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Best 4K Gaming Monitor For Console Gaming & Xbox One X in 2020

Today we’re going to help you find the best gaming 4K monitor consumer reports for your needs. best 4k monitor for console gaming and xbox one x.

Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore. The future is 4K , and it looks amazing.

4K resolution cinematic cameras have been around for a long time, but their introduction to the mainstream is relatively recent. Movie theaters started integrating 4K resolution around 2011, and the first 4K home theater projector was released in 2012.

But it wasn’t until last year that Blu-Ray technology and next-gen consoles began to incorporate 4K technology. However, 4K is manifesting itself at a rapid rate, and you don’t want to be left behind.

Also See: Best SSDs For Xbox Series X

List of Best 4K Gaming Monitor

These are our recommendations for best 4k monitors for gaming consumer reports, including console gaming, xbox one x.

  1. Asus ROG Strix XG438Q: Best 4k Monitor For Console Gaming
  2. Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q: Best Budget 4k Gaming Monitor
  3. BenQ EW3280U: Best 4k HDR Gaming Monitor
  4. Iiyama G-Master GB2888UHSU-B1
  5. Iiyama ProLite XB3288UHSU
  6. Philips 328E1CA/00

Best 4k Monitor For Console Gaming

1. Asus ROG Strix XG438Q

Asus ROG Strix XG438Q

In our first top rated 4K monitors reviews we present Asus ROG Strix XG438Q. Asus’ ROG Strix XG438Q is a bruising hulk of a display that out muscles every other display in the market.

Its 43 indiagonal means it’s essentially a TV that should be viewed from a sofa or bed rather than sitting up close at desk. While it does include a remote control,it doesn’t have a TV tuner or smart TV interface: it’s still essentially just a big dumb screen.

The huge size and 4K resolution makes for a true big-screen gaming experience that’s ideal for both console and living-room PC gaming. Upclose, the relative lacks crispness, when compared with smaller displays, is plain to see but from sofa distance, it isn’t noticeable.

The feature list includes both AMD FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility with a peak refresh rate of 120Hz, which is  an ambitious number of frames for any GPU to drive across a 4K resolution. That refresh rate is twice as high as anything else we’ve tested, and it means that games are smoother and sharper here when running at higher frame rates – ideal for faster and more competitive titles.

This display uses a VA type of LCD panel that brings with it an inherently high native contrast ratio and Asus has bolstered this with a degree of multi-zone backlighting for technically even higher contrast, allowing it to achieve DisplayHDR 600 certification. However, it only has eight edge-lit zones, so in practice it won’t compete in HDR picture performance with the likes of the 384-zone Asus PG27UQ.

Display

The huge size of this display is paired with some bold benchmark results. Out of the box, the Asus’ brightness sits at a searing 854 nits. When toned down to a more acceptable 184 nits – as low as this panel goes – it delivers contrast ratio of 4,625:1. 

The screen is a little more ordinary elsewhere. Its delta E and gamma measurements are mid-table in this Labs and, not surprisingly, this huge panel didn’t have particularly good uniformity.

The high-contrast display makes for a vivid gaming experience, with colors that are rich and punchy, almost to the point of over-saturation – although it’s less in-your-face when you’re across a room rather than sitting at a desk. There’s a dedicated sRGB mode too, which improves the contrast further while reining in the color range and improving the delta-E. 

Running in its supported DisplayHDR 600 mode, the Asus’ 657-nit backlight and 0.04-nit black point deliver a superb contrast ratio of 16,425:1. While it’s not officially DisplayHDR1000 capable, this screen also has a 1,000-nit brightness option, and in this mode, the backlight and black point sat at 1,174 nits and 0.07 nits to deliver a 16,771:1 contrast ratio. It’s a stunning result for a gaming screen, and it means you’ll see a noticeable improvement in HDR games over most screens, despite the relative lack of backlight zones. 

The speakers are fantastic, too, as you’d expect for the size of this screen. They’re loud, with balanced bass and plenty of detail throughout the range. A soundbar and most TVs are still better, but these are powerful and more than adequate. 

Its sheer size and weight mean it won’t suit every situation, and that also means it has limited adjustment options. It does have USB ports, but it also has thick bezels and the design does look a little outdated.

Specifications

  • Screen size:  43in
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Panel technology:  VA
  • Maximum refresh rate:  120Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Contrast: 4,000:1
  • Adaptive: sync FreeSync and G-Sync
  • Display inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 3 x HDMI 2
  • Audio:  2 x 10W speakers, headphone out, audio input
  • Stand adjustment:  Tilt
  • Extras:  100 x 100mm VESA mount, 2 x USB 3 ports, remote control

Conclusion

The Asus is too big for conventional desktop setups, and you can certainly find more color accuracy at lower prices elsewhere. If you want a big-screen, living-room gaming experience with bold colors and punchy HDR, though, the Asus delivers. It’s loud, impressive and awe-inspiring – and very expensive.

What’s Right

  • Incredible, eye- catching size
  • Tremendous contrast  and HDR
  • Excellent syncing  options
  • Fantastic speakers

What’s Wrong

  • Very expensive
  • Middling in some image quality tests
  • Heavy and large

Best Budget 4k Gaming Monitor

2. ASUS TUF GAMING VG289Q

Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q

The VG289Q is one of the cheapest panels in this Labs, but you wouldn’t know that to look at it. It has a stylish base and slim bezels that, as well as looking trim, mean this screen could easily be used for multi-monitor setups.

It wants for little elsewhere too. There’s an excellent 150mm of height adjustment alongside tilt, swivel and portrait mode pivoting, and the fast, responsive OSD is navigated using some easy-to-use large buttons and a mini joystick.

Its 4K resolution is paired with a 28in diagonal, which is a configuration that makes for a very tightly packed pixel density of 157 pixels per inch. You’ll probably want to run this display at 150 per cent resolution scaling in Windows, to make text and icons a usable size. This reduces the effective desktop area but you still get the benefit of a very sharp image.

The VG289Q uses IPS screen technology, which is our preferred choice for 4K displays where its best-in-class viewing angles and image quality are of most benefit and the fast response of TN panels is far less useful – especially on a 60Hz display like this. It only has a middling 5ms response time, but again it’s of minimal concern on a 60Hz display. 

The addition of FreeSync that’s also compatible with G-Sync (as it is with all the displays in this Labs) will ensure you get a smooth image that’s free from tearing and stuttering with both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. Overall, the 60Hz refresh is still a major limitation for esports, but this is still a display that can deliver a smooth experience in single-player games. 

Image Quality

The Asus is a solid performer in image quality benchmarks. Its contrast ratio of 1,185:1 is the best IPS score in the Labs, and it’s paired with a nicely inky black point of 0.13 nits. This screen’s delta E of 1.26 is terrific, and its average gamma deviation is similarly impressive. Its uniformity figures were among the best in the group, too. There’s a little backlight bleed in the bottom corners, but it’s not too distracting.

The Asus was only middling when it comes to color temperature deviation, but its temperature of 6,696K isn’t wayward enough to cause issues. This display also rendered the sRGB gamut at 117 per cent volume in its default mode, which is sufficiently close to 100per cent that most of the time you can run the display in this mode – it’s not high enough to deliver noticeable over-saturation.

These scores all compare well with the cheaper and similarly sized iiyama, for instance. That panel had poorer contrast, colors and uniformity, and looked pallid.

The Asus in theory goes one better with a dedicated sRGB mode too. In this mode, the Asus delivered a decent delta E of1.56, solid gamma performance and a manageable brightness level of 160 nits alongside a better color temperature. However, the contrast ratio of 537:1 is poor and the sRGB gamut actually went up, hitting 119 per cent. In other words, it’s a fairly pointless mode, other than the reduced contrast being better for your eyes when reading text.

Don’t expect to use the Asus’ speakers for gaming either. The audio kit here is louder than the iiyama, but the pair of 2W speakers are muffled and tinny.

Specification

  • Screen size:  28in
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Panel technology:  IPS
  • Maximum refresh rate:  60Hz
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Contrast: 1,000:1
  • Adaptive sync: FreeSync
  • Display inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2
  • Audio:  2 x 2W speakers, headphone out
  • Stand adjustment:  Height, rotation, pivot, tilt
  • Extras:  100 x 100mm VESA mount

Conclusion

The VG289Q serves up solid contrast and good colors alongside decent uniformity figures and a dedicated sRGB mode – when it comes to image quality, it’s comfortably better and more versatile than the rival iiyama panel. The Asus also has sleeker design, a better OSD and superior syncing performance alongside a more versatile stand. It’s the best small 4K panel in the Labs. 

What’s Right

  • Good image quality throughout
  • Versatile adjustment options
  • Reasonable motion performance
  • Cheapest than rival

What’s Wrong

  • Poor speakers
  • sRGB mode has poor contrast
  • sRGB mode too saturated

Best 4k HDR Gaming Monitor

3. BENQ EW3280U

BenQ EW3280U

The EW3280U is one of the pricier panels in this Labs, but BenQ tries to justify this by deploying features for media use. There are beefier speakers than anything else at this size, for instance, alongside a remote control and an attempt at HDR.

This 32in panel looks the part. It’s got slim bezels along three edges, while the bottom bezel is thicker in order to accommodate the audio gear – and is decorated with a smart mottled pattern in a dark bronze shade. Build quality is great, and around the back, there’s a USB-C port with 60W of power delivery.

There are a few design niggles though. That USB-C port isn’t accompanied by any full-sized USB ports. This panel isn’t massively adjustable either: it tilts and supports 100mm VESA mounting, but that’s it.

On the inside, the BenQ uses IPS technology with a 5ms response time, and it has FreeSync that peaks at 60Hz. That’s no faster than any rival, despite this panel’s higher price, but it’s no surprise either – high refresh rate 4K panels are still rare and expensive. 

The BenQ delivered an sRGB gamut coverage volume of 144 per cent, which is the highest in the Labs. While that’s great for delivering bright and colorful images, it’s not ideal for normal desktop work, and there’s no dedicated sRGB mode either. 

Image Quality

When it comes to image quality, the BenQ is middling. Its contrast of 1,000:1 is a solid result for an IPS panel and it provides a reasonable amount of punch and vibrancy, but VA displays are better here. The BenQ’s delta E and color temperature figures are reasonable without being outstanding, and its uniformity is underwhelming.

What makes this even worse is that the display doesn’t even support any proper HDR standards. BenQ’s proprietary HDRi technology fiddles with the screen’s brightness and contrast, but doesn’t adhere to any industry protocols.

The BenQ has three HDR modes – Cinema, Game and a standard option – and in the bold Cinema option the BenQ returned a peak brightness figure of 472 nits alongside a black level of 0.44 nits. The former figure is reasonable, but the latter is high, and they created a contrast ratio of just 1,073:1. 

That’s barely better than the BenQ’s out-of-the-box performance, and it means that you don’t get much improvement when it comes to HDR – the screen is brighter, so it does look punchier, but there’s no extra depth and colors just look even more over-saturated. This is a screen that really could have done with even some basic form of local dimming backlight.

The 60Hz refresh rate precludes the BenQ from working particularly well with fast-paced games, but it’s not too bad here – ghosting and motion blur are a little better than on the other 32in displays in the Labs. 

Back to the positive stuff and the speakers are superb. They’re loud enough to fill a bedroom or living room, and they have ample clarity and snap – music and voices are clear and distinct. The discrete subwoofer provides welcome bass, although if anything, there’s a little too much on offer. There’s even a volume wheel.

Specification

  • Screen size:  32in
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Panel technology:  IPS
  • Maximum refresh rate:  60Hz
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Contrast: 1,000:1
  • Adaptive sync: FreeSync
  • Display inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2
  • Audio:  2 x 2W speakers, 1 x 5W woofer, headphone out
  • Stand adjustment:  Tilt
  • Extras:  100 x 100mm VESA mount,  USB Type-C, remote control

Conclusion

BenQ’s display impresses with punchy speakers, an attractive design and a large overall screen size, but it’s a mixed bag elsewhere. Its IPS panel offers lush, vibrant colors, but that won’t suit all situations and its HDR mode offers nothing of value. 

It’s a decent option if you want a mainstream gaming monitor that can also be comfortably be used for media and 4K movies, but it doesn’t feel big enough to be a true TV replacement like the XG438Q and it’s too expensive compared with more conventional screens.

What’s Right

  • Excellent speakers
  • Vibrant colors
  • Attractive design

What’s Wrong

  • Some color over-saturation
  • Few adjustment options
  • Poor HDR implementation
  • Expensive

4. IIYAMA G-Master GB2888UHSU-B1

Iiyama G-Master GB2888UHSU-B1

The iiyama G-Master is the cheapest display in this Labs, with its price undercutting the Asus TUF panel by a slim 16 pounds. Both displays have the same 28in diagonal, which makes the iiyama and its rival the smallest 4K panels in the Labs.

The iiyama has FreeSync that peaks at 60Hz, just like the Asus. That peak refresh rate is high enough to ensure smooth gaming in mainstream single-player titles – even if it won’t adequately handle frantic esports or fast games in other genres.

The iiyama is the only TN display in the Labs, which usually means better response time and ghosting performance, but poorer colors and viewing angles. As such, it feels like an odd choice for a 60Hz, 4K screen. Speed isn’t of the essence here; image quality is.

In many departments the Iiyama is showing its age. It has huge bezels which compare poorly with the narrow bezels on the Asus and largely preclude this panel from being used in multi-monitor setups. Its matt black plastic and plain stand look underwhelming too, even if build quality feels plenty solid enough.

The iiyama has a reasonable 130mm of height adjustment, 90° of swivel and 17° of tilt, but its movements aren’t all that graceful. Again, the Asus is better here, with smoother movements and more adjustability overall, including a portrait mode.

The iiyama’s OSD has every option you’d need, but it’s tricky to navigate thanks to a row of touchpads that aren’t as responsive as the joysticks and physical buttons used on most other screens. This panel does offer two USB 3 ports that are helpfully positioned on the left-hand side though. 

Image Quality

The iiyama performs poorly in image quality tests. Its contrast ratio of 867:1 is the worst default result in the Labs, and it makes for a noticeable greyer, more washed-out-looking image. The iiyama’s delta E of 4.22 is poor, and its gamma deviation is the worst in the group. The iiyama only displayed 86 per cent of the sRGB gamut with a 92 percent volume level, further dulling the overall sense of vibrancy with this display.

Uniformity was patchy, with an average backlight variation of 5.05 percent and a maximum of 19.64 per cent. Those figures aren’t the worst on tests, but are worse than the Asus. Indeed, the Asus is better in virtually every image quality test, from contrast and gamma to delta E and sRGB volume. Also, the speakers are quiet and underwhelming, with no punch and little clarity. 

And, when it comes to faster gaming – normally where a TN panel excels – the iiyama is only middling. It’s acceptable for single-player use, but it displays noticeably more ghosting than the newer, IPS-based Asus display. It’s a shame, because the iiyama’s 1ms response time is better than the 5ms of the Asus, but the poorer ghosting undermines that.

Specifications

  • Screen size:  28in
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Panel technology: TN
  • Maximum refresh rate:  60Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Contrast: 1,000:1
  • Adaptive sync: FreeSync
  • Display inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 3 x HDMI 2, 1 x VGA
  • Audio: 2 x 3W speakers, headphone out
  • Stand adjustment: Height, rotation, tilt
  • Extras: 100 x 100mm VESA  mount, two-port USB 3 hub

Conclusion

The iiyama may be the cheapest panel in this Labs, but its lower price doesn’t do enough to convince us that this aging display is worth a purchase. When it comes to image quality, the rival Asus panel is better in almost every benchmark, and the iiyama also has thick bezels, awkward OSD navigation, inconsistent uniformity and too much ghosting.

This panel is certainly capable of handling single-player games at 4K if they’re more sedate, and it could also be used as an affordable everyday display if image quality isn’t a key concern. But if you do care about image quality and smooth gaming, the Asus is better in every key area.

What’s Right

  • Affordable
  • Lots of adjustment  options
  • Side-mounted  USB ports

What’s Wrong

  • Underwhelming image quality
  • Too much ghosting
  • Poor contrast
  • Disappointing design

Best 4k Curved Gaming Monitor

5. IIYAMA ProLite XB3288UHSU B1

The ProLite is a large, no-nonsense display that serves up admirable design versatility. It’s got loads of height adjustment, swivel and tilt ability, and it can swing into portrait mode; it also has side- mounted USB ports, excellent build quality and smooth movement. It’s no surprise when you remember this panel is designed for work alongside play.

However, the iiyama’s PO-faced design does have downsides. The aesthetic is staid, with a modest stand and thick bezels. The rival Philips 328E1CA/00 looks better, with its gently curved panel, slim bezels and stylish stand. However, that Philips screen has fewer adjustment options and no USB ports, which makes the Iiyama easier to live with.

The iiyama uses VA LCD panel technology – just like the Philips – which should mean huge contrast. The Iiyama’s 3ms response time is a single millisecond better than the Philips, and both panels run Free Sync at 60 Hz. That’s fine for mainstream single-player gaming, but not good enough for esports or anyone who wants to seriously play fast-paced games. 

When it comes to benchmarks, the Iiyama shows off its VA underpinnings with stellar contrast. The display’s contrast ratio of 3,020:1 is the second best in the Labs, and handily outdoes the Philips’ 2,143:1. The black level of 0.05 nits is excellent – another top-notch result. 

The iiyama is disappointing in other benchmarks. Its delta E is worse than the Philips, and its color temperature of 6,210K is a little on the warm side. Its uniformity is the worst here in both average and maximum measurements. The iiyama rendered the sRGB gamut at 137 per cent volume, though, which is higher than the Philips.

Display

This display is a little better than the Philips when it comes to screen response time, but the difference is negligible. There’s a bigger gap when it comes to ghosting: it can still be easily seen on the 60Hz iiyama, but it’s far better than the Philips. For any sort of gaming situation where you want to use syncing, the Iiyama will be better. As ever, though, these 60Hz panels remain only mediocre when it comes to handling speed – a lesser resolution and a higher refresh rate would offer a noticeable improvement. 

In games, the iiyama’s huge contrast and deep black level give this screen enviable depth and vibrancy – games leap off the screen compared with the Philips and to IPS displays. However, the iiyama’s color temperature means that white areas have a slight red pall, and its aggressive gamut handling isn’t necessarily welcome – it’s ideal  if you want games to look loud and punchy, but not great if you need pure color accuracy for games or work. The iiyama doesn’t have an sRGB mode either. 

The speakers are terrible, too, with a muffled mid-range, and a lack of detail and clarity anywhere else. They’re not even good enough for casual gaming. And the OSD is annoying – while its joystick navigation is fine, the proliferation of sub-menus makes every task take too long.

Specification

  • Screen size:  31.5in
  • Resolution” 3,840 x 2,160
  • Panel technology:  VA
  • Maximum refresh rate:  60Hz
  • Response time; 3ms
  • Contrast: 3,000:1
  • Adaptive sync: FreeSync
  • Display inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2
  • Audio:  2 x 3W speakers, headphone out
  • Stand adjustment:  Height, rotation, tilt
  • Extras:  100 x 100mm VESA mount, two-port USB 3 hub

Conclusion

The iiyama is versatile, thanks to ample movement options, and it offers huge contrast and deep black levels. Its lack of ghosting and a marginally better response time makes it a better option than its Philips rival for handling movement. Conversely, the Iiyama has overly strong colors with no means to turn them down, which means that games look vibrant to the point of over-saturation – not ideal if you want a calmer, more measured experience.

It’s not without fault, but this large display is versatile, punchy and affordable.

What’s Right

  • Loads of good  versatility
  • Great contrast and punchy images
  • Reasonable response times

What’s Wrong

  • Over-saturated colors
  • Underwhelming design
  • Poor speakers
  • No sRGB option

6. PHILIPS 328E1CA/00

The Philips is the only curved display in this Labs, and this panel’s 1800R shape is elegant. The smart, subtle shape is paired with slim bezels, a metallic stand and a slim, hollow base that’s made from metal.

In this Labs, the 32in Philips display competes with the iiyama ProLite XB3288UHSU-B1, which is the same size and £30 cheaper. In terms of aesthetics, the Philips looks far better, and will be equally at home in an office or gaming den.

However, it undermines its superb looks with a dearth of practical features. The 328E1CA/00 can tilt back and forwards, and it supports 100mm VESA mounting, but that’s it – the Iiyama has height adjustment, swiveling and pivoting.

The Philips has no USB ports, and the plastic used on its rear panel is flimsy. And, while the curve does look good, it doesn’t do much for immersion – this isn’t an ultrawide panel and the radius isn’t dramatic enough to make a significant difference.

Philips’ delta E of 1.86 is excellent – the second best in the Labs – and it returned solid gamma results. Its color temperature of 6,272K is a little too warm, but it’s better than the Iiyama, although its sRGB coverage volume is a touch lower at 123 per cent. 

Display

The Philips uses VA LCD technology, just like the Iiyama, and both support 10-bit color. The Philips supports AMD FreeSync at 60Hz and again, as with the other displays tested, while G-Sync isn’t officially supported, it worked flawlessly with Nvidia GPUs in our tests. Philips has a response time of 4ms, which is technically behind the 3ms of the Iiyama.

The lower color space coverage is a particular problem, as it’s neither as high as some rivals and yet when you engage the sRGB mode (which should bring it down to 100 per cent), it doesn’t change, making it noticeably over-saturated. 

On the plus side, this display has great uniformity figures, and its contrast ratio of 2,143:1 is excellent. While that figure is a long way behind the 3,020:1 ratio of the Iiyama, it’s still superb and still delivers ample depth for any game. 

While the sRGB mode doesn’t change the color gamut, it does improve the delta E and color temperature while maintaining the panel’s great contrast. Sadly, the sRGB does lock the screen at a high brightness level of 291 nits – in a dark room, that’s going to be too bright.

This panel also offers a far better audio experience than its rival. Its two 3W speakers have a muddy mid-range and could use some more top-end detail, but they’re usable for casual gaming in a pinch – more than we could say for the Iiyama.

Philips biggest issue comes in fast-paced games. There’s little to choose between the Philips and its rival when it comes to motion blur, which is present on both displays, but ghosting is far worse on the Philips. If you want to play particularly fast-paced games, the Iiyama is a little better.

Specifications

  • Screen size  31.5in
  • Resolution 3,840 x 2,160
  • Panel technology  VA
  • Maximum refresh rate  60Hz
  • Response time 4ms
  • Contrast 2,500:1
  • Adaptive sync FreeSync
  • Display inputs 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2
  • Audio  2 x 3W speakers, line in, headphone out 
  • Stand adjustment  Tilt
  • Extras  100 x 100mm VESA mount

Conclusion

This display isn’t suitable for frantic games, but the Philips is impressive in other areas. Its overall image quality is decent thanks to well-balanced colors and solid contrast, and it has an sRGB mode, so it’s useful for work and play. 

Elsewhere, the Philips looks great and has solid speakers, although it does miss out on adjustability options. For big-screen, stylish gaming where speed isn’t of the essence, the Philips is good, but the Iiyama’s high-contrast colors provide a punchier and more versatile experience. 

What’s Right

  • Solid, well-balanced colors
  • Stylish design
  • Reasonable speakers

What’s Wrong

  • Contrast bettered elsewhere
  • Few adjustment options
  • Poor with fast-paced motion
  • Pricier than rivals

You might be wondering what exactly is 4K resolution ? Well, I’ll tell you .

What does 4K mean

The term “4K” refers to the horizontal dimensions of resolution. High definition (1280 × 720) was known as 720p, and when 1080p arrived on the scene, it was called full HD (1920 × 1080). 4K typically has an aspect ratio of 4096 × 2160 and is considered ultra-high definition, or UHD.

With roughly twice the vertical and horizontal radius of 1080p, 4K media is actually four times larger and clearer than full-definition television. For computer monitors, the standard format for 4K technology is 3840 × 2160.

Since ultra-high definition technology is so new, finding a good computer monitor with 4K resolution in 2020 can be a bit tricky. But there’s good news: we’ve already done the homework for you. We’ve listed the best 4K computer monitors, and we’ve got the best below, so you don’t have to worry about any issues.

Things to consider before buying a 4K display

First, let’s talk about what you even need.

If you don’t already know what to look for, it will be difficult for you to make the right choice based on your needs. Some may instinctively choose what looks the greatest and the worst, but that’s not always the right approach to take with technology.

Technical specifications and a good understanding of what they really mean are key to making the right choice.

Screen size and DPI (Pixels per inch)

First, let’s talk about screen size and DPI, or Pixels Per Inch.
Pixels Per Inch

Since this is a 4K monitor article, we’re going to assume that any monitor you choose will have 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 at 16: 9 aspect ratio) . However, the perceived fidelity of a 4K monitor will also vary depending on the size of the screen and its distance from you.

Assuming the distance visionnemen t is the same, the easiest way to track this change is to measure the P ixels P ar P OUCE:

24 inch

The pixels per inch of a 24-inch 4K monitor is approximately 183 PPI . The same monitor at HD / 1080p resolution would have a DPI of around 91 . On 1080p, this equates to about a 2x increase in perceived fidelity, although that does pose a slight problem …

At medium distance and for most eyes, the difference will be barely noticeable , if at all. That’s why 4K monitors almost always tend to deviate 27 inches and more, and all of our selections below follow that trend.

However, since most people find 22-24 inch monitors at 1080p resolution perfectly clear, this also demonstrates a particularly educational point: 90-100 pixels per inch is basically the bare minimum for a good PC monitor experience. .

We’ll talk a bit more about the minimum pixel-per-inch range in the next few sections, but for now we’ll wrap up.

Unless you really have 20/20 vision or are sitting very close to your 4K monitor, a 24-inch screen is probably not the way to go.

A higher resolution will accommodate a larger monitor better, especially if you find yourself limited in screen space for general multitasking or professional work.

27 inch

Among professionals and gamers alike, 27-inch monitors are rapidly gaining popularity. With this screen size and 4K resolution, your screen will have a DPI of around 163, which is still well above our minimum range of 90-100.

Unfortunately, this is where 1080p falters for many users. 1080p resolution on a 27-inch display drops to a measly 81 , and that’s around the time users start to complain about picture fidelity.

(To be specific on 27-inch 1080p monitors, image fidelity is most affected during browsing and other productivity tasks. Games, especially at native resolution and at high settings, don’t are not as affected).

Due to the weakness of 1080p for a 27-inch screen, 1440p (or 2560 x 1440) is the most popular option , especially for high refresh rate screens. At 1440p, a 27-inch screen will have a DPI of 108, which is way over our threshold of 90.

With a 27-inch display, you still have plenty of leeway before pushing the limits of 4K fidelity.

For the most part, however, it’s the ideal middle ground between screen clarity and efficiency. The move from 24 to 27 inches may not seem like much, but it is .

Not all of our screen choices are beefy 27-inch contenders, however. We also have a few 32 inch monitors:

32 inches and more

At 32 inches, a 4K image will have a pixels per inch of around 137 PPI . There’s a bigger jump from 24 to 27 inches, but it’s still much better than a 24-inch 1080p panel, and better than a 27-inch 1440p panel.

The gap between DPI and our minimum recommendation is narrowing (and the distinction between monitor and TV is also starting to blur), but 4K users still benefit from a wide gap compared to 1080p and 1440p “peasants”. here.

24 in vs 32 inch

At 1440p, a 32-inch screen will barely meet our minimum requirements at 91 pixels per inch.

Now, at 1080p, the DPI drops to 68 DPI , which is well below the minimum requirements. At this point, the screen becomes unsuitable for office use and most professional work, and must be used at a much greater viewing distance to still appear sharp.

Fortunately, 4K users are still very well served by a 32-inch display . We especially recommend this size for professionals who need a lot of screen space.

It can deliver an immersive gaming experience as well, but you’ll have to turn your head and take a full gaze away from the center of the screen to keep track of things like health, ammo, and reloads.

For media consumption and professional work, however, this is probably the perfect size / resolution combination… if you have the desk space.

comparision

Types of slabs

Now let’s move on to the types of slabs. Technically speaking, your monitor isn’t just the screen – it’s all the things that hold the screen in place. The item that will have the most impact on responsiveness, color reproduction, and picture quality is the tiles inside your monitor.

Refresh rate and overclocking

The refresh rate counts the number of times your screen is “refreshed” in a second, and is measured in Hertz .

It is similar to the number of frames per second , or FPS, and determines the maximum number of FPS that your screen can display. (If your FPS exceeds your refresh rate, you will get either screenshots or deleted images)

These two measures are technically distinct, but are closely related: especially for gamers.

The higher your refresh rate (provided your response time can keep up, which we’ll talk about later), the smoother and clearer your movement will be.

However, most video content runs at 24 , 30, or 60 FPS , so these benefits are mostly appreciated by gamers. Browsers and other desktop applications, however, will appreciate noticeably smoother and clearer scrolling for professionals.

60 Hz
The basic target for most monitors on the market. If you’ve used a display made in the past 20 years, chances are it has operated at at least 60Hz.

75 Hz
The 75 Hz is a small bump up front, and doesn’t provide much tangible improvement. It remains a popular target for overclocking monitors, however, especially if you’re starting with a 60Hz panel.

120 Hz
120 Hz offers the most tangible jump from 60 Hz, but was somewhat quickly overtaken by 144 Hz in terms of popularity and use in high-end monitors.

144 Hz
Essentially 75 Hz is equivalent to 120 Hz: a marginal improvement, but welcome. It has become the most common target for high-frequency displays on the market, and is generally considered the best option for IPS and VA panels before high response times scramble everything. We will discuss this further.

240Hz
The 60-120Hz jump is much more noticeable than the 120-240 jump, but esports pros still like to target this one.

Response time: what it is and what it is not

And now we come to response time, one of the most often misunderstood and misrepresented aspects of display technology. First of all, response time has nothing to do with input latency.

Response time refers to the time it takes for each pixel to change color, and is typically measured in GTG, or Gray-To-Gray. However, that doesn’t quite explain what he really is yet.

Essentially, the slower the pixel response time, the clearer your images will appear in motion . With a higher response time, fast moving images will appear more blurry and may even experience “ghosting”.

This is due to the fact that individual pixels are unable to keep up with the speed of movement.

This is especially problematic for gamers, especially those playing FPS, where quick and sharp movements are essentially required.

The response time also has an impact on the refresh rate, in a way. If your pixel response time is too high to keep up with your refresh rate, you’ll have a hard time appreciating the smoothness of movement and image of that refresh rate.

An actual 1ms response time is fine at virtually any refresh rate without causing blurring or ghosting, but the 5 and 6ms response times will seem less clear at higher refresh rates , like 165Hz and 240 Hz.

VRR, FreeSync and G-Sync

VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology is used to synchronize the images sent to the monitor from the graphics card with the refresh rate of the monitor, which completely eliminates screen tearing and allows for a smoother and better experience. consistent.

The two main VRR technologies on the market are FreeSync / VESA Adaptive Sync , of which AMD is the main promoter.

This doesn’t require any additional technology built into the monitor, just premium HDMI and DisplayPort implementations. With Nvidia GTX 10 series or newer GPUs , you can use FreeSync with an Nvidia graphics card.

Nvidia’s proprietary system is G-Sync , which requires specialized hardware in the monitor. This raises the prices and is often combined with other features, like improved HDR support.

Also, it doesn’t offer compatibility with AMD graphics cards, so if you’re looking to use AMD, you can look for a FreeSync display instead.

For gamers, this technology is ideal for minimizing screen tearing without increasing input lag. (Older methods like V-Sync also remove screen tearing, but in turn increase input lag).

Last but not least, let’s talk about games . Specifically, 4K gaming and the challenges that come with it.

As of this writing, there are few, if any, GPUs capable of pushing modern games to ultra settings and at frequencies of 4K and 144Hz.

With the advent of technologies like real-time ray-tracing, it seems that this goal will be far from being achieved for some time.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play in 4K. In truth, your resolution should always be your top priority when adjusting the settings of your games, especially if you want to play competitively. Having the clearest and sharpest view possible of your surroundings is a big plus.

Before lowering your resolution or your main parameters (shadows, texture quality, model quality), first lower the post-processing parameters such as anti-aliasing or particle-related parameters.

Once your other settings are as low as you can tolerate them, you start adjusting your resolution.

The display scale is a fun thing, however. You see, modern screens differ from older solutions like CRTs. They can only really display in their native resolution. We will use 1440p monitors as an example.

If you send a 1440p signal to a 1440p monitor, you won’t have a problem.

But if you send a 1080p signal to a 1440p monitor, the 1080p signal will actually look worse on the 1440p monitor, even compared to a 1080p monitor of the same size. This is because the pixels are tiny squares and you cannot enlarge an image by 1.5 pixels.

This results in increased blurring, as intermediate pixels must be created to accommodate the new image.

How does this relate to 4K monitors?

Clearly, that means your best gaming resolutions on a 4K monitor will be 1080p (perfect 2: 1 scale), 1800p (imperfect scale but still better than 1440p), and native 4K.

1440p may look better than 1080p on a 4K monitor, depending on how the monitor processes non-native images, but generally you’ll want to stick with one of the 3 resolutions listed above.

But before you move on to changing your game’s resolution, make sure your game doesn’t have a “3D Resolution” or “Resolution Scale” option.

If your game has these options, it means that you can use an in-game scaling solution instead of relying on your screen, which will generally give better results. Your HUD and other static elements will also remain at your native resolution, which will make them look clean.


How We Test

4K monitors sometimes get left behind when display discussions turn to high refresh rates, widescreen panels and the next big thing, but there’s still a lot to like about this high-density resolution.

A 4K screen provides huge immersion thanks to the crisp, dense pixel arrangement, that can bring quite astonishing levels of realism to some games and videos. The extra pixels can be plenty useful in general desktop use too, creating sharper-looking text and fitting more detail on screen.

Of course, the huge number of pixels driven on a 4K display does mean some limitations: lower refresh rates are common, for instance, and you’ll need a beefy graphics card in order to get the toughest games running smoothly.

Many of these screens have extended color gamuts, so where applicable, we tested image quality in both the default extended gamut mode and in sRGB (normal color gamut) modes. The latter option is what we recommend for general desktop use and photo or video editing.

The extended gamut modes provide more vivid colors, which can make some games and videos look good, but without being fed a proper HDR/high gamut signal, they can make colors look overly vivid and unnatural.

Image Quality

We test image quality with an XRite i1Display Pro colorimeter and DisplayCal software, with the brightness set to a sensible 150nits (generally around 25/100 on a display’s brightness scale). We also test the maximum brightness, and then turn on the sRGB mode to test how this setting performs.

The colorimeter is also used to check uniformity, to see if the whole panel produces consistent image quality across its full area. We also check for any backlight bleed, poor viewing angles, and any image quality factors that can’t be gauged by a colorimeter.

Next up, we turn to gaming, where a fast response time, high refresh rate and adaptive sync are all potentially important. We test subjectively and then also use BlurBuster’s excellent ghosting UFO test to check for the sharpness of the display in high-speed motion. Finally, we also assess the connections, features, design and build quality of each display.


Also See: Best monitors for PS5

4K Gaming Monitor Black Friday Deals 2020

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Conclusion

When it comes to choosing a new 4K display in 2020, the choices can be overwhelming. With so many different 4K monitors on the market, finding the best in a crowd can be difficult, especially if you’re not a tech geek.

If after reading this you are still not sure what to buy, you can’t go wrong with the LG 4K UHD 27UD88-W. The advanced graphics features and the inclusion of USB-C make this an impressive choice. Hope this list has helped you find what you are looking for. Whichever monitor you choose, you will love it.

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