Up For Debate - Is It Worth Chasing 4K Resolution

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Mar 28, 2015 2:00 PM

Everywhere you look the term 4K is being thrown around with gleeful abandon. You can’t go near one of the litany of online PC hardware stores without getting a glimpse at these ultra high-definition beasts.

In truth though 4K monitors are elusive; the gaming equivalent of a snow leopard. How many of us have seen a 4K monitor in action? How many know someone who owns one? Not many I’d hazard a guess, and a quick look at GD members reveals less than 0.1% are kitted out with 4K monitors.

It’s a hardcore market, and the switch is definitely taking a whole lot longer than the transition to 1080p. For a lot of us the difference was obvious, 1080p was a heck of a lot better than the blurriness we were used to. Outside of gaming and hardcore cinephiles though, the change was a lot slower; many people don’t look for, or notice, the difference between a DVD and a Blu-Ray. It’s the reason Blu-Rays still have way less shelf-space than DVDs; the benefits of moving to the next technology become lesser and lesser the higher the fidelity you go.

4K is an even harder sell, but if it’s going to become commonplace anywhere it’s going to begin with gaming. PC gaming in particular is all about pushing hardware as fast as it can go. Image quality is almost always a priority for a PC gamer, and it’s here we’re seeing the most chatter about 4K, and 4K gaming.

Getting involved in 4K gaming is a hideously expensive business though. We’ve just seen Nvidia’s $1000 GeForce GTX Titan X is just about capable of decent 4K gaming, but graphics fidelity is being pushed as well as resolution. The Titan X might be a 4K performer now, but if Crysis 4 launched next year, who’s to say it wouldn’t take a battering?

So then, 4K gaming, how important is it to you? Are you intent on upgrading until you can hit that elusive number, or are you happy where you are?

How keen are you for 4K gaming?

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12:06 Mar-30-2015

If you're a hardcore game dude, a rich dude,a dude with a job, and a dude with an extreme pc, then why not?

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12:55 Mar-30-2015

and if I'm neither except hardcore gamer, what then?

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14:48 Mar-30-2015

Looking at your PC Build, I can say you're a rich dude

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15:40 Mar-30-2015

Not really, that's quite an average rig to be honest (average being anyone getting average income or whatever). A "rich dude" would have a 5960X, 64GB of RAM and dual Titan Xs.

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09:28 Mar-31-2015

you still rich dude...i never have pc like you. you lucky...i'm not. but i don't care.

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10:06 Mar-31-2015

Well @Ttank is the most RICH DUDE in GD i guess he has a I5 3470 then 4770k then 4790k also had GTX 780 two GTX 780 Ti's those two cards were dead then he's having GTX 980 SLI now he is going mad for GTX titan X may be....after that @Roley my Army bro is RICH DUDE :D

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10:15 Mar-31-2015

well, most rich is not same as rich. normal rich vs very rich...it's what i mean. sorry for the bad english

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10:42 Mar-31-2015

smritimoy it's relative, I have modest full-time job, I could build even 5960X rig with SLI'ed TitanX's and 64GB DDR4 ram but I simply don't see a single reason to waste money such way :D

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10:46 Mar-31-2015

I know @Tzz those guys who work harder and earn money can built a beastly rig but they won't.... cause they know how hard to earn money they wait for the best thing arrives in market... and should cleverly built their rig....I understand bro....:)

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15:59 Mar-30-2015

ill get second gtx 970 and go for 4k im ok then?

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16:03 Mar-30-2015

Not just yet, 2 970's won't give you double the VRAM which is very important for higher resolutions however ... with DirectX 12 you'll have a much better chance as that will enable you to double your VRAM :)

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16:10 Mar-30-2015
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16:13 Mar-30-2015

Well look at that, seems I underestimated my rig ... well when DirectX 12 becomes available they'll be even better .... but if you know the answer ... why ask the question? :)

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16:22 Mar-30-2015

i didnt believe what i was reading... ;)

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16:23 Mar-30-2015

Neither did I when I seen that ... I always thought the 3.5 VRAM would cause issues at higher resolutions, good news all round :)

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06:31 Mar-31-2015

I could have built a $4000 PC back when I wanted to build my PC but I settled for $1200. Back then (February 2014) my PC was pretty high end.

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10:13 Mar-31-2015

you just need to get a r9 290 none-X for 240-260$ usd and you have really high-end PC :D

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10:57 Mar-31-2015

I'm waiting for Nvidia Pascal next year.

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11:19 Mar-30-2015

4k monitor are expensive and u need to buy a ultimate gaming rig to run at 4k resolution. as for resolution 4k resolution decreases FPS of a game by 70% so u need to buy 2 GTX 780ti sli configured to run watchdogs at 4k. 47FPS (ultra 0XAA)

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12:56 Mar-30-2015

or a Titan X.

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13:06 Mar-30-2015

Or the cheapest and most powerfull solution a 295x2.

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16:00 Mar-30-2015

gtx 970 sli better than titan x?

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16:04 Mar-30-2015

Yes they are :)

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19:52 Mar-30-2015

As well sa a core I7 6 core processor

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19:58 Mar-30-2015

i7-5820K isn't that expensive :)

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10:08 Mar-31-2015

Yes, Lets 4k gaming be the future 1080p is ok. I did DSR (dynamic super resolution) to upscale game to 4k on 1080p display there wasn't that much difference 20% only but my FPS dropped from 45-50 to 7-12

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10:29 Mar-31-2015

yea, DSR is joke, I tried 4xDSR on my screen, which resulted in 5120x2880, and framerates were really bad (menu in Shadow of Mordor was around 7 fps lol)

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02:46 Apr-01-2015

DSR needs a lot more VRAM. Especially 4xDSR at those resolutions. Performance dropped hard for both of you because of a VRAM limit being reached.

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10:04 Mar-30-2015

As long as the graphics look sharp and nice on my monitor, I don't really care about 4K, not to mention the prices are really high. I'll just wait and sit this one out. I'd rather spend the money on my rig than a monitor which supports 4k..

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07:34 Mar-30-2015

I'll get into the 4k craze when the monitors cost less than the graphics cards (plural) needed to get that resolution in the first place.

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19:42 Mar-29-2015

Let 2025 come then we talk about it

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20:55 Mar-30-2015

16K will be the standard then.

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21:00 Mar-30-2015

No point in going that far with it. 8K is our eye's native resolution. 8K is where everything should top out resolution wise.

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21:02 Mar-30-2015

I know, but there will always be people pushing the limits.

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21:19 Mar-30-2015

8k would by a perfect allocation foul the human eye, but ether the screen hast to move perfectly with the eyes focus or we need would need 32k (576MP) to create a perfect ilusion picture, but thats just the picture. Deep imersion like VR-Headsets would have to have two of these screens to make a opical perfect illllusion.

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23:19 Mar-30-2015

sry i have to correct myself and haven written without thinking 8MP instead of 8k,what are a bit less then 4k.

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01:58 Mar-31-2015

4k is nice stuff no doubt, but in a decade or two i think we will move past 2D pixels entirely. With all this VR technology picking up steam as we speak, I think holographic full 3D imaging is what we are in for. The soon to be released Microsoft Hololens will be a first step in that direction....imagine gaming in a holodeck style room.

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18:13 Mar-29-2015

I've seen some 4k displays in action. One of the main differences I found was 4k has a richer color spectrum. But still not worth it to buy a monitor the same cost of my PC. I'd also have to upgrade from my current poopy gfx card.

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11:42 Apr-02-2015

your pc costs same as gtx 970? because in finland where i live you can get gtx 970 same price as 4k monitor 27" http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/U2868PQU http://www.jimms.fi/tuote/STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5

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18:14 Apr-03-2015

Very nearly actually... That would be the cost of my gfx card, CPU, and motherboard.

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18:18 Apr-03-2015

funny, here GTX970 costs about same as my GTX770 more than year ago :)

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14:34 Mar-29-2015

IMO It's too much for our eyes to see such a difference. It's getting to a point where we won't be able to notice the difference

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12:01 Mar-29-2015

4K is like SLI/Xfire for me..yes there are some benefits. but something that is not "worth" doing "yet"... for me atleast.

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11:40 Mar-29-2015

Price/performance it's not worth it.
And don't bother trying to get 4K with a single videocard and a 1080p monitor. You CAN get 4k-ish setups but it will not be the same. And DSR is well and everything but puts alot more strain on your card. Let's just stick with 1080p for a while, shall we?

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10:41 Mar-29-2015

-No

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10:05 Mar-29-2015

4k will be a must in HMD.
However, for the moment it's simply overkill on normal monitors, especially for the price.

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09:10 Mar-29-2015

The problem is not the 4k res. Its the money. Most peoples who goes this resolution is either rich or their father and mother are and want to have that 4k monitor. For now 1080p for me its enough.

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09:12 Mar-29-2015

Maybe in the future when 4k res goes to massive production then maybe i'll consider buying it. But for now 1080p is enough for me. I don't need better monitor for now. If your programmer and you need multiple programs to be open then yes.

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08:16 Mar-29-2015

Crappy UI scaling in the OS and poor support in most games. 4K gaming is just not worth it.

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07:30 Mar-29-2015

I'm starting to wonder when 8K gaming will be a thing.

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07:59 Mar-29-2015

Why did this comment get downvoted?

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08:09 Mar-29-2015

Who knows... Sometimes I think some people just get drunk & start down voting for the hell of it. Like...

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09:40 Mar-29-2015

Hahaha happens with me as well :D I feel sorry for those trolls !

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02:16 Mar-30-2015

Bring back 800 x 600 when games were cool. :)

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05:35 Mar-29-2015

I'd take it for free but I wouldn't spend 1 buck on it. Expensive, hyped, barely 4K sources, early adopter risks, imo it's overkill for 24 inch monitors,... In 4-5 years my answer to this question will probably be the exact opposite.

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04:54 Mar-29-2015

nope 1080p is enough for me :)

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04:50 Mar-29-2015

I'll say at 2K for now

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14:59 Mar-29-2015

I think u are at 3k:)

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15:05 Mar-29-2015

nvm..I just read that the 4k res is 4096 x 2160 and the uhdtv is 3840 x 2160 so"the term 4K is traditionally reserved for the cinematic, DCI resolution".

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02:40 Mar-29-2015

Nvidia’s $1000 GeForce GTX Titan X is just about capable of decent 4K gaming. says it all!! for now 4k gaming is an irrelevant platform for most people due to cost but 4k movies id kinda like to see

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00:41 Mar-29-2015

I plan on going 4K when I build a new desktop at the end of next year. I am waiting for nVidia's Pascal GPUs with NV-Link to be launched before I go for 4K resolution.

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23:57 Mar-28-2015

I got 4K, for now. Monitor size is going to be a problem as my LG 31MU97 is quite big and would be better if it were curved. Price is reasonable already for "1st/western/25k$yearMedianIncome" world countries IMO.

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Can They Run... |

| Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 3 3300X 4-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon R7 250X Sapphire 1GB Edition 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
APU A10-9700E 4-Core 3.0GHz Radeon R5 M320 2GB 12GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Asus TUF Gaming 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-6500 3.2GHz GeForce GTX 1060 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Asus Phoenix OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Gigabyte Windforce 2X OC 3GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-12700K 16-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X Radeon RX 550X 4GB 24GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-10600KF 6-Core 4.10GHz Radeon RX 580 Asus Dual 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-11400F 6-Core 2.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 6G Edition 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 Radeon RX 580 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Radeon HD 7970 OC Sapphire Edition 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-8086K 6-Core 4.0GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
| Low, 1080p
Core i5-7400 3.0GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Palit StormX 2GB 12GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gigabyte Aorus Master 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gigabyte Aorus Master 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ultra 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i9-10900KF 10-Core 3.70GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super MSI Ventus XS OC 8GB 64GB