A 3840 X 2160 resolution monitor, also known as a 4k monitor, an ultra high definition monitor, or UHD monitor, is one of the most sought after items for people building their own computers. It has been extremely popular in television for some time, and it is continuing to be the best option for people who want only the best image.
Standard definition monitors or 1080 P monitors are made up of pictures with 1,920 pixels in width and 1,080 pixels in height. 4k monitors have almost 4,000 pixels in width, doubling that of its rivals.
But what do you need to know about 4k monitors before you buy this resolution size? Is it really worth the extra costs to you? Will it make a difference? How do you know if one monitor is better than another?
In this guide to monitors with a 3840×2160 aspect ratio, we will answer all of your questions.
What Is 3840 X 2160 & Why Should I Buy It?
As with TVs that have the same resolution, 4K computer monitors have a display resolution of 3840×2160. This is about four times as many pixels as a typical 1920×1080 monitor or 1080p display will have. In general, more pixels means better pictures. They are sharper, clearer, more vibrant, and don’t strain your eyes as much. This increase in resolution size also allows for monitors to be bigger than ever before without losing image quality.
Most people who decide to buy a monitor with this resolution will do so because of the image quality. However, it is also noted that much of what we consume is being created for 4k resolution. YouTube creators, movie makers, streaming platforms, and game companies are all producing content for 4K.
If you aren’t using this type of monitor, you aren’t getting the purest experience. Moving into the future, a 4K monitor is going to be essential for anyone who wants to get the most out of their content.
Now, that isn’t to say you cannot enjoy your content on lower quality or smaller screens. However, gamers and those who build their own PCs want to be able to see everything clearly for the best experience. Is there a world in the future when you will need to have 4K to play certain games? Most certainly, but we aren’t there quite yet.
Is A 3840 By 2160 Pixels Monitor Worth It?
You can buy smaller monitors extremely cheap on just about any platform, but 4K monitors don’t have truly “value” prices just yet. In general, you can expect to spend at least $600 on a 4K monitor or well over $1,000, depending on what else you want.
These monitors often come with some great features, including USB ports, built-in speakers, DisplayPorts, HDMI ports, and more. They are versatile and fit the needs of people who are most likely to make the purchase – namely gamers and serious developers.
Now, it is important to note that 4K monitors are dropping in price and they are available from almost all major retailers. They can be found on sale more often than not, so you should monitor prices before you make the jump to buy one.
Don’t Compare 4K Monitors To 4K TVs
Some people don’t love 4K televisions, so they think that they won’t like the resolution or appearance of a 4K monitor. However, this isn’t a measure you should really use. TVs don’t have as much content as computers do, especially for gamers.
Everything that you use for your television, including your cable box, streaming service, players, and console all need to be able to output 4K or you will not get the world-class experience. With a computer monitor, all you need is the monitor, in most cases.
All major operating systems can output resolutions far greater than a 4K monitor. You could plug any 4K monitor into your computer and probably get the display resolution set to 3840×2160. Everything will look sharper, more defined, and easier on your eyes. In fact, most of us sit closer to our monitors than we do our television sets, so the difference will be even more profound.
Now, of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. Not all streaming services have everything available in 4K. If you are a fan of old western movies, for example, or I Love Lucy, you aren’t going to get that in 4K. Will there be some remastering in the future? It’s possible. You won’t be able to watch things in 4K that were created for 4K on a monitor or a TV. Even so, everything that is produced moving forward will likely be in 4K.
3840×2160 Monitors & Different Operating Systems
When you get a 4K monitor, your experience will be shaped by the operating system that you have. If you buy a smaller 4K monitor, you will see everything extremely small. You will be able to adjust it to your liking. The bigger your monitor, the more you will be able to put on it.
If you are going to buy a 4K monitor, it will be better to get one that is a bit bigger. With that much power and capability, you will want to use it to the fullest extent.
The different operating systems will each have an impact on how your monitor performs. Each one has made tweaks that will make it look better, especially on laptops and tablets. These features help to fix the problems that come with such high-resolution rates, which include general wonkiness because no one anticipated people would be able to see logos or designs that closely.
Somewhat surprisingly, the best operating system for 3840×2160 monitors is actually Windows 10. However, even that isn’t perfect. You will still see some blurriness in certain applications. However, most companies are racing to update everything so this will be eliminated soon. If an application has been updated after the release of 4K monitors, it should be fine.
Mac OS X has great scaling features for the Retina displays that, luckily for them, also help with 4K displays.
Some applications haven’t made the leap just yet, but most Mac applications have either fixed their problems or are well on their way to fixing the problems.
Apple has updated all Mac-based applications to look fantastic on high-resolution displays. That isn’t to say that they are taking full advantage of the possibilities, but they are working to at least make things on-par with where they should be.
Linux is probably the furthest behind in terms of updating for 4K displays. It does offer display-scaling options and modern Linux desktops are keeping pace.
3840×2160 (4k) Monitors And Gaming
Ultimately, whether or not it is worth it to make the purchase is whether or not you need 4K. People who only do schoolwork or go on social media probably don’t need a higher resolution. However, for gaming, 4K is going to become imperative. You want to see all of the details in the games that you play, not only so you can be better but because they were put there for you to see.
Another reason to get a 4K monitor is a necessity because you are creating your own content. If you develop your own game, do graphic design, or work in Photoshop, 4K displays are great. You can scale your applications so that you can see high-res photos, videos, and clips in full detail.
You can work with massive image and video sizes and see them in their original size. This will help with editing and versioning without scrolling, warping, or zooming. If you work in any field where you need to do editing, it will be worth the extra money.
Make Sure That You Check The Specs As Well As The Resolution
Don’t just think that all 4K monitors are created equally, however. There are some monitors that are better than others. You want to check out some of the specs and read reviews before you make a purchase. Some of the things you want to look for include:
- The Refresh Rate. Some 4K monitors, especially those that fall at the lower end fo the price range, have a refresh rate that actually makes the mouse look jittery. You will end up with stuttering and a poor experience. In general, the higher the refresh rate, the better. If you are a gamer, it is imperative that you get a refresh rate that is at least 80 hz if not up to 120 hz.
- Some 4K monitors don’t live up to the name. Just because something is 4K doesn’t mean it is great. The value options tend to be made out of cheap materials and it won’t last a long time.
- If you are building your own PC, you need to ensure that it is compatible with your other equipment. This can include, but isn’t limited to, the type of ports that it has.
- As sale prices are extremely common, it can be difficult to determine what has extras and what doesn’t. Be sure to read the fine print to see if you are going to get extra ports, speakers, or perks. Just make sure that what you get is worth it. Just because it has speakers doesn’t mean those speakers are going to be that great. In fact, they just might make the screen bulkier.
Are There Higher Resolutions? What About 5K?
Even as 4K continues to improve and get better, there is something new on the market. Manufacturers are making 5K monitors that have an even higher resolution. Once again, you do not have to wait for your computer to catch up, they already have the capability of displaying this high resolution.
Why would you want this? If you want to watch 4K content and still have room to do something else on your screen, it is the perfect marriage. However, people aren’t necessarily crafting content in 5K just yet, so you may never really see its full potential.
4K & PC Gaming
There are some things you should know about PC gaming in 4K. You will need to get some beefier graphics hardware if you are going to play your games in 4K.
This isn’t going to be a purchase you can make and just experience all of the benefits. Instead, you will probably need to work up to the full benefit.
You will probably have to buy multiple best-in-class graphics cards to only scratch the surface of seeing the full potential. 4K games might not look as good as you’d expect if you mostly play games that have already been released. While some games are being produced and optimized for 4K, older games aren’t. Even if there have been updates, they are mostly only for bug fixes.
Most people will eventually just default to running their games at a lower resolution. It’s a bit of a bummer.
In the end, should you buy a 3840×2160 (4k) display for your computer? The answer is up to you. If you have a few hundred dollars laying around that you want to spend, it will be worth the cost.
However, you do need to remember that you probably won’t be able to get all of the benefits right away. Your eyes may thank you. If you don’t have the extra cash on hand, you can get something with a lower resolution (or just wait until you find a good sale price) and you will still be okay.