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1080p vs 4K Computer Monitor

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you have been shopping around for a new display and just figured out what size you want after learning about the differences between a 24 inch vs 27 inch monitor, you may now be comparing 1080p vs 4K computer monitors. The best computer monitors tend to be at least 1080p, after all, with many heading to 2K or 4K. Keep reading to learn the differences between HD and UHD computer monitors.


  • 4K monitors offer four times the pixel count of 1080p displays, making them an ideal choice for video editors and other creative professionals that depend on good image quality to efficiently work on content.
  • 4K displays do cost much more than leading 1080p gaming monitors and they are generally larger, so desk space should be a consideration if you pursue the 4K option.
  • 1080p monitors demand less processing power, so you likely will experience an increase in refresh rates and response times, if you are shopping for gaming monitors.

Differences Between 1080p and 4K Computer Monitors

The primary difference here is in regards to the number of pixels and the resolution. A 1080p monitor is known as a high-definition or an HD display. A 4K monitor is known as an ultra-high-definition screen or a UHD display, which could be considered an excellent monitor for flight simulator games. A 4K monitor has twice the horizontal pixels and vertical pixels of a 1080p monitor and four times the overall pixel count, and the same cannot be said when comparing 4K vs 2K computer monitors.

This difference in display resolution and pixel count ends up impacting the monitors in other areas, such as refresh rate, display cost, larger displays, and more. This is not the case, as you’ll see in our ViewSonic VX2252MH 22-inch 2ms 75hz 1080p gaming monitor review.

Insider Tip

If you go with a 4K monitor, make sure your computer can handle the added resolution, so check the specs. And, if you want to learn more about 4K, check out our resource article about what is a 4K monitor exactly? 

Refresh Rates and Response Times

There is a reason why 1080p displays tend to be the preferred choice for avid gamers and not 4K displays. The latter offers a much higher resolution, translating to better graphics, but also demands much more from the graphics card and the computer’s processor. Generally speaking, 1080p monitors offer much faster response times and refresh rates than their 4K counterparts. Of course, technology is rapidly advancing and 4K monitors are expected to close the performance gap in the coming years.

And, as you’re learning about 4K and 1080p, it’d be a good idea to learn about full HD on a monitor and how it differs from the many other high-resolution display options. 

Desk Space

The vast majority of the top 4K gaming monitors are at least 27-inches, with many much larger. In other words, make sure you have the desk space for this kind of high-grade display. 1080p displays ship in much smaller sizes, so they can fit just about any workspace or home office setup you have got going. Of course, the increase in resolution with 4K displays more than makes up for this according to most avid users of the format.


4K displays and UHD monitors of all stripes tend to be significantly more expensive than simple HD monitors. 1080p displays have been around a long time, decades in fact, and the industry has used that time to perfect the technology while keeping the components at a low price. If you are really trying to save money without sacrificing immersion, you may look to compare 2 monitors vs 3 monitors.


What is monitor resolution?

Monitor resolution refers to the number of pixels available on the screen.

Should I use a 4K TV as a computer monitor?

If you are looking for an entertainment monitor to watch movies, then a 4K TV would be a good choice. However, the refresh rate and other metrics will suffer, so you may want to choose a dedicated high-resolution monitor. Ultrawide monitors are a good fit.

What are some common monitor resolutions?

There are 1080p monitors, which offer a sweet spot for many, and various other resolution displays, including 2K and 4K screen sizes.

STAT: For 2015, revenue from 4K displays worldwide is forecast to reach 18 billion U.S. dollars. 4K LCD TV contributed 8.8 billion U.S. dollars to overall revenue in 2014. (source)

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