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Old 6th Mar 2014, 09:45   #1
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Is 2014 the year that 4K goes mainstream?

Antony mulls over what's next for 4k.
http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2014/03...es-mainstream/
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:00   #2
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I can appreciate the idea of a 30"+ 4K monitor but, surely, 4k on a 24" screen is only providing half the benefit. Games and movies will be gloriously pin sharp, but the icons and text will be so small many people will have to rescale the default sizes to use it comfortably, thereby largely negating the extra screen real estate 4K resolution affords.

Or am I wrong?
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:00   #3
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I think it'll be a while yet - you're looking at a massive (1000+) outlay if you want a 4K monitor and the GPU power required to game at that resolution with all the eye candy turned up - 780ti SLI wouldn't do that for BF4, Crysis 3 etc and you'd be looking at just shy of 2 grand for a monitor and two of those...
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:15   #4
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700 quid for 27-28 inches, George. TN for now, next year probably eIPS equivalent.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:16   #5
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4K is awesome.

However, games developers need to catch up on the texture resolution front. Mass Effect 3 with community hi res textures is sublime to behold on a 4K monitor.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Or am I wrong?
Mostly...

On a Mac, HiDPI screens are handled extremely well. For example a 2880x1800 screen will provide an optimal working resolution of 1440x900, which uses a 2:1 ratio. Everything is pin sharp but text and icons are the same size as on a 1440x900 screen.

Different 'resolutions' can be used EG 1920x1200 but then you're breaking the magic 2:1 ratio so while images look sharper than they would do otherwise it's not perfect.

But you're always getting extra detail from those extra pixels. Even if icons and text are the same size and you have no extra working room you still get a much clearer display.

Is 4K needed at small sizes? No more than 'retina' displays are needed on mobile devices. You don't get any more icons on the screen but the screen looks so pretty
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:18   #7
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
But you're always getting extra detail from those extra pixels. Even if icons and text are the same size and you have no extra working room you still get a much clearer display.
That's what I said - it'll look pretty but you don't get the benefit of extra desktop space that 4K can provide.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
That's what I said - it'll look pretty but you don't get the benefit of extra desktop space that 4K can provide.
Yes, but 4K can either give extra desktop space on huge screens, or a crisper display at smaller screen sizes. Or a bit of both.

Having larger and smaller 4K screens is brilliant! We can finally choose the monitor that's right for us and the Popular OSs are good enough to allow us to select between crispness and/or screen real-estat, or to find the perfect balance.

It's not an either/or choice, it's how much of each do you want at this exact moment in time. You can switch easily and quickly these days. On my retina I will switch between 1440x900 & 1920x1200 resolutions depending on what I'm doing and when at the desk it's 1440x900 + 1200x1920 + 2560x1440

It's "You don't need that resolution at that screen size" thinking that allowed manufacturers to think a 1080p display was fine for a 27" computer monitor.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi View Post
700 quid for 27-28 inches, George. TN for now, next year probably eIPS equivalent.
My numbers included the necessary GPU upgrades to make games work / look pretty
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
I think it'll be a while yet - you're looking at a massive (1000+) outlay if you want a 4K monitor and the GPU power required to game at that resolution with all the eye candy turned up - 780ti SLI wouldn't do that for BF4, Crysis 3 etc and you'd be looking at just shy of 2 grand for a monitor and two of those...
My thoughts exactly. I would make a jump, but I'm sure my good old GTX680 will not handle it. there is no point upgrading the monitor and scale back on textures, AA or resolution.
Sure its different for graphic designers, but as a gamer I'm not making a jump just yet.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 10:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matee
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
I think it'll be a while yet - you're looking at a massive (1000+) outlay if you want a 4K monitor and the GPU power required to game at that resolution with all the eye candy turned up - 780ti SLI wouldn't do that for BF4, Crysis 3 etc and you'd be looking at just shy of 2 grand for a monitor and two of those...
My thoughts exactly. I would make a jump, but I'm sure my good old GTX680 will not handle it. there is no point upgrading the monitor and scale back on textures, AA or resolution.
Sure its different for graphic designers, but as a gamer I'm not making a jump just yet.
To be fair, upping the resolution so considerably would allow you to reduce the amount of AA being used in the first place. People don't often seem to take that into account when discussing the performance hit of 4K gaming.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role View Post
To be fair, upping the resolution so considerably would allow you to reduce the amount of AA being used in the first place. People don't often seem to take that into account when discussing the performance hit of 4K gaming.
True, although if you look here you can see that two 780TIs can only manage 40fps on BF4 on ultra even with 2xMSAA only... 4K is roughly 8.3 million pixels compared to less than half that (4.1 million pixels) with 2560x1600
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
Mostly...

On a Mac, HiDPI screens are handled extremely well. For example a 2880x1800 screen will provide an optimal working resolution of 1440x900, which uses a 2:1 ratio. Everything is pin sharp but text and icons are the same size as on a 1440x900 screen.

Different 'resolutions' can be used EG 1920x1200 but then you're breaking the magic 2:1 ratio so while images look sharper than they would do otherwise it's not perfect.

But you're always getting extra detail from those extra pixels. Even if icons and text are the same size and you have no extra working room you still get a much clearer display.

Is 4K needed at small sizes? No more than 'retina' displays are needed on mobile devices. You don't get any more icons on the screen but the screen looks so pretty
Actually, there's another level with Apple's handling of HiDPI.

If you're running in "retina mode" (ie: looks like 1440x900), but start an enabled app, the screen starts doing funky things. Aperture is Apple's version of Lightroom (photo editing software), and it will run the UI at the 1440x900-alike scaling, but the actual images will be displayed at native panel resolution. So, for the UI where you don't want things teeny tiny you get everything readable, but for images where you want as close as to 1:1 pixel mapping as possible, you get the full 2880x1800 resolution. It's glorious, and they do the same for Final Cut Pro and other such software.

It makes Microsoft look like idiots. I don't understand how Windows' HiDPI handling is so bad - 4K hasn't exactly been a secret, and they've had plenty of time to sort it out, but they seem to have stuck their fingers in their ears.

I for one welcome our 4K overlords, but only when they stop the 30Hz nonsense in cheap panels and GPUs catch up. Sure you can drop AA, but you still need two high end cards at the moment to make headway. I'll go 4K in 2015/16 probably.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:32   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
That's what I said - it'll look pretty but you don't get the benefit of extra desktop space that 4K can provide.
Yes, but 4K can either give extra desktop space on huge screens, or a crisper display at smaller screen sizes. Or a bit of both.

Having larger and smaller 4K screens is brilliant! We can finally choose the monitor that's right for us and the Popular OSs are good enough to allow us to select between crispness and/or screen real-estat, or to find the perfect balance.
Precisely. I've got a 21in 1080p display in front of me now as a second monitor and it's much sharper than the 24in 1,920 x 1,200 Dell U2412M sitting next to it. For me it's not the extra desktop realestate - it's the extra sharpness that's the real boon.

However, it's good to see something other than game graphics driving forward the need for faster hardware - resolutions look set to increase significantly as these new screens come in to play so it will be interesting to see how AMD and Nvidia deal with it - after all, just because you have a few hundred pounds to spend on a monitor, doesn't mean you can also afford two GTX 780 Ti's
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:41   #16
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4K monitors going mainstream in 2014? I fear they won't be mainstream until 2016.

Not only will they be much cheaper then, but also if we are lucky one gpu will be enough.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:43   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
To be fair, upping the resolution so considerably would allow you to reduce the amount of AA being used in the first place. People don't often seem to take that into account when discussing the performance hit of 4K gaming.
This is true, even on our 31.5-inch 4K panel, it's almost impossible to notice a lack of AA (we test at 4K with AA disabled for this reason). On an even smaller screen I don't think you'd see it at all, and it certainly wouldn't make a big enough difference to warrant the performance hit. But it is also true that it will cost you *a lot* of money to get GPU hardware capable of running games maxed out at 4K.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:55   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
It's glorious, and they do the same for Final Cut Pro and other such software.
Isn't that what I said? Lightroom was updated ages ago too. Can't remember the last time I saw an app that wasn't HiDPI aware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
It makes Microsoft look like idiots
Apple still aren't there either with 4K panels, not with anything other than their latest and greatest machines... and only then with certain panels.

It's not always a hardware issue, if you're willing to jump through a lot of hoops you can get 4K nicely on OSX across a wider variety of hardware.

Everything will get better though.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 12:07   #19
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Isn't that what I said? Lightroom was updated ages ago too. Can't remember the last time I saw an app that wasn't HiDPI aware.
Nope, that's not what you said (I think?). You explained the 2:1 ratio, and that you can also select other resolutions, but not the mode that essentially runs both resolutions at the same time.

HiDPI aware for many apps simply means they have high resolution artwork, and can handle the 2:1 scaling without looking nasty. Adobe and Apple are amongst the few that have taken HiDPI and run with it to allow UI/font scaling at the same time as retaining the native panel resolution for imagery. But only on OS X.


UI scaling example, when app is aware or not. But this is simply font scaling and images being updated with higher resolution versions suitable for pixel doubling.

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1323412
This thread on Adobe's forums shows the problem they're having with Windows. Microsoft just haven't got the core software in place - Adobe can't commit to a timescale for a fix, and "Microsoft is getting closer, but isn't there just yet".

Quote:
Apple still aren't there either with 4K panels, not with anything other than their latest and greatest machines... and only then with certain panels.

It's not always a hardware issue, if you're willing to jump through a lot of hoops you can get 4K nicely on OSX across a wider variety of hardware.

Everything will get better though.
Hardware is a different thing entirely. I'm expecting Apple to release a 4K update to their display, but when is another question entirely. However you can use any 4K screen on the market, so aren't just restricted to Apple.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 12:11   #20
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4k becomes mainstream, if the prices of these become mainstream. Simple as that.

Start selling 24"-screens with a 4k IPS-panel for ~€600 and we can start calling it mainstream.

GPUs to power these screens are not a problem, aslong as we don't talk about playing games @4k-resolutions.

Hell... even a €400 iPad has more pixels than a 1080p Display, so just start building such panels in larger sizes and quantities.
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