A 4K monitor features a screen resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels – four times as high as standard HD (1920 x 1080).
Although 4k displays are here since 2013, they’ve started to gain traction for only a couple of years.
There was virtually no 4K content initially, and the games were not optimized for this higher resolution. Most importantly, those 4K screens used to cost a lot.
But now, thanks to ever-decreasing prices, powerful hardware, more 4K content with each passing day, and 4K optimized games, many mainstream PC users are switching over to these high-res displays.
So, are 4K monitors worth it?
To find that out, we’ll gauge their utility in different scenarios.
4K Monitors For Gaming
First, we’ll discuss console gaming.
Both Xbox and Playstation support 4K 120Hz gaming with their latest versions. Even the now-older Xbox One X and Playstation PS4 Pro can get you 30/60 FPS at 4K.
4K monitors come with different refresh rates from 60Hz to all the way 144Hz.
So, if you play fast-paced action games, it’s good to invest in a 4K 120Hz monitor. But if you’re more inclined towards cinematic experience, then a 4K 60Hz monitor will do the trick.
On the other gaming, 4K gaming on PC is more tricky because it depends on your PC hardware (CPU and graphics card, specifically) and the games you play. It certainly makes sense to get a 4K monitor for RTX 3080 or any other flagship GPU. But if you have a midrange or last-gen card, then you can check out some 1440p 144Hz monitors too.
Some games are more graphics-intensive than others and will give you less FPS at a relative resolution.
The best thing here to search online for your GPU’s 4K benchmarks against the games you play.
If those benchmarks are 150+ FPS, it would be good to pair it up with a 4K 144Hz or 4K 120Hz monitor. Otherwise, you better go with a 4K 60Hz or a 1440p 144Hz option – if your main priority is a higher refresh rate.
Some games don’t natively support 4K resolution and only upscale the graphics from 1080p. So make sure to do proper research before making a purchase.
Another reason why you might switch to a 4K monitor is future-proofing. 1080p is still the favourite screen resolution among gamers, but this trend is slowly changing. Having a 4K monitor right now means you won’t have to upgrade it for at least 3-4 years.
4K Monitor For Everyday Use
For basic stuff like managing documents/spreadsheets and surfing the internet, 4K screens are unnecessary.
But if you’re like me and watch a lot of movies/TV shows on your PC, it is a good investment indeed.
Unlike gaming, multimedia consumption on 4K monitors doesn’t require a high-end graphics card. The integrated graphics unit on your CPU will be good for this task.
With that said, 4K content requires a much stronger internet connection for streaming. So make sure you at least have a 25 Mbps broadband connection.
4k Monitor For Professional Use
For general office use, there’s no advantage in spending extra money on these high-res screens.
That being said, there are some areas, such as image and video editing, where a 4K display can benefit you with its vibrant colours and detailed images.
4K video editing has gained popularity among the content creators in recent times, and YouTube has a growing library of such videos with every passing day.
But still, 1080p is the most widely adopted screen resolution right now, and if your audience doesn’t care/use a higher resolution, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to produce 4K or 8K videos.
As stunning as they look, rendering high-res videos require a high-end processor, GPU, and RAM in the first place.
So plan everything before starting this expensive endeavour.