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    4k monitor the way to go?

    I'm shopping around for a new computer monitor. I love 1080p and haven't really experienced 4k. Should I get one that's 4k capable? Is it worth the price hike? Is this where picture quality is headed? Or will it be another sort of blu-ray/HDDVD situation?

    #2
    Short answer: No.

    Longer answer, yes, 4k TV is inevitable, but it's going to be many more years before it becomes mainstream the way 1080p is right now. For right now, several hurdles still remain for 4k.

    The first and most obvious is price. About the cheapest decent unit I see starts at $700. There might be cheaper, but the screen real estate on those are so small that I just don't see why anyone would pay the 4k tax on them. So, basically $700 to $1000, depending on brand, size, and features. Contrast that with about $150 to $250 for similarly sized 1080p monitors. So, relatively speaking, 4k is still very pricey IMO.

    On the TV side, a few standards are still fighting it out. Right now, you need at least HDMI 2.0 or Displayport to make it work, and don't count out the new kid, USB Type-C, from the running. However, I believe DVI is still usable, so all-in-all, this admittedly isn't a major hurdle. You just want to double check and make sure you have the right cables for 4k to work.

    Another minor issue (of mine) is that I, like many, are still on Windows 7, and it is not designed to natively scale up to 4k resolution. I've read reports that the fonts on Windows 7 being too small, and there is no way to scale it up big enough... without breaking something. However, this can be resolved by taking the free upgrade to the upcoming Windows 10, which will include the native 4k support. I'm not sure about 8.1 right now, so maybe someone else can chime in on that.

    Last but not least is the GPU required to competently run games or application-intensive stuff at 4k. I mean, yes, not everyone is a gamer who needs to run all 3D special effects at 60FPS... but even if you are one, it is almost impossible right now to pull that off competently with current gen games, unless you SLI a pair of Titan Xs (or maybe 980 Ti's at the very least). And that's roughly a $2000 proposition.

    Now, the upside with a twist: If you just want a Windows screen in 4k... and do basic stuff like email, surfing the web... or perhaps even catch the occasional Youtube, I have good news: Modern integrated GPUs, and definitely mid-level and perhaps lower end graphics cards are capable of displaying the resolution.

    The twist, however, is if all you are planning to do is this sort of basic stuff, why would you need 4k in the first place? I'm being serious. 1080p (or lower) is entirely competent for basic tasks. Why pay a premium now to do the most mundane when you can wait to upgrade later and pay for a lot less (and with potentially better features)?

    The current target audience for the 4k market are the early adopters and gaming freaks, and perhaps even the video editors and the dual-monitor folks. If you still insist on buying into 4k right now, I would budget about $1500 to do it right. You could maybe get away with less and plan on upgrading more later, but honestly, I'm a serious PC user and I don't have 4k right now. And I just can't recommend 4k right now to most people.

    Edit: Just want to emphasize that, yes, 4k is most definitely the future. In fact, 4k resolution is already available on SMARTPHONES, and even previous gen smartphones were capable of shooting 4k videos! To add to that, it also appears that 4k TVs are also generally cheaper to manufacture, due to the fact that most 4k TVs and monitors are generally much bigger than ever before. (Bigger screens = less cuts... and sometimes NO cuts necessary on the glass). And finally, there is simply no alternative competition to the 4k standard. Pretty much every manufacturer agrees to this standard, across the board. You have certain exceptions like Apple who are bragging about 5k Retina Displays and some odd but cool ultrawide 2k monitors, but 4k is definitely here to stay. Now if only the TV programming (and our infrastructure for it) would just catch up....
    Last edited by Tabs; 07-29-2015, 09:07 AM.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Tabs View Post
      Short answer: No.

      So, basically $700 to $1000, depending on brand, size, and features. Contrast that with about $150 to $250 for similarly sized 1080p monitors. So, relatively speaking, 4k is still very pricey IMO.
      Consider this for analyzing the purchase... Spend $1000 on 4k monitor vs $250 on 1080p. That's $750 you could invest in a Vanguard fund, add to the EF, pay down debt, etc.

      Unless you will be staring at this computer screen for 8+ hrs a day, a "normal" monitor will suffice and you'll have more money to spend/save elsewhere.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Tabs View Post
        Short answer: No.

        Longer answer, yes, 4k TV is inevitable, but it's going to be many more years before it becomes mainstream the way 1080p is right now. For right now, several hurdles still remain for 4k.

        The first and most obvious is price. About the cheapest decent unit I see starts at $700. There might be cheaper, but the screen real estate on those are so small that I just don't see why anyone would pay the 4k tax on them. So, basically $700 to $1000, depending on brand, size, and features. Contrast that with about $150 to $250 for similarly sized 1080p monitors. So, relatively speaking, 4k is still very pricey IMO.

        On the TV side, a few standards are still fighting it out. Right now, you need at least HDMI 2.0 or Displayport to make it work, and don't count out the new kid, USB Type-C, from the running. However, I believe DVI is still usable, so all-in-all, this admittedly isn't a major hurdle. You just want to double check and make sure you have the right cables for 4k to work.

        Another minor issue (of mine) is that I, like many, are still on Windows 7, and it is not designed to natively scale up to 4k resolution. I've read reports that the fonts on Windows 7 being too small, and there is no way to scale it up big enough... without breaking something. However, this can be resolved by taking the free upgrade to the upcoming Windows 10, which will include the native 4k support. I'm not sure about 8.1 right now, so maybe someone else can chime in on that.

        Last but not least is the GPU required to competently run games or application-intensive stuff at 4k. I mean, yes, not everyone is a gamer who needs to run all 3D special effects at 60FPS... but even if you are one, it is almost impossible right now to pull that off competently with current gen games, unless you SLI a pair of Titan Xs (or maybe 980 Ti's at the very least). And that's roughly a $2000 proposition.

        Now, the upside with a twist: If you just want a Windows screen in 4k... and do basic stuff like email, surfing the web... or perhaps even catch the occasional Youtube, I have good news: Modern integrated GPUs, and definitely mid-level and perhaps lower end graphics cards are capable of displaying the resolution.

        The twist, however, is if all you are planning to do is this sort of basic stuff, why would you need 4k in the first place? I'm being serious. 1080p (or lower) is entirely competent for basic tasks. Why pay a premium now to do the most mundane when you can wait to upgrade later and pay for a lot less (and with potentially better features)?

        The current target audience for the 4k market are the early adopters and gaming freaks, and perhaps even the video editors and the dual-monitor folks. If you still insist on buying into 4k right now, I would budget about $1500 to do it right. You could maybe get away with less and plan on upgrading more later, but honestly, I'm a serious PC user and I don't have 4k right now. And I just can't recommend 4k right now to most people.

        Edit: Just want to emphasize that, yes, 4k is most definitely the future. In fact, 4k resolution is already available on SMARTPHONES, and even previous gen smartphones were capable of shooting 4k videos! To add to that, it also appears that 4k TVs are also generally cheaper to manufacture, due to the fact that most 4k TVs and monitors are generally much bigger than ever before. (Bigger screens = less cuts... and sometimes NO cuts necessary on the glass). And finally, there is simply no alternative competition to the 4k standard. Pretty much every manufacturer agrees to this standard, across the board. You have certain exceptions like Apple who are bragging about 5k Retina Displays and some odd but cool ultrawide 2k monitors, but 4k is definitely here to stay. Now if only the TV programming (and our infrastructure for it) would just catch up....
        Op should def. have his answer!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Tabs View Post
          Short answer: No.
          Thanks, Tab! I'll find a used 1080p instead (I like buying things used when possible).

          I loathe Apple products so I'll wait for the 4k trend to get big. 5k retina display... w/e I ain't payin' Apple money for that.

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