Top critical review
24 people found this helpful
on 10 July 2014
To summarise the long post below I would say for playing games this is an excellent buy, for other purposes it is more of a mixed picture.
I previously had two 22’ monitors side by side, each with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 but I was looking to move to a single monitor for space reasons and saw this 4K monitor at an incredibly low price. This now gives me more than twice the pixel area across than I had before at 3840 by 2160. This though is in a 28’ screen area, so smaller than my previous two physically and this is where the problems come in.
When you first turn it on everything is so incredibly small on the screen you simply cannot work with it. Windows itself is quite good in resolving this as you can scale the desktop size where by all Windows icons, buttons and text are readable. The problem is other programs that use fixed sized fonts, they become very tricky to use. Browsing is not bad as you can zoom the page contents but the address bar at the top and the icons stay very small (I use Chrome). I make music using Cubase and all the instruments and text on screen are barely readable. Hopefully in the future developers will take into account higher resolution monitors but at the moment a lot of programs are difficult if not impossible to use on this screen. I have solved this problem to a degree by using the magnifier tool in Windows. I have it set to come on with a mouse click and off with another and that works well as I can see the whole picture but zoom into areas when I want but still it is a shame to have to do this.
The actual quality of the picture is impressive although as others have mentioned it does not use the nicer IPS panel but benefits instead from a very fast response time – great for games. I should say when I first turned it on I was not that impressed with the display but after tweaking the settings and using the Windows colour wizard I now have it looking very nice, the best looking screen I have ever used.
The controls are awful to use but then they tend to be on monitors, you have to reach round the back and blindly try to select the correct option. The worst part is the power button is lined up along with all the controls so until I got used to it I kept accidently switching it off – very frustrating!
Now where this monitor really excels is playing games. You do need a very good graphics card though. I have a GeForce 780 which works well but anything less you would struggle and a Titan would be preferable. When you think about it there are a huge number of pixels to push around 3840 * 2160 * 32 bit per pixel = about 32 MB to move onto the screen 60 times a second!
Importantly to be able to get 60Hz at full resolution you need to use the DisplayPort 1.2 connector, so check your graphics card supports it. My understanding is it is used in a clever way to allow such a high resolution and refresh rate. Also to enable it you need to both turn on the DisplayPort in the monitor settings and also select 60Hz.
Running Battlefield 4 in full resolution at 60Hz is astonishing, it is absolutely amazing! This is the reason I have not sent back the monitor, this and hoping that programs will be better able to support it in the future.
Finally there are a few issues with these monitors which I think are related to the DisplayPort. When the monitor switches off in response to your power settings it does not always come back on again. Sometimes you have to switch it off and on again and sometimes you actually have to pull the power out and back in. Other times it comes on but half the screen is missing and other times all your open windows are reduced to tiny ones up in the corner. Now and again it comes on perfectly but really this is an area that needs fixing.
So to conclude: this monitor looks very impressive and playing games is amazing (if you have a good enough graphics card) but the down side is that often things are too small on screen to see and a lot of programs have no way of adjusting this. This may change in the future.
I have had this monitor for a week now and been through a range of emotions from buyer’s remorse to amazement at the quality and wanting to show it off to everyone. If you get this be prepared for the downsides though.