Dell U2412M Input Lag and Power Use

For testing lag, I am trying a new solution to our previous testing method. I’m trying out SMTT, which is designed specifically for measuring lag in LCD displays. Using DirectX it manages to push over 1,000 frames per second to a display, allowing for millisecond accuracy instead of relying on time demos that often run well below that threshold. Using this method, we can actually determine two different values: The input lag for the LCD to initially respond, and then the total lag from when the new frame is received to when it is completely drawn and at full brightness. This last one is the overall important value, as it is what gamers would be most concerned with. It’s important to have as low an "input lag" as possible so that even if the screen isn’t fully drawn yet (the pixels will be changing over) you will be able to begin to get that feeling of responsiveness.

Processing Lag Comparison (By FPS)

Here we see that the overall lag value measured OK, at 17ms. The input lag, which was also measured, was just under 2ms, which indicates that the Dell responds very quickly, and then it’s just a matter of the pixel response time. One thing to keep in mind here is that the 17ms response time is the total time from input to peak brightness, and then it takes 15ms to fall back to another value. When I actually look at the test subjectively and not objectively, you can certainly see the change in the pixel after 7-8ms of time. So I could report it as 8ms of lag, as that’s about what I think you would experience in a real world situation, but the worst case scenario seems to be 17ms, which is what I’m choosing to report as that’s the objective number.

The CRT still comes in perfect, and that’s what the LCD should aim to do; picking a number that gives a better result, even if it might be more applicable to the real world, feels like cheating. Perhaps we will get a future display technology (like OLED or CrystalLED that I saw at CES this year) that will bring us back to CRT response times, but until that happens I’m going with the objective, worst case measurement. I will report the “real world estimate” along with it, though, so you can use that for your own judgment. Please let me know what you think of this in the comments section.

I made the assumption that with a larger panel and the 300 nits of light output that the Dell would not be the most eco friendly panel I had seen. Happily I found this to not be the case. It drew just 36 watts at maximum brightness and only 16W at minimum brightness, less than even the 23” Dell U2311H from last year. I don’t know if it is more efficient LED lights, or a more transparent panel that allows more light through, but Dell did a good job keeping the power use low on the U2412M.

LCD Power Draw (Kill-A-Watt)

Dell U2412M Brightness and Contrast Conclusion: A Good 16:10 IPS Display
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  • Finraziel - Friday, March 02, 2012 - link

    Perhaps if all you do on that screen is play games, yes... Personally, I'd LOVE 120 hz, I can often still see chopping at 60hz and hate it. But, so far, getting a 120hz monitor means you have to compromise at just about everything else. I also hate the colourshifts in TN screens and I do other stuff on my system as well for which I really don't want to go to a 1080p screen (yes, I'd miss those 120 lines). If anything, if I'm buying a new screen, I want more desktop space, not less.
    Maybe new display technologies will make it possible to offer 120 hz at higher resolutions and better display quality. Until then I guess I'll stick with my old dell 2405FPW...
    Reply
  • T2k - Thursday, March 01, 2012 - link

    You must be blind. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    This IS a review of a quality monitor. It might not fit your needs, but it is above any TN screen, and priced in the ballpark of the best of those. It isn't intended to be the best out there, but provide a decent 16:10 at a relatively low price point.

    Anandtech.com reviews a wide variety of monitor qualities, if you think they just do low-quality monitors you must have just started reading here and need to learn how to look up past articles. It's not hard.

    ;)
    Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    He/She wasn't attacking anantech.

    And this screen is not much better than a TN monitor except in viewing angles.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Wow, you screen snobs are getting overbearing. Reply
  • SlyNine - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Yea, because saying this screen isn't much better then a TN monitor makes him a screen snob...

    You don't own a Dell U2412M by any chance do you ?
    Reply
  • DarkUltra - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    It should have said so in the header. Now it says only IPS which is misleading, aka getting more hopeful visitors. Reply
  • Visual - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Totally agree, calling eIPS IPS is downright lieing to your readers. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Panel Type eIPS

    What are you on about exactly?
    Reply
  • Visual - Thursday, March 01, 2012 - link

    Article title. Reply

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