Lately, we’ve seen a massive surge of 4K-related content being released, be it BenBuja’s Project CARS 4K teaser video, RaceRoom Racing Experience’s Group 5 Preview, or the other wide variety of previews in the Sim Racing world. 4K is becoming the next standard for TV and Monitors, as 1080p became a few years back. Some even CRAZIER displays are coming as well, like LG’s 8K resolution TV!
I’ve been seeing people start to adopt 4K displays into their gaming. However, what I’ve been wondering is if adopting 4K into your gaming is worth it at this point in time. I decided to investigate into it, and see if I could come up with an answer for you guys.
4K vs 1080p
Some of the people who are less technically inclined may be wondering, “What is the difference between 1080p and 4K?” The simple answer is that 4K is 4 times the resolution of 1080p. 1080p displays feature 1,920 pixels horizontally, and 1,080 pixels vertically, which equals 2,073,600 pixels across a 1080p screen.
4K resolution bumps the horizontal pixel count to 3,840, and the vertical pixels to 2,160. That gives a grand total of 8,294,400 pixels! Divide 2,073,600 into 8,294,400 and you get 4, hence the “4K” name.
4K vs Triple-Screens
One of the most popular solutions for gaming and multi-tasking is a triple monitor setup. For racing specifically, a triple-screen setup can provide a better Field of View, and a more immersive setup. It can also provide less strain on a system than a single 4K monitor!
A triple monitor setup, using 1080p screens, will have a resolution of 5760×1080. That equals 6,220800 pixels for the graphics card to generate, versus the 8,294,400 a 4K screen requires.
Another question a lot of people may ask is “But 3 monitors would cost a lot more than one, right?” However, with 4K still being a new technology, prices are still quite expensive. The lowest price I could find on a single 4K monitor on Amazon was $464. However, you can buy 3 of Amazon’s top-selling 1080p monitors for $408 (after rebate). That’s over $50 cheaper, and you’d arguably get a more immersive gaming experience.
One other thing to consider is the hardware required to take full advantage of your display. It is said that the best graphics card for a triple-screen setup is the Nvidia GTX 970, which can do a solid job doing 60 fps at 5760×1080. However, running the same settings at 4K would likely not be possible. a 4K monitor would arguably be like squeezing 4 monitors into one, and you’d need the processing power as such. Just imagine the hardware you’d need for triple 4K monitors! I can hear my computer screaming now.
In conclusion, I would say that a triple-1080p setup would be better in the long run, compared to a single 4K monitor. There is more versatility for multitasking, and it can also provide a more immersive gaming experience.
However, I think there is future potential for 4K resolution in gaming, and that will come in the form of VR. With a display so close to your face, you’ll need a high-resolution display to keep from seeing individual pixels close up. I could see a future version of the Oculus Rift using a 4K display.
What are your thoughts on 4K for gaming? Let us know in the comments!