The battle of the high-end 27-inch monitors finds two combatants duking it out to assert dominance in the gaming-peripheral market: The Samsung Odyssey G7 and the Dell Alienware AW2721D.
Not only do these two 1440p 240 Hz monitors offer extremely high refresh rates at a QHD resolution, but they also have DisplayHDR 600 compatibility, fast Grey-to-Grey (G2G) response times, and extremely low input lag. The main difference between these two monitors is their panels – and the inherent strengths and shortcomings therein.
Traditional VA panels have excellent contrast ratios, decent color gamut reproduction and high brightness levels; but they usually lack severely when it comes to viewing angles, and, in some cases, may have high input lag. IPS panels, on the other hand, have great viewing angles, great color coverage, and relatively low input lag – but not as low as TN monitors. They do, however, fall short when it comes to contrast ratios.
The panel of the Samsung Odyssey G7 is not a typical Vertical Alignment panel, as instead it includes Samsung’s own Super Vertical Alignment (SVA) variant which have more tolerable viewing angles, up to 300% better contrast ratios, higher brightness levels, up to 50% faster G2G response times – due to how quickly the liquid crystals switch speeds – and lower input lag; which is what makes SVA panels an excellent choice for gaming monitors.
The Dell Alienware AW2721D also has a unique in-plane switching panel called Nano IPS. This technology was initially created by LG, and it refers to a backlighting method in which light absorbing nano-particles are placed on the W-LED in order to absorb excessive light wavelengths, which increases the color range that the monitor is capable of reproducing.
What is also important to note about these panels is their manufacturing costs. IPS panels are generally more expensive to make than VA panels, which in turn means a higher end-price for the consumer. This is also apparent in this comparison, as the Dell Alienware AW2721D is $225 more expensive than the Samsung Odyssey G7; which is a 37.5% price increase. The question is: do the advantages of the Nano-IPS display has over the SVA panel warrant such a difference in price? To find out we will analyze both monitors in a set of different categories, and provide a verdict for which monitor is best for different PC uses and preferences.
|Monitor||Samsung Odyssey G7||Dell Alienware AW2721D|
|Screen Size||27 inches||27 inches|
|Resolution||2560 x 1440||2560 x 1440|
|Refresh Rate||240 Hz||240 Hz|
|Bit Depth||8 bits + FRC||8 bits + FRC|
|Colors||1.07 billion||1.07 billion|
|Brightness||350-600 nits||450-600 nits|
|MPRT||1 ms||1 ms|
Appearance – TIE
Samsung and Dell both offer a modern, slick, look with their monitors – which are devoid of any tacky “gaming” fad design elements.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 has an all-black body, with a textured back cover, a V-shaped stand that includes a headphone hook and a cutout for cables to pass through, and an RGB-compatible illuminated ring where the stand connects to the monitor. The bezel has relatively thin borders, so it can be part of a multi-monitor setup; though its curvature and poor viewing angles don’t make it the best candidate for such. Also, its screen and its stand are rather thick – at 11.6 inches (29.5 cm) with the stand, 7.4 inches (18.9 cm) without the stand – so it will need plenty of desk space.
The Dell Alienware AW2721D has a sturdy metal bi-pod stand with a light gray cover that extends to the back side of the monitor, where two RGB-illuminated displays are situated: a small Alienware logo on the top-right corner, and an accent running across the back of the stand. It also has two additional RGB zones: one being the power button, and the other being the downlight beneath the panel. The bezel is virtually borderless, as the sides are only half a centimeter (0.2 inches) thick. Given that the monitor has no curvature, it would work great in a multi-monitor setup. The screen itself is only 3.3 inches thick (8.3 cm) but, together with the stand, it becomes 9.1 inches thick (23 cm), which means it will also require a sizeable amount desk space.
Since both manufacturers have placed emphasis on making their monitors stylish, the advantage in appearance will lie solely in each individual’s preference, which is why we’ve declared this category a tie.
Resolution & Refresh Rate – TIE
Not much to say here, as both monitors offer identical 2560 x 1440 resolutions and excellent 240 Hz refresh rates. However, to avoid disappointment, it must be noted that even with the best hardware the market has to offer (which, for a 1440p resolution, it appears that the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is the best performing GPU (Techspot), especially when paired with a Zen 3 Ryzen 9 CPU) reaching 240 Hz will not be possible for all games – at least not without lowering in-game graphical settings. Still, even if your current hardware can’t take advantage of your monitors maximum capabilities, your next upgrade will. This is why it is always better to have some performance leeway, which these high-end monitors do have.
Display – TIE
This category will, once again, rely solely on individual preference, as it depends mostly on whether or not you prefer a screen to have curvature or not. The Samsung Odyssey G7 has an aggressive 1,000 mm curvature radius, while the Dell AW2721D has no curvature at all.
The Odyssey G7 is meant to be viewed solely from the front – mean to cover the VA panel’s subpar viewing angles – while the Dell AW2721D is much more flexible. To amplify this effect, the AW2721D has a 92.6% display area (which is the percentage of the active part of the screen in comparison to the total front area), versus the 85.14% of the Odyssey G7.
But, since one monitor is made to ride solo, while the other is made to be compatible for a multi-monitor setup, it is only fair to judge them as such and call it a tie once again.
Contrast & Brightness – Samsung Odyssey G7
In terms of brightness, the Dell Alienware AW2721D fares well against the Odyssey G7, reaching an SDR peak brightness of 474 nits (sustained 100% window), and an HDR peak brightness that exceeds the 600-nit manufacturer specification. The Samsung Odyssey G7, on the other hand, reaches a peak SDR brightness of just about 333 nits, and a peak HDR brightness that reaches around 531 to 558 nits. Therefore, it is fair to say that the Dell AW2721D does have slightly better brightness levels. But, where the AW2721D displays more intense brightness, the G7 displays far more accurate darkness.
Indeed, the Samsung Odyssey G7 has an exceptional contrast ratio of 2,500 to 1 –which was even measured to be as high as 3,892 to 1 in benchmarks carried out by rtings.com with the monitor’s black equalizer feature (20) – meaning it is capable of displaying deep black colors, even when viewed in the dark. Here is where the IPS panel of the Dell AW2721D fails to perform, reaching a measured contrast ratio of just 1,088 to 1, which means that black variants will look more like dark gray; and its edge-lit local dimming feature does not help much.
Though the difference between the two units is minor in brightness, there is a stark gap between them in static contrast levels, which is why we have the Samsung Odyssey G7 coming out on top for this category.
Color Range – Dell Alienware AW2721D
The Nano IPS panel may disappoint in its static contrast ratio, but it makes up for it in its color reproduction capabilities.
These two monitors function similarly in that they both have a true 8-bit panel depth that uses Frame Rate Control (FRC) in order to simulate a 10-bit panel depth, allowing them to reproduce over 1.07 billion 30-bit colors. FRC works by quickly switching between color tones in order to create an impression that more, intermediate, color tones are also reproduced.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 is capable of displaying 125% of the sRGB color spectrum, 95% of the DCI P3 color space, 83.2% of the Adobe RGB SDR color gamut, and 67.6% of the Rec. 2020 HDR color gamut. The nano particles on the W-LED backlight on the Dell Alienware AW2721D allow it to display slightly higher values, as it can reproduce 131.3% of the sRGB color space, 98% of the DCI P3 color space, 85.6% of the Adobe RGB SDR color range, and 71.8% of the HDR Rec 2020 color gamut. All in all, the variances are minor, but still an overall advantage for the Dell AW2721D.
Response Time & Input Lag – TIE
Be it that these monitors are created and marketed for high-level gaming, they display outstanding response times and remarkably low input lag.
Both monitors have three modes in which the G2G response times vary. These are in place because the faster the overdrive setting is, the more overshoot error you may have. The Odyssey G7’s modes are: Standard, Faster, and Fastest, with the best overdrive setting being the Faster option, as it displays a rise/fall time of just 2.8 seconds at its maximum refresh rate (2.5 at 60 Hz), with only a 5.5% overshoot error. The Dell AW2721D has Fast, Super Fast, and Extreme, with its best overdrive setting being Fast, which also has a rise/fall time of 2.5 ms at its maximum refresh rate, with a 10% overshoot error. These response times increase to a 3.8 ms rise/fall time and a 4.7% overshoot error at 60 Hz.
In terms of input lag, the Samsung Odyssey G7 has only 2.7 ms of input latency, which goes up to 9.6 ms at 60 Hz, and a maximum of 12.7 ms with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) at 60 Hz. Similar results were found using the Dell Alienware AW2721D, which measured 3 ms of input lag at its native resolution, increasing to 12.4 ms at 60 Hz, and 14.2 ms with the use of VRR at 60 Hz.
Such differences are extremely minor, and ultimately unnoticeable, especially given the fact that Nvidia’s Reflex feature, and AMD’s Anti-Lag, can drastically reduce end-to-end input lag by a much larger margin. Therefore, we can once again declare this comparison a draw.
Ergonomics – TIE
As should be expected with 27-inch monitors, these two models feature high-end ergonomic versatility.
Firstly, both screens are VESA mount compatible, meaning that they can be removed from the stand and attached to a VESA 100 x 100 mm mount interface. The stands themselves allow for height adjustments (up to 120 mm for the Odyssey G7 and up to 130 mm for the Dell AW2721D), a level of pivoting which allows them to reach all the way to a landscape/portrait orientation (only to the right for the Odyssey G7), a left and right swivel (15 degrees for the Odyssey G7 and 20 degrees for the Dell AW2721D) and a forward and backward tilt (9 to 13 degrees for the Odyssey G7 and 5 to 21 degrees for the Dell AW2721D). Slight differences in their flexibility do exist, but nothing that would warrant the declaration of a winner.
Power Consumption– Dell Alienware AW2721D
When it comes to power efficiency, we see that the Dell Alienware AW2721D is leagues ahead of the Samsung Odyssey G7; which is all the more impressive considering that both monitors function at the same resolution and framerate.
The Dell AW2721D consumes about half the power that the Odyssey G7 spends on average, and this is true for when the power is off, when the monitor is in sleep mode, and when the monitor is active. To be more specific, the Dell AW2721D consumes only 0.2 W in off-mode, 0.3 W in sleep/stand-by mode, and 31 watts on average in standard work mode. On the other hand, the Odyssey G7 consumes 0.5 W, both in off and in sleep modes, and 60 W on average in standard work mode.
With almost 97% better energy efficiency on average, the Dell Alienware AW2721D is the clear victor when it comes to power consumption.
Connectivity – Dell Alienware AW2721D
And the Alienware AW2721D extends its lead to the connectivity aspect, boasting twice as many USB downstream slots, and twice as many audio jacks, as the Odyssey G7.
The Dell AW2721D features four USB 3.2 (Gen 1) Type-A downstream ports and one USB 3.2 (Gen 1) Type-B upstream port. It also has two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 slot, and two 3.5 mm audio jacks: one made for headphones, and one line-out for speakers. All these ports are safeguarded by HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection).
The Samsung Odyssey G7 has two downstream USB 3.0 (= 3.2 Gen1) Type-A and one upstream USB 3.0 Type-B ports – together with one HDMI 2.0, two DisplayPort 1.4, and just one 3.5 mm audio out.
Features – Samsung Odyssey G7
Though both options come with features that you’d expect from a typical gaming monitor – like a low blue light filter, flicker-free technology, and gaming modes that have crosshair and timer overlays – the Dell AW2721D does not include support for AMD GPUs, as it only officially supports Nvidia’s adaptive sync technology.
Both monitors do include Picture-by-Picture (PBP) and Picture-in-Picture (PIP); which are incredibly useful features that are usually saved only for larger, ultrawide, monitors. PBP and PIP allow you to have two devices connected to the monitor simultaneously, with PBP splitting the screen in half allowing each device to occupy its respective side, while PIP displays one device as the main screen and the other in an inset window.
The Odyssey G7 has both AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility, and it also features a black equalizer (gamma control), Mega Dynamic Contrast (enhancing dynamic contrast in real time), and Off Timer Plus (which automatically turns off the screen after a predetermined amount of time). The Dell AW2721D does have an ambient light sensor, which is missing from the Odyssey G7.
Best for Competitive &AAA Gaming – Samsung Odyssey G7
Though the Dell Alienware AW2721D does hold some slight advantages over the Odyssey G7 in color reproduction, power efficiency, and overall connectivity, it falls behind in static contrast ratio and included features. The main outcome of this comparison, however, appears to be that the Dell AW2721D does not warrant its over 37% price increase versus the Samsung Odyssey G7. If you have no preference between monitors with, or without, curvature, then the Odyssey G7 displays outstanding value at its $699 price tag. It has a high resolution, a high refresh rate, and incredibly low input lag and response time which are paramount for competitive gamers. It also has the ability to display a clear and crisp picture on its curved screen, which is perfect for immersive triple-A titles as well.
Best for Console Gaming – DEPENDS
Since both monitors have HDMI 2.0 connectivity, with a 1440p resolution, they are also both compatible with new-generation consoles. Of course, connecting them to a console means that their framerate will be effectively cut in half, as they can only support 120 Hz framerates at 1440p. That being said, the main differentiating factor between the two monitors is their viewing angles. If you plan on gaming on a console solo, then the Samsung Odyssey G7 is perfect, as it has an aggressively curved screen which is meant to be viewed from the front. Then again, if you prefer to play local multiplayer console games with others, then the Dell Alienware AW2721D’s non-curved screen and excellent horizontal viewing angles are more in-tune with what you need. Do note, however, that the Xbox Series X does have AMD FreeSync compatibility, which will only be useful with the Odyssey G7, as the Dell AW2721D does not support AMD adaptive sync.
Best for General Use – Dell Alienware AW2721D
If you plan on using either one of these two monitors for more than just gaming, then the more accurate color reproduction, as well as the far superior power efficiency of the Dell Alienware AW2721D may be worth the extra cost. If you are looking to create or edit content – like photos, videos, or 3D graphics – you may also need a multi-monitor setup, which the Dell AW2721D is best for.
Of course, if you just want a monitor for gaming, watching videos – and perhaps using simple programs like Microsoft Office, Skype/Discord, or web browsing – then the Samsung Odyssey G7’s value is just too good to pass up.