Dell's top-end LCD recently made headlines when it disappeared from the Dell website. There has been no official recall of 3008 LCDs already shipped, which leaves some users wondering if they might get stuck owning a $2000 v1.0 lemon. We first heard about the 3008WFP in late 2007, and quite a few were on display at the Dell CES 2008 booth. We've had a standing request in with Dell to get a review sample as soon as possible, but we're still waiting on that. We asked our Dell contacts about the status of the 3008WFP in order to get some clarification. Here's the official word:

"The Dell 3008 monitor has been well received since launch and has been very popular with customers. In February we experienced a small technical issue with the product that has been long resolved. Currently the monitors are on extended lead times and in order to manage demand, the 3008 is not available on We are managing orders on a prioritized basis and hope to have the product available to all customers in the near future. The Dell 3007 and 2707 monitors, also very popular with customers, are available at"

Dell wouldn't go into additional details other than to state that the technical issue is resolved and they are currently playing catch up to fulfill the large demand for the 3008WFP. That is why they are managing orders on a prioritized basis and have (temporarily) removed it from their website. The older 3007WFP remains available, of course.

So what could have caused the problems and who does this affect? We'd love to know more about what may or may not be wrong with the earlier revisions; it could be that any technical issues were corrected before end customers actually started receiving product. [Ed: Speculation Alert! Take the following with a grain of salt.] The most likely culprit for problems would be with the new technologies incorporated into the 3008WFP. For starters, this is the first Dell 2560x1600 LCD to include a hardware scaler. That allows it to support multiple input options, rather than being limited to dual-link DVI. The hardware scaler may also introduce some input lag - something we will be sure to test when we receive our review sample. We do know that of the LCDs we've tested so far, the lowest input lag so far comes on the 30" LCDs we have.

The other new technology is DisplayPort, yet another digital video standard that takes the place of DVI/HDMI. Whether or not DisplayPort is actually necessary is something that can be debated, but as a long-term solution it does offer benefits over DVI. The current standard offers better bandwidth, with support for up to 10.2 Gb/s; that matches HDMI 1.3, and exceeds single-link DVI (3.96 Gb/s) and dual-link DVI (7.92 Gb/s) by a substantial amount. DisplayPort is a packetized protocol, which means it is much easier to increase the bandwidth and capabilities in the future. Perhaps most important is that it is a license-free and royalty-free standard, unlike HDMI, and it still supports audio, unlike DVI. The drawback, of course, is that as a new standard it will require new displays and graphics cards and will likely introduce a short-term price premium relative in devices that support the technology.

All that talk of DisplayPort being a potential cause for the delays does have some other circumstantial evidence to back it up. We received a Dell 2408WFP for review about two months ago - another LCD that supports DisplayPort. Before we could complete the review, however, Dell requested that we send the sample back as it was a pre-production model and the retail versions were not identical. Was this another "technical issue" causing delays? Dell would not confirm; all we know is that the pre-production display performance was "slightly different than what is shipping to customers". However, it did take two months before we received an updated 2408WFP for review. We are happy to report that we now have the 2408WFP and several other 24" LCDs, and we are hard at work on a 24" LCD roundup. [Ed: /speculation]

While we're here talking about Dell's 3008WFP, it's probably a good idea to give our overall take on the 30" LCD market. While the added flexibility of multiple inputs may be useful to some people, if you only plan to connect a 30" LCD to a single PC you're probably best off saving money and buying one of the currently shipping 30" offerings. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive review samples of many of the 30" LCD offerings. However, our favorite so far - in terms of price and features - is the HP LP3065, since you get three dual-link DVI inputs for a reasonable price of $1200-$1300. That's a slight price premium relative to the Dell 3007WFP-HC ($1150-$1200), or you could opt for the more expensive ($1700) Gateway XHD3000 with support for multiple video inputs, similar to the 3008WFP. The Dell and HP LCDs are S-IPS, which we feel puts them at the top of the totem pole in terms of overall quality. However, the Gateway uses an S-PVA panel, and since we haven't used it in person we'll withhold judgment for now.

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  • Visual - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    You are referring to overdrive ghosting?
    I have a 2407-HC, and I haven't noticed it even once in regular use. Maybe I'll see it only with a specially designed test just for that purpose.
    Granted, I switched from an old 19" Samsung where response time ghosting was easily noticeable, and I used it so much I got used to it to the point of not minding it in 95% of cases. I also have poor eyesight and wear glasses.
    Regardless, the 2407-HC works great for me.

    And they do not ignore the problem, like you say. I read that it is fixed in the 2408 - but now they seem to have a problem with input lag and poorer colors. You can't have everything perfect, I guess.
  • Visual - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    Down with DisplayPort! I'll never ever buy a displayport gpu, and if I buy a monitor with it it will certainly also have HDMI or DVI.
    I would hate if this standard becomes popular, there is absolutely no reason for it to exist.

    Right now I am wondering, would FullHD movies upscaled on a 2560x1600 resolution display look better or worse than on a native 1920x1080 display? It not being an exact multiple, I'm having doubts about how good an upscaler could be... it's like resizing a 32x32 icon to 42x42.
  • chromeAlterEgo - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    The one feature that has me interested in display port is the ability to daisy chain multiple displays through a single cable.

    Unfortunately this is for *future* versions so I'm not sure if my 2408 will be compatible or no. The fewer the cables the better!">">
  • FUXX - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    I've been running a Dell 2408WFP and a Palit 9600GT using DisplayPort for about a month now... been pretty happy with it so far. Seems like an improvement over DVI. I had a dead pixel after only a couple weeks on the 2408 though... which makes me a sad panda. :( Only noticable on a completely black screen though.
  • Visual - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    How is it an improvement over DVI in your case? From what I understand, you don't use neither audio over that cable, not a resolution that's too high for DVI, nor anything else that DVI lacks. Are you referring simply to the sleeker ports?

    And then, even if you did need anything that DVI lacks, HDMI already provides it.

    DisplayPort is totally redundant... for now. Soon this will change - it will become actually limiting. Right now your video card has DVI and HDMI outputs besides the newfangled DisplayPort, so you can use it to connect to TVs and other CE products. But if it gets more popular, we might lose that flexibility.
    That is the real purpose of those pushing this new standard - separation between the PC and CE markets. And that's what I really hate about DisplayPort.
  • FXi - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    Ever had an HDMI cable go bad and reject your output screen? If you've ever faced that, then you know HDMI is horribly picky, and incredibly expensive to repair or replace.

    IMO, that alone makes Displayport a better choice.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    If they actually have to pay to license HDMI then it is perfectly reasonable to replace it. That is ridiculous.
  • Visual - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    - Most DisplayPort products will also have a HDMI input as well, so they will be paying the full HDMI licenses regardless.
    - If there eventually are DisplayPort-only products, I myself wouldn't buy them, regardless of the savings offered. I like the convenience of being able to use my monitor with consumer-electronic sources and will pay for it.
    - To support HDCP, which is absolutely a necessity, DisplayPort will still have the HDCP licenses, can't avoid that.
    - I've not seen a quote about how much the HDMI licenses rises the price of the final products, until then I am not convinced. I mean it is totally not worth it if it's just to save ten bucks.

    The last point is perhaps the most important... if the only reason to push DisplayPort on us really is lower price, then they should actually let us know by how much lower it can be. Give us the numbers. Until they do, I just see no reason for DisplayPort.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    You mean, besides potentially technological benefits? Honestly, DisplayPort at present is a non-entity, at least in terms of GPUs. There are only a few devices that support it. Now, given the number of HDMI cards and displays, DP has a tough row to hoe; but it may still be the better standard. For one, it has bandwidth already equal to HDMI 1.3, which few are supporting. Second, the packetized data transport may result in future bandwidth scaling.

    As an example of some of the issues I would like to avoid, I recently connected a Gateway laptop to a Samsung 24" LCD via HDMI. Guess what didn't work? The resolution you would expect: 1920x1200@60 Hz. For whatever reason, the display with HDMI maxed out at 1920x1080@30 Hz. Yuck! I'm not sure if the problem was in the Samsung LCD or in the Gateway laptop, but I do know that if I use a digital interface - DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort - I had damn well BETTER get the native display resolution.

    Oh, and would it be too much to ask for LCDs to identify - and include support for - all the expected widescreen resolutions? 1920x1200 on a 24" LCD is a given, naturally, but I still seem to encounter 24" LCDs that don't immediately inform the PC that they also work with 1680x1050, 1440x900, and 1280x800... and in at least one case I discovered that 1280x800 didn't work right. Dell got this right for sure on the 2407WFP, and I think it was correct with the 2405FPW. Why on earth do I see newer displays (Samsung 245T) that don't always work properly at other 16:10 resolutions!?


    I'm not ready to call DisplayPort good, bad, evil, or anything really. It may end up in the BetaMax camp, though.
  • Visual - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    Hey, I appreciate all the troubles you're going through and I whole-heartedly agree with you - I'm all for better quality products.
    But nothing from your rant really has to do with DisplayPort vs HDMI. Nothing shows me what "technological benefits" it has.

    So far they are equally good, and despite what hype buzzwords like "packetized data transport" may make you believe, they both can improve the same too.

    So then, why do we need both? Why even come up with DisplayPort, when we already had HDMI? Why try to separate the PC and the CE markets?

    I'm not saying that DisplayPort is a bad standard - just that it is no better than what we already have, and so is not needed. And I fear that the reason it is being pushed on us by the tech companies may be bad.

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