Up For Debate - Current average gamer screen resolution in 2021

Written by Chad Norton on Sun, Jan 31, 2021 5:00 PM

With the release of the brand new RTX 30 series of graphics cards from Nvidia, and the RX 6000 series GPUs from AMD, we finally have some viable cards that can consistently play at resolutions higher than 1080p with decent performance. However, no one seems to be able to get their hands on one at the moment.

Despite that though, Nvidia revealed that they have currently sold over twice as many RTX 30 graphics cards as the RTX 20 series at $499 or above in the same timeframe. So the new Ampere architecture has seemingly tempted more gamers into the world of high resolution gaming.

Steam’s Hardware and Survey report thankfully gives us a rough estimate of the average resolution among its users. So has the RTX 30 series brought 4K gaming into the mainstream, yet?...

Sadly no, 4K is still an incredibly small niche at just 2.09% of all Steam players rocking this as their primary display resolution. 1440p has seen a marginal increase in usership though at 9.69%, whilst 1080p still remains king at 66.77% of all Steam users using it as their primary display resolution.

But that’s Steam, where the amount of users is completely overshadowed by the sheer diversity of it’s audience. Also, just having a high resolution monitor is one thing, but actually gaming at that resolution most of the time is another, so we've added a second poll to see if there is a big difference there as well.

For example, I currently use a 4K monitor. But my RTX 3070 can only handle playing most modern games at 1440p. Though I an play a lot at 4K still, 1440p seems to be the majority of them.

So we want to ask you guys, what is your main monitor resolution? And what resolution do you mostly game on? We’ve asked this question before back in 2016, where an overwhelming majority of you (580, to be exact) voted for 1080p as the resolution you game on the most, with 1366 x 768 coming up in second place with 87 votes.

That’s a massive difference between resolutions, so let’s see if that’s changed at all in the last 4-5 years.

Just for reference, here’s the main resolutions we’ll be using that you can vote on. They’re the same as last time, but with the arrival of the RTX 3090 bringing 8K gaming to the market now, we thought we’d put it in just out of interest.

  • 1280 x 720 = 720p
  • 1366 x 768 = HDTV 720p/1080i
  • 1600 x 900 = 900p
  • 1920 x 1080 = 1080p
  • 2560 x 1440 = 1440p
  • 3440 x 1440 = UltraWide
  • 3840 x 2160 = 4K
  • 4096 x 2304 = True 4K
  • 7680 x 4320 = 8K
  • 8192 x 4608 = True 8K

So let us know what resolution is your main monitor, and whether you normally game at that resolution or have to go lower for better performance or, in some cases, higher for better visual clarity. 

And let us know exactly why you use that resolution! Is it because 1080p is financially viable? Or is it because you prefer the crispness of 4K? Or do you like going in between for 1440p? Or maybe you’re still gaming on an old HDTV monitor because it was all that was lying around? Let’s debate!

What is your main monitor resolution?

What resolution do you game at most of the time?

Our favourite comments:

3440x1440. Ultra-wide for the win!. I will never go back to a "small screen."

velcroboy

The monitor I have is 24inch 1080p. I also use a 32inch tv which is also 1080p and things look very sharp on both. So I see no reason to get a 4k or even 1440p. I'd rather get a high refresh rate monitor (144hz or more) with adaptive sync.

neseri

I'd used 1080p as my main resolution for around 5 years or more, until 2018, when I upgraded my monitor to a 1440p display. I've stuck with that ever since. I'll get to 4K eventually, but right now, it seems like it's just too much for most video cards to handle---although, they're on the verge of being able to push past 60FPS all the time at 4K.

The extra pixels do make for a lot more screen real estate outside of gaming, though, which is always nice.

Pwnstix

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13:55 Feb-02-2021

1080 is and will be enough for me for probably my whole gaming lifespan

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junior admin badge
01:40 Feb-03-2021

You ever used a 1440p monitor?

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08:56 Feb-03-2021

I have not had the luxury, no.
I'm sure it's great though and if people can afford it then more power to them, but 1080 does not really leave me wanting something more.

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13:25 Feb-05-2021

Understood

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10:04 Feb-07-2021

i remember saying the same thing about 720 11years ago haha

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14:12 Feb-01-2021

rocking 5120*1440@120hz never going back

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00:55 Feb-02-2021

Nice

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11:16 Feb-01-2021

meanwhile

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12:55 Feb-01-2021

The lack of 16:10 resolutions and including 8K is a pretty weird move.

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10:47 Feb-01-2021

I am still using 1080p
Managed to get a good deal on a 144hz 1080p acer predator monitor. Had this now for a few years don't plan on swapping anytime soon

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09:07 Feb-01-2021

2560x1080 is missing lol. But yea once you game/work on ultrawide there's no going back. Next purchase wil be a 6800 xt so i can run 3440x1440 in 144hz at least.

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08:45 Feb-01-2021

team 3440x1440 here
year ago I had to upgrade to GTX1080Ti which I think is the bare minimum for enjoyable gaming experience at such resolution (and I got 100Hz, so less demanding games being pushed to higher framerates are awesome),
to be honest though, 1080p would still be totally fine for games, but I needed more workspace and even my previous 27" 2560x1440 monitor was not enough anymore - now I think 34" 3440x1440 100Hz is the best ultimate compromise for all my needs

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07:39 Feb-01-2021

I plan to stick with 1080P for a long term because every new GPU release is way overpriced in my country so going for higher resolution is not a wise move. If high end new cards can support 4K, then the mid range can definitely play well at 1080 P.

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06:55 Feb-01-2021

1080p is more than enough imo, but I have to admit I never tried myself higher resolutions.

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junior admin badge
01:39 Feb-03-2021

If you're curious how higher resolutions stack up 1080p, your best bet would be to go to a store and compare the visuals.

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01:06 Feb-01-2021

That's given. I game on 1080p, nothing more, nothing less!

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00:29 Feb-01-2021

Game almost always on a 4k tv. Most games would have to run at 1440p, but it can still run a fair bit at 4k.
On this tv, we sit fairly close (&#607ft), but even then you cant really tell 1440p vs 4k.

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00:07 Feb-01-2021

I exclusively use 1080x1080. Yes, that is correct. I love a 1:1 ratio

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04:54 Feb-01-2021

do they even make that type of monitor?

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08:46 Feb-01-2021

I think he gets black borders on sides

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11:57 Feb-01-2021

No, I force my resolution through nvidia panel. I get black bars by the side.

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22:54 Jan-31-2021

Guess I'm one of the few that's still at 768p


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23:40 Jan-31-2021

I wouldn't mind going down to 768p if they made 360hz monitors for it. I exclusively play Esport games on my PC now. For Everything else consoles have really been a nice solution for me.

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00:55 Feb-02-2021

Considering the crazy hardware prices, consoles have become a much more attractive solution for ppl on a budget.
BTW, what's your current resolution and refresh rate?

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06:48 Feb-03-2021

I am currently using a 1080p 240Hz monitor. My PC is very much on the low end for my Display requirements, thank goodness for G-sync! I struggle to maintain 210fps average on Valorant lowest settings 2x MSAA, don't know whether to attribute that to my horribly binned CPU which I'm am forced to run at stock (1.4v for 4.9GHz) or my midrange Pascal card! (45% usage on average must mean I'm still CPU limited no?)


Also yes, I very much regret my former elitist stance on console gaming. In my opinion single player games are simply more fun on a console. Nothing like playing on a big screen faffing about on a couch!


Sorry for rambling!

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13:23 Feb-05-2021

You're saying what's on your mind. I don't consider that rambling.


Usually when you only have 45% GPU usage (in a demanding game), the CPU is often the bottleneck. One simple way to check is to drop the resolution to the lowest setting and turn off all visual improvements AA etc...


If the FPS number stays the same, there is something else going on. But if the number gets higher, you'll know who to blame.
Now about that 7700K. I've double checked and the stock frequency is 4.2 with a boost to 4.5 GHz. Did you do some OCing on your motherboards side to get the clocks higher?

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22:50 Jan-31-2021

i mostly game at 1080p on pc monitor but when i want extra resolution/bigger screen i use my 4k tv thats next to my pc

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20:55 Jan-31-2021

I'd used 1080p as my main resolution for around 5 years or more, until 2018, when I upgraded my monitor to a 1440p display. I've stuck with that ever since. I'll get to 4K eventually, but right now, it seems like it's just too much for most video cards to handle---although, they're on the verge of being able to push past 60FPS all the time at 4K.


The extra pixels do make for a lot more screen real estate outside of gaming, though, which is always nice.

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20:53 Jan-31-2021

I game at 1440p, 4K, 5K and 8K, depending on how well the game runs.
My main screen is a 27" 165Hz 1440p G-Sync IPS, Acer Predator.

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20:44 Jan-31-2021

The monitor I have is 24inch 1080p. I also use a 32inch tv which is also 1080p and things look very sharp on both.
So I see no reason to get a 4k or even 1440p. I'd rather get a high refresh rate monitor (144hz or more) with adaptive sync.

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20:22 Jan-31-2021

Just got myself a new 23.8" 1080p monitor since my old one broke down.Still amazed at how good can stuff look on a 1080p after coming from a 4k tv.

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20:07 Jan-31-2021

3440x1440. Ultra-wide for the win!. I will never go back to a "small screen."

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04:17 Feb-01-2021

I liked gaming on my ultrawide monitor but I found that a lot of the games I play just look wrong on it. Maybe that's just a problem with the indie games I play.

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04:49 Feb-01-2021

It is a nice option to have though. Not all games are compatible I guess. Thankfully there are some mods.

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08:47 Feb-01-2021

same here hah, I can't go back to anything smaller, it just feels weird to look at

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20:04 Jan-31-2021

1080p@144hz on my monitor but 4K@60hz on TV. It really depends on my controller which screen I'm using.

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19:41 Jan-31-2021

For now 1080p144hz. I'll probably up to 1440p when the RTX50 is out.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Pentium Dual Core E6300 2.8GHz GeForce 210 3GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X GeForce RTX 3060 Ti MSI Ventus 3X OC 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-2600K 4-Core 3.40GHz GeForce RTX 2060 MSI Gaming Z 6GB 16GB
| Ultra, 1080p
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte Windforce OC 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 3GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Radeon RX 570 XFX RS Black 4GB 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-2310 2.9GHz GeForce GT 1030 8GB
| 30FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz GeForce GT 1030 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 Sapphire Pulse 4GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 Sapphire Pulse 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Core i7-8700K 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 MSI Gaming X Trio 8GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Athlon 3000G 2-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 550 2GB 6GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i3-10100 4-Core 3.60GHz GeForce GTX 1650 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-4710MQ 4-Core 2.5GHz GeForce GTX 960M 2GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen R5 PRO 1600 Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus Dual OC 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i9-10900KF 10-Core 3.70GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super MSI Ventus XS OC 8GB 64GB
75% Yes [4 votes]