4K Barely Here and Someone is Already Experimenting on 12K

by on June 23, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – June 23rd, 2014

4K display technology is just now emerging into itself on the digital entertainment market and finally getting cheap enough to start seeing some serious wide adoption. But despite these positives, so far the chief problem with it has remained the simple fact that there is still a very large lack of varied 4K content available for distribution via broadband media or on sale via portable media such as Blu-ray

Sure, there are plenty of games and Full HD movies or shows that look awesome when upscaled to 4K via the processing engines on most UHD TVs, display monitors and even projectors, but these aren’t true 4K media, just improved versions of regular Full HD 1080p.

However, none of this is deterring some people from conducting some really cool experiments in taking 4K to the next level, at least in an improvised way. At least this is what one Microsoft programmer recently did by connecting three 4K monitors together in an effort to create a sort of simulated 12K screen resolution that displays the same game imagery stretched out across all three monitors, running –of course– on Windows 8.1

While 4K 3,840 x 2160p resolution does definitely improve normal HD in a physically measurable way when it gets scaled up on an UHD screen, some people still claim not to notice a difference visually, and while this may or may not be true, Gavin Gear, a senior program manager at Microsoft recently decided to see if 4K could look better when technically scaled up to 12K via three interconnected monitors. The resulting screen resolution came out to 11,520 x 2160 pixels and cost a whopping $17,000 dollars to arrange, most of which came from the cost of the three 4K UHD monitors themselves.

Having set up this immense multi-monitor gaming setup display, Gear then tested the 4K compatible game “Dirt 3” and made sure to run it across all three monitors while they themselves maintained at least a 30Hz refresh rate that amounted to an industry standard 35 frames per second. Of course, none of this was enough for his liking, so by going into the monitors’ custom graphics settings and connecting them all together to act as a single integrated unit, Gavin Gear managed to create a single monstrous display that could much more easily produce a doubling to 60Hz and 150 frames per second for its refresh rate on a combined screen size of 11,520 x 2160 pixels.

Of course, in the process, in order to get all three monitors to work together effectively, he also had to call in favors with friends who work at chip maker AMD so they could give him customized drivers that were able to render 60Hz across all three monitors as a single unit and he also had to do some significant modification of his computer’s motherboard

But, the ultimate result was a brief and mostly functional taste of what 12K gaming could look like down the road. Though it needs be said that this entire three monitor setup wasn’t true 12K but more of a very stretched out 4k that happened to generate 1.5 billion pixels per second and had a pixel total that was indeed 3 times larger than that of a single 4K screen.

So, if you have $17,000 dollars to burn, fiends who work at a major processor manufacturer and the technical skills to connect the three 4K monitors to render effectively because you’ve also modified your motherboard, you too can create a simulated 12K for your home gaming experience.

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