If you have a powerful GPU and don’t mind being limited to 60 FPS, now is the right time to get a 4K gaming monitor as the prices are lowest yet.
With more and more content being available in 4K resolution each day, getting a 4K monitor seems like an inevitable move. Higher resolution means more details and better image quality for your favorite TV shows and movies as well as more screen real estate for your spreadsheets and surfing, but what about 4K gaming?
If you have a 4K-capable gaming console, then getting a 4K display is a no-brainer for you. Since you are already locked at 60 FPS anyway, there’s no reason not to get a 4K monitor for your Xbox One X or PS4 Pro.
PC gamers, on the other hand, are in a tight spot as they have to choose between a lower resolution display with a higher refresh rate, a 4K monitor, or an ultra-wide screen – which could be considered as something in-between the two.
Sure, the upcoming 4K 144Hz gaming monitors will offer both, but will also be quite expensive and require next-gen graphics cards. So, should you pull the trigger and get a 4K monitor now? It mainly depends on what type of games you play.
4K vs 1080p PC Gaming & System Requirements
In case you mostly play competitive and fast-paced video games, you’d be better off getting a 1080p or 1440p gaming monitor with 144Hz refresh rate. If you prefer better visuals and more intense picture quality, then you should pick a 4K or an ultra-wide monitor instead.
Keep in mind though that you will need a powerful GPU. In order to run the 4K resolution at 60 FPS and high settings in newer games, you will need no less than the GTX 1080 Ti.
With the GTX 1070, you will have to settle for low-medium settings and lower frame rate depending on the game. The good thing is that at 4K, you can disable anti-aliasing and the game will look crisp and vibrant regardless.
For the best performance results, you should pick a 4K gaming monitor with the variable refresh rate technology, and have a matching graphics card.
Nvidia G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync
This technology allows you to synchronize monitor’s refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate. As a result, you gain a more stable FPS rate and eliminate screen tearing and stuttering within the dynamic refresh rate range.
Note that you can use a FreeSync monitor with a Nvidia card and vice versa, but in that case, you won’t be able to activate the variable refresh rate technology and its benefits.
You will also notice that G-SYNC monitors are more expensive and have a wider dynamic refresh rate range.
So, if you have a high-end AMD GPU, there’s no reason you should pay the extra $300 for G-SYNC. But, if you have a Nvidia card, you should invest in the G-SYNC model as it will offer you a lot smoother gameplay.
If you’re looking for a more affordable 4K monitor, check out the 27UD58 from LG or our 4K monitors for casual entertainment buyer’s guide.
Most of the 4K monitors are either 27-inch, 28-inch, or 32-inch in size. The pixel density of any of these monitor sizes is more than enough due to the stellar 4K Ultra HD resolution with 3840×2160 pixels.
Thanks to the desktop scaling, you will be able to easily find the perfect ratio between how much space you need and how big you want the items such as icons and text to be.
If you can afford the computer gear required for gaming at 4K, getting a 4K display is definitely worth it unless you play competitive games in which case you should get a higher refresh rate gaming monitor instead.