The Future of Gaming Lies in 4K Display Monitors

by on July 8, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – July 8th, 2014

Computer hardware sellers are already pushing 4K display technology as the next big thing in PC gaming and with a certain amount of good reason if you push some of the hype aside. Since 4K display monitors have a resolution of at least 3,840 x 2,160 pixels (and some models offer even higher resolutions than this) their total pixel count tops out at just under 9 million pixels.

To give you a bit of perspective on what this means, compare the above with the total amount of pixels in a Full HD 1920 X 1080p screen, which is a little over 2,100,000. In other words, 4K screens are displaying 8 times the screen resolution of normal HD screens.

Naturally, this means that gaming under 4K conditions promises to be a truly fantastic experience. Other perks of this increased resolution and its accompanying pixels per inch (PPI) count also include much better pixel density for finer details on the screen and increased space on the PC screen for working or gaming.

Best of all, the scarcity of 4K friendly and actual native 4K content for TV and video doesn’t apply to gamers since the vast majority of all modern PC games are already designed to support 4K UHD rendering as if they were native to it.

The obvious conclusion from these facts is that gaming is going to move very comfortably into the 4K universe and before long, games played on PCs under regular 1080p conditions will largely be a thing of the past.

However, some problems with the medium still remain. For one thing, PCs capable of supporting 4K resolution without massive problems in rendering speed –especially under the conditions of fast paced action that most games have—will definitely need bigger, more badass graphics cards and internal processing power.

A 4k game played on a 4K screen but with a computer that was built to perfectly handle even the most fast paced Full HD 1080p resolution will look slow and terribly clumsy in comparison. The amount of pixels that have to be placed at a decently useful frame rate of 60 or more are simply too much for many normal PC graphics cards.

Less frame rate sensitive games can still be played okay under a regular graphics card but anything involving serious action will be too much for most modern PCs and so far, the most optimal solution for most PC game fans is to install dual graphics cards to make up for the lag of one. This is obviously a solution that can’t go on, and if PC games are going to really move into 4K, processing power and graphics cards will be a must-have item in future models of gaming PCs.

Also, 4K monitors still remain expensive. They’re definitely getting cheaper and some lower cost name brand models can go for as little as just under $700 dollars, but their prices have yet to drop to fully optimal levels for wide adoption.

Finally, technical details such as proper screen setup of a 4K monitor to a PC have to be standardized more, since any PC that’s going to support 4K screens needs to be able to support either DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 for the screen’s 60+Hz refresh rates and massive pixel count. Unfortunately, virtually no current GPU is HDMI 2.0 capable.

However, these difficulties are just transient roadblocks on a long path to wide use, and within a year or maybe two, many more monstrously powerful 4K screens are going to be adorning the machines of many more gamers than today.

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