If you divide 1920 by 1080, the final result is 16/9 – which is the ratio of the horizontal pixels to the vertical pixels. This particular aspect ratio is also known as “wide screen” and is most used on TV and the Internet today.
- What’s Best for Gaming? 1080p vs. 1440p Displays
- 1080p vs. 1440p Gaming: The Three Factors to Consider
- 1. Pixel Density (PPI)
- 2. Gaming Performance
- 3. Display Cost
- Part 1: What Is the Difference Between 4K And 1080P Video
- Part 2: 3 Reasons to Understand Why 4K Video Is Better Than 1080P
- 1. Resolving Detail
- 2. Closer Viewing
- 3. Scaling Down
- Who Should Buy A 1080p Display:
- Is 1080p Good Enough For Gaming?
- Is 1080p Good Enough For Casual Web Browsing?
- Will 1080p Still Be Good Enough In The Future?
- HD/720p and Full HD/1080p
- 4K and UHD/UHD-1
- When to Buy a 4K Monitor?
- When to Buy an Ultrawide Monitor?
What’s Best for Gaming? 1080p vs. 1440p Displays
Better screen quality, but more expenditure. What’s the best option for playing on 1080p and 1440p screens?
Full HD (1080p) is the most popular display resolution in the gaming world. However, 1440p is gaining in popularity as people are realizing the better image quality it offers.
Now the question is what to choose?
Let’s compare 1080p and 1440p displays and see which resolution is the best.
1080p vs. 1440p Gaming: The Three Factors to Consider
Not everyone has the same gaming standard. Where one might want their games to look their best, someone else might want their games to play their best. This makes the conversation about the best display resolution for a gaming display nuanced.
To simplify the debate between 1080p and 1440p, it’s best to look at the individual factors that represent these resolutions. For example, it’s pretty easy to run modern AAA games at 1080p, even if you have lower-gen current-gen hardware. On the other hand, running games at 1440p will require much more powerful GPUs and processors.
1. Pixel Density (PPI)
Pixel density is the number of pixels per inch of the display. It describes how many pixels can be seen on each inch of the display. The higher this number, the sharper the image you will see. For example, if we calculate the PPI of a 24 inch FHD (1920×1080) monitor, it becomes 92.56 PPI. If we keep the monitor size the same, but increase the resolution to 2K (2560×1440), the result is 123.41 PPI.
As you can see, by raising the resolution to 1440p the PPI increases drastically which results in better sharpness. This is the key difference between 1080p and 1440p displays. If the display size is always the same, 1440p will always be sharper. With that in mind, 1440p will allow you to increase the size of the display without losing sharpness.
Overall 1080p only looks good on 24-inch or smaller displays. Keep going and you will start to see pixelation (individual pixels become visible) which degrades the quality of the content on the screen. On the other hand, 1440p allows you to shake a much larger display with acceptable sharpness. For example, a 27-inch 1440p display has a better PPI than a 24-inch 1080p display.
In short, if you want a bigger display, 1440p is the right choice.
2. Gaming Performance
The 1080p versus 1440p gaming debate can never find a satisfactory answer until the performance impact of these resolutions is out of the question. You probably don’t need to tell us that the higher the resolution, the higher the cost of performance. So 1440p will cause a significant drop in performance, and games on a 1440p display will not run as smoothly as they do on a 1080p panel.
Put simply, running games at 1440p will reduce a lot of frames. Compared to 1080p, the GPU has to do a lot more work to support a 2K display. Maintaining 60fps at 1440p will be more difficult for your GPU than 1080p 60fps.
In other words, if you want to run graphically intense games on a 1440p screen in native resolution, with high or ultra quality settings at 60fps or more, you’ll need a powerful GPU. If you have a graphics card that can display 2560×1440 at a decent frame rate then getting a 1440p display makes sense. Otherwise, sticking to a 1080p display will be a better choice as your gaming experience will be much better.
3. Display Cost
Another factor to consider is the cost of the display. No wonder 1440p displays are more expensive than 1080p displays if we keep all factors like refresh rate, panel technology and response time.
If we add higher refresh rates to the mix, such as 144 Hz, the cost increases. The same goes for panel technology. OLED panels are the most expensive, followed by IPS and VA panels, while TN panels are the most economical.
People who say RT is just a buzzword have either not tried it or if so are so used to the false lighting and reflections we’ve had for decades that they can’t tell the difference but that doesn’t mean they don’t has. It’s like brainwashing something, you may think it’s okay, but it’s not.
Part 1: What Is the Difference Between 4K And 1080P Video
Most people are already well versed in 1080P high definition video quality. It is admired for its clarity, which has made it the standard high definition format used around the world. Even consumer DSLR cameras priced well under $ 1,000 now have full 1080P video recording capability. Thanks to this, high-definition technology was in the hands of even the most economical amateur filmmaker.
But 4K is a technology that is getting attention right now, and for good reason. However, it is easy to confuse 1080P and 4K. What exactly are the differences between them? Why is one better than the other? Can you really tell the difference? These are all the questions to answer if you want to have a good, solid understanding of the future of 4K ultra high definition video.
Let’s take a look at the most important difference between 4K and 1080p. This is, of course, a question of resolution.
4K is known as Ultra High Definition (UHD) while 1080P is simply referred to as High Definition. As their names suggest, 4K UHD has a much higher resolution than 1080P HD video. 4K resolution is exactly 3840 x 2160 pixels while 1080P is 1920 x 1080 pixels.
4K refers to nearly 4,000 horizontal pixels. Traditionally, resolution has been labeled vertical pixels, and in the case of 1080P, the 1080P vertical lines make up the high definition resolution. By comparison, 4K has 2160 vertical pixels; significant increase.
With an aspect ratio of 16: 9, 4K has almost four times the number of pixels on the screen compared to 1080P technology – over eight million pixels for 4K and just two million pixels for 1080P. This huge difference brings some important benefits to 4K over 1080P video quality.
Part 2: 3 Reasons to Understand Why 4K Video Is Better Than 1080P
There are many reasons why 4K has clearly outstripped 1080P in terms of image quality. These reasons mainly focus on factors related to the way he is able to distinguish very fine details, thanks to the ability to see this detail when sitting closer to the screen than ever, and from a production point of view, the ability to scale the recording to normal. HD and other formats while maintaining high contrast, very detailed original quality (especially when viewed up close).
The top three reasons 4K video surpasses 1080P are:
1. Resolving Detail
Ultra High Definition TVs using 4K technology are able to reproduce the most intricate details with noticeably higher contrast, thanks to four times the number of pixels compared to 1080P. This is considered the biggest advantage of the 4K video standard.
Examples of where this is noticeable are the rendering of hair or feathers, as well as other images with very fine detail that may have caused problems such as moire or slight blurring in non-ultra high definition formats. Surely, when viewed up close, these tricky patterns look less than stellar on anything other than a 4K screen.
2. Closer Viewing
Thanks to the large increase in resolution that 4K compared to 1080P, it allows the viewer to get much closer to the big screen while enjoying a clearer picture. In fact, the optimal recommended viewing distance for a 4K TV may be twice as close as that of a regular TV. This is because 4K is best experienced when sitting closer; sitting further back means that you will often not experience its maximum benefits (although you can still enjoy its remarkable clarity, regardless of distance).
In short, you can sit twice as close to a 4K screen as a standard high-definition screen without being able to see the pixelation that occurs with lower-resolution varieties.
3. Scaling Down
Often the recording has to be scaled down to a lower resolution. For 4K, you may want to downscale to high definition 2K. Tests have shown that when comparing the final quality of a 4K video upscaled to 2K, the picture is noticeably more detailed than the original recording in 2K.
For people who want and expect the absolute highest possible movie image quality, 4K meets all the requirements. From both a production and visual point of view, this ultra high definition technology will change the way we watch movies.
TV brands like Sony are now selling 4K TVs at prices that enthusiasts can afford, with more and more video content being produced in 4K. Moreover, it is only a matter of time before consumer DSLRs are equipped with 4K video capabilities; and the Canon 1DC DSLR hybrid has already reached that milestone.
Next-gen graphics cards, Lovelace and RNDA3, having at least 2x performance, will bring RT MUCH more people. This argument will make less and less progress. RT is the right way and then comes Path Tracing.
Okay, do you feel better knowing a bit more about video resolutions? Good. Because soon 6K and 8K will flow down the pipeline and they promise to make the waters even more muddy.
The thing is, most of the world now supplies 1080p. However, some people like YouTube and Netflix also supply 4K to consumers, and I just bought a 27in Dell 4K monitor for less than $ 600, so I and many people understand that the move to 4K will come a lot sooner than the SD to SD switch. HD. Even people who deliver in 1080p often record in 4K to secure the footage for the future or to be able to pan and zoom.
From a resolution standpoint, as long as your workflow doesn’t require super-fast execution (like Electronic News Gathering ENG), you can’t go wrong shooting in 4K, even if you’re going to master 1080. My 3-year-old Macbook Pro can almost keep up with GH4 footage and a7S / Shogun combination, so processing power should not be a big problem.
Bottom line: If you can shoot in 4K, do it. Hope this article and the tables / figures it contains will help you understand the resolution soup.
Therefore, if you are only editing a few higher resolution images every few weeks, it may be better to postpone the upgrade to a higher resolution monitor, but if working with higher resolution content is your main task, you will definitely want to buy a monitor that allows you to watch it in this resolution natively.
Who Should Buy A 1080p Display:
- For free web browsing – 1080p will let you display images, videos and websites clearly as 1080p has enough pixels to do this.
- For movie watching and streaming – 1080p allows you to watch movies and shows with a sharp and detailed view, and should be enough for most.
- Gamers – 1080p has enough pixels to appreciate the details of the game. Moreover, 1080p monitors are the most popular (for Steam users), so game developers will surely ensure that viewing their games at 1080p continues to look detailed and realistic. Most would agree that most console gamers also use 1080p monitors.
- Professional Workers / Freelancers – Basic applications such as Microsoft applications do not require high resolutions at all. And when it comes to 3D designers / modellers and image and video editors, 1080p has enough pixels and is enough, even if you do it full time. You’ll still be able to render the final design at a higher resolution, such as 4k, on a 1080p display, but you may consider upgrading to a higher resolution display if you are working with higher resolution content to detect any bugs and details.
Is 1080p Good Enough For Gaming?
1080p is certainly good enough for PC and console games. For the casual and competitive gamer, 1080p has enough pixels for you to fully enjoy and appreciate the details of the game.
In fact, Steam is running an ongoing survey which has shown that as many as 63.51% of their users (who surveyed) use a 1080p display as their primary display. This means that game developers are well aware that 1080p is the most popular resolution and will therefore ensure it works and displays well on these screens / monitors.
The same can be said for console gaming, and while 4k-capable consoles are gaining popularity, 1080p is sure to continue to be supported and optimized considering it’s the most common.
Is 1080p Good Enough For Casual Web Browsing?
1080p is more than enough for regular web browsing such as YouTube, social media and the like. This is because 1080p provides more than enough pixels when performing such activities to be able to clearly view images, videos, and the like.
1080p resolution and a laptop display are among the most common to browse on the internet and therefore you won’t run into much of a problem with unclear images or a layout too small for your resolution as there are more than enough pixels and web developers are well aware that 1080p is one of the most popular resolutions.
As for YouTube videos, if you want to watch them in 4k or higher resolution, it’s still not worth upgrading as the price increase compared to the improvement in image clarity and quality is not worth it, at least in my experience. Most Youtube videos also don’t have a resolution option higher than 1080p as this requires the creator to film and upload the video at a higher resolution.
Will 1080p Still Be Good Enough In The Future?
Given how common and affordable a 1080p monitor / display is, and how many pixels are on a 1080p display, 1080p is sure to last for at least the next 5-10 years, and then it will definitely continue to be supported.
That said, as content, especially games, becomes more graphically detailed, higher resolutions like 4k may slowly become the new norm.
1080p has long been the perfect destination where the affordability and sharpness of 1080p displays make it the most popular among consumers. And while content like movies, interfaces and especially games are moving to higher resolutions like 4k, developers will certainly still have to consider 1080p displays as it’s hard to deny that it’s one of the most popular.
Nevertheless, as 4k and other high-definition monitors become cheaper and more popular, developers will certainly be able to take advantage of the number of pixels on them and make their content sharper for consumers with these displays.
All in all, 1080p is set to stay compared to what we’ve seen so far and will surely continue to be supported by developers as it’s the most common, but the monitor resolution direction is towards higher resolution monitors to be able to display sharper and more detailed content.
1080p also handles advanced competitive gamers well with 360Hz options and some of the best TN options with excellent backlight strobe for the clearest picture quality, such as the BenQ XL2546K. These kinds of features haven’t made their way to 1440p displays yet, so 1080p is justifiable here if that’s what you’re after.
HD/720p and Full HD/1080p
Never before have technical specifications been abused and misused to such an extent as High Definition or HD. The term has become synonymous with anything that elevates detail or quality over something that was before. When we talk about display resolutions, the term HD is based on the original resolutions of the HDTV.
When HD TV first came out, there were several broadcast resolutions and display resolutions used. The most basic is 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels high, truncated to 720p. The lowercase p refers to “progressive scan” as opposed to 1080i which is “interlaced” but we won’t get lost in it.
Nowadays, when we say HD, we are talking about what is called “Full HD”, a resolution measuring 1920 x 1080 pixels, often referred to as 1080p. This display resolution is common in Smart TVs and many modern smartphones, PCs, laptops and monitors. Both HD resolutions here use an aspect ratio of 16: 9 (so for every 9 vertically there are 16 pixels horizontally), which can be described as widescreen. However, on a phone, 1280 x 720 becomes 720 x 1280 when it is held normally.
Another thing to remember is that no matter what the screen size is, say a Full HD display, be it a 4 inch smartphone or a 65 inch TV, the pixel count remains the same but only the size changes, so depending on it, whether they are smaller or larger, they will look softer or sharper. For example, a Full HD smartphone has significantly more detail (sharpness), usually referred to as pixels per inch (ppi), than a Full HD monitor because a smaller screen has a higher density but has the same number of pixels, so a sharper image.
In the smartphone revolution of the last five years, manufacturers have desperately tried to put higher-resolution screens in phones, even where they are not needed. It is often argued that resolutions higher than Full HD are wasted on such relatively small panels as even people with excellent eyesight find it difficult to see any difference. Nevertheless, the phone makers did it anyway, possibly for marketing purposes. As a result, Quad High Definition (QHD) screens have become a popular choice in modern phones.
QHD has four times the resolution of standard 720p, which means that a QHD display of the same size can fit the same number of pixels as four HD displays, i.e. 2560 x 1440 pixels or 1440p. As with all resolutions sourced from HD, this one has a wide 16: 9 aspect ratio, so QHD could also be referred to as WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition), the same thing but some manufacturers put a W in front of QHD to show that has wide proportions.
^ The above AOC AG322QCX gaming monitor runs natively at 2560 x 1440 resolution
Sometimes QHD or WQHD is referred to as 2K, with the idea that it’s half the 4K HD resolution you’d find on high-end TVs (more on that later). But most of the time, the name 2K comes from a larger pixel measurement which is over 2,000 pixels. Technically, the resolution standard for 2K is 2048 × 1080, which means QHD has a much better resolution. QHD may even be referred to as 2.5K, but some people resist calling these 2K displays.
qHD is not to be confused with QHD. Despite its very similar name, qHD stands for Quarter High Definition and is a display resolution of 960 x 540 pixels – a quarter of 1080p Full HD.
4K and UHD/UHD-1
4K and Ultra High Definition (UHD) resolutions can cause confusion as the two terms are often used interchangeably when they are not actually the same. Therefore, we need to clarify these points a little.
True 4K displays are used in professional productions and digital cinemas and are 4096 x 2160 pixels. UHD is different because it is a consumer display and broadcast standard with a resolution four times the resolution of Full 1080p HD: 3840 x 2160 pixels. The difference is the slightly different proportions between digital cinema and home displays. UHD is another 16: 9 aspect ratio standard which means the screens are backwards compatible with Full HD content.
^ Marketers use 4K and Ultra HD interchangeably, but there are slight differences
Both 4K and UHD definitions could be truncated to 2160p to match the HD standards that preceded them, but that would complicate matters even more, as although the difference in pixels is relatively small, they are still different. Some brands prefer to stick to only the UHD moniker when marketing their latest TV to avoid confusion, but for marketing ease, this means the two terms are still used interchangeably.
Until now, most phone makers have avoided putting absurdly high 4K screens in their phones to extend battery life. Disregarding Sony’s previous efforts.
increasing the pixels from 1080p to 1440p is nothing, I don’t see any “blur” at all. If TAA is making the game blurry, it is something else, and it does so at all resolutions. There are sharpening filters for that to fix the problem.
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This is true, but only if you are a 100% gamer. I do a lot more on my pc so the 1440p over 32 “real estate” is a big plus, nevertheless I still use the RX580 for my rare games….
In terms of work, yes, I agree, higher resolutions are important, but only there.
But in games, anything higher than 1080p is called being a fool and falls in love with their PR BS and relies on endless gameplay with higher fps and higher resolutions.
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Still at 1080p and tbh, my 5500XT is actually a pretty good pairing with two cheap 1080p60 monitors.
The plan was to upgrade the GPU and main screen to 1440p and above, but in the current market, it’s not worth it.
As you mentioned – the graphics card and monitor have to be matched to get the most out of your system, and this is not cheap even under normal conditions.
I was lucky to be able to pick up the 3070 from the Micro Center. I went there to buy a 34-inch ultra-wide monitor for my work laptop and saw they had GPUs in stock, so I chose both. I am very happy with games at 1440p on my 3070.
When to Buy a 4K Monitor?
Considering the number of releases in this category over the past year, I believe it’s now worth buying a 4K gaming monitor in some cases. Currently, high-quality, high-refresh 4K monitors are available for $ 650, which is quite sane.
4K games are for high-end buyers. If you’re on a budget, if you want the best return on investment, or if you just have mid-range gaming hardware, 4K isn’t the format for you. It offers a better visual experience than the 1440p, but there are diminishing returns, especially with the high prices of 4K monitors compared to the 1440p. Typically, you want to spend at least twice a 4K monitor versus 1440p for similar specs.
But if you need the highest resolution available for gaming with a reasonable refresh rate, 4K is for you. It’s also worth it if you have a high-end gaming GPU. While the RTX 3080 Ti or RX 6900 XT are typically good at over 150 FPS at 1440p, they are still able to hit 100 FPS or more in many of today’s 4K games and over 60 FPS in the most demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. If you prefer visual quality over pure FPS performance and are playing multiple single-player titles with a powerful GPU, there are definitely some benefits to switching to 4K – and the experience will still be very smooth most of the time.
Of course, this comes with a performance cost and is higher than the move from 1080p to 1440p. Moving from 1440p to 4K usually results in a 40-45% drop in performance, and cards with less than 8GB of VRAM will sometimes have problems. Compared to 1080p, 4K has a performance drop of 60% or more. The impact of this can be mitigated to some extent with technologies like DLSS and FSR, but without a doubt, upgrading to 4K has the highest performance cost and lower visual improvement than other resolutions. Therefore, we recommend 4K displays only for advanced gamers with GPUs like RTX 3070 or better.
An added bonus when buying a 4K monitor is their versatility. 4K monitors are generally great for productive work, text is incredibly sharp, applications have a lot of screen space, and most 4K monitors have great support for a wide variety of creative tasks. It is also the ideal resolution for today’s content consumption as many TV shows and movies are released in 4K. If you’re doing a lot of stuff on your PC outside of gaming, 4K displays are a significant upgrade and worth the higher price – but they make less sense as pure gaming options.
32-inch and taller displays benefit most from the extra resolution, and these benefits become greater as the screen size increases. A 42 inch 1440p monitor won’t look great, but 4K is very useful at this size or even larger. Unfortunately, the 32-inch 4K gaming monitors are one of the most expensive categories to be found today, and some larger format displays are not of the best quality.
4K monitors are also a great choice for console games. Both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 can play up to 4K 120Hz, and to get the most out of this you’ll need a 4K gaming monitor. These kinds of monitors are best for gaming consoles only with no PCs connected, best for people playing both PC and console games, and also best for future checking in case you want to add more devices in the future. Just make sure you have a display with an appropriate full HDMI 2.1 display, which isn’t every high definition 4K display on the market.
When to Buy an Ultrawide Monitor?
Like 1440p displays, ultrawides come in a huge number of different variants, ranging from $ 350- $ 400 at the lowest tier to over $ 400,000 for premium flagships. It’s also just a very different format, and not everyone will appreciate the extra width. Personally, I find it more immersive in gaming and appreciate the breadth of productivity tasks, but that’s a personal preference more than a question of whether it’s better or worse than the traditional 16: 9 display.
But suppose you are interested in an ultrawide monitor. What then to get?
There are decent options ranging from $ 400 to $ 500, however there is a noticeable price premium with 16: 9 1440p monitors. If you want a curved VA with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 you spend at least $ 400, compared to $ 250 for the same spec at 1440p. The IPS alternative costs around $ 500, compared to $ 300 for a 16: 9 setup. And that’s typical of all ultrawides, with a price tag about 60% higher than a similar 16: 9 display for the extra width.
Ultrawides generally allows you to use split-screen, with two apps running side by side, similar to a multi-monitor setup. At 21: 9, you don’t get as much real estate as two 16: 9 monitors, but the price is also cheaper for a 21: 9 monitor, and it could be a better choice for a single-display setup.
However, there are some limitations to keep in mind. Aside from super premium and atypical monitors like the Samsung Odyssey G9, most ultrawide monitors don’t have the same advanced specs as you can get from a 16: 9 monitor. For example, there are many 1440p 240Hz displays available today, but none of them reach that frequency 3440 x 1440 refresh rates. As with the 4K ultrawide, we’re just beginning to see some great 144Hz options for regular 4K displays, but this way refresh rates haven’t really hit the 5120 x 2160 monitors in a serious way yet.
As most reviewers don’t test every ultrawide resolution, a good rough guide is that 3440 x 1440 is in the middle of 1440p and 4K performance, and 2560 x 1080 is between 1080p and 1440p.
When it comes to performance, ultrawide formats require more power than their 16: 9 counterparts. As most reviewers don’t test every ultrawide resolution, a good rough guide is that 3440 x 1440 is in the middle of 1440p and 4K performance, and 2560 x 1080 is between 1080p and 1440p. So if you are thinking of upgrading to ultrawide, expect a performance reduction of ~ 20-30% compared to nonultrawide resolution.
Fortunately, there are so many monitor options out there these days (see some solid buying recommendations below) that there’s something for everyone. It’s also important to remember how many formats may be available in the price range under consideration. There may be more options available than you realize within your budget, especially around $ 400-700. You can get a higher resolution or a higher refresh rate than you expect, which can be beneficial.