Wednesday, June 4, 2014

[Rant] Saw a 4K PC display for the first time at Yodobashi

2014-06-04 16.59.50

Today I went to Yodobashi Camera and there I saw the new "cheap" Asus 4K display, the PB287Q. It has been only days since this model has come out and it is good to see that you can already buy it in Japan. The price is decent (you get back 10% of the price as points to use on a future purchase) given the usual high prices when a product is initially launched in Japan.

I didn't get to play much with it, unfortunately. Just saw a movie playing in full screen – that is their demo - and also played a little bit with the desktop. The text wasn't small, so I thought that there was some kind of DPI scaling at play. But I couldn't notice anything out of the ordinary in the DPI settings section of the control panel. I was in a hurry so couldn’t play with it much. So I snapped a quick photo and came home.

Maybe one day I will be able to afford a 4K display. But the thing is, they are pretty expensive at present. It is not just the display itself, but the entire 4K Eco-system - especially if you are a PC gamer. You would need no less than dual Radeon R9 290 grade graphics cards to pump all that pixels while maintaining smooth frame-rates in games. When I bought my 1440p QNIX display, I thought it would be the same but 4K is twice that much pixels, so you get the idea.

But I think 4K displays have a long way to go. Currently the best displays refresh the panel at only 60Hz. But you can get displays up to 144Hz if you are willing to sacrifice the resolution for speed. It will take a long time for us to see a 4K display pulling that kind of a stunt. Remember, 4K means 4 times the number of pixels than a 1080p display. We'd need a massive bandwidth for it to work. Maybe the formulation of a new display connectivity standard.

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