Alienware Unveils A 500Hz FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor For eSports Domination
The fastest gaming monitor in the world now comes in a variant (AW2524HF) with AMD FreeSync Premium and VESA AdaptiveSync certification, which effectively means owners of any modern GPU can experience stutter-free, ultra high-speed gameplay. And by ultra high-speed, we mean a ridiculously fast 500Hz refresh rate. Just make sure you have a GPU that can keep up.
Or don't—owning a graphics card that's capable of pumping out triple-digit framerates is not a prerequisite for owning a monitor like Alienware's new AW2524HF. But if you want to take full advantage of the speed that's on tap, you'll want to pair this with something better than a low end graphics card, and ideally something on the level of a Radeon RX 7900 XTX.
If this sounds familiar, it's because Alienware trotted out a 500Hz gaming display with NVIDIA G-Sync support (AW2524H) earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show. Like that model, the AW2524HF with FreeSync Premium certification sports a native 480Hz refresh rate and uses 'overclocking' to squeeze out a slightly higher refresh rate.
Also notable is that Alienware is offering this kind of speed on an IPS panel with a claimed 0.5ms minimum gray-to-gray (GtG) response time, and not a cheaper TN display. Generally speaking, IPS panels offer wider color gamuts, better image accuracy, and wider viewing angles than TN. As it applies to the AW2524HF specifically, Alienware says it offers up 99% coverage of the sRGB color space.
This is a 24.5-inch monitor with a 1920x1080 resolution, which is pretty much the sweet spot for competitive esports. To achieve the native 480Hz or overclocked 500Hz refresh rate, you need to take advantage of its DisplayPort connectivity. Otherwise, you're limited to a still-fast 255Hz over HDMI.
Naturally, you're not going to approach 500 frames per second in most games, or even lower triple digits depending on the title. But competitive esports games tend to be less demanding, which is where these higher refresh rate displays come into play. Does it really matter? There's evidence to suggest that ultra-fast refresh rates do make a difference (see the results from NVIDIA's GeForce NOW KovaaK's Challenge).
Other specs include HDR10 support, 1,000:1 contrast ratio (typical), 400 nits brightness (typical), built-in ComfortView Plus Low Blue Light hardware, various ergonomic adjustments (tilt, swivel, and pivot), built-in cable management, and fairly robust connectivity—2x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.1, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 downstream, and 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 upstream.
Alienware also said it tweaked the design to feature a built-in retractable headset hanger, as well as shifted to a hexagonal base with a smaller footprint. Perhaps best of all, the FreeSync Premium variant is a little cheaper—it will be available on September 12 for $649.99, versus $799.99 for the G-Sync model.