Are 4K TVs Good for Utra HD Gaming?

by on October 18, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – October 18th, 2014

The prices of 4K TVs are growing much smaller as the technology becomes more popular and today you can even get your hands on an excellent Ultra HD 4K TV set with a very decent 50 inch screen for less than $1000 thanks to the new Vizio P-Series of TVs.

This thus begs the question: Is a 4K TV a better choice for 4K gaming? The obvious and simple answer is that of course it would be much more awesome to play 4K PC games on a 70 inch TV connected to your PC but there are some interesting details at play with this question too.

For starters, since these new less than $1000 4K TVs came out on sale in mid-October, a really serious gamer might ask themselves why they should bother with a 4K PC monitor that costs at least $650 USD and has a 28 inch screen when they can just fork over a little over $300 more and get a much larger 50 inch TV that can also be used as, well, a TV.

Beyond that, there is also the question of whether the 50 inch 4K TV is going to actually be compatible or reasonably functional with a gaming PC.

For one thing, some online gaming forum comments do indeed have comparisons between playing regular 1080p HD games on 4K TV screens instead of ordinary PC monitors. So far, the verdict seems to be that the visual quality is really better, even if the game in question hasn’t been optimized for 4K. This is thanks to the upscaling features most 4K TVs have that allow them to improve the visual clarity of even ordinary HD content when it’s played.

Then, there’s the fact that both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are designed to be at least somewhat 4K compatible. Meaning that these systems can be attached to a 4K TV and used to play 4K optimized games like “Metal Gear Solid” or “Ryse: Son of Rome” even if they might not deliver the best possible frame rates when doing so.

But what about playing PC games on PCs but with a 4K TV attached? You could of course go splash down 4 grand on a new complete 4K gaming PC from Origin PC with all the specs necessary for awesome gameplay at a smooth 60 fps even with Ultra HD games. But the screen that comes with this is still going to be only 28 inches across. So if you want all the powerful specs of a PC like that but want to connect it to your 4K TV, what can you expect?

Well it seems that doing this would actually be a pretty good idea. One of the biggest problems that plague gamers who want to try the 4K experience is their rigs not having the GPU power necessary to render the games at useful frame rates (at least 50 fps). Connecting a gaming rig to a 4K TV solves this problem. Since the TV is already designed to handle fast frame rates on fast action 4K video, it does a lot of the PC’s work for it and thus reduces the need for a state of the art GPU inside your computer.

If you have a PC whose GPU is already designed to handle 4K resolution, even better.

Vizio P-Series 4K TVs

The New VIzio P-Series 4K TVs are the cheapest on the market with Top of the Line Features, possibly making them useful for 4K games

However, you will still have to deal with the issue of HDMI 2.0 level connectivity. Why HDMI 2.0? Because no matter how good both your TV and PC are at handling 4K games at high frame rates, the transmission of the data between the two can only happen at those kinds of great frame rates if you’re using something like HDMI 2.0. The only problem with HMDI 2.0 though, is that no current GPU supports it, so as a substitute for HDMI 2.0 but with equal connectivity power, you need to make sure that both your TV and your PC have DisplayPort 1.2 compatiblity. This is the cable you’ll need to get those games running at 60 frames per secondon your TV screen.

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