I’m not a gamer these days, and may not be until I can process some family movies and other digital hygiene. I’m also on a bit of a slow-motion minimalist and tidying journey, but hang it – that can wait. My 10 year old iMac 2011 finally died! I’ve got a Windows machine now, and a bunch of stuff to learn.
One thing recently was coming to terms with not needing a shiny new monitor. Not for a while at least. I recently bought a 4k monitor for someone studying 3d modelling, and their gaming experience (not why they bought the monitor) really slowed down. All those extra pixels add a lot of work to the poor graphics card! I have seen an RTX 2080 playing Assassin’s Creed crippled by the extra work of a 48″ 4k gaming monitor down to well under 60 frames per second. Sometimes they were lucky to get 40 fps. Sometimes the fps got so low the game looked positively jerky. That’s not what action gamers and shooters want. They want silky buttery smooth movement.
So don’t do it, people! 4k gaming is stupid with today’s tech. Maybe in 5 to 8 years it might get cheap enough. Because it’s not just the display, it’s the whole gaming rig that must be beefed up to cope with the display! The gaming rig Linus Tech Tips has here has TWO 2080 graphics cards ‘glued’ together to run all those 4k pixels in this display overlocked to 144hz. (‘Glued’ is not a real term – they’re Side Link Interfaced, and SLI looks to be on the way out.)
So get a nice fast 27″ Quad HD monitor (2560 x 1440) or even Wide Quad HD (which is 3440 x 1440). Either way, it’s 1440. Get the one with the highest hz and has true HDR. Or not. Some people don’t even like HDR, which tends to make any good gaming monitor in Australia over $1500!
Note: True HDR is around 1000 nits. I’ve seen cheaper monitors advertised as ‘HDR’ but they’re just 400 nits. That’s just not bright enough to do what High Dynamic Resolution is meant to do with the brightness. I’m going to test it out in a store one day, because I’m nervous that my quite photosensitive eyes will simply not cope with the bright spikes you can get in game from true HDR.
But a cheaper non-HDR monitor should be 27 inches of 1440p at about 144hz to 165 hz for around $500 to $800, depending on what you value.
All of this means you can avoid that super-rig with the crazy two graphics cards glued together. Don’t do that. Never do that. Not when SLI support is being pushed back onto the game designers on a voluntary basis. Not when graphics cards are picked to become more and more powerful over the coming years to the point where if you’d just bought and played on QHD for the next 4 to 5 years and enjoyed that, it would be time to upgrade to something that could run a 4k super-rig anyway.
Think about it. For the price of a 4k bloated overkill super-rig you could buy THREE QHD gaming monitors and rigs and give 2 away to your mates instead! Then at least you’d be SHARING the experience with your mates, not bragging all about your super-rig and probably alienating your mates!
(Note to professional gamers: “Mates” is a codeword here that refers to other bipedal carbon based life forms that also eat cheetos while living in their grandma’s gaming dungeon.)