Tom's Guide Verdict
The Alienware 500Hz gaming monitor delivers blazing-fast performance and super-low latency. There’s a steep price to pay for those features, but if you can afford it this monitor delivers on its promise—and may give you an edge when playing competitive games.
Fast gaming performance
Sleek, nondescript design
Handy retractable headset hanger
Small footprint on desk
Expensive compared to other 24-inch monitors
Lacks bigger size options
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
The Alienware 500Hz gaming monitor ($829) wants to be the ultimate monitor for Esports professionals.
Alienware delivered the goods in terms of performance. With support for up to 500 frames per second (if you overclock it) and a low 0.5ms response time, this is one of the fastest gaming monitors on the market.
However, $829 seems a steep price to pay for a monitor that tops out at 1080p resolution and lacks an OLED display. If you’re a competitive player that values performance above all else, then the Alienware 500Hz will make games feel smoother. But if you don't have a professional interest in blazing-fast framerates, the obscene refresh rate might not justify this monitor’s lofty asking price.
In this review, I’ll give you my appraisal of the Alienware 500Hz gaming monitor — both as a monitor for Esports players and as a monitor for gaming enthusiasts like myself. Will it find a slot in our best gaming monitors list? Read on to find out.
Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) review: Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Row 0 - Cell 1
|15.37 / 19.71 x 21.86 x 9.60 inches
|1920 x 1080
|500Hz (OC) / 480Hz (native)
|2 HDMI 2.1, 1 DisplayPort, 4 USB-A, 1 USB-B, 1 headphone jack, 1 line-out port
Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) review: Price and availability
The Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) is available now from Dell’s online store for $829. This is the only available version of this monitor. Unfortunately, there are no other size options, and 24.5 inches is on the small side for a gaming monitor this premium.
Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) review: Design
- All-black design
- Small footprint on desk
The AW2524H has a nondescript all-black design that works as well in an office as it does in a gaming den. If not for the Alienware lighting on the back, you’d be hard-pressed to tell this was even a gaming monitor. I prefer my electronics to be discreet so I appreciate the no-frills design.
At 21.6 x 12.9 x 9.6 inches and a weight of 14.9 pounds with the stand, the Alienware 500Hz gaming monitor isn’t large or heavy. Its hexagonal stand is small and doesn’t take up much space on a desk. The small footprint makes it easier to position your keyboard however you want — which is important for the Esports crowd this monitor targets.
You can raise or lower the screen across a span of 4.3 inches along the stand’s sturdy shaft. The screen also tilts backward -5 degrees or forward up to 21 degrees, and can swivel 40 degrees both left and right. I found it easy to tilt and swivel the screen to my preferred angle and height.
The AW2524H features a generous number of ports, including two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, four USB-A ports, one USB-B port, an S/PDIF out and a headphone jack. There’s also an OSD (on-screen display) joystick underneath the monitor for entering the menu to configure display settings.
One cool feature is a retractable headset hanger located on the top right of the monitor. It’s a good way to keep your headset off your desk when you’re not using the monitor. This little addition goes a long way.
Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) review: Display
- Ultra-fast 500Hz refresh rate
- Sharp and vibrant picture quality
The AW2524H’s 500Hz refresh rate is the main selling point. To achieve such a lofty rate, the monitor skimps on features like an OLED display and high resolutions. Still, the display presents a clear, sharp and vibrant image no matter what’s on the screen.
You’ll find a whopping 11 display modes, though 3 are custom placeholders for saving your preferred presets. The other modes are Standard, G-Sync Esports, FPS, MOBA/RTS, RPG and Sports. These modes are optimized for those specific gaming genres. For example, FPS optimizes brightness and contrast to make it easier to see enemies.
Each mode gives the monitor a different look. That means the display experience may shift depending on which mode you select. For this review, I mostly stuck with Standard mode since it provided a balanced picture quality for games, websites and videos compared to the other modes.
|Header Cell - Column 0
|Sony Inzone M9
|LG UltraGear 27
When we brought the monitor into our testing lab and pointed our Klein-10A colorimeter at it, we found that the AW2524H’s display achieved an average brightness of 346 nits of brightness in Standard mode. That’s dimmer than the $899 Sony Inzone M9, which averaged 395 nits of brightness in its Standard mode. However, Alienware’s monitor outshines the $999 LG UltraGear 27, which averaged a paltry 203 nits.
The AW2524H’s other modes achieved similar averages that hovered in the 350 range. We saw it peak when viewing HDR content, achieving a peak brightness of 429 nits when HDR content covered 100% of the display and 433 nits when HDR content covered 10%.ver, with HDR enabled, Standard mode achieved an average brightness of 429 nits with HDR at 100%.
|Header Cell - Column 0
|HDR brightness (nits)
In Standard mode, the display achieved 113% of the sRGB color gamut and 80.7% of the DCI-P3 color gamut (closer to 100% is best). Its Delta-E value reached 0.14 (closer to 0 is better). The other modes stayed within this range, though G-Sync Esports had the highest sRGB and DCI-P3 averages (133% and 94.3%, respectively).
In comparison, the Sony Inzone M9 reached 145% of the sRGB color gamut and 102.9% of the DCI-P3 color gamut in its Standard mode. Its Delta-E value reached 0.31. The Gigabyte M27Q X (173.3% / 122.8%) achieved higher values than both Alienware and Sony’s monitors.
In my experience, the AW2524H delivers great overall picture quality. Even at 1080p resolution, I was able to see every detail in games like Doom Eternal and Cyberpunk 2077. The UltraGear 27 has sharper images and more vibrant colors, but the AW2524H gets much brighter.
Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) review: Performance
- Smooth 500Hz refresh rate
- Fast 0.5ms response time
The AW2524H isn’t here to stun you with exceptional picture quality. It’s here to deliver the smoothest gaming experience possible with its blazing-fast 500Hz refresh rate. Granted, the monitor actually has a native 480Hz refresh rate, which is still quite impressive — and borderline overkill. Still, I commend Alienware for delivering on its lofty promise. This is the fastest monitor I’ve ever tested.
The Lenovo Legion Tower 7i Gen 8 I used while testing the AW2524H packs a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU and an RTX 4080 GPU, which made it powerful enough to drive high frame rates. I fired up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive since it’s one of the few games that can reach 500 fps on a beefy gaming rig. The monitor didn’t make me a better player, but dying repeatedly looked nice and smooth at a steady 400 frames per second.
I noticed some improvement in Doom Eternal, which is a game I play often. Running through the hellish landscapes and blasting demons to bits felt buttery smooth at frame rates hovering in the 150 range. This is important in a game where you’re constantly on the move. The 0.5ms response time helped my performance as well.
Is there a noticeable difference between the native 480Hz and overclocked 500Hz? Not that I could tell, but then again, I’m not a professional player. Despite that, I can’t deny that I did better in Doom Eternal because of the buttery smooth refresh rate. Professional players will no doubt notice a difference more than I did since they’re more sensitive to things like frame and refresh rates.
The elephant in the room is that you need an expensive gaming rig to take full advantage of the AW2524H. The Lenovo tower I used costs a hefty $3,349, for example. This is another aspect that limits the appeal of this monitor to all but the most hardcore competitive gamers. Still, I’m sure that crowd will make the most of the AW2524H’s exceptional performance — even if they need a premium desktop.
Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) review: Interface
- Intuitive menu system
- Customizable settings
The AW2524H has a clean interface that’s easy to navigate. Like Alienware’s AW3423DWF QD-OLED, the interface features a black-and-grey background along with blue and white lettering. The OSD joystick used to sort through menus is responsive. The menus in question include the 11 game modes, along with options for adjusting the brightness/contrast, configuring the AlienFX Lighting and more. You can easily overclock the monitor to hit 500Hz in each available game mode.
You can adjust each mode to your liking if you’re not happy with their preset values. The various shortcut keys for options like brightness/contrast, input source and dark stabilizer give you a greater degree of control.
The AW2524H has a volume control option but no integrated speakers. Volume control is only for headphone output. To that end, you may want to invest in one of the best gaming headsets to use with this monitor.
Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor (AW2524H) review: Verdict
The Alienware 500Hz gaming monitor is the fastest gaming monitor out there. If you need the highest possible refresh rate and a super-low response time, the AW2524H delivers the goods. To that end, it’s deserving of our Editor’s Choice badge.
But despite its virtues, it's still difficult to recommend the AW2524H to folks who don’t prioritize framerate above all else. While the monitor helped me play nominally better, I don’t think spending $1,000 for that slight boost is justified. You’ll also need an expensive gaming rig to maximize this monitor’s potential. The $449 Alienware 25 is a great alternative. This monitor only has a 360Hz refresh rate, but otherwise offers the same 24.5-inch 1080p display and 0.5ms response time as the AW2524H.
If you mainly play single-player games or if you’re content playing Call of Duty with your friends, you don’t need the Alienware 500Hz gaming monitor. But if you’re super serious about framerates or an Esports professional, then this is arguably the monitor for you.
Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.