If you’re in the market for a QD-OLED ultrawide monitor, you may have come across the Alienware AW3423DWF from Dell. It’s the new, lower cost variant of the AW3423DW that we reviewed earlier this year and has garnered a lot of attention due to its more affordable price point. But is it worth considering over the original model? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two monitors.
Specs AW3423DWF vs AW3423DW
On paper, the main difference between the two models is a slightly lower refresh rate on the DELL AW3423DWF at 165Hz compared to 175Hz on the AW3423DW. However, in practice, this makes almost no difference while gaming as it’s only a 6% reduction.
So what makes the Alienware AW3423DWF cheaper? The removal of the NVIDIA G-Sync module in favor of a more traditional scaler. This drops the price by $200 from $1300 to $1100, which is a typical price difference between a G-Sync and non-G-Sync product with otherwise similar hardware.
Both monitors are listed on Dell’s website as the AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and NVIDIA G-Sync Ultimate variants, but either model works with Adaptive Sync technology from both brands.
So the AW3423DWF model works with both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs despite being listed under FreeSync, just like how the Alienware AW3423DW also works with AMD and NVIDIA GPUs despite being G-Sync branded and having the G-Sync module. There’s no need to pick a variant based on the GPU you have.
Design and Upgradable Firmware
In terms of design, the DWF model is almost identical to the Alienware AW3423DW, with the main difference being that all of the white panels have been replaced with black ones. This gives the Alienware AW3423DWF a stealthier look, which many people may prefer over the white version.
One notable difference between the two models is that the DWF has upgradable firmware, something that was an issue for early adopters of the AW3423DW.
The first batch of units had a few firmware bugs, such as standby issues and the OLED panel (qd oled panel) care features activating at suboptimal times. With the Alienware AW3423DWF, you can upgrade the firmware to fix any issues that may arise.
Response Times and Overdrive Settings
One area where there may be differences between the two monitors is in response times and overdrive settings. In our testing, we found that the Alienware AW3423DWF had slightly higher response times than the Dell AW3423DW in certain scenarios, though the difference was not significant.
Both monitors have a rated response time of 0.1ms, but in some cases, the DWF took slightly longer to change pixels. This could potentially result in slightly more visible ghosting in fast-paced games, but it’s important to note that the difference was minor and may not be noticeable to most users.
In terms of overdrive settings, the AW3423DWF has a bit more flexibility, with three options available: off, normal, and extreme. The Alienware AW3423DW only has two options: off and normal.
This gives the AW3423DWF a bit more control over how aggressively the pixels are driven, which could potentially result in slightly faster response times.
Color Performance and HDR Performance
In terms of color performance, we found that both monitors performed similarly, with both offering vibrant, accurate colors.
The AW3423DWF has a slightly wider color gamut, covering 99% of the DCI-P3 color space compared to 95% on the DW. This means that the AW3423DWF can display a wider range of colors, which could be beneficial for certain types of content.
In terms of HDR performance, both monitors are true HDR products with Display HDR True Black 400 certification, meaning that they are capable of displaying a wide range of luminance levels for a more realistic and immersive viewing experience.
In our testing, we found that both monitors offered excellent HDR performance, with deep blacks, bright highlights, and plenty of detail in both dark and light areas.
Brightness, Contrast, and Uniformity
In terms of brightness, both monitors are capable of reaching up to 400 nits, which is more than sufficient for most users.
However, the DWF has a higher maximum brightness setting of 700 nits, which could be beneficial for those who work in brightly lit environments or who want to take advantage of the full HDR experience.
In terms of contrast, both monitors offer excellent performance, with a contrast ratio of over 1,000,000:1. This means that they are able to display deep blacks and bright whites, resulting in an image with plenty of detail and depth.
In terms of uniformity, both monitors performed well, with minimal backlight bleeding and no noticeable hotspots. This is important for an immersive viewing experience, as uneven backlighting can be distracting and ruin the overall image quality.
Price Comparison and Final Thoughts
When it comes to price, the DWF is clearly the more affordable option, with a $200 price difference between the two models. This could be a deciding factor for those who are looking to save a bit of money while still getting a high-quality QD-OLED ultrawide monitor.
Overall, both the Alienware AW3423DW and AW3423DWF are excellent monitors that offer excellent performance, excellent color reproduction, and excellent HDR capabilities.
The main difference between the two models is the presence of the G-Sync module on the Alienware AW3423DW, which adds a bit of extra cost. However, for those who are willing to sacrifice G-Sync in favor of a more affordable price, the AW3423DWF is a solid choice that offers excellent value for money.
You forgot to mention the several problems with tone-mapping the DWF is having, images in HDR are being rendered washed out everywhere. There seems to be a workaround, which is setting the tone map as Source, which improves things but turns darker scenes all murky gray. To fix this now you have to select True Black mode, but now you lose the bright peaks of HDR 1000… I really don’t know which one to get atm.
Thank you for your comments, they are very appreciated by me.