View topic - Review: Dell P4317Q 4k UHD Monitor

skipclarke
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Introduction



The Dell P4317Q is a 43” 4k UHD monitor that Dell aims at productivity users. It offers Picture by Picture modes that Dell dubs “Multi Client” in the full product name.

The Dell P4317Q is squarely aimed at office and home office workers who want to connect multiple devices to one monitor. I hadn’t considered replacing my Eyefinity + Ultrawide setup with a single large 4k display until I saw Linus review the Philips 40” 4k and note that with custom resolutions you can get ultrawide aspect images with a 34” – 38” diagonal.

With that revelation, I set out to try the large form factor 4k, and purchased the Dell P4317Q. Setup of the monitor is relatively straightforward. Unlike smaller Dell displays, the stand doesn’t click into place. Itis fixed into place with bolts in a 200mm VESA pattern, and hidden by a plastic cover. The only difficulty is trying to manage the size and weight of the panel by yourself.



Features



The Dell P4317Q is spec’d as follows:


  • 42.5” 16:9 aspect IPS panel

  • 4k 3840x2160 res w/ 104ppi

  • 60Hz (DP inputs only)




  • 1000:1 Contrast

  • 350 nits brightness

  • 8ms gray-to-gray response

  • 178 degree viewing angles

  • 44% Haze non-glare coating w/ 2H hardness

  • PIP & PBP modes




  • 1x DP & 1x mDP 1.2

  • 2x HDMI 1.4 (MHL)

  • 1x VGA




  • 4x USB 3.0

  • 8W Stereo Speakers

  • Audio In/Out




  • Tilt only – no rotate/no swivel

  • 100mm & 200mm VESA mounting

  • I did wall-mount mine – as shown in the picture

  • Dell Display Manager software

  • $1000 Retail



Most of the specs are what you’d expect. I wouldn’t expect FreeSync from Dell, as they’ve put out G-Sync panels in the past. It would be nice to see a higher refresh rate – even just 75Hz, and a curved display. The one real head scratcher is the lack of HDMI 2.0, which means you can’t run Xbox One or PS4 at 4k 60Hz.

With all that out of the way, let’s look at how the Dell P4317Q actually performs. In this review, we’ll go from good to bad – from the things that work well, to those that could use some work.



Form & Function



Though not perfect, the Dell P3417Q really shines in the area of Form & Function.



21:9 Custom Resolutions


Let me start this section by saying, I really like this form factor. I really, really like the large-scale screen and 4k resolution. The 43” 16:9 is several inches wider than both a 34” or 38” ultrawide panels. And it’s about the size of a pair of 25” or 27” 16:9 panels.

With custom resolutions, you can game on a 39” ultrawide canvas. You can play in either a non-scaled 3840x1600 resolution, as offered on the LG 38UC99; or you can scale the more common 3440x1440 ultrawide resolution found on 34”panels across the larger canvas to help reduce performance hit.

You can also try out the double-wide 3840x1080 resolution and 32:9 aspect that Samsung is championing in their new CHG90 ultrawide panel. You can also game in the doublewide aspect, with the PBP functionality enabled, and use two other inputs for wikis, YouTube, chat, etc.



PBP & PIP



Using the 43” screen in PBP mode means that each 1080p quadrant is about 21.5” wide. This is close to the same size as the 23” panels at my day job, and significantly larger than my 15” work and personal notebooks. All-in-all a nice screen size. Much smaller, and I think the quadrants begin to love their usability.

Dell offers a couple of cool PBP options, but I wish they had more variety. They offer a vertical side-by-side, three input option with the left column split into 16:9 segments, a quad 2-by-2 arrangement, and finally another three input option where the top row is a single band.

I don’t have much use for the options with vertical segments, though I guess that could be useful for coding and long spreadsheets. I really like the option with the horizontal slice on top, and the two 1080p segments below. With custom Windows resolutions, you can mimic a dual 1080p configuration with just one input. I wish that Dell offered a mode with the horizontal stripe on the bottom.

Setting up the PBP options are easy. Once a mode is activated, you can easily select which input is mapped to which portion of the screen. The display labels each segment to help with the happing. If desired you can duplicate an input into multiple segments. If you use a 1080p input on a full horizontal stripe, the signal is centered, creating a pyramidal viewing experience.

The PIP functionality works good as well. The default size is 1080p, and it takes one full quarter of the screen. A smaller 720p option is also available. The PIP window can be moved between all four corners. I do wish that the P43137Q offered a smaller 480p PIP window, and more options for fine tuning a specific location.

The Samsung 28” 4k 30Hz panel that I tested years ago offered small, medium and large options. It also allowed for fine tuning of location using the OSD joystick. It would be cool to set a PIP window for chat or broadcast monitoring while Twitch streaming, and ensure it didn’t block HUD elements in the game you were playing.

Enabling and configuring both PBP and PIP are done through the monitor OSD menu. Dell continues to do a really good job with their OSD. If you’ve used a previous model of Dell panel, the OSD here will be familiar to you. I also like the tactile physical buttons on the P3417Q.

Controls & OSD



I’ve grown tired of the capacitive touch buttons on the Dell UltraSharp monitors I’ve been using. It’s difficult to find the right button in the dark, I never press the right one first, and end up mashing the virtual buttons like I’m playing in a Street Fighter 2 midnight tournament.

Another place that the P4317Q shines is with the Dell Display Manager software. The software is primarily used for the Easy Arrange feature that allows for segmenting of your desktop into virtual areas for window management. Easy Arrange offers twenty-one different layouts, with options ranging from “off” to six different virtual areas. The 21st option is a custom layout that you can create yourself.

DDM can also be used to adjust the display’s brightness, contrast, and the color temp without diving into the OSD. It also offers links to change the resolution within Windows, make automatic changes to the color temp based on the active application, and set a hotkey for the PBP/PIP zoom function.

One interesting note is that the Easy Arrange feature can be used independently for each unique Windows source in the PBP arrangement. For example, the top horizontal slice could be set to use three vertical columns, and a second machine could be set for a 2x2 layout in one PBP quadrant.



Technical Performance



From here we exit the space of what the Dell P3417Q does really well, and move into some shaky ground. Even considering the price tag of the monitor, the P3417Q isn’t in the top tier of Dell monitors. The P designation at the front is for their midline Professional series. Where the top-tier monitors in the UltraSharp category get the U designation.

So, we can’t expect the P3417Q to be a top performing panel. But exactly how well does it fair? I used the Spyder 5 Elite+ to analyze the display’s performance on the Standard color setting, after calibration. The calibrated brightness setting of 120 nits is about 25%.

Testing Results:


  • The P3417Q covers 100% of sRGB and 79% of AdobeRGB, earning it a 5/5 rating

  • A gamma of 2.5 receives 1.5/5, and a White Point of 11k bottoms out at 0/5

  • The panel is rated at 350 nits of brightness, and achieves this at about 80% brightness

  • It maxes out at 420 nits

  • Contrast ratio averages 625:1 above 25% brightness – far less than the 1000:1 claimed

  • The Spyder still rates this at a 5/5

  • The four color presets align to color temps as follows: Standard (11,200K), Paper (5300K), Warm (6200K), Cool (10,400K)

  • The panel suffers significantly in the luminance uniformity, with the top third averaging 15% dimmer than the center, with an average 10% dip in the bottom center.

  • The panel does rate highly in color uniformity, though it does suffer a bad hot spot at 100%

  • Overall color accuracy is very good with an average Delta E of 1.43 prior to calibration, with 1F blue being the one anomaly at a 7.18

  • Calibration with the Spyder 5 raises the average to 1.94, but lowers the max value to 3.93 and improves the color-to-color consistency.

  • Overall Spyder rates the P3417Q at 3.5/5

  • Above average overall, with some well performing areas, but with serious deficiencies in White Point and Luminance Uniformity

  • These issues may not be noticeable to a home user. Media professionals, or any serious media hobbyist should be aware.





Other Performance Notes



On the gaming side, performance is what you would expect from an IPS panel from Dell. It isn’t a high refresh rate, but I didn’t notice any bad ghosting either. Nothing spectacular. But nothing bad. Viewing angles are also very good, as expected.

A couple of other points to make. When researching the Dell P3417Q, I found a number of people experiencing different issues with the panel. The first of the reported issues was image retention on the panel. The second was problems with font smoothing due to the panel having a BRG sub-pixel layout, rather than the more traditional RGB. And the last was flickering of the backlight due to PWM implementation for brightness control.

I’m happy to say that I didn’t see any of these issues. In using the panel for a month, I never noticed any issues with image retention. I implemented True Type fonts in Windows 10, and enabled font smoothing in Mac OS X, and didn’t see any issues with fonts on either OS.

Finally, Dell has attempted to address the issue of PWM flickering. They suggest one or two solution courses. One, keep the brightness at 75% or above, and two to use an updated firmware – revision M2C103. I kept the brightness at 75% for my own preference, and the monitor came with M2C103 already installed. Dell now offers a newer BIOS – M2C2014.

One odd note is that while using PBP, I couldn’t get the monitor to power off when my machines were in sleep mode. The display would stay on, and show each segment as not having an input signal. When a single source would go idle, the display would sleep just fine.



Conclusions



If we were to consider the first parts of this review the Good and the Bad, or maybe the Good and the Meh. The price point would be the Ugly. The Dell P3417Q retails for about $1000 – on either Amazon or Dell.com.

This is $300 more than the retail price for the similar LG 43UD79 43” 4k panel. While $300 less, the LG model offers a total of six inputs – versus the four on the Dell. The LG panel swaps the mini-DP for a USB Type-C, and adds 2x HDMI 2.0 inputs. The 43UD79 also comes with AMD FreeSync – which is helpful when trying to game at high resolutions.

And it comes with a remote which makes easy work of volume, brightness, selecting PBP/PIP, selecting an audio source, navigating the OSD menu and more. The LG 43UD79 would need some significant performance issues to offset being $300 cheaper.

With comparable, and possible better options on the market for 70% of the price – I can’t recommend the Dell P3417Q. Maybe if it offered some premium feature such as G-Sync or a curved screen. But as it stands, I can’t recommend it to any individual user.

If your company is a Dell shop, and you’re locked into buying Dell, and you’re not producing media, then this may be a pricey option for you. Just know the pros and more importantly – the cons – of your purchase.

For now, I’ll be returning my P3417Q to Dell, and looking to the LG option as an alternative.
Last edited by skipclarke on 25 Jul 2017, 23:34, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Edit
Peteraa1
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Joined: 16 Jul 2017, 15:22
Personally, I like about a 32" 16x9 1440p IPS panel as a general purpose monitor. Some models are plenty fast enough for gaming, so long as you're not a professional, competitive gamer, in which case, you probably already know what kind of monitor you need.
theocrates
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Great review, thanks for this:)

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