While DisplayMate lays out a monitor's performance in black and white (and blue and green and red and...), we also take into consideration a subjective analysis. After all, you're not purchasing a monitor to view test patterns for hours on end. To see how the U3011 performs in the real world, we viewed a series of high definition movies and fired up a few games. Torturous, we know, but hey, you guys are worth every minute of our entertainment.
We enjoyed watching movies on the U3011 so much that we found ourselves spending an inordinate amount of time testing this aspect of performance, or at least that's the excuse we kept falling back on when neglecting family and pets in favor of high definition flicks. HD content looks absolutely stunning on Dell's flagship panel, and with so much screen real estate at your disposable, it's easy to let the hours fly by doing anything but actual work. When you factor in all the input options, the U3011 is great choice not only for graphics professionals and artists, but college students living in a dorm who might be looking for a way to spend their extra grant (or parent's) money.
With an advertised response time of 7ms (gray to gray), gamers might be inclined to automatically turn their nose up at the U3011, especially with so many monitors boasting much lower numbers. That would be a mistake. The thing about response time ratings (and monitor specs in general) is that they're borderline meaningless without a universal standard. Display manufacturers can (and do) measure various aspects of performance in various ways, and it's easy to twist the results for marketing purposes.
Our point? Despite the 7ms rating on the U3011, it's a darn good panel for gaming. In our testing, the U3011 didn't succumb to obvious ghosting, streaking, or other unwanted anomalies that affect lower quality displays. If you have the horsepower, gaming on a 30-inch monitor with a 2560x1600 resolution and all the eye candy maxed out is an awesome experience.