Choosing a 27-inch 1440p 144 Hz monitor can be a difficult decision to make in this day and age. As this resolution/framerate combination continually grows in popularity – due, especially, to the fact that it appears to be the sweet spot for the performance levels that the latest GPUs can produce – more and more models are being produced, to the point of oversaturating the market.
Two solid, and very popular, IPS monitors circulating – and discounted as of late – are the Dell S2721DGF and the LG 27GL850-B. These IPS-panel monitors display over a billion colors, offer refresh rates at (or above) 144 Hz, and perform with incredibly low response times and input lag; making them ideal options for competitive and triple-A gamers alike.
Indeed, both are suitable and respectable options for any build; but is there a superior choice between the two? Since their prices are similar – and, in fact, almost identical – does one monitor pull ahead in terms of performance, at least enough to warrant a preference over its counterpart?
In order to answer these questions, we will list and analyze every aspect pertaining to the performance of these monitors, and reach a verdict on which option best deserves to be the output for your PC’s graphical processing capabilities.
|Monitor||Dell S2721DGF||LG 27GL850-B|
|Screen Size||27 inches||27 inches|
|Resolution||2,560 x 1,440 pixels||2,560 x 1,440 pixels|
|Refresh Rate||165 Hz||144 Hz|
|Aspect Ratio||16 : 9||16 : 9|
|Bit Depth||10 bits (8 bits + FRC)||10 bits (8 bits + FRC)|
|Colors||1.07 billion||1.07 billion|
|Contrast||1,000 : 1||800 : 1|
|Brightness||360 to 480 nits||350 to 400 nits|
|MPRT||1 ms||1 ms|
Appearance – Dell S2721DGF
Given its more modern, and rather simplistic design, the Dell S2721DGF can be argued to be the more elegant of the two options. The LG 27GL850-B, with its red accents covering the backside of the monitor, as well as the backside of the V-shaped stand, may not be as suitable for an office setting as the Dell S2721DGF. Additionally, the 2721DGF has an LED-lit accent running across the perimeter of the ventilation; which is blue in color and can only be turned either on or off (it is not RGB customizable). Both stands for each respective monitor have a cut-out, or pass-through clip, for better cable management.
The Dell S2721DGF has thin, 0.3” (0.7 cm), borders, an overall thickness of 6.3” (16 cm), and a 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) thickness without the stand. The Dell S2721DGF has 0.4” (1 cm) borders, an overall thickness of 6.5” (16.5 cm) with the stand, and a thickness of just 2.2” (5.6 cm) without the stand. Therefore, both monitors are excellent choices for multi-monitor setups, and can be mounted seamlessly either on a wall, or on a different stand.
Resolution & Refresh Rate – Dell S2721DGF
Though the resolutions are, of course, identical at 1440p (QHD), the Dell S2721DGF has a slightly higher refresh rate of 165 Hz; versus the 144 Hz of the LG 27GL850-B. Of course, this difference is hardly one that would be noticeable by most, nor can it be useful to the majority of gamers, given that even some of the best and most expensive PC hardware can maintain that level of framerate consistently – at least when it comes to single player, or triple-A titles.
For example, Techspot’s benchmarks show us that even the most powerful GPU for processing games at 1440p, the Radeon RX 6900 XT, can only reach an average of 169 FPS; while the more moderate upper-mid range Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 could only reach 153 FPS.
The reason why we give the advantage to the Dell S2721DGF in this category is because online-multiplayer gamers will surely find some utility from this increase in native refresh rate, given how less hardware intensive their gaming titles of choice are, and how even the slightest advantages can be incredibly useful for their mode of competition.
Contrast & Brightness– TIE
Given that both the Dell S2721DGF and the LG 27GL850-B make use of IPS panels, the contrast ratios will inherently be poor. In this case, neither model is an exception to this rule.
According to tests by rtings.com (S2721DGF, 27GL850-B), neither monitor reaches their modest, advertised, 1,000 to 1 contrast ratio; as the Dell S2721DGF was found to have a native contrast of 881 to 1, while the LG 27GL850-B had a native contrast of 735 to 1 – though, it must be mentioned that these values do fluctuate depending on the specific unit tested. These low metrics mean that black colors will look more like gray, especially when viewed in a darker environment.
In terms of brightness, once again both monitors are fairly similar, with the Dell S2721DGF displaying an SDR peak brightness level ranging from 341 to 368 nits, while the LG 27GL850-B reaches 315 to 347 nits. The same can be said for their HDR peak brightness, with the former model sustaining a real scene peak brightness of 328 nits (going as high as 490 nits) while the latter reached 341 nits (peaking at 391 nits).
Color Range – TIE
With the use of an 8-bit panel depth and Frame Rate Control (FRC) – a function that cycles through colors hastily enough to create the illusion that more intermediate colors tones are also recreated – both monitors are capable of reproducing up to 1.07 billion colors.
The LG 27GL850-B does admittedly come better calibrated out of the box, though it still will need tweaking to reach an acceptable, accurate, level of color reproduction.
For the SDR color gamut, the Dell S2721DGF can reproduce 99.6% of the sRGB color spectrum and 84.4% of the Adobe RGB color space; with an SDR color volume of 97.5% for sRGB, and 89.5% for Adobe RGB. Almost identical results can be found for the LG 27GL850-B, which also reproduces 99.6% of the sRGB, and 84.2% of the Adobe RGB color spaces; with color volumes of 97.1% and 88.9% respectively.
The HDR color spectrums are, as can be expected, rather low: with the Dell S2721DGF reaching 73.8% and 70.4% of the of the DCI P3 and Rec. 2020 color spaces, while the LG 27GL850-B recreates 77.8% and 68.4% of these color spectrums respectively.
Response Time & Input Lag – TIE
Given that these monitors are specifically marketed towards gamers, it would be quite disappointing if their response times, or input lag, were too high – which, thankfully, is not the case. Both monitors display an equally exceptional level of performance for both these metrics.
As with most gaming monitors, these two options have different overdrive settings; the higher the setting that one applies, the lower the Grey-to-Grey (G2G) response time falls, but the higher the overshoot error percentage (the trail that can be seen on fast moving objects due to the pixels transitioning beyond their desired color) increases.
The Dell S2721DGF has three overdrive settings: Fast, Super Fast, and Extreme. The LG 27GL850-B has four: Off, Normal, Fast, and Faster. At its native resolution and framerate, the Dell S2721DGF – on the default Fast overdrive setting – has a total response time of just 6.3 ms, paired with only 0.9% overshoot error (which is ultimately negligible). At 60 Hz the total response time increases to 9.6 ms (still incredibly low) with 1% of overshoot. On its second to last (Fast) overdrive setting, the LG 27GL850-B has a total response time of 8.3 ms, with an overshoot of 5.4% (which is not too bad). At 60 Hz, on the Normal overdrive setting, it has a 9.6 ms total response time (identical to the S2721DGF) with just 1.3% overshoot.
Input lag results are equally impressive, with the Dell S2721DGF displaying just 3.7 ms of latency on its native resolution (4.8 ms with VRR enabled), that increases to 11.1 ms at 60 Hz (12.4 ms with VRR enabled). Slightly higher are the results of the LG 27GL850-B, which measured 4.3 ms of input lag at its native resolution and refresh rate (4.7 ms with VRR enabled), and 14 ms at 60 Hz (13.2 ms with VRR enabled). The differences between the measurements are small enough to be within the margin of testing error, so no clear victor arises in this category.
Ergonomics – Dell S2721DGF
Though the ergonomic versatility of a monitor will hardly be a deal maker or breaker, the Dell S2721DGF does deserve its props for the level of flexibility that it allows.
Its stand allows the screen’s height to be adjusted to up to 130 mm (~5.12 inches), while it can also pivot (clockwise or counterclockwise) by 90 degrees (allowing for both landscape and portrait orientations), swivel by 45 degrees (to either left or right direction), and tilt forwards by 5 degrees & backwards by 21 degrees.
The LG 27GL850-B can reach a maximum height of 110 mm (~4.33 inches), it can pivot (only to the right) by 90 degrees, and it can tilt forwards by 5 degrees & backwards by 15 degrees. It cannot swivel in either direction.
Both screens can be removed from their respective stands, and are VESA compatible; with a Mounting Interface Standard (MIS) of 100 x 100 mm (~3.94 x 3.94 in).
Power Consumption– TIE
Given its higher innate refresh rate, it is rather surprising that the Dell S2721DGF expends less power on average, when compared to the LG 27GL850-B. To be more specific, it consumes 32 W on average, with a maximum power consumption of 90 watts. On the other hand, the LG 27GL850-B consumes 39 W on average, and a maximum of 65 W. A small enough difference to call it even for this category as well.
Connectivity – Dell S2721DGF
The latest gaming monitors will provide connectivity, not just for the display itself, but also for USB compatible peripherals like a keyboard, mouse, or microphone.
Both monitors have the same display connectivity: two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 slot, but the Dell S2721DGF has a total of five USB 3.0 ports: four Type-A downstream and one Type-B upstream; while the LG 27GL850-B has just two USB 3.0 Type-A downstream ports, and one USB 3.0 Type-B upstream port.
Neither monitor has built-in speakers, but they do have a 3.5 mm audio-out jack. The Dell S2721DGF also has an additional 3.5 mm audio-in jack, which is used to connect an external audio device.
Features – LG 27GL850-B
Where the Dell S2721DGF disappoints is its included features. It does have VRR support – in the form of AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility – but it otherwise only includes a low blue light filter, flicker-free technology, and the option of adding a timer overlay.
The LG 27GL850-B has a 6-axis joystick controller, for better navigating its menus, AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility, flicker-free technology, the option for both a timer and a crosshair overlay, DDC/CI (for calibrating the monitor), a Black Stabilizer (which automatically adjusts the gamma in dark scenes, making it easier to discern dark objects), Dynamic Action Sync (display lag minimizer), and Sphere Lighting (synchronizing the backlight dynamically depending on the in-game content).
Overall, the two monitors are relatively equal in performance, with the Dell S2721DGF having some slight advantages in refresh rate and ergonomics; as well as a more stylish external appearance. The LG 27GL850-B does have a wider array of included features, which the Dell S2721DGF lacks.
With the prices as they currently are (the Dell S2721DGF being marginally cheaper than the LG 27GL850-B) the superior monitor for any type of PC use would be the S2721DGF. The monitor fairs equally, or slightly better, than its LG counterpart in almost all aspects that deal with the monitors performance, and its extra refresh rate and ergonomics make it so that there really is no reason – other than perhaps brand loyalty – to choose the LG 27GL850-B over it.
That being said, the Dell S2721DGF does have other competition that rivals it, like the Gigabyte M27Q (which is by many means superior – you can view our comparison between the M27Q and the S2721DGF here). But, if we compare it to the LG 27GL850-B, and the monitors are at equal price, then it does become the clear victor in this matchup.