4K / Ultra HD Gaming Monitors – I explain the difference and the advantages of these devices for 2023
Gaming monitors with 4 times the resolution of Full HD are called 4K monitors or Ultra HD monitors (UHD). With a resolution starting at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, 4K/UHD monitors are the absolute top class among gaming monitors. With such a screen, you can experience games even more realistically and enjoy a razor-sharp resolution!
Ultra HD is a video format that actually includes two different resolutions: 4K and 8K. 4K can display a resolution of more than 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which is four times as much as FullHD. 8K can display a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, but is hardly common among PC monitors.
So 4K/Ultra HD monitors can display incredibly sharp images where you can’t see the individual pixels with the naked eye, even when sitting very close in front of the screen. That’s also why most 4K/Ultra HD monitors are a bit larger and only common from a diagonal of 24 inches.
It is important for 4K/UHD monitors that the corresponding hardware is up to date in addition to the monitor.
Graphics cards should be of the latest generation and have a DisplayPort version 1.2 (at least). This is because DisplayPort 1.2 is the only current interface that can display 4K resolution in 60 Hz. In the future, however, the new HDMI 2.0 standard will also become established.
Buying the right 4K/Ultra HD gaming monitor
4K/Ultra HD monitors are similar to other monitors except for their higher resolution, so again you have to pay attention to the following features:
- The most important distinguishing feature in the monitor in general, besides the size of the diagonal, is the panel technology. The mass of LCD monitors use tried and tested TN panels, which are currently increasingly being replaced by sophisticated IPS/PLS and MVA/PVA panels with higher blink angle stability and better contrast values.
- Other important features are the aforementioned refresh rate, contrast sharpness, brightness or response time. For 4K/Ultra HD monitors, a color depth of 10 bit (approx. 1 billion colors) comes into its own particularly well.
- Other features can be, for example, height adjustability, pivot, swivel and/or tilt, mutltimonitor operation (such as AMD Eyefinity), integrated speakers, touchscreen functions or compatibility with NVIDIA’s G-SYNC or AMD’s AdaptiveSync.
- A popular feature for UHD monitors is the support for High Dynamic Range (HDR), a video format with an extended range of brightness levels. This requires a graphics card with DisplayPort 1.4 output and a corresponding cable!
Good to know: Combination of TV & Computer Monitor
Monitors with “2K resolution”, “4K Cinema” and ultra-wide displays
In addition to high-resolution 4K monitors with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and a 16:9 screen format, ultra-wide displays are very popular. These offer a resolution of 3,440 x 1440 pixels (UWQHD) with a screen format of 21:9 and are the ultra-wide version of the 16:9 WQHD monitors with a resolution of 2,560 x 1440 pixels.
The WQHD resolution is also called 2K resolution and is the golden mean between Full HD and Ultra HD. Monitors with a rather rare resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels are often called “4K Cinema Monitors” and are common in the home theater sector.