Last year I spent time with one of the first UltraHD monitors to be come out and came away convinced of the benefits. Even though the screen size was not much larger than my usual display, the extra clarity and detail was totally worth it. It sealed my decision to buy a MacBook Pro Retina when it was updated last fall as well. Now we’ve seen the field of UltraHD displays expand considerably and so we now look at another 32” UltraHD display, the Dell UP3214Q.

The Dell UP3214Q is very similar to the ASUS PQ321Q that I looked at last year. Both are 32” and both feature a 3840x2160 resolution. They are also both saddled with one of the current UltraHD weaknesses: a requirement that you have DisplayPort 1.2 MST support to get 60 Hz refresh rates. However, the Dell UP3214Q does have a few higher-end features that the ASUS lacks to help set it apart.

The first feature is that it supports the full AdobeRGB color gamut and not the more limited sRGB gamut. Since these initial UltraHD monitors are expensive and more likely to be used by professionals than home users, this support can go a long way. Second it has built-in support for Dell’s calibration software that lets you set two presets to be whatever settings you desire. If you have day and night settings, or different settings for online vs. print, this can be accomplished.

It also offers a larger selection of inputs than the ASUS model. With HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort, and MiniDisplayPort options you can connect it to two 60Hz UltraHD sources at once instead of just a single PC. This is most useful for those that wish to use it with a laptop as well as a desktop. Like many of the upper-end Dell displays it also features a 4-port USB 3.0 hub as well as a media card reader on the side. Unfortunately all of the USB 3.0 ports are hard to access on the rear instead of placing a pair on the side. I swap out my monitors more than 99.9% of the population but I hate having the USB ports being so hard to access.

The updated Dell design features a metal trim around the border which gives it a modern, semi-industrial look and also seems to work as a way to dissipate heat. I found this out as trying to adjust the monitor from the top after it has been on for a few hours can cause it to get quite warm. An IR temperature gun gave me readings of almost 130F. I’ve had monitors get warm to the touch before but the Dell UP3214Q is certainly the hottest so far, and that's quite surprising considering it uses LED backlighting. The stand that the Dell includes is also a new industrial design but still includes height adjustment, tilt, swivel and a way to route cables. There is no pivot so if you want to use your 32” UltraHD display in Portrait mode you’ll need to use the 100mm VESA mounts with a different stand.

Dell also has their on-screen menu system that I still think is the best in the business. They’ve made an unfortunate move to touch-sensitive buttons but the overall user interface is still the same. From an ergonomics perspective the Dell is an overall winner. I’d like to see them find a way to side-mount the inputs so they are easier to access, and move a couple USB ports around, but overall it is good.

Viewing angles, as an IPS display, are fantastic. I’d be hesitant about a TN panel of this size because off-angle issues could arise far too easily but it is not a problem with the Dell. With specs, ergonomics, and the on-screen display of the Dell UP3214Q there is not much that I find issue with...well, other than a high price, but that's expected.

Dell UP3214Q
Video Inputs HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort
Panel Type IGZO IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.182mm
Colors 1.07 Billion
Brightness 350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 8ms GtG
Viewable Size 32"
Resolution 3840x2160
Viewing Angle (H/V) 176 / 176
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 100W Typical, 170W Max
Power Consumption (standby) 1.2W Typical
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable Yes, 3.5"
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 29.5" x 19" x 8.4"
Weight 20.3 lbs.
Additional Features 4 port USB 3.0 hub, card reader
Limited Warranty 3 years
Accessories MiniDP to DP Cable, USB 3.0 cable, power cord
Price $3,499 (Currently $2800)


UltraHD Today: Still Not There


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  • willis936 - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure this is right. Companies usually are making and testing IP while a standard is in the works. In some cases they're out before the standard is done. Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    This is correct. There is currently no full HDMI 2.0 silicon out there that I'm aware of, and since the Dell started shipping last fall it certainly didn't have access to it then. There are currently devices shipping that claim "HDMI 2.0" support in the AV world, but that isn't full HDMI 2.0. It is support for 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, which is part of the HDMI 2.0 spec, and enabled UltraHD resolution at 60 Hz. Since computers don't use chroma subsampling, this isn't relevant and there is no HDMI 2.0 silicon right now. Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    Not even Maxwell can output it, so what sources are you suppose to use? Reply
  • BMNify - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    where you get that idea from , its false you need a GeForce 600 "Kepler" graphics card or newer to drive a display up to 4096 x 2160.

    hell, even the ChromeOS guys have merged this linux UHD patch in to their tree intel Haswell/Iris Graphics work at "UHD-1" 3840x2160P if you are not gaming
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    You can do that resolution at 24 Hz, or 3840x2160 at 30 Hz, but you can't do it at 60 Hz without MST right now. HDMI 2.0 allows it at 60 Hz but that isn't available yet on a product. Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    I was speaking about 600MHz HDMI not ~300MHz. 300MHz HDMI has been around since GCN 1.0 and Kepler. It's also available in Haswell, works fine in Windows, OS X or GNU/Linux at that res, but that limits it's to 30Hz for 3840x2160. That's not HDMI 2.0 specs. You can't use anything else than DisplayPort for 60Hz 4k/UHD. DisplayPort-receivers only do that on MST too. You need two 300MHz HDMI-ports to do UHD @ 60Hz. So gaming in UHD with HDMI is out regardless of gpu/source.

    Maxwell doesn't do H.265/HEVC for that matter either. You only need ~300MHz HDMI 1.4 to do 4096x2160 @ 24Hz. Not HDMI 2.0, that can do it @ 60Hz.
  • zanon - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    As far as things that still aren't there, I'd throw in color space (both gamut and bit depth) as well. Official UHDTV (see Rec. 2020), beyond the resolution standards bumping to 4K or 8K, also at last features a significantly larger color space and also the depth necessary to go with it (either 10-bit or 12-bit). That's another marquee feature of HDMI 2.0, 12-bit 4:2:2 4K@60fps. Without the increase depth a wider gamut isn't a straight upgrade since the delta between colors increases too, 8-bit AdobeRGB say isn't a clear superset of 8-bit sRGB. It's exciting that as well as HiDPI we'll finally see an industry wide shift to a color space that will be a strict improvement and is large enough to basically be "done" as far as human vision.

    There's still a lot more pieces needed on the PC side though, including both hardware (video cards, interconnect) and OS/applications. High DPI is slowly improving, but even Apple has slipped a bit in terms of color management and support. That said, given the economies of scale that'll come with the general UHDTV push the market pressure should be there at least.
  • npz - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    "Sure, you can run a desktop at full resolution with no scaling but that is almost impossible for anyone to actually use. To get any real benefit from any HiDPI display you are going to need OS and Application support."

    I don't understand this thinking. To fully utilize all the pixels at your disposal, why would you scale? You want native 1:1 resolution. It makes NO sense to scale. If you can't make out the details with the finer pixels with your eyes, why bother getting more pixels in the first place?

    Objective utilization of higher resolution requires ability for your eyes to *resolve* the pixels better, which means its purpose is for screen real estate of display items, not to scale the picture on this 4k monitor to the same size as seen on a 1080p monitor.

    4k on 32" monitor at 1:1 pixels is very useable, if you don't have bad eyesight. If you need to scale, meaning your eyes can't resolve well at this pixel density, then why not just get something like 2560 x 1440 instead at the same size? Plus you'll have the added benefit of avoid distortion and blurriness introduced from scaling bitmaps.
  • peterfares - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    He doesn't mean scaling as in stretching it out, he means more intelligent scaling like all phones and newer desktop programs do.

    Interface elements are composed of more pixels to increase clarity and keep them big enough to be usable. If Photoshop worked well with HiDPI systems the buttons physical size would remain the same but be made up of more pixels. The photo work area though would be 1:1.
  • npz - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    What I mean is why scale? Why not have everything proportionate to the DPI to actually utilize the extra pixels? But adding extra pixels to interface elements doesn't actually add extra detail that was not there to begin with. It's not like a photograph. It just adds extra pixels for the sake of increasing size. Even if adding extra pixels to the interface elements increases "clarity"--let's assume it's something like a highres texture--that means your eyes can resolve the details better i.e. actual perceive the difference in resolution. So if your eyes can actually resolve the difference in detail at a finer level, why not just keep them small in order to gain more useable working space? That's where real utility comes in.

    Most applications like the majority of graphics and audio applications using their own custom UI don't use vector graphics. They instead use bitmaps with pixel level precision placement and bitmap fonts in order to have small widgets. Most of these, DAWs, 3D, Adobe-like programs, etc pack a ton of things in the interface. Why not take advantage of the resolution for more working space then?

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