Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q 4K Ultra HD Monitor Review

Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q Subjective Analysis

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 UP3214Q 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.
Subjective Tests
HD Movie Playback and Gaming

  Elysim @ 4K

The few issues we noticed in DisplayMate didn't seem to affect real-world performance while watching movies. Brightly lit scenes popped off the screen, and dark scenes were detailed without being washed out. The real challenge is finding 4K content -- there's not a ton out there, though you can find some videos on YouTube that run at 4K, as well as some other places.

Dirt 2 @ 1920x1080

Gaming performance was a pleasant surprise for the most part. Dell doesn't advertise the UP3214Q as a gaming monitor, which would be a tough sell with an 8ms response time. However, it performed fairly well in our tests. We didn't notice much ghosting or trailing images at 60Hz, though there was a bit of screen tear as objects flew by, which was obviously more pronounced when switching over to 30Hz.

The real downside to gaming on a 4K panel is that you need a meaty graphics card (or two) to drive that kind of resolution, especially in more demanding games.


The bulk of our testing was performed using the included DisplayPort cable connected to a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card. DisplayPort 1.2 (DP 1.2) can run this panel at 60Hz because it supports Multi-Stream Transport technology, which enables multiple monitors to be used on a single DisplayPort connector. What does that have to do with 60Hz?

Well, it's a trick that display makers use to enable a 60Hz refresh rate on this current generation of UHD screens. It's accomplished by dividing the display in half and having each of the two sections run at 1920x2160. Using MST technology, supported video cards can merge the two tiled sections for a single 3840x2160 display at twice the refresh rate (60Hz). This is how all current 4K displays work, and unfortunately, things can get wonky.

In our testing, the display would sometimes go black or fail to return to the correct setting after going into sleep mode. There were also times when only half the screen was visible. These anomalies weren't constant, nor are they unique to Dell, but they do pop up every now and then when running 4K monitors. There is still plenty of work to do on the firmware and driver fronts, and a myriad of non-VESA compliant DP cables also permeate the market, which can cause a host of other issues.

For the best possible experience at this time, be sure to use a compliant DP cable (a list of known good cables is available here), along with the latest drivers for your graphics card, the latest firmware for the monitor and graphics card.

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