you sit at the gaming pc) you will have an overall better image quality and your eyes also will be thankful.
 
 

Pro & Contra

 

Pro:

- Currently the best ultrawide gaming monitor (panel)
- A lower price to the Asus PG348Q and the Acer X34A + a better screen
- 34" with a 1900R curve for an immersive gaming experience
- G-Sync with a very nice range of 30-120Hz
- Good image quality out of the box (gamma have to be tweaked a bit)
Note: VA Gamma 2.2 looks totally different from IPS Gamma 2.2
- Very solid build quality, especially the foot stand
- Very low input lag
- Black equalizer for fps games

 

Neutral:

- AlienFX lighting (RGBs)
- A bit darker top near the bezels inhomogeneity (not visible in games)
- Homogeneity issues on several units
Some units suffer from a cooler color temperature on the left and a warmer color temperature on the right side as same as my unit. On my tested unit however it is only very very slightly visible
- A tiny bit too much sharpness settings which cant be changed within the OSD
- You need a fairly deep desk so that you still have enough space on your desk and not sitting too close to the panel to avoid IPS glow
- Halfe matte panel coating (a bit more matte compared to the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A)

 

Contra:

- No gamma settings within the OSD (measured gamma on this unit = 2.4)
- Retention issues(!)
Update: They can vary in each individual unit so that you should check your unit for retention issues when you got your Alienware
- Unfortunately: ULMB still is not integrated
- Some people reported flickering issues when overclocking to 120Hz
- G-Sync (moving) Scanlines can occur when enabling G-Sync. Mostly it is only barely visible

IPS typical:
- Still, the IPS glow, especially on the left (but much less compared to older 100Hz IPS Ultrawide panels)


Check Price for the Alienware AW3418DW

 

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1 comment

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1    JohnConnor    February 27, 2018 11:45 am
Ohhh man I love your reviews. They are very good. I am on the fence. You kinda recommending this montitor but than you say you are not recommending it due to the picture retention than you say units may vary Argh I do not know what to do you know. I kinda have money to buy AW34, I can stretch the budget but I dont think that I will have enough money to buy new HDR monitors. I have looked everywhere in the web to confirm the pciture retention problem and I cant find anything you know. So maybe you have unique panel or something you know. Anyhow please help me make this decision for me. Ok I love how it looks and all. I would mainly use this monitor for gaming but I like to watch netflix here and there you know. I mainly watch netlfix late at night so will I be happy with IPS greyish colour in pitch black scenes? I mean it is not a deal breaker as I can watch netflix downstairs when my missus is not watching anything but I would like to watch something from time to time. What are these shiny spots in the corner? Do they show when you game? Is it distracting? Anyhow I have heard that new 35 inch Asus HDR monitor will be on VA panel and I am not sure how the colours will look on VA. I have TN monitor right now but I would really like to upgrade. Please help. Thank you for awesome review. I love your cave !
Answer from Lim's Cave - February 27, 2018 12:29 pm

Hey man and thanks (: I'm so sorry mate for the confusing stuff - I should receive soon some feedbacks from other users who will test the retention issue, then I will update this review of course. If you can't or don't want to buy these new HDR monitors, then the Alienware (or even the new Acer/AOC with the same panel) is currently still the best ultrawide gaming monitor on the market, at least in my opinion + colors + pixel responsiveness. 

 

Watching 16:9 movies, of course, is not optimum on an ultrawide, especially on an IPS panel. But to be fair, all monitors don't work that well for movies due to VA/IPS Glow or gamma shift on TN + blacks. Especially in a pitch black room, current monitors without local dimming, I highly would recommend some nice ambient light which already can help to improve the subjectively perceived contrast.

 

So, as soon I will have some further updates according to the retention issue, I will post them instantly into the update section in this article :)