If you are shopping around for a new display, you are likely comparing 4K vs 2K computer monitors. The best computer monitors around, after all, tend to ship with one of these high-definition resolutions. Keep reading to learn the key differences between the two monitor types.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • 4K monitors offer twice the pixel count and display resolution when compared to 2K monitors, leading to increased image quality.
  • 4K monitors are more expensive than 2K displays, however, and will take up more desk space.
  • 4K displays demand more resources from your CPU and GPU, which could result in reduced performance if used as a gaming monitor.

Differences Between 4K and 2K Computer Displays

The obvious difference here is the pixel count and overall resolution. 2K displays are those fall in the 2,000-pixel range and 4K monitors fall in the 4,000-pixel range. 2K monitors are sometimes referred to as quad high-definition, or QHD, displays, though they are occasionally called 1440p monitors. 4K displays, on the other hand, are usually referred to as ultra-high-definition, or UHD. The differences in resolution between the two should be noticeable, though not as stark as when comparing 1080p vs 4K computer monitors.

Insider Tip

Before buying any monitor, check to see if your PC is powerful enough to handle it.

Both options make great entertainment monitors, due to the sheer number of horizontal pixels and vertical pixels. Here are some more differences between the two display types.

Accessibility

The increase in resolution found with a 4K display does limit what PCs and graphics cards offer full support. In other words, 2K monitors will offer more universal compatibility and accessibility. If you are shopping for a 4K screen, make sure your CPU and GPU can handle the additional resources that will be required.

Immersion

Higher pixel counts typically translate to a more immersive experience, particularly while watching movies or playing games. If you are looking to get totally lost in some content, a 4K monitor will be the better choice. Just make sure you have plenty of desk space, as 4K screens tend to be much larger than 2K and 1080p displays. The smallest UHD monitors come in at around 27-inches. This would be the case even if you are comparing glossy vs matte computer monitors.

Refresh Rate, Response Time, and Input Lag

4K monitors demand more resources from the CPU, graphics card, and CPU. As such, if you are playing the latest computer games, you may notice a reduced refresh rate and response time compared to 2K monitors. You will also likely have a slight increase in lag when it comes to using a 4K monitor to play the latest PC games. These metrics may not be noticeable by average gamers, as they typically come into play during competitive gaming scenarios.

Cost

4K monitors are the latest and greatest out there, so they tend to cost significantly than QHD monitors. Take that into consideration before making a purchase.

F.A.Q.S

What is monitor aspect ratio?

Aspect ratio refers to the width and height of the display and it is often illustrated in simple terms such as 4:3, 16:9, and 21:9. Video content tends to run best at 21:9, no matter if you are using an IPS panel or any other type of panel.


What is full HD?

Full HD refers to 1080p horizontal resolution. These displays make up a great number of entertainment monitors.


What does resolution mean?

No matter if you are talking horizontal resolution or vertical resolution, the term refers to the number of pixels on the screen at once. It does not refer to color space, color accuracy, or anything else color-related.



STAT: More often than not, you’ll find 2K monitors with a display resolution of 2560×1440. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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