Awhile ago I posted an article on how I use a 4K TV as a monitor to improve my everyday productivity and workflow. In this post I will be detailing the perks of PC gaming on a 4K TV. My own setup consists of an i7 3930K processor at 4.2 GHz, 16GB of RAM and an EVGA 980Ti. The TV I’m currently using is a JU7500 by Samsung – recommended by the folks over at Rtings for its awesomely low input lag.
Before I started gaming at 4K, I had always used two 23 inch 1080P IPS monitors. Whilst these had always served me well, they paled in comparison to the level of detail offered by 4K. The only drawback to gaming on a 4K TV is that you require a lot of graphics horsepower. This meant that I needed to upgrade my graphics cards, which were two MSI GTX 670s at the time. These worked great for gaming at full HD, however the lack of VRAM (two gigabytes) would have resulted in bottlenecks. Not to mention it wasn’t until the 900 series that Nvidia introduced HDMI 2.0, allowing for 4K at 60Hz.
A Graphics Card for Gaming on a 4K TV
Before making a decision I considered both the Fury X from AMD, and the 980Ti from Nvidia as potential upgrades. The Fury X piqued my interest as it supported HBM, hence its small form factor and increased memory bandwidth. However, it lacked HDMI 2.0 and therefore wasn’t a viable option for gaming on a TV. This then lead me to buying a 980Ti – a great graphics card at that. I’m just slightly annoyed that Nvidia decided to come out with GTX 1080 just a few months after. Never the less, the 980Ti still offers great 4K performance for most.
As has been the case for the last couple of years, it is expected that Nvidia will release a GTX 1080Ti. The Ti version is often a slightly cut down version of the Titan series, generally involving a reduction in RAM. The Titan XP offers roughly a 25% performance bonus at 4K compared to the GTX 1080. When overclocking is taken into account, this number would be even greater.
4K Gaming Performance
I’ve mostly played GTA V, Fallout 4 and just recently I’ve gotten into the Witcher 3. All of these games run well on high settings, although I do let Geforce Experience optimise settings for the most stable performance. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is certainly the most demanding, but all of these games run at an acceptable FPS and it’s rare to see the frame rate drop below 60 frames per second. Ultimately, two 980Tis would provide the best performance but in reality it may be a little overkill unless you’re made of money, in which case go ahead. Now that the GTX 1080 and the 1070 have been released. 4K gaming will be a much more mainstream option.
The Future of 4K Gaming
4K gaming is here now and it’s here to stay. Although admittedly with the rapid adoption of virtual reality, it will be interesting to see what becomes the most popular. As of now the cost of a 4K capable rig is likely similar to that of a virtual reality setup.
Its now become apparent that console manufacturers such as Microsoft and Sony are starting to adopt 4K for their consoles. Sony recently announced the PlayStation 4 Pro, a beefed up version of the 4, which will support games at 4K. However, it is worth noting that your current game library may not run at 4K. Although it is entirely possible that we could see patches rectifying this in the future.
I’m glad to see that console manufacturers are getting on board with 4K gaming, as it will allow the gaming industry to move forward as a whole. With 4K TV becoming mainstream in many peoples homes and the availability of decent 1080P sets quickly diminishing. It makes sense for the likes of Sony and Microsoft to be pushing this new technology. In some ways it’s going to give people an even better reason to pick up one of Sony’s own 4K HDR enabled TVs – which I must say, look pretty awesome.
Comment below on what you think will be more popular. Gaming at 4K or virtual reality?