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8K gaming monitor vs. 4K: Is it worth the upgrade?

Which gaming monitor is best?

As technology gets more advanced, the devices and monitors that we watch our favorite shows and play our favorite games on have also gotten better. In 2012, LG came out with the first 4K TV, jump-starting the next generation of pixel-generated entertainment for television and gaming monitors. 4K refers to the horizontal display resolution, which comes in at a whopping 4,000 pixels. Interestingly enough, many do not know that NHK simultaneously came out with the world’s first 8K TV the same year.

The primary difference between 4K and 8K monitors is that 8K monitors have a higher resolution, quadruple the number of total pixels and double the number of horizontal pixels, coming in at approximately 8,000 pixels.

4K gaming monitors

4K monitors have roughly 8.3 million pixels (3840 x 2160), creating a gaming experience so incredibly sharp and realistic you could easily get sucked into the screen. With that many pixels packed into the screen, most 4K gaming monitors will offer a ton of real estate, ranging from 25 to 45 inches across diagonally — much more than your standard gaming monitor. 

For gaming mainly, 4K monitors are an outstanding choice for their intense colors and gorgeous visuals. For comparison, 1080p is considered “Full HD,” while 4K graphics are considered “Ultra HD.” 

What you’ll love about 4K gaming monitors

4K monitors are great for turning your gaming experiences into cinematic ones. When paired with a console like the Xbox One X or the PS5, 4K monitors can get all of the best aspects and visuals that AAA games have to offer. When it comes to PC gaming, 4K monitors can also be great additions to the setup, especially when the hardware is capable of handling their power. 

Higher resolution means more details in even the largest of gaming landscapes. This can be the difference between who shoots first in many FPS games when resolution helps you make out enemies from afar and the added real estate that 4K monitors provide to increase your field of view.

Because of the rise in popularity of 4K monitors, prices are becoming much more financially feasible in comparison to 8K monitors. 

What you should consider about 4K gaming monitors

The compatibility will be your number one concern when considering a 4K gaming monitor. If you are interested in playing AAA games in full, glorious 4K, you will need a graphics card that can handle the performance. It is recommended to invest in GPUs like the RTX 3090 or the AMD RX 690XT. Because of the requirements for the necessary hardware, it is essential to note that buying a 4K monitor is, in many cases, not just an investment in a monitor but a setup that can handle it. 

Additionally, it is essential to be aware that just because the monitor is in 4K, that does not mean that all games can be played in 4K. All AAA games now have native support in 1080p, and many now can be played in 4K. However, with older games, the graphics may not be high enough quality to get the full advantage of a 4K monitor. 

Top 4K gaming monitors

Some top choices for 4K gaming monitors include the BenQ 28-inch 4K gaming monitor, which offers smooth gameplay via AMD FreeSync at a relatively affordable price. 

Another option is the Samsung Odyssey G5 32-inch gaming monitor, which provides a ton of real estate and a curved screen to match the curvature of your eye. The Odyssey also comes in three different sizes to match your specific gaming needs. 

Asus and LG also are excellent choices of brands that produce high-quality 4K gaming monitors. The Asus 28-inch monitor and LG 27-inch Ultragear monitor are FreeSync and G-Sync integrated to create fluid and gorgeous visuals. 

8K gaming monitors

As previously mentioned, the primary difference between 4K and 8K monitors is their resolution. 8K monitors come in at 7680 x 4320 pixels and are often considered great picks for graphic designers, programmers or other creative or digital artists, due to their sheer size and power. 

What you’ll love about 8K gaming monitors

8K monitors are big and often offer far more real estate than even many 4K monitors. In many cases, some 8K monitors can get as big as 50 inches, with the average size being somewhere between 30 and 40 inches. 

There are quite a few games that can handle the full capabilities of 8K resolution. Some of these titles include “Apex Legends,” “Destiny 2” and “Valorant.” Many websites like Nvidia provide useful infographics to help users find the optimal settings to get the most out of 8K monitors. 

What you should consider about 8K gaming monitors

The central aspect to be aware of when looking at 8K gaming monitors is their price. Due to the specs on these monitors, many will be several times more expensive than traditional 1080p or even 4K monitors. 

8K resolution is at the upper registers of image quality capable of being noticed by the human eye. As a result, the resolution is so crisp and clear that many graphics chips cannot even handle it yet. 

Top 8K gaming monitors

Currently, one of the most suitable 8K monitors out there is the Dell UltraSharp 32-inch monitor. Also available in a 27 and 30-inch option, this monitor boasts brilliant 8K resolution with a six-millisecond response time. 

Another top choice is the Samsung 49-inch Odyssey G9 gaming monitor. Though not exactly 8K, this 5K monitor provides the most pixels with the most real estate for the most immersion possible. With its curved design, you can bring any game to its visual best and with room to spare. 

There is also the LG 49-inch UltraWide monitor for those looking to replace their multi-monitor setup all together with one sleek, beautiful behemoth. This monitor can get up to 5K resolution, perfect for doing everything from gaming to working to watching your favorite streaming shows. 

Should you get a 4K or 8K gaming monitor? 

Given resolution being the distinguishing factor, 4K monitors offer much more than the current 8K monitors on the market. 4K monitors have lots of real estate, show crisp and beautiful resolution and come at a fraction of the cost of 8K monitors. 

Additionally, most game’s native settings run at 1080p, with many offering 4K compatibility. Because 4K is becoming more popular and most AAA titles can handle such graphics, there will be far more games to choose from to get the full advantages that 4K has to offer. The same cannot be said for 8K or any higher resolutions due to the novelty of such monitors. 

Finally, perhaps the most noticeable factor between the two kinds of monitors is their price. Most 4K monitors can be sold for anywhere between $200 and $500, depending on the types of features that come with the monitor. The same cannot be said for 8K monitors. Most 8K monitors will be over $1,000, and that’s at their cheapest. With this in mind, one should only consider buying an 8K monitor if they are a digital artist looking to utilize every pixel to their fullest potential. For most gamers, 4K will be more than enough.

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Jared Lindsay writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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