2 Bronze

U2518D, PS4 Slim, GTX 960, tearing, stuttering


first of all, I need to stress that it's clear, that this seems to be a common issue with U2518D, because I can find on the internet numbers of people, who have exactly same problem as I am (except they are NOT using the PS4), for example. So the problem is basically "tearing" in every game or 3D application despite that the Vsync is ON and FPS well over 60. I call it "tearing", because it looks very much like tearing in games with disabled Vsync. But it doesn't look entirely like that, because normal tearing is usually only one horizontal line when the image is shifted, but in case of the U2518D, this line goes all the way from top to bottom, like entire image is refreshed. Because of that, it is much more distracting that usual tearing with disabled Vsync.

I also found out, that it is related to the resolution like this:

2560x1440 - GTX 960, DisplayPort -> U2518D mDP port
In this resolution, every +/- 26 seconds, the monitor display rather then tearing more like stuttering, so every 26 seconds there is short stutter and maybe minor tearing. This is quite distracting, it is not as much strong but it is too often, basically it is there all the time.

1920x1080 - GTX 960, DisplayPort -> U2518D mDP port
In this resolution, every +/- 36 seconds, there is the tearing mentioned above (and also in the post by Thomas_nx5). This is extremely distracting, not only it happens way too frequent, but it looks really horrible as well.

1080p - PS4 HDMI -> U2518D HDMI
Same problem like in 1920x1080 on PC with DP.

720p/1080i - PS4 HDMI -> U2518D HDMI
Strangely enough, in 720p and even in 1080i, there is absolutely no problem with tearing. The movement is perfectly smooth, no tearing, no stuttering.

Other resolutions - GTX 960, DisplayPort -> U2518D mDP port
2560x1440 - stuttering
2048x1080 - OK, no tearing/stuttering
1920x1080 - tearing
1600x1200 - OK, no tearing/stuttering
1280x1024 - OK, no tearing/stuttering
1280x720 - OK, no tearing/stuttering
1024x768 - OK, no tearing/stuttering

So as it looks, the problem with smoothness is only in native 1440p and 1080p resolution. But of course, that is huge problem, because obviously, we want to use this monitor in a native resolution. All test was done also on my second monitor, HP ZR24w, where is absolutely no problem with smoothness of the movement. So it's clear, that the problem is in U2518D, not in PC, PS4 or anywhere else. As a test for PC, I tested it in many games and also found this handy utility by Nvidia which nicely show the problem as well and it is very fast to setup. Just click on 60 FPS, turn on Vsync and turn on orbit camera with maximum speed.

So please, as this (in my opinion) is really looking like systematic problem for U2518D. Can someone from the technical department look at this and diagnose properly IF this is indeed a problem? Why is this happening and what can be done with it? If it is a problem for all U2518D, or there are only couple of defective examples? If it is a problem with firmware, which may be updated? I found out that Dell U3415W monitor received firmware update that should resolve a problem with flickering. So my question is, what need to be done to do this? What do we customers have to do, so Dell technical department look at this and maybe fix the firmware or at least say that this is just a "feature" of the U2518D and it never be smooth in 1440p/1080p, so we can return this monitor and buy something else? The fact is, that with exception of this problem, I am very satisfied with this monitor. I like the image quality, design, it has perfect size and resolution. It has very good response time and minimal input lag. Also my monitor has no dead pixel or any major problem with uniformity of luminance. So I really don't like the idea to return it and replace with another U2518D, which may be worse and probably not solve this problem at all.

Test setup:
EVGA GTX 960 SC 4GB - DisplayPort
Windows 7 64-bit
PS4 Slim 1TB - HDMI

I also tried to change version of DP and HDMI in monitor setup, but none of that helped.

Thank you

Replies (21)
Community Manager
Community Manager

* Based on the number sold world wide versus number returned or exchanged, there are no systemic issues with the U2518D
* If purchased directly from Dell, you have 30 days from the Dell invoice date to return a monitor. After that, you are only eligible for refurbished exchanges
* Post a video showing us the issue using 2560x1440 - GTX960, DisplayPort -> U2518D mDP port
* Have you verified the issue by testing on another computer with a different, newer video card? The GTX 960 is two years old
* Assuming that you have checked the Nvidia website for the latest GTX 960 driver?
* Consider getting a DP to DP cable to test the U2518D DP in port using both DP 1.2 and DP 1.1a
* Have you tested with Smart HDR Enabled and Disabled?
* Is the U2518D driver installed?
* If DDM (Dell Display Manager) was installed, remove it, reboot the computer and retest
* The 2010 HP ZR24W (e-IPS/1920x1200/16:10) panel is not a good comparison to the 2017 U2518D (IPS/2560x1440/QHD/16:9) panel as far as working a video card

2 Bronze


thank you for reply, so I will answer it step by step:

1) Well, I don't know, but I send the link to the other user on this forum with exactly the same problem, and I also found couple of others examples on internet. And this is very specific problem, actualy until now, I didn't know about any monitor with this kind of problem. Also when I try to find out about this problem something, pretty much nothing appear, only cases about U2518D.
Also it has to be said, that this is very special problem, which is not that easy to spot for the first time, especialy in 1440p. And let's be honest, how many users use this monitor with 1080p, where it is really easy to spot? Also, this problem is virtualy unnoticeable in Windows, you need to run some game, or connect some device like PS4.
But of course, I don't know if it is really systemic problem with U2518D, but it is a strange problem and there are many users that notice this problem. So ultimately, this is why I post here, to found out if it is problem of my specific monitor, or it is problem with all U2518D. So can you (or any user with this monitor) verify, that when you do exactly the same thing like I, that the image move smoothly without tearing or stuttering? If yes, then I immediately return my monitor and take another example.

2) I purchased it in local big internet shop, honestly, I am not sure if it is even possible to buy something directly from Dell here in Slovakia.

3) Ok, here is the videos. As you can see, the problem occur in periodical interval (about 36 seconds in 1080p and 26 seconds in 1440p), but I write times in red color when it is most noticable, because how much it is noticable depends on the actual scene and maybe by camera as well. Also sorry for the low quality, if it is not enough, I can shot it with better camera later.

DELL U2518D, GTX960, 1920x1080, DisplayPort
Tearing: 0:30, 1:08, 1:45, 2:23

DELL U2518D, GTX960, 2560x1440, DisplayPort
Stuttering/Tearing: 0:34, 1:01, 1:27, 1:53, 2:19, 2:46, 3:39

DELL U2518D, PS4 Slim, 1080p, HDMI
Tearing: 0:19, 0:56, 1:34

The tearing in 1080p is very easy to spot, especialy in Uncharted 3 on PS4. Also when I analyse the video frame by frame I realize, that the refresh sequence is not from top to bottom, but rather from bottom to top.
Unfortunately, the Stuttering/Tearing in 1440p is not that easy to pick up with camera, that is the reason why I made the video longer. I recommend to focus mainly on the pillars, especialy in front of the camera, that is the easiest way to spot it. Also again, when I analyse video, I found out, that it is in fact also tearing but very fast (unlike in 1080p) so it looks more like stutter, in many case it is like one frame is exactly the same as the frame before and then it suddenly jump to next frame.

4) Well I don't think that the problem is with GTX960, because HP ZR24w in 1080p work just fine (on the same DisplayPort port), but on U2518D in 1080p, there is the tearing mentioned above. Also user Thomas_nx5, who has exactly same problem like I with this monitor, has GTX 1050 Ti, which is pretty new video card. Also I don't know nothing about the fact, that GTX960 shouldn't handle 1440p display. Actualy it could easily handle 4k display.

5) Of course, I now installed the newest drivers, but it didn't change anything.

6) Well I don't think that it change something. I can test it tomorrow, but if mDP and HDMI produce this problem, I am not sure why the second DisplayPort should be without a problem. Also it will be still a problem, because I need HDMI port as well.

7) I tested it with Smard HDR turned off with PS4, on PC I can't even change this setting, so I assume it is turned off.

8) Yes, the driver for monitor is installed.

9) DDM is not installed.

10) Well I really don't know why 7 years monitor can produce butter smooth playback and brand new monitor should stutter/tear. Honestly, I see this kind of problem with monitor for the first time. As I mentioned couple of times, the problem is in 1080p too, which is resolution which ZR24w handle without any problem unlike U2518D.

Thank you

Community Manager
Community Manager

I watched all of the videos, specifically at the times you mention, twice. I did not see any tearing or stutter. Warranty wise, I see nothing in these videos that would support Dell exchanging this monitor.

Smart HDR is a setting in the U2518D OSD (On Screen Display) =

I will forward this thread to the Displays Team for discussion.

2 Bronze

Ok so fresh news. First of all something about HDR, when I use PS4, I can set it up (I turned it off, it is no point to turn it on on this monitor anyway) but when I connect PC (GTX960, Windows 7), I cannot set it up, it is grayed, probably because Windows 7 doesn't support HDR.

As for the videos, I created new videos with much better quality with DSLR (1080p/60FPS), and with pattern video, which show this problem very nicely so I start with this patterns:

Pattern - GTX960 - 2560x1440 -  0:11 , 0:37 , 1:04 , 1:30 , 1:56

Pattern - GTX960 - 1920x1080 - 0:21 , 0:59 , 1:36

and other videos:

GTX960 - 2560x1440 - 0:28 , 0:54 , 1:21 , 1:47 , 2:13 , 2:40 , 3:06

GTX960 - 1920x1080 - 0:35 , 1:12 , 1:49 , 2:26

PS4 - 1080p - 0:22 , 0:59 , 1:37 , 2:15

On the pattern video in 1920x1080 is very clear how the image is refreshed (tearing) from bottom to top. It is also clear, that this refresh occur in 2560x1440 as well, only much faster and because of that it looks more like stutter than tearing. Here is also some image sequence from video frame by frame:

Frame by Frame - 2560x1440

Frame by Frame - 1920x1080

Tearing at 1080p is 500 miliseconds long. At 1440p it is about 50 miliseconds long.

So just to be sure, I ordered another new U2518D. Surprisingly, my old monitor is Rev 00 and firmware version M2T101. The new one is Rev 01 and with firmware version  M2T102. So it looked promising, but not for very long. Immediately in the first test, the new one did exact same thing like the old one. So two different units, two diferent revisions/firmware and same problem with tearing. I also tested it on the notebook Acer V17 Nitro with GTX860M and it did exact same thing. Also this is the list of complains from customers about this issue with this monitor on internet which I found:

And on some of this reviews from RyanH, John, Konew, ananymous and ZachcyB here:

So after all of this, I am confident to say, that I think that this is realy systemic problem with U2518D and it needs to be properly investigated and of course, it needs to be fixed.
Personaly, as I stated before, except this anoying issue I really like this monitor, so I returned only the new one (the new one has some problem with flickering on dark tones, which was clearly visible with inversion (pixel-walk) test) and the old one I keep for couple of months to see if Dell do something about this tearing issue, or at least bring out some official statement about this. If you don't fix this problem in 2-3 months, I will return this U2518D as well and buy something else, probably not from Dell...

2 Bronze

Can confirm. Went from a U2414H to a 2518D and the tearing on both PC (3D applications) and PS4 is significantly worse on the 2518D then the U2414H.

2 Bronze

I have been experiencing this stuttering problem in my games as well with this monitor. However, I may have found a possible solution to the problem, though am I unsure as to why it has (mostly) fixed the problem. In the Nvidia Control Panel settings, I went to "change resolution", and created a new custom resolution at the native resolution (2560 x 1440), with a 60 hz refresh rate. Then, I selected "manual" in the "timing" section, and entered 60 hz down there as well. Setting it to 61 hz also seems to work. This has very significantly reduced the stutters, to the point where it is barely noticeable. Occasionally, I still notice very small stutters, but it is a massive improvement from before, where I found my games to be unplayable due to the stuttering. In my opinion, manual tweaking such as this should not be necessary to make monitors display games properly, and I am still considering getting a new monitor that does not have this issue.

2 Bronze

Can report, having the exact same problem at the native resolution as shown in the videos above, I'm glad I'm not alone.

At 1440p it seems to present itself in most instances as a chunk-chunk double stutter, as is apparent in both the bar video and pendulum test above.  

While the fix mentioned by Explosion65 does sort of work, it causes MANY unintended consequences and seems to conflict with V-SYNC in many 3D applications. Many programs seemed unable to adapt to the odd frame count, and react by locking down to 30fps rather than a smooth 60.

This is an unacceptable level of performance and I will be returning the product ASAP.

It seems Dell needs to look into this quickly. Hopefully for their sake, it's only affecting a minority of us.

EDIT: For the sake of any technician looking into this issue, here's some additional information.

- I'm running an Nvidia GTX 970 gpu, and a variety of cleanly installed drivers show the same issue.

- The tearing/stutter occurs at EXACTLY the same +/- 26 second interval described by the original creator of the thread.

- As mentioned earlier in my post, manually forcing the monitor to run at 60hz via a custom resolution prevents the primary stuttering but can lead to a host of other frametiming issues.

- Issue occurs regardless of V-SYNC settings

- Stuttering is not consistently detected by frame-time measuring applications such as Riva Tuner, despite being visually apparent and easily captured on video. That may further indicate the issue is within the unit itself and not related to the hardware generating the picture.

2 Bronze

Hi all.

Had same issues as you all. Dell put out a new firmware. After short testing, situation is much better.


Hope it helps.

DELL_U2518D_FW Update_M2T103_Windows_Signed.exe
Windows 7/8/8.1/10

Fixes =
- Optimize HDR color
- Resolve no output issue when RS2 HDR on and QHD (2560x1440) is selected on Alienware Aurora-R6 + GTX1070
- Resolve DC Off/On monitor causing HDCP error message while playing BluRay disc with default media player on Latitude 3380
- Resolve issue when monitor is set to sleep, warning window (No DP signal) keeps popping up on Venue 8 Pro 5855 Type C to DP) on Intel HD Graphics
- Resolve issue when set monitor to sleep and when monitor is woken up, the monitor will be flashing on XPS 9360 + WD15 on Intel HD Graphics 620

I do not see any instructions on the driver page. My advice, before running this firmware update =
* If using a daisy chain setup, disconnect the second monitor. Only have the single U2518D connected to the computer which is installing the firmware update
* Connect the U2518D to the computer via the USB upstream cable and one video cable so that you can still see the Windows desktop
* Disconnect all USB peripherals (mouse, keyboard, HDD) from the U2518D side and bottom USB downstream ports
* Those USB peripherals (mouse, keyboard) should be plugged directly into the computer
* Disable any antivirus software
* Reset the U2518D to Factory Default settings in the OSD (On Screen Display) -Others
* Download/save the U2518D firmware update to the Windows desktop
* Run it and it will ask "where to unzip"
* Click the yellow folder on the right
* Click Desktop
* Click OK
* You will see, "C:\Users\user\Desktop"
* Add \FW to the end of that line, "C:\Users\user\Desktop\FW"
* Click OK
* Open the FW folder on the Windows desktop
* Open the Firmware Update Instruction.pdf
* Review this PDF before running "MonitorFirmwareUpdateUtility.exe"

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