Is now a good time to upgrade to a 4k monitor?
4K monitors are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to see why. They offer a huge increase in picture quality over 1920×1080 monitors, and provide a far more detailed and lifelike experience, regardless of what you’re using them for.
Those of you who are most interested in 4k monitors probably use your computers for either professional graphics work, are avid gamers, or watch a lot of movies and TV on them. Although having a screen with better graphics would benefit pretty much everyone, these are the groups that stand to gain the most.
In my opinion, for most of you, now would not be a good time to upgrade to a 4k monitor. I will explain why, and then point out the few cases in which it might be worthwhile for someone to upgrade.
But for most people, it’s a no. My main problem with 4k monitors can be summed up in a single word.
These things are extremely expensive. Depending on your screen size, you can pick up an excellent 1920×1080 monitor for well under $200. If you want a 4K monitor, you can easily pay 2 to 3 times that. Quite an investment for a prettier picture.
And that’s just the monitor itself. 4k monitors make some serious demands of your graphics card. If you’re looking to game at a decent FPS, then you’ll need a high-end GPU to help you do it. Anyone who’s looked into getting this kind of hardware can attest to just how pricey they can get.
Also, while the top-end GPUs currently available can handle 4k gaming. Everyone knows that games get more demanding over time. As 4k gaming becomes more widespread, the graphics for games will become better and better. While this sounds great, it also means that anyone gaming in 4k will need a progressively more powerful graphics card to keep up.
It’s one thing to play a game with relatively simple graphics, like League of Legends in 4k. It’s quite another to try and play the Witcher 3, or something similarly demanding. Until graphics cards get to the point where they can easily handle any 4k games, you’ll be forced to continuously upgrade if you want to play the latest titles on a 4k monitor.
My other issue with 4k monitors at the moment is that I just think they’re not worth the investment for the vast majority of users.
We’ve already talked about the issues of 4k screens for gamers. So now let’s consider someone on the complete other end of the spectrum. Someone who uses their computer for work, but not in a graphics related capacity. Say a person who uses email, Excel, and Word. And then watches movies in their downtime.
Is a 4k screen a worthwhile investment for this person? I don’t see how it can be.
I mean they’ll get more detail in their videos, and perhaps they’ll have a neater looking Excel. But for over twice the price of a standard monitor (more if you want a good one), you’re seeing a minuscule benefit for a very significant cost.
This brings me to the next problem with 4k monitors.
They’re Mostly Unnecessary
For most average computer users 1920×1080 is a high enough resolution.
Now obviously hard-core gamers and computer nerds are going to be cursing me at this point. But the fact is that millions of businesses and home computers use 1920×1080 and have no problems whatsoever.
The reality is that 4k monitors are something that’s only really going to benefit computer users who love watching movies on their PCs, are hard-core gamers, or are design professionals and use graphics related programs for work.
The vast majority of computer users will be more than happy with 1920×1080 and simply wouldn’t see very much benefit if they were to upgrade to 4k.
Now, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be nice to have if they were a similar price to their lower resolution alternatives. But currently, that just isn’t the case. As such I find it tough to recommend them for the average user. Especially given the marginal benefits most users are likely to experience.
Perfect for Some
It probably sounds like I think 4k monitors are a complete waste of time.
But that’s not true. I just believe that they’re far from ideal for the average user. However, there will be some of you who would benefit hugely from picking up a 4k monitor.
If you’re a hard-core gamer, who doesn’t mind spending a lot of money, then you’ll probably love 4k gaming. Having played with a 4k monitor myself, I can say that the experience can sometimes be genuinely breath-taking.
If you’re playing games with sufficient detail, then it’s very easy to tell the difference between a 4k and a monitor of lesser resolution, and the 4k is far better.
Just be aware that you might have to keep replacing graphics cards to play the latest games. But if gaming is your passion and you’ve got the cash, then please feel free to go for it.
The second type of person I would recommend a 4k monitor to is someone who makes a living using graphics software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
A 4k monitor allows you to look at huge images in their actual size, while still having room for all tools to be easily accessible.
Similarly, someone who’s very into video editing would get great value out of a 4k monitor. They would be able to see any videos they were working on in far more detail, and make more specific alterations as a result.
Here is a very detailed video about 4k monitors.
This concludes our article on “is now a good time to upgrade to a 4k monitor.As you may have guessed, I do not think that now is a good time the average computer user to upgrade to a 4k monitor. But if you’re a serious gamer, or graphics professional, then it may well be.
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