Ultrawide gaming is all about providing the most visually stunning gaming experience, possibly. With panoramic views and more gameplay in your eye line than anything else possible, this is going to be what everyone eventually considers the standard way to play games.
However, how do you get into it? What would be a good ultrawide monitor to get started with ultrawide gaming?
Let’s take a look and figure out which ultrawide monitor is better for gaming in 2020 – the LG 34GK950F, or the AW3418DW.
LG 34GK950F vs Dell AW3418DW: Specs Comparison
LG 34GK950F vs. AW3418DW: Benchmarks & Comparison
Taking a look at the specs of the two monitors, the first things that will become immediately apparent are its native max refresh rate – with the LG 34GK950F having a 144 Hz refresh rate compared to only 100 Hz of the Dell AW3418DW.
This max refresh rate is key for ultra-wide gaming, as most people are going to want to try to stick to 144 Hz when playing with ultra-wide. This isn’t necessarily a given; however, as 1440p 144 Hz gaming is really only just starting out, with many games still looking and feeling better to play when played at regular refresh rates and resolutions.
Both monitors being able to play at 1440p is a life changing experience; however, as you become completely engrossed in whatever you are playing. You get surrounded by all the details of the game and truly feel like you in the game world.
However, seeing as both monitors are 1440p, we need to look a little bit closer to try and decide between them.
The LG 34GK950F has more display outputs when compared to the Dell AW3418DW; The LG boasts a Display Port, 2 HDMI 2.0s, 2 USB 3.0s, and a regular headphone jack.
The Dell, meanwhile, only offers a single Display Port, a DP > Mini DP and some USB connections
This means that if you are planning on plugging in a variety of other peripherals to your monitor, you should definitely pick the LG 34GK90F.
This isn’t something that a lot of people really think about, but the exact degree of curve on your monitor is key for being able to determine what you want.
This is largely up to personal preference but still will play a part in your decision between the two.
The number of the curve radius refers to the radius of a circle that would appear if you completed the circular arc from the curve of the monitors. In other words, an 1800R curve monitor like the LG would have a diameter of 1800mm when measured from the central point.
A higher curve radius means a higher degree of curve. The two options are both pretty regularly seen in the ultra wide monitor community, but just remember that the higher the curve radius, the further back you want to sit from your monitor.
If you have a small amount of desk space to use your computer on, then you might want to go for the smaller curve radius.
The price of these two monitors is an odd thing, as they seem to vary wildly depending on where you buy them from. While the initial recommended retail price puts them about the same, you can pretty regularly find the LG for about $800, and sometimes the Dell at the amazingly low price of only $600.
Ultimately though, the Dell AW3418DW is definitely the cheaper option, as you can generally find it for a good couple of hundred dollars less if you look hard enough.
This one is very easy to determine – which one is the heaviest?
The Dell is noticeably heavier, both with and without the stand, roughly 2kg more than the LG option. While you might immediately assume that lighter is better, this isn’t always the case.
Lighter monitors are certainly better for those with lightweight desks, and for the moving crew who have to move your monitor into your new house, but heavier monitors have a place as well.
A heavier monitor is less likely to tip over after jostling, which can sometimes be a real benefit for those that prefer to keep their computer parts as safe as possible. For example, anyone living next to a train line with regular vibrations from the tracks might prefer the bulkier weight of the Dell.
Measuring the brightness, also known as the peak luminosity of a monitor can be a pretty difficult endeavour. There are all sorts of fine-tuning and unique methods of measurement to determine how bright a monitor can get.
One of the clearest is to measure the peak brightness when using standard definition. This allows you to see, by using a base level like with a movie or TV scene, how bright the monitor can get. This is measured in CD per meter squared, also known as candela per square meter.
For the LG, you can expect upwards of 350 cd/m^2, with the Dell only giving you roughly 262 cd/m^2.
This means that the LG 34GK950F is, on the whole, brighter and capable of offering up higher levels of peak luminosity.
LG 34GK950F vs. AW3418DW: Which Is The Best?
Choosing the best between these two monitors is difficult for any consumer because they are both fundamentally great monitors. They represent the latest and greatest innovations in ultra-wide gaming, offering up some really beautiful, crystal clear visual quality.
However, if money is no object, then you should go for the LG 34GK950F. While it is certainly more expensive, the better the light rating, the higher the native refresh rate, and the overall performance of the monitor makes it a pretty clear winner.
If you are more price-conscious, however, then definitely consider the Dell AW3418DW – it might lack some of the finer qualities of the LG, but it is certainly a close second.
What Other Ultra Wide Monitors Are Worth Considering?
Keep in mind that there are plenty other ultrawide monitors available all over the place, offering the same or similar excellent quality for equivalent price points.
One good option is the Acer X34 Predator. Sometimes referred to as the be all and end all of ultrawide gaming monitors, this monitor, while pretty pricey, offers up comparable quality to the LG 34GK950F, only with a lower refresh rate of 100Hz overclocked.
It might be a bit outdated, but it is most certainly a worthwhile investment if you are looking for the very best of the best when it comes to ultrawide gaming.