Gaming in 4K: The Future is here but with a catch

by on July 29, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – July 29th, 2014

There’s almost no doubt that the future of gaming lies with 4K resolution. Gamers are already big on getting their hands on the most powerful processing and rendering engines they can for their game machines and they’re always ready to embrace the best, most razor sharp possible display graphics they can. So given the 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution of 4K Ultra HD technology, it’s no wonder that they’re going to absolutely love it.

Furthermore, when you consider that most of the latest computer games are already designed for rendering maximally and effectively under a 4K screen, the field is nicely set for massive pixel power to take over from normal HD when it comes to PC games.

However, there is still one major (but fixable) catch. 4K games, while on the market and lovely to behold, still suffer from the technological lag caused by inadequate processing technology, especially in the form of graphics processing cards.

The bottom line is still that, yes, you can play all sorts of games in truly awesome 3,840 x 2,160 pixel glory and yes, 4K monitors are becoming much more affordable but even if you have a very high end graphics card or even two installed in your game machine, 4K simply needs too much juice to really flow smoothly at maximum settings and max frame rates. So far, playing 4K still means getting used to doing it at 30 frames per second.

Unfortunately, this is too low for a lot of gamers, who would much rather sacrifice some of the absolutely beautiful clarity that comes with 4K in favor of simply being able to render their game action smoothly enough for effective gameplay, and this applies especially for high intensity action games like Crysis 3 and others like it, which look fantastic at a UHD setting.

So for example, while the Samsung U28D590D 4K Ultra HD display monitor is currently selling for just $570 on Amazon (a rapidly adjusted $130 decrease from its MSRP of $700) and has a built-in 60Hz refresh rate that would make any 4K ready game looks fantastic, few gamers have a GPU that can deliver what the display monitor and most high end games have to offer.

Furthermore, if your game computer is still running the nowhere near dead yet Windows 7 OS, 4K is an awful experience all around, no matter what kind of 4K monitor you have. The OS simply isn’t designed to scale proportionally with all the extra pixels of UHD (nearly 5 times as many as normal HD) and everything from the basic Windows 7 OS display up to all of your applications and gaming controls will look ridiculously tiny as it displays.

However, none of these are major speed bumps on the road to fully fleshed out and widely adopted 4K gameplay. Windows 8 does indeed scale wonderfully with 4K resolution and graphics cards are bound to catch up to the resolution specs of rapidly growing 4K display technology. The lure of 8,294,400 pixels is just too powerful for those of us who want to play the best games out there at the kind of resolution that nearly makes what’s on the screen look like a window into another physical reality.

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