Alienware AW2518HF 240Hz Review. The Alienware AW2518HF is a gaming monitor with a crazy high 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and AMD’s FreeSync, so let’s check it out and find out if it’s a monitor you should consider.
The Alienware AW2518HF has a 24.5 inch display with a 16 by 9 aspect ratio and runs with a 1080p resolution, so 1920 by 1080, fairly standard. Now here’s where it gets really interesting, the TN panel runs with a 240Hz refresh rate, has a 1ms grey-to-grey response time and features AMD’s FreeSync, making it perfect for gaming.
As it’s got FreeSync you’ll need an AMD graphics card to take advantage of this, unfortunately I’ve only got Nvidia cards here, so I wasn’t able to test that out myself, however the non F version is basically the same but comes with G-Sync rather than FreeSync, though it does cost a bit more, as is typical with G-Sync monitors.
As mentioned it’s using a TN panel, so it’s going to look best directly front on. Dell list the viewing angles as 170 degrees horizontally and 160 degrees vertically. Looking side to side I didn’t notice too much of a change, even from above it was mostly fine, it was only really bad when looking from underneath, but that’s pretty standard with TN panels.
In terms of colour gamut I could only find these ones listed, and unfortunately my Spyder 5 Pro doesn’t test most of these, so I’ve performed my own testing which resulted in 96% of sRGB, 71% of NTSC, and 75% of AdobeRGB, so it’s actually pretty decent for a monitor that’s primarily designed for gaming, I’d happily use it for content creation.
The panel also has has a peak brightness of 400 nits, and with my own measurements found that it went up to 450 with the brightness at 100% so it gets fairly bright and has a 1000 to 1 contrast ratio. I’ve also performed my usual backlight bleed test, which involves having the screen completely black in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding.
I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst case scenario test. As you can see here it was basically fine in this regard, although this will of course vary between monitors. With the UFO test I wasn’t able to see ghosting myself, but I feel like I’m not very sensitive to it, I’ve recorded this at 180 FPS which is as high as my camera goes, so not quite the full 240 of the display but hopefully enough for you to see for yourself. It’s not all about the panel though, although 240Hz is pretty impressive.
Taking a look at the rest of the monitor the stand has solid black metal legs while the rest of it has a silver matte plastic cover featuring some subtle Alienware branding, and down the bottom of the stand there’s a hole for cable management.
The stand feels really sturdy, and even if I bump my desk it only wobbles a little. The bezels are fairly thin, at around 6mm or so based on my own measurements. The stand can also be easily removed if you plan on instead using the 100mm VESA mount instead.
The on screen display was pretty easy to use and navigate through, all of the buttons are found on the right hand side underneath the panel. The IO is on the back toward the bottom and faces down. From left to right there’s the power input, HDMI 2.0 port, audio line-out, second HDMI 2.0 port, DisplayPort 1.2, and USB 3.0 Type-B input which you connect to your computer to make use of the following two USB 3.0 Type-A ports. Once you’re done with the IO you can optionally place this grey plastic cover over the back to tidy it up a bit.
On the very bottom of the panel there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and two more USB 3.0 Type-A ports as part of the USB hub. To actually use the 240Hz refresh rate make sure your graphics card supports at least HDMI 2.0, or DisplayPort 1.2 as these are required in order to actually drive 1080p at 240Hz. As for the included cables you get a HDMI cable, USB cable to make use of the USB hub, and of course power cable, no external power brick needed here.
The weight of the panel itself is 3.38kg while the weight of the stand by itself is almost as much at 3.22kg, like I mentioned earlier it’s a very sturdy stand. As for the dimensions, here’s what we’re looking at for the panel itself, and here’s how that changes with the stand attached and fully extended. For the adjustments there’s -5 to 25 degrees of tilt, 20 degrees of swivel in both directions, and 90 degrees of pivot in both directions, as well as up to 130mm of height adjustment and it will easily stay where you leave it.
So far the monitor looks quite good, but how was it to actually use day to day? As expected while playing games where I was actually able to get high enough frame rates everything looked really smooth, for example playing Overwatch on low settings with my Nvidia 1080 was getting around 250 FPS, other games like CSGO would be no problem though, especially if you dropped down to lower resolutions, so it really depends on the game, setting level used, and your PC hardware, but generally you’ll want pretty decent hardware to be able to run even less demanding games at 240 FPS.
Realistically in AAA games you won’t be getting anywhere near 240 FPS even with the best graphics cards currently available, however less demanding games and esports titles like CS:GO and Overwatch would actually be able to make use of it. As for the difference between this and 144Hz, I think I can just barely notice the difference, it’s quite slight and nowhere near as obvious as going from say 60Hz to 144Hz though, so a monitor like this is probably mainly for people playing competitively where the difference actually matters, or if you want to do whatever you can to get an edge over your opponent.
I’ve also used the monitor to edit some recent videos too, and as shown before the colour gamut isn’t too bad, to my eyes it definitely looked good enough to get the job done, so no problems there, you can definitely use it for more than just gaming. As for the price it’s going for around $699 AUD here in Australia, or around $349 USD while on sale in the US, there are cheaper 240Hz panels available out there but also more expensive options, so depends on the features you’re after, but this one has quite a few and is overall built really well.
So what did you guys think about the Alienware AW2518HF gaming monitor from Alienware? This is by far the highest refresh rate display I’ve ever tested and it was quite impressive. If you’re looking at taking your gaming to the next level then it’s definitely worth considering. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, and leave a share to let me know if you found the review useful.