You may think that having the most current console will give you the best visuals. While that technically may be true, are you getting the most out of your visual gaming experience?
Monitors and displays are capable of some genuinely staggering visual heavy lifting these days, and to better experience gaming, you need to find the best resolution for gaming. If you aren’t familiar, you may have heard of gaming resolution, or seen it mentioned in-game menus and settings.
It can be challenging to nail down the exact specifications that you’d like for gaming if you are new to game resolution. That’s why we will take a close look at what it is, and most importantly, what is the best resolution for gaming.
What is Game Resolution?
When attempting to purchase new computer hardware or a console, the resolution is undoubtedly one of the advertised first things.
Game resolution is the visual ability to display a set amount of pixels on a monitor or TV screen. Using pixels as a measure, you will find quite a few different resolutions when choosing the perfect gaming monitor.
The more pixels that a resolution has, the clearer and sharper the image will be. As you’d probably expect, a game can only display so many pixels when held back by a smaller resolution. It’s all about giving the game room to breathe to be displayed as it was meant to be.
It can be confusing if you’re just catching on, but let’s clear the air by changing those seemingly meaningless numbers into something you can search out, purchase, and enjoy.
The Most Common Gaming Monitor Resolutions:
These are some of the most popular gaming resolutions on the market today. When you see a monitor’s resolution, it’ll be displayed as a number like 1920 x 1080. This means that horizontally, there are 1,920 pixels displayed. Likewise, vertically, 1,080 pixels are displayed.
1920 x 1080 — FHD (Full HD) / 1080p:
Perhaps the most common gaming resolutions, 1080p, is a classic game resolution. The visuals are clear, concise, and immerse the player in whatever game they are playing. 1080p is usually the industry standard these days for out of the box laptops and TVs, although that’s changing (more on that later).
Overall, the end result is an impressive 2,073,600 pixels on your game monitor.
2560 x 1440 — QHD (Quad HD) / 2K 1440p:
A significant step up from the standard 1080p, a 2K monitor will give you impressive visuals without seriously frying your computer. This is an excellent middle-ground option if you are a moderately serious gamer and want some great visuals without breaking the bank and your system.
3840 x 2160 — UHD (Ultra HD) / 4K 2160p:
4K gaming is what it’s all about. This is soon to be what most monitors and television screens will be. 4K proves to be somewhat more of a challenge in some ways. While it’s awe-inspiring, it might not be a worthwhile investment if you only game every now and then. They are expensive and tax your system.
However, if you play many games that need that extra visual punch, We couldn’t recommend 4K monitors enough. Games will be made in the future where 4K is the standard resolution.
7680 × 4320 — FUHD (Full Ultra HD) / 8K 4320p:
This is the king of the hill right now. As you’ll soon see, there are just limited options when it comes to 8K. It’s almost a mythologically impressive resolution.
Be warned, these are expensive pieces of hardware; an 8K TV by Samsung costs over $2,500.
Related: The Impact of AI on Video Games
What is Pixel Density?
Pixel density, also known as pixels per inch, makes up the game resolution.
The industry standard, as of right now, is a solid 300 pixels per inch. This provides a clear, sharp image. With the rise of newer and more impressive resolutions, expect it to change.
If you weren’t in the know, pixels make up everything we see on our gaming monitors and screens.
Pixels are the smallest form of an image displayed on the monitor. When we apply the number of pixels back to our gaming resolution measurements, you will have more pixels and a more precise picture for some great gaming moments.
Optimal Viewing Distance:
Now that we know some stuff about pixels, how far away should you be from your TV or game monitor to get optimal viewing?
It depends on the size and resolution of the monitor. For example, a 50-inch screen should be viewed at least 6 feet away. It follows that the more the measurement increases, the optimal viewing distance increases as well.
Recommended optimal viewing distance is useful, but it’s a lot easier to determine optimal viewing distance by actually playing or watching something on the monitor.
The Aspect Ratio:
You may have heard of aspect ratio too. It refers to the ratio of a screen’s width to its height.
The best current aspect ratio for gaming is 16.9. This is pretty standard.
If you view a game on a bigger monitor, you might want to check out an aspect ratio of 21.9. The latter is better suited toward a 4K monitor or television.
You have a higher field of view, but not all monitors support this feature. Ultrawide support is outright disabled in some games, like Overwatch.
The Best Resolution for Gaming:
Out of the many options available, we recommend any 1440p or 4K monitors. These are going to be what most gamers and game developers will use in the near future. Many games, movies, and TVs are optimizing their content for viewing in this impressive resolution.
The Best Monitors for PC Gaming:
Some of the best monitors for PC gaming that you can find are:
- ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q
- Acer Predator XB273K
- Pixio PXC273
- BenQ EL2870U
- Acer XR382CQK
How to Make PC Games Full Screen:
In any game you are playing, simply hold down the Alt key and press Enter. This makes it windowed too. You can sometimes configure this in a game’s menu, too, if you’d prefer that.
This is a super-easy way to do it on the fly. This can fix some resolution issues also, so definitely worth a shot.
1080p gaming is pretty reliable for any casual gamer. A decent PC build, along with a 1080p monitor, can quickly satisfy your gaming needs. 1080p runs at 60Hz. But what if you’re a gamer who wants the top of the line, best of the best, cream of the crop?
As we’ve explored before, 1080p, for a while, was the gold standard in gaming. However, 1080p is now giving way to truly impressive 4K gaming.
When I first heard of 4K, I thought it was made up, an impressive monitor that was too good to be true. How wrong I was! 4K isn’t only real, but it’s what any hardcore gamer worth their salt is getting into.
Be warned! 4K gaming is no joke: it doubles your monitor’s resolution, so you are going to need to accommodate for the increased display power. To give you a better idea, while 1080p runs at 60Hz, 4K gaming runs upwards of 120Hz.
Surprisingly, many great 4K displays are relatively cheap nowadays.
Some of the best options to choose from are:
- BenQ SW321C PhotoVue
- Philips Brilliance 328P
- LG Ultrafine 24MD4KL
- BenQ PD2700U
- Monoprice 27″ 4K UHD
- Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
- ViewSonic XG2700-4K
- AOC U2879VF
- Acer Predator X27
- LG 43UD79-B
4K Gaming Graphics Cards:
Okay, now that we have a better idea about the new gold standard of gaming, let’s see what kind of graphical hardware you are going to need to pull off a successful combo of stunning visuals without taxing your computer. You don’t want your system to sound like a space shuttle lifting off.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super:
It’s no surprise that the masters of impressive graphical capabilities, Nvidia, prude some of the best graphics cards in the entire industry. This graphics card is no different.
This behemoth of a graphics card is relatively expensive: a steep $700 starting price. However, you truly get what you pay for, and that’s a stunning graphical setup that’ll be the envy of everyone.
Customizing the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super will cost you a lot more than the standard $700 price tag, so beware, computer gurus!
You must have a graphics card of this quality and a great 4K monitor, as it is an absolute powerhouse. This means that while you’ll have cutting edge graphics, your system will basically get fried if it isn’t ready for it.
What happens is that the frame rate will stutter and slow, and it will force your computer to change the game to a lower resolution to compensate for the demands.
Graphics Cards: What NOT to Do:
AMD, the rival of Nvidia, makes some good stuff. However, when it comes to 4K, you can’t take any chances. These are expensive graphics cards.
AMD’s counterpart to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super is their series of Radeon cards. They just don’t cut it the same way that the RTX 2080 Super does.
4K Gaming: What to Do for Power:
Unless you have a PC to handle the powerful visuals, you will need to have at least a 500-watt power supply. This thing eats a ton of electricity, and it’s not surprising why.
When buying a power supply, we recommend at least a 750 watt supply. This will give you enough juice to feel comfortable. If you’re feeling incredibly brave, go ahead and upgrade to 1,000 watts. Just beware of the electricity bill!
This is the current highest standard in gaming resolution. We highly recommend that you be familiar with gaming resolutions and tech in general if you shell out the cash for an expensive 8K monitor.
If you are just using your computer monitor for casual gaming, there is really no need to invest in an 8K gaming monitor.
However, if you are a hardcore gamer that craves the best of the best, then an 8K monitor may just be the perfect thing for you.
What’s the Best 8K Monitor Out There?
Well, the funny thing is, there’s currently only one affordable option for 8K gaming. That’s right: there’s only ONE option to choose from. At least that makes the decision pretty simple!
However, it’s luckily an excellent option. Chances are if you are shopping around for an 8K monitor, you will have heard of this by now. Either way, let’s look at its specs.
Dell UltraSharp UP3218K:
- Screen size: 32-inches
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
- 7680 x 4320-pixel resolution
- 280 pixels per inch
If you were impressed by the over 2 million pixels displayed by a 1080p setup before, get ready for a groundbreaking 33 million pixels this time around. Along with the staggering amount of pixels, you’ll enjoy a color depth of 1.07 billion colors.
Kind of makes 1080p look like child’s play, huh? This makes it perfect for both professionals and gamers. Photo and animation software gurus can get some of the most impressive visual standards for their creative projects.
And of course, gamers can enjoy visually stunning games as they were meant to be seen by the developers.
What Are 8K Monitors?
Where 4K game resolutions meant that it measured in around 4,000 pixels, 8K is precisely the same. 8K means that approximately 8000 pixels are displayed. Currently, 7680 × 4320 is the highest definition right now on the market.
Benefits of 8K Monitors & TVs:
The benefits of buying some of the most cutting-edge hardware for a gaming setup or television should speak for themselves. The sheer number of pixels displayed will fully immerse you in whatever you are viewing or playing.
When you are playing the new STALKER game or Call of Duty, you will feel like you’re crawling in the mud, avoiding or engaging with fierce enemies.
Imagine booting up the newest Microsoft Flight Simulator on an 8K monitor. On a good system, paired with a fantastic 8K monitor, you will feel like you are genuinely taking to the skies over the countryside, ocean, or favorite city.
8K gaming brings a new, stunning visual element to gaming that all gamers crave.
Choosing the Best 8K Monitor or TV:
Luckily, the decision has been made for you! It’s a bit of a double-edged sword: there’s only one 8K monitor on the market, the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K.
Video: Dell’s 8K Monitor Review
While different players prefer different gaming resolutions, a large number of players prefer 1440p or 2K. It’s an excellent standard to work with.
If you’re a moderately serious gamer, the primary decision you’ll come across is 1080p vs. 1440p gaming. 1080p is superb, but 1440p gaming paves the way for some newer, more impressive resolutions like 4K.
If you want to get technical about it, 8K is the undisputed king of gaming resolution. 8K gaming brings the game worlds to life, showing off breathtaking visuals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is 1280×1024 resolution?
This refers to a super VGA resolution. These measurements essentially mean that the width will show 1,280 pixels, and the height will show 1,024.
Is a higher resolution better for gaming?
Yes, it provides more visual detail and better graphical capability.
Is 1080p or 1440p better for gaming?
Gaming is more suited for the 1440p resolution.
Is 1080p best for gaming?
While it’s no slouch, 1080p isn’t the best resolution possible for gaming.
Is 4k worth it for gaming?
Absolutely. It may be hard on your system without a good graphics card, but it will give you a fantastic ability to see the game as it was meant to be played.
What is 4k in gaming?
It refers to almost 4,000 pixels being displayed. Also known as 3840 x 2160.
What graphics card do I need for 4k gaming?
The undisputed king of the 4K graphics card is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super.
Is 2k or 4k better for gaming?
We recommend 2K for the perfect gaming balance. 4K is fantastic, but you should only upgrade to 4K and 8K gaming if your system can handle it.
Can the human eye see 8k?
In theory, we can. But only close up. The farther we get away from the monitor, the more we can’t see 8K.
Are there 8k monitors?
Yes, but there is only one available on the market currently. It is the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K.
Is 8k pointless?
It isn’t pointless, but there isn’t enough 8K content to justify an 8K purchase for many. You will also have to put your gaming rig through the wringer to get it to work.
Can you tell the difference between 4k and 8k?
Not exactly. You can definitely tell the difference between 1080p and 4K, the jump from 4K to 8K is less obvious.