Best 4k Gaming Monitors 2016
|Monitor||Size||Response Time (GTG) ms||Panel||Adaptive sync||Price USD (Newegg)||Price in Amazon|
|Acer Predator XB271HK||27||4||IPS||G-sync||990||Latest Price|
|Asus ROG PG27AQ||27||4||IPS||G-sync||900||Latest Price|
|Acer XB280HK bprz||28||1||TN||G-sync||780||Latest Price|
|QNIX UHD3216R||32||5||VA||Freesync||487||Latest Price|
|LG 27UD68P-B||27||5||IPS||Freesync||440||Latest Price|
|SAMSUNG U28E590D||28||1||TN||Freesync||425||Latest Price|
|ASUS MG28UQ||28||1||TN||Freesync||350||Latest Price|
|ASUS MG24UQ||23.6||4||IPS||Freesync||340||Latest Price|
|AOC U2879VF||28||1||TN||Freesync||290||Latest Price|
|LG 24UD58-B||24||5||IPS||Freesync||280||Latest Price|
|LG 27UD88-W||27||5||IPS||Freesync||600||Latest Price|
|Samsung U24E590D||23.6||4||IPS||Freesync||580||Latest Price|
|LG 27UD58-B||27||5||IPS||Freesync||430||Latest Price|
|ViewSonic XG2700-4K||27||5||IPS||Freesync||530||Latest Price|
|Samsung U32E850R||31.5||4||IPS||Freesync||980||Latest Price|
|Acer XB271HK||27||4||IPS||G-sync||990||Latest Price|
|Acer XB321HK BMIPHZ||32||4||IPS||G-sync||1289||Latest Price|
What you need to know before buying a 4K display
Primarily aimed at enthusiast gamers and professionals, 4K monitors (3840x2160p) are getting more and more popular every day. With developments in IPS and TN panels and the rising competition in the market, these monitors have been becoming more common and more affordable. With new display ports, faster computers, and cheaper gaming monitors, the transition to 4K has been made much easier. In this article, we will be describing a series of steps you need to follow to make sure you pick the right kind of 4K display for you.
User-oriented features of 4K monitors
There are two types of 4K displays available in the market today: the 4K digital cinema standard displays that have a resolution of 4096×2160 pixels, and the consumer standard Ultra High Definition displays that have a slightly less resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. TV displays on the market use the consumer-standard 4K, however, if you are planning to buy a monitor, both of these options are available. The LG31MU97, for example, has a resolution of 4096×2160 pixels.
Delivering 8 million pixels to make everything crystal clear and super sharp, 4K displays make sure that all your needs are taken care of, whether they are graphics designing, photo or video editing or competitive gaming. But firstly, you need to decide what you will be using this display for. This will help clear out other things that you need along with the resolution. For example, if your primary use is editing photos or videos, you need to prefer an IPS panel over a TN panel. If on the other hand, if you are a gamer, and you want to game at 4K, the preference needs to be given to adaptive sync support and a low response time over other things.
Editing and graphics work
With 4K, you have a clearer and sharper picture as compared to other resolutions. This is the preferred resolution today for photo and video editors, and for gamers who need higher visual feudality. If you shoot and edit 4K however, you will need a 4k or 5K monitor to edit the video natively. This is because with an increase in visualization, comes a corresponding drop in frame rates. And that can reduce your video quality, as you might have to compress them to be a little bit less than the maximum resolution of the display, to get your work done with good speed (and fewer chances of a software crash). So a higher resolution is a good thing to have if you are looking for aesthetics and graphically intensive work. However, the frame rate is equally important with such a high pixel count – so make sure you save up enough for a 60Hz display setup that outputs 4K for the best experience.
4k Gaming Monitors
On the other hand, if you are planning to buy any display for gaming (4K included), you need to prioritize Response time, Refresh rate and adaptive sync technology above the rest. The biggest problem with low-cost, early 4K monitors was that they had a refresh rate of 30Hz. This made everything from moving the mouse to opening applications jerky and unpleasant. Now, however, there are 4K and higher resolution monitors in the market that are manufactured for gamers and have high Refresh rates and low response times. Take Acer XB280HK for example, the 28-inch display that has a refresh rate of 60Hz, a response time of 1ms and a support for Nvidia G-sync.
The refresh rate is the number of frames drawn from the GPU and displayed by on display per second and response time is the time taken by pixels to change their color from one shade of gray to the other (or from black to white). While gaming, both of these things are equally important, as you are pushing a lot of frames and an insane amount of pixels every second. And if you are doing this at a massive resolution of 3840x2160p, you need a good refresh rate and a low response time to avoid issues like Ghosting, screen tearing and stuttering. For gaming, it’s not recommended that you use a 4K with a refresh rate that is as low as 30Hz.
Resolution and Scaling go hand in hand. The higher resolution you have, the number of pixels are mounted on the screen. Setting your screen to a high resolution means that you will have more ‘desktop real estate’ (lots of icons and stuff on the desktop). This is a pro for people who work in editing, design and what not, as these things demand to multitask more than games do. So you might want to go for a 4K IPS display for this sort of work. You need great viewing angles, color accuracy, and sharpness – something a TN panel 4K display, like the Dell P2815Q, will not be ideal at. It is recommended that if you are buying a 4K monitor, you should opt for a 27-inch display or higher. The smaller the display is, the smaller icons and other applications will appear on your desktop because of the high resolution. This can cause eye strain, especially during longer usage times.
A typical sixteen by nine 4K monitor has about 8.3 million pixels. Pushing these many pixels on a screen requires a serious amount of horsepower, especially if you intend to use graphically intensive applications or for gaming. And while you can use the 4K monitor using the integrated graphics on the AMD Trinity or the Intel Ivy Bridge (which is a code name for Intel’s third generation Core processors) that is found in desktop PCs and laptop. However, it is not recommended as it simply lacks the power (and often the display connections).
Intel also has the NUC (next unit of computing), which is a range of ‘small-form-factor PCs’ that feature Haswell architectures and they can output 4K resolution. However, not all Haswell processors can handle the 4K at the same frame rate. Low power processors (the ‘U class’ processors), like the Intel Core i5 4200U (found in the Intel i5 NUC), are limited to 4K output at 30Hz over a Displayport connection and 24Hz over HDMI connection. Now this might be an okay thing to get if your objective is watching movies. But for intensive graphic work and gaming, U class processors need to be avoided if at all possible. When we move to ‘M class’ processors like the Intel i7 4700MQ or a full desktop chip like the i5 4670k can put 4K at 60Hz.
This is simply because of the number of pixels used in these displays. If the refresh rate and the response time ratings are not good enough, problems will occur. When you are spending that kind of money, you need to make sure that you have some longevity out of your arrangement. Take the Dell P2815Q for example, which is a 4K TN panel monitor which you can get if you are on a budget. But the problem with that is the low refresh rate on the top of the TN panel that cannot match the viewing angle range and color accuracy of IPS or PLS panels.
So in a nutshell, you need to have at least an Intel Haswell i5 processor with an integrated graphics chip to have a hassle-free 4K experience. If you want to game or to do heavy work, 60Hz is a must nowadays.
When it comes to connectivity, the best thing you can get a 4K monitor today is the HDMI 2.0 port, which is rare these days. The HDMI 2.0 is 4K capable at 60Hz. The most common one is the HDMI 1.4 port that can run 4K at 30Hz (which obviously does not make it the best bet). Then we have the Displayport 1.2 connection, which is also a good bet as it outputs 4K at 60Hz frames per second. Most displays in the market come with HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 (or both) connections. For professional use, it is recommended that you go with a monitor that has the Displayport 1.2 or the HDMI version 2.0.
If you are a creative professional who needs a great amount of detailing and color accuracy, it is a good idea to opt for a 4K resolution. However, you will have to select an IPS panel that also supports a good frame rate and with that, comes the rise in price. Invest in one if you will, and you will have the best in output quality. However, if you are a gamer, opting for a 4K monitor might not necessarily be the best of ideas. 4k and 5K displays are available in the market today at reasonable rates, but the overall gaming experience of a 4K display at 60Hz still cannot match the 27 inch, 144Hz gaming at WQHD (2560×1440p) that a monitor like the ASUS ROG PG278Q provides. If you are a competitive gamer, that might be your best bet. However if your main concern is aesthetics, 4K gaming will satisfy you as it will satisfy the needs of an editing professional.