4K PC Gaming is Becoming More Accessible and Popular
by Stephan Jukic – October 13th, 2014
While 4K content for TVs may still be somewhat scarce and hard to access even if it is available thanks to insufficient internet connectivity in your home, where your 4K TV is sitting, 4K gaming is already here.
This is because many of the latest titles in the PC game universe are designed to scale wonderfully when expanded to a screen that offers 3840 x 2160 pixels of resolution. Furthermore, while watching 4K on an Ultra HD TV may sometimes even seem not that different from normal Full HD, the difference between HD and Ultra HD on a desktop monitor is almost immediately noticeable!
Since so many of the latest titles in 4K gaming scale up so nicely for 4K, getting yourself a desktop PC with an Ultra HD display monitor is a great way to really enjoy 4K live action at its fullest.
However, there is also a catch. Running 4K capable games on your new 4K monitor will require a very beefed up, powerful PC in order to work smoothly.
Luckily, this is becoming more feasible than ever before nowadays.
For starters, you can count on new generations of GPUs that are coming out with 4K in mind when they were designed. The big leader in this is Nvidia with its Titan Z graphics cards for PCs and its lighter but still powerful GeForce GTX series of cards that are even designed to enable 4K gameplay on not just PCs but even smaller notebook computers (laptops).
Secondly, there are fully pre-assembled gaming rigs that were specifically put together for Ultra HD gaming also being released onto the market. While these rigs are indeed expensive at prices that run at above $4,000 USD, they still offer big discounts when compared to the cost of buying all their individual components independently and assembling them together into a DIY rig.
However, even if you do want to create your own customer 4K gaming PC arrangement, the relevant electronics manufacturers are releasing new technologies that make doing this much easier.
To name some examples:
First of all, the prices of 4K monitors themselves keep going down. Philips, Asus, Acer, Samsung and even Dell all offer 28 inch Ultra HD 4K display monitors for $900 or less. And while some of these monitors don’t use the best display technology inside their screens, they do offer excellent response times of a millisecond or even less. This means that the speed at which pixels on the screen change color is excellent, and this is an important spec to have in gaming terms.
Furthermore, just this past August, Intel, doing similar things to Nvidia, launched its Haswell-E series of desktop processing units. These have been designed with high end, high powered game enthusiasts in mind and are some of the most powerful CPUs currently available for PCs.
Best of all, the new Haswell-E processors offer support for the Thunderbolt 2 format found in Apples latest desktop machines. Since Thunderbolt 2 can allow screen to PC bandwidth of 20Gbps, 4K gaming is very workable with these chips.
Thw Haswell chips also offer benefits to PC fans thanks to their DDR4 memory modules, which create less heat and work faster inside a PC, thus making the overall machine more capable of being pushed to new limits while gaming.
Finally, in terms of graphics cards, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 cards we’d already mentioned offer great performance and features for 4K gaming PCs. Most importantly, they are built to support HDMI 2.0, which is the ideal bandwidth cable for 4K gaming. Unlike HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0 allows for 60Hz refresh rates, which is the benchmark refresh rate for 4K gaming that runs smoothly.
Story by 4k.com