4K gaming monitors are the future there is no doubt about it, and if you are considering upgrading to a 4K monitor, there are few things you need to know. So here are our top five tips to give you the best 4K experience.
The first tip is about 4K content
You will often hear people say there is no point investing in a 4K monitor as there almost nothing to watch, there is nothing to see in 4K except maybe for a few shows on Netflix or Amazon. And this is the case of 4K TVs, but 4k monitors connected to computers are an entirely different story.
The high resolution gives you more desktop space so you can have more programs, more apps, and more tabs open at once. You can access YouTube as well which has the biggest catalog of 4K videos. Almost all modern games support 4K resolutions whether you are playing Fallout 4, Rainbow Six Siege or GTA 5 they all support glorious UltraHD 4K. So don’t worry about 4K content on 4K gaming monitors. It is not the same as 4K TVs.
The second tip is pretty obvious
I am sure most of you guys already know it. You need a very powerful PC in order actually to power a 4K monitor particularly if you intend to use it for gaming. An UltraHD 4K monitor like the Asus PG27AQ has about 8.2 million pixels that compared to just over 2 million on a standard Full HD 1080p monitors. That is four times as many pixels, your graphics card, your processor, your RAM and other PC component needs to push. Obviously, that have a significant impact on the framerate of your games and in general computer performance. So gaming, in particular, should be avoided at 4K resolutions unless you have a powerful GPU that can run it, like the NVIDIA 980Ti or an AMD R9 Fury X. And even then you may get 40 or 50 FPS in modern games in high settings. And of course also high resolutions use more of your GPU’s VRAM, so it is worth getting a card that has at least 4 gigabytes, so preferably like the 980Ti 6 gigabytes. But of course, that is just the games.
Not everyone who wants to buy a 4K monitor will be playing games. There are lots of other reasons to invest in a 4K monitor including the ability to edit 4K video at its native resolution without having to zoom in or see a sort of reduced version of it.
You get extra real estate on the desktop for your apps and your programs. But even if you do not plan on using your 4K monitor for gaming, be aware that editing 4K video, for example, requires a lot more processing power than 1080p FullHD. So make sure your PC or your laptop is up to the job of pairing all of 4k’s 8.2 million pixels if you plan to use a monitor as a secondary external 4K display.
The third tip is about a 4k gaming monitors size
Unless you have a massive 32 or maybe even 40-inch 4K monitor you will probably find that the text and the icons are a bit too small to see comfortably at 4K’s 3840×2160 resolution. Crisp images and sharp text are great but not when you have to strain your eyes actually to see it. So this is where scaling comes in handy, and it’s got a lot better with Windows 10. Now with the full 100% scaling you get one to one-pixel ratio, On a 27-inch 4K monitor everything looks pretty tiny. But to fix this, all you need to do is right-click on the desktop and open Display Settings, and you will then see a slider that suggests the window scaling in 25% increment. I recommend just dragging it one to the right to change is going to a 125%, although Windows recommends a 150%.
Scaling on Mac is even simpler, just go to the Display Settings and then pick out the best for display or scaled options. So just in scaling whether it is on Windows or Mac, you can make 4K much more usable. Everything will still be sharp, and you still get a lot more desktop real estate than you would on 1080p or 1440p monitor, but it is much easier to read the text and the icons, everything is just a lot more comfortable to use.
The next tip is about using the right connection for a 4k Monitor
Make sure you are using Displayport or the latest HDMI 2.0 connection as the older more common HDMI 1.4 port will only support the 4K resolution at 30 hertz which is slow and pretty rubbish. You do not want 30 hertz. Since 4K monitors are pretty new, you can’t get one with a higher refresh above 60 hertz just yet. But late in 2016, we should start seeing higher refresh 4K monitors that support 100 hertz, maybe 120 hertz becoming the standard and also using Displayport 1.3. But for now, we have to compromise on high refresh rates to enjoy the high resolution which is why for many gamers, 1440p monitors that do support 120 and 144 hertz are a better option.
The fifth tip is about console gaming on a 4k monitor
One of the most common questions we get is can I play console games on a 4k gaming monitor. The simple answer is hooking your PS4 or Xbox to a 4K gaming monitor will be the same as just putting it on a 1080p screen. Because the game consoles can be maximum output 1080p FullHD. That is all you are going to see on the monitor regardless of the fact that it is a 4K monitor. Technically what is happening is since there are four times as many pixels on a 4K monitor compared to a 1080p each 1080p pixel will map to a two-by-two square on the 4K monitor. It is a bit like watching a Blu-ray movie with FullHD on a 4K TV. The problem with that analogy is that Blu-ray players and TVs often have upscaling software to make the Blu-ray look better. Where the 4k monitor doesn’t do that. And then obviously you have to consider sound if your monitor does not have built-in speakers. You are going to either use headphones with the console or find some external speaker system.