Apple Studio Display vs Alienware 34 QD-OLED: Which Monitor is the Best Option?

The Apple Studio Display and Alienware 34 QD-OLED represent two premium-level monitors with high-end features and stellar image quality. However, they excel in different areas and suit different needs and use cases. This guide compares them side-by-side to help you determine which is the best option for your requirements and budget.


The recently released Apple Studio Display targets creative professionals and Mac users needing a large, color-accurate external monitor. With a 27-inch diagonal 5K Retina display, built-in speakers and webcam, it promises a premium experience for around $1,600.

Meanwhile, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED gaming monitor features a curved 34-inch panel based on Samsung‘s latest quantum dot OLED technology. With a 175Hz refresh rate and 0.1ms response time, it provides buttery smooth visuals for around $1,300.

While both monitors deliver exceptional image quality, they optimize for different use cases. Read on for a detailed comparison of their specifications, performance and features.

Technical Specifications Comparison

SpecificationApple Studio DisplayAlienware 34 QD-OLED
Screen Size27-inch34-inch
Aspect Ratio16:921:9 Ultrawide
Resolution5120 x 2880 (5K)3440 x 1440 (WQHD+)
Pixel Density218 PPI110 PPI
Panel TypeIPS LEDQuantum Dot OLED
Refresh Rate60Hz175Hz
Response Time14ms0.1ms
Brightness600 nits250 nits
Contrast Ratio1300:11,000,000:1
Color SupportP3DCI-P3 98.5%
Curved DisplayNoYes, 1900R
Ports1x Thunderbolt 3, 3x USB-C1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 4x USB 3.2

As we can see from the table, the monitors differ significantly in size, resolution, panel technology and connectivity:

  • The Apple Studio Display has a higher 5K resolution and pixel density suited to creative work requiring accuracy and detail. The Alienware monitor features an ultrawide 1440p resolution optimized for immersive gaming.

  • The OLED panel in the Alienware monitor delivers vastly superior 1,000,000:1 contrast versus 1300:1 in the Apple monitor. However, the Studio Display offers higher peak brightness.

  • Refresh rates and response times favor the Alienware for gaming and graphics-intensive uses. The Studio Display has standard 60Hz refresh typical of a productivity-focused monitor.

  • The Apple monitor only has USB-C and Thunderbolt ports limiting connectivity. The Alienware offers more versatile HDMI, DisplayPort and USB ports.

With specs optimized for different use cases, both monitors promise excellent performance within their intended applications. But how do they compare in real-world image quality and features?

Image Quality and Color Accuracy

The Apple Studio Display‘s 5K 27-inch IPS panel matches the one used on the high-end 27-inch iMac. It delivers superb clarity and detail thanks to the dense 218 PPI pixel count. This makes it an excellent choice for photo and video editing requiring accuracy.

Apple has factory calibrated the monitor to provide industry-leading color reproduction out of the box. Testing shows it can reach 99% coverage of the P3 color gamut used across Apple‘s products and services. This ensures consistent, vibrant and accurate colors when creating content intended for Apple device consumption.

The monitor also supports the Display P3 color profile used by recent Macs for wider and more saturated color reproduction. Content creators can rely on true-to-life colors when working with P3 compatible apps.

In comparison, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED monitor leverages Samsung‘s latest quantum dot OLED technology. This uses a quantum dot layer and organic LED backlighting for vastly improved contrast and color vividness over conventional LCDs.

Consequently, the monitor delivers true blacks and extremely high 1,000,000:1 contrast. HDR content really pops thanks to the display‘s HDR 400 True Black certification. Vibrant, saturated colors create an immersive viewing experience suited to gaming and entertainment.

The monitor covers 98.5% of the wider DCI-P3 color space. While not quite hitting Apple‘s specifications, color accuracy remains excellent out of the box. The Alienware also provides various color profiles to choose from including preset and customizable modes. So content creators can tune the display to best match their workflow.

Ultimately, both monitors offer superb color reproduction and image quality. But while the Apple Studio Display prioritizes accuracy for creative applications, the Alienware monitor focuses on visual impact and immersion.

Gaming Performance

With its 60Hz refresh rate and 14ms response time, the Apple Studio Display clearly does not target gaming and graphics-intensive uses. Consequently, it struggles with fast motion blurring and choppy frame rates. This rules it out for anything beyond casual gaming.

On the other hand, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED excels as a high-end gaming monitor. Its 175Hz maximum refresh rate and rapid 0.1ms GtG response time provide stunningly fluid, responsive visuals. Fast-paced FPS titles feel snappy with minimal motion artifacts even at lower frame rates.

The monitor also supports variable refresh rates including Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. This allows the display to match and lock frame rates with compatible graphics cards. Ultimately, this eliminates stutters and screen tearing for buttery smooth gameplay.

Combined with the display‘s rich contrast, vibrant colors and 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio, this monitor offers an incredibly immersive cinematic gaming experience. Consequently, it stands as one of the best available gaming monitors in its class.

Workspace and Productivity Performance

The Studio Display‘s 27-inch diagonal 5K panel provides ample screen real estate for productivity work. The high 218 PPI resolution also means crystal clear text and UI elements. So it works excellently as a Mac-focused office monitor.

The display provides a range of useful features for optimizing desktop workspace use. This includes support for True Tone to automatically adapt colors to ambient lighting conditions. The monitor can also switch connected Macs between portrait and landscape modes. And users can leverage Apple‘s Continuity Camera feature for convenient video calls and conferences.

With its curved 34-inch 21:9 panel and 1440p resolution, the Alienware monitor also works well for productivity. However, pixel density sits at a lower 110 PPI so UI elements appear slightly less sharp compared to Apple‘s more densely packed 5K display.

Regardless, the monitor‘s ultrawide form factor immerses users in their workspace. The additional peripheral vision coupled with good ergonomics including height adjustment provides an excellent desktop user experience. Just note that non- Ultrawide optimized apps may have black bars along the sides.

Built-in Webcam, Speakers and Microphones

One advantage of the Apple Studio Display is it packs everything needed for convenient video calls and conferences. The monitor features a 12MP ultrawide camera supporting Apple‘s Center Stage auto-framing and panning. It also has a studio quality microphone array and high-end six-speaker sound system with Dolby Atmos.

So users can easily take calls and participate in meetings without any external peripherals. Audiovisual quality proves solid for integrated components allowing for fuss-free desktop communications.

On the other hand, the Alienware monitor focuses purely on display duties sans any webcam, microphone or speakers. This isn‘t surprising given its gaming focus. So you will need to budget for a dedicated webcam, mic and audio system if you require an all-in-one desktop conferencing experience.

System Compatibility

The Apple Studio Display requires devices with a Thunderbolt 3 port which limits wider compatibility. It works seamlessly with most modern Macs as well as Windows PCs meeting this Thunderbolt requirement. Just take note only three total devices can simultaneously connect to the monitor directly.

Meanwhile Alienware designed the 34 QD-OLED monitor with broad device compatibility in mind. The HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 connectors allow easy hookup for virtually any modern discrete graphics-equipped PC or games console. And AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync support further boost gaming device compatibility.

The monitor also works with newer Macs like Apple‘s M1 machines. But you may need an HDMI adapter for devices lacking the connector. Overall though, the Alienware monitor‘s versatile ports give it plug and play potential across a wider spectrum of systems.

Price and Value Comparison

At around $1600, the Apple Studio Display sits at a premium price point. But given Apple‘s brand cachet and the suite of integrated conferencing-friendly features, creative professionals should get reasonable value from the investment. The excellent out-of-box color accuracy provides additional incentive for avid content creators.

Meanwhile, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED‘s $1300 tag undercuts even LG‘s equivalent new model by over $300 at the time of writing. Given the monitor provides equivalent or better image quality and features, it offers outstanding value for purchasers prioritizing gaming, entertainment and immersive visuals.

Ultimately, the monitors cater to different budgets. The Studio Display suits creative pros willing to pay extra for Apple‘s specialty features. Meanwhile the Alienware monitor gives budget-conscious shoppers leading-edge OLED imaging at an aggressive midrange price point.

Pros and Cons Comparison

Apple Studio Display


  • Excellent P3 and Display P3 color accuracy out of box
  • 5K resolution and 218 PPI density suit creative work
  • Good uniform brightness at up to 600 nits
  • Loads of integrated conferencing features
  • Thunderbolt 3 provides charging and connectivity


  • Only 60Hz refresh limits gaming utility
  • Mediocre 1300:1 contrast ratio
  • Few legacy input options beyond Thunderbolt
  • Expensive for non Apple-ecosystem uses

Alienware 34 QD-OLED


  • Stunning image quality with OLED contrast and vibrance
  • Rapid refresh and response for immersive gaming
  • Nvidia/AMD sync and HDR support
  • Aggressive pricing for a top-tier OLED monitor
  • Wide connectivity via HDMI and DisplayPort


  • Lower 110 PPI resolution less sharp for productivity
  • Reflective curved screen not ideal for office use
  • No speakers, microphone or webcam
  • FreeSync supports midrange GPUs only

Recommendations and Conclusion

The Apple Studio Display best suits creative professionals, especially those already embedded in Apple‘s ecosystem. It delivers outstanding color accuracy, P3 gamut support and 5K resolution well-suited for visual design work, photo and video editing among similar applications.

Integrated webcams, speakers and mics also make this monitor a great conferencing and collaboration companion for Mac users. Just take note of the standard refresh rate making this display unsuitable for anything beyond basic gaming.

Alternatively, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED monitor provides an enveloping cinematic entertainment and gaming experience. Its rapid OLED panel technology facilitates buttery smooth frame rates for even fast-paced competitive titles.

The monitor works well as an external display for general productivity too. But lower pixel density means it loses out slightly to Apple‘s screen for text and UI sharpness. Lack of built-in audiovisual features also limit its conferencing potential sans additional peripherals.

So if immersive gaming and multimedia sits at the core of your computing activities, the Alienware monitor provides incredible value. But creative professionals reliant on color accuracy for work should stick with Apple‘s specialty Studio Display. Ultimately though, both monitors stand at the head of the pack regarding premium imaging and features at their respective capability and price points.

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