Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q review: truly a class apart



During our performance tests and subjective use, the Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q monitor performed admirably in all respects, and it’s very well built. If you’re looking for a 4K monitor for work or pleasure, it really is one of the best, there’s no question about it. If you can afford it, just close your eyes and buy it.

Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q Detailed Review

Screen resolution is a curious thing; The internet abounds with arguments both for and against 4K, but our experience with the excellent Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q puts us very firmly in the court that says 4K should be mandated as a fundamental right (only for PC users). for, in this context) and those who argue otherwise don’t really know what they’re talking about.

The Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q is the first IGZO display to grace our test lab, and it caused quite a stir when it arrived. For those who don’t know, IGZO stands for Indium-Gallium-Zinc-Oxide, a semi-conducting compound “used in TFT backplanes of flat-panel displays”. Without going into technical details, this semi-conductor allows for faster transmission of electric current and this matters because it allows manufacturers to create displays with higher pixel densities (or better refresh rates).

Ignoring the use case for the moment, the monitor itself performs on par with any IPS panel in its class. The contrast ratio came in at a very decent 545:1, as measured by our Spyder 3 calibration as well, with brightness also good at around 300cd/m2. In fact, the monitor scored quite well in all of our monitor tests, managing to score above average in everything.

One area where the monitor stands out is with regards to build quality. It’s a very large and somewhat heavy monitor, but it’s exceptionally well built and very stable for its 32-inch frame. The Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q’s OSD is also one of the smoothest we’ve seen and a pleasure to use (the buttons are touch-sensitive). All the connectivity ports are neatly placed on its back panel and hooking or unhooking wires to any of its peripheral ports is not too cumbersome. One thing we did note is that the top of the monitor gets extremely hot but the screen itself doesn’t generate much heat, making the viewing experience more pleasant.


What we’re basically saying is that this monitor is great and if you’re looking for a 4K monitor for work or pleasure, it really is one of the best ones around, no questions about it Not only. If you can afford it, buy it.

However, there are some serious issues with the technology that 4K is built around that makes it a bit of a pain if you’re the type who plays a lot of games or generally switches resolutions a lot. Our test rig includes an Intel Core i7 3960x, 32GB of DDR3 RAM running at 2400MHz, and a GTX760 GPU. This rig was specifically chosen to demonstrate the effects of 4K on a very capable mid-range GPU with the GPU being the bottleneck. From our tests we found that many games were playable (at around 25-35fps in games like BioShock Infinite) but we had to reduce the settings to medium or low to hit that holy grail of 60fps. If you’re going to game on this display, you’re obviously going to need a beefy rig.

While someone with a more powerful GPU (or multiple GPUs) will be able to work around this, the more significant problem we encountered was with respect to the way Windows 8.1 handles 4K, the software on your PC, and your GPU drivers. First, you need a DisplayPort 1.2 ready GPU and cable if you want to drive your display at 60Hz (otherwise it defaults to 30Hz, which is painful). Secondly, almost every time your PC goes to sleep, half the panel won’t wake up and you’ll either be stuck with half the panel at one resolution and the other half at one resolution, or half the panel off and the other, at (4K an artifact of the manufacturing process).

Either way, using a PC like this is very frustrating, especially if you have to spend a few minutes resetting your monitor every time your PC goes into sleep mode. The problems do not end here. Given that most apps are designed for 1080p, font and graphics scaling doesn’t happen properly on many third-party apps, including uTorrent and even Chrome (up to update 36).

Obviously, all of the above “issues” are software issues that will go away with time, but for the time being, these issues are a bit frustrating to deal with when they pop up. That said, when it comes to getting real work done, the true joy of a 4K display has to be experienced to be believed.

Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q Key Features, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 04 September 2014
Market Position: Start

key specs

  • screen size screen size


  • display type display type


  • refresh rate refresh rate


  • connector type connector type


Anirudh Residency

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