A year with 4K (UltraHD) monitor

Published: 16th Jul 2017, 08:06 GMT   Comments

Last year I made a new purchase: Crossover 289K UltraHD monitor. It’s a Korean display with B-grade panel. This model is not even IPS or VA, just TN, but that was not a problem since at the time I was only planning to use it for reviews.

A year later I stopped using my old 1440p IPS panel altogether and now I’m only using this 4K monitor. In this blog entry, I will explain why.

Before I get into the topic, I do not recommend this Crossover 4K monitor, it has a lot of issues with full-screen resolutions.

Windows Applications at 4K

This post is not about my monitor, but about 4K monitors in general. The biggest concern about 4K monitors is the density of the pixels and windows scaling, especially on such ‘small’ screens like Crossover’s (28-inch panel). It’s possible to use it at native 100% scaling, but the experience is just awful. For this screen size, 150% scaling is probably the best (comparable to 1440p at 27-inch).

I expected a lot of problems with manyyy applications that I use, but to be honest, I only had a problem with a few. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider this a problem anymore. Window scaling just works and chances are you will not experience such issues (unless you are using some really old apps). This pixel density makes everything much more detailed, I simply love how great the fonts and icons look. Did I mention you can actually see more details from your DSLR with this resolution?

4K Gaming

When I bought this monitor there was only GTX 1080 on the market, the only 4K-capable graphics cards for modern games. There was no way it would be enough for Ultra settings though. Only when GTX 1080 Ti came out I actually started enjoying 4K gaming at Ultra. It’s one of those things that change your gaming experience once and for all. This is when I completely stopped using my 1440p monitor.

When I’m doing my reviews I often go through all three resolutions: 1080p, 1440p and 2160p and I must say, I just can’t imagine playing at 1080p anymore. 4K gaming gives you 4 times more pixels, more details, more fun. It’s like watching promotional 3D renders for games, only live.

4K gaming is not for everyone though. This is a new area in PC gaming. High-refresh rate 4K monitors are hard to find. If you are after competitive online gaming, 4K monitor is probably not for you. However, if you are (like me) after mind blowing image quality at the expense of the refresh rate, 4K is just you need.

Is 4K gaming expensive?

You don’t need 1080 Ti for 4K, but you need a lot of VRAM. I had fun with GTX 1060 or RX 480 at this resolution, but with lower quality textures. It is not the same experience, but if I were to choose between 1440p Ultra or 4K High, I would go with the latter.

If everything goes according to the plan, the RX Vega should finally bring more competition to 4K gaming. It should actually push this enthusiast segment further. This is what I’m waiting for.

4K vs Ultrawide

We are at the crossroad of PC high-resolution gaming. The industry will either go 21:9 ultra-wide or 16:9 ultra HD. I wouldn’t mind if both solutions would coexist, but the reality is that 4K monitors are simply cheaper while offering you more pixels. I have not really had the chance to test ultrawide monitor yet (and for me ultra-wide starts at 3840×1600), so I will leave this open for discussion and another blog entry.

My 1080p gaming ends at Angry Birds on my mobile. I consider myself a 4K gamer. Once you go 4K, it’s hard to go back. Did you have the same experience?

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