Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PC Gamers Can Now Game With 4K Resolutions While Thumbing Nose At Console Gamers Yet Again

4K is literally taking over, much like DVD took over VHS. Pretty soon, 4K is going to be your only option when it comes to screens, whether they be on tablets, phones, televisions or computer monitors. When it comes to the gaming community, there is a division as to which is better, console gaming or PC gaming. While console gaming may have a more mainstream following, there is still an incredible amount of PC gamers out there. And if there's one thing PC gamers have over console gamers, it's that they are not hindered by resolution. Even with the current crop of next-gen consoles, gamers on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are struggling to hit full 1080p HD resolutions with their games. On the flip side PC gamers are already starting to branch out into 4K resolution gaming thanks to new hardware that is both powerful and expensive.

4K laptops have already begun shipping to consumers around the world with the first one out of the gate being Toshiba's 15" Satellite model. Apple has already entered the market with a 4K-friendly Mac Pro desktop, though a lot of PCs are capable of pushing resolutions higher than 1080p with Nvidia's newest generation of 8000-series GPUs. However, it doesn't matter how high you push the resolution if the monitor you are playing on can't run higher than 1080p. That's where 4K monitors come into play. These devices are similar to their TV siblings, meaning they are still new and still very expensive.

Monoprice is known for having very reasonably priced PC and AV accessories and looks to be taking that business model into the 4K monitor world with the announcement of its newest model, which looks to be cheaper than some comparable models that are currently available.

The new monitor is Monoprice's 28" UHD (ultra-high definition) monitor, which runs at a ridiculous 3840x2160 pixel resolution. The monitor became available for preorder last month and is available now from the company's website with a limit of 10 per customer (because obviously you can afford more than one). Current pricing for the monitor, which is dubbed the UHD CrystalPro 4K monitor, is $550 on Monoprice's website. At the beginning of the year comparable monitors like this were priced in excess of $1,000, though recent price cuts by both Dell and Samsung have helped in driving prices down.

Physically, the UHD CrystalPro 4K is relatively thin and comes with a brushed-metal bottom bezel as well as a sharper look than some of the other budget displays. This monitor also comes with three HDMI ports and a DisplayPort. Performance reports have come in from all over the place, but one that should put it into perspective comes from CNET, who tested the monitor on a 4K-ready gaming PC. Playing Battlefield 4 at full 4K resolution with "ultra" graphics settings CNET acknowledged that the game "looked and played fantastic."

The majority of PC gamers won't be making the switch to 4K anytime soon, much like a majority of console gamers didn't switch to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 immediately. However, should hardware prices continue to drop like they are, PC gamers will have more of an incentive to make the switch, plus it will also give them even more bragging rights over their console gamer foes. If you have the money to drop on 4K then check out Monoprice's website here to purchase the UHD CrystalPro 4K gaming monitor.

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