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Skeezix the Cat

Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved Monitor

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I'm gonna be a little bit less "professional" sounding with this review and tell you guys how it is and my thoughts on it, in my own words.  I didn't go to college for this, and it can be easier to interpret the sayings of a more familiar point of view, also at this price point I think most people will appreciate that more.

 

This is a 3440x1440 (21:9) 60Hz 34 inch curved AH-IPS screen from Dell.  I got it to replace my Korean-made Shimian flat panel 2560x1440 (27") screen so my mom could use it (she gets all the awesome hand-me-downs).  It was $700 flat on Amazon, brand new which is rare for me because I usually get things open box or in the Like New category because you get free discounts for almost no risk.  There weren't any such deals here however, and there were two reasons why I couldn't pick something else.  One, it had to be an upgrade of my current monitor.  Two, it had to be IPS or something similar.  I briefly considered VA for the 144Hz but am glad I did not go with one.  On to the product itself...

 

It came in a nice big box, with lots of structured cardboard hold downs.  You could probably have stabbed the box with a kitchen knife and it wouldn't have reached the monitor.  It has a very solid square stand with very good rubber feet on it.  Extremely good grip on my wooden desk, although the overall weight of the monitor probably helps with that.  It weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 pounds at least.  It has the most movement options I've ever seen, much less owned myself in a monitor.  It goes up, it goes down, it tilts forwards, backwards and even side to side!  It does not have landscape-portrait tilt though, like your phone would but that's fine because what is this, Windows 8 land?  You can raise it up a foot off the desk and turn it to the left or right about 40 degrees relative to the stand and the movement is easy and fluid.  No clicks or sounds, it feels like there are hydraulics perfectly calibrated for the weight of the monitor but it doesn't shake or fall down if you bump the desk.  The screen itself looks, well just dandy.  Discounting the curve and ultrawide aspect ratio of 21:9, it looks like an IPS screen should.  The backlight bleed is nothing special.  It's there.  What did you expect?  It'll vary from unit to unit.  Mine's pretty bad on the left, minor bit on the top right but I'm entirely used to it coming from a Korean IPS screen.  It's definitely a con, but more of the technology rather than the product itself much like terrible color is a con of TN.

 

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I'm driving this monitor on an EVGA GTX 980Ti Hybrid which has a built in liquid cooler and 120mm rad.  Despite that I run very modest overclocks because I'm apparently very bad at it BUT the point I'm getting to is I have had less trouble with games than I expected.  Driving 30% more pixels than 2560x1440 and I've sacrificed almost nothing in all my games and still manage 40+ fps (my target) with 60fps averages in most.  I even run X4 MSAA with TXAA and x4 reflection MSAA in GTA V, on top of having most advanced graphics options turned on and almost all standard settings set to Very High.  Grass is at normal though.  It's all about knowing which features cause the most hurt, and turning them down just a tad so you can keep everything else cranked and still get that pretty wow factor.  I didn't even have to change any settings for Rise of the Tomb Raider, or Dying Light besides the resolution obviously.  Every game I've played so far has been an absolute treat to play on this screen performance wise.  Even ol' Halo PC runs at 3440x1440, probably thanks to the 1.10 patch.  Halo 2 is the worst offender seeing as it only supports 1920x1200 but that's not the worst thing in the world because it's still wider than 16:9.  Other factors though are many modern games have this really stupid habit of adding pillarboxes to the sides during cutscenes.  Which confounds me in many ways.  The cutscene is rendered in-engine and they actually animated and added these pillarboxes when transitioning from gameplay to a cutscene.  GTA V is the most annoying one simply because they don't even appear immediately.  A cutscene will start, and a second or two will pass before the pillarboxes appear by sliding in.  There is no reason for it.  I've installed Flawless Widescreen, an API interceptor that's supposed to alleviate these issues but I haven't set it up yet.  The pillarboxes are easily my only complaint with gaming at this aspect ratio and resolution.  Which is crazy considering just how close to 4k it functionally is but it runs so much better.  For movies, I was quite surprised to find most of them support 21:9 by default with no visible stretching.  Even older movies!  It's something else to watch a movie on this screen when the whole thing is filled.  In most cases you actually can see a bit more on the sides than before.

 

To conclude, the only thing I dislike about this screen is that it costs $700.  But I can't fault it for that.  I'm usually pretty easy on products because I let the good outweigh the bad, then tally up the good anyway.  In this case I have to admit I'd have to nitpick super hard to find fault in this monitor.  If you really want me to though, then I guess the USB ports on it suck.  There are three, but they put out so little power that my phone keeps going back and forth between charging and not charging.  So they're useless.  Also, it's only 60Hz.  Tops.  Can't overclock it.  Not even a single Hz, it will reject the signal and throw and out of bounds error.  Also, it has touch sensitive buttons for navigating the OSD.  This is a personal thing but a lot of people seem to share the sentiment that while attractive, touch sensitive buttons are annoying and you can't see where they are without a light on.  The display does have indicators for where the buttons are though and for which ones do which, so that's actually pretty good.  The monitor looks great in every way, has all the good IO (DP, mini DP, HDMI) and is perpetually pleasing to use with its gentle but noticeable curve and vastness, enough to nearly cover my whole desk which I've wanted for a long time in a monitor but didn't want 4k and its performance tanking or awful pixel density with a lower res.  This is definitely the sweet spot for me in monitors and I only ever see myself upgrading if 120Hz IPS screens come out at this resolution.

 

 

DiSiAC, Puddin, Tucker933 and 1 other like this

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