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What is a 4K Monitor?

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Updated March 31, 2022

Most people have heard about 4K resolution, but actually defining what 4K computer monitors are can be difficult, especially if you’re comparing 1080p vs 4K monitors. These are the most important things to know about display resolution when it comes to 4K, and that includes understanding what is computer monitor resolution

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Display resolution is the height and width of the pixels of a screen.
  • 4K monitors have a resolution of 3840 x 2160.
  • 4K monitors for gaming require a top-tier graphics card to support them.

What a 4K Monitor Is: Everything You Need to Know About 4K Resolution

4K resolution is becoming more and more popular. It’s grown in popularity just like the top-notched 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors. Here’s what you need to know about 4K resolution to decide if it’s right for you when looking for the best computer monitor.

Insider Tip

Simply put, the resolution is a measurement of the height and width of pixels on a screen.

What Is Display Resolution?

One of the first considerations people make when shopping for monitors and TVs is the display resolution. Simply put, the resolution is a measurement of the height and width of pixels on a screen. For example, Full HD 1080p monitors have a height of 1080 pixels, which is how it got its name. 4K monitors are four times the size of 1080 monitors. Generally, a higher pixel count will produce clearer images on the screen. You can see an example of this in our review of the ViewSonic XG2700 4K gaming monitor.

Defining 4K Monitors

As with other monitors, the name 4K refers to the pixel count of the screen. 4K screens have a resolution of 3840 x 2160. The name 4K can be attributed to the fact that the width of the screen is around 4,000 pixels. It also can be attributed to the fact that it’s four times the size of 1080p displays, which have long been the standard resolution. 4K resolution is also referred to as UHD, Ultra HD, and 4K HD.

Related: What exactly is a 3D monitor?

What to Know About Buying 4K Displays

4K is increasing in popularity as its market share continues to increase. There are some important considerations when buying 4K monitors. For PC gaming, you’ll need top-notch computer hardware to support displaying graphics in 4K resolution on your monitor. If you don’t have a graphics card that meets that standard, your gaming experience will be choppy, blurry, and laggy. Similarly, you likely won’t be able to notice a difference in clarity on smaller screens 30” and under.

Related: What is a DVI cable for computer monitors

Insider Tip

The name 4K can be attributed to the fact that the width of the screen is around 4,000 pixels.

F.A.Q.S

Why is it called 4K?

The name 4K refers to the measurement of pixels contained within the image being displayed. 4K resolution means that the image has a width of about 4,000 pixels.


Are 4K and HDR the same thing?

No, 4K and HDR are not the same thing. HDR stands for high dynamic range. HDR increases the dynamic range of light in images, creating more contrasts between darks and lights to create a greater sense of depth in images.


Do I need 4K resolution yet?

While this decision depends on a number of factors, you can start with screen size. If you’re planning to purchase a TV over 40” then choosing a 4K model will make a big difference in the clarity of the images.



STAT: In 2020, it’s estimated that 4K screens made up 70% of total sales in Europe and nearly 60% in the Middle East and North Africa. (source)