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4k Monitor: does it make sense?

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palimmo
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4k Monitor: does it make sense?

#1

Post by palimmo » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:25 am

Hi,
I'm going to buy a new monitor (something between 27' and 31') soon.
It will be used mainly connected to my laptop to stream movies and do sometimes office stuffs. I am not a gamer or graphic editor.

a) Does it make sense to spend more and buy a 4k monitor over a 1080p? (budget: max. 250€)
Is the difference on a 27'-31' monitor watching full screen movies (ca. 2m away from the screen) noticeable?

b) Right now I do not think many stream services or tv channels provide a 4k resolution. Will it be in the near future?

c) My actual laptop probably doesn't even have enough resources to stream 4k. Am I wrong?

Code: Select all

Machine:
  Type: Laptop System: Packard Bell product: EasyNote TJ65 v: 0100 
  serial: <filter> 
  Mobo: Packard Bell model: SJV50MV v: Rev serial: <filter> BIOS: Phoenix 
  v: 1.28 date: 10/06/2009 
Battery:
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 2.6 Wh condition: 2.8/48.6 Wh (6%) 
  model: Panasonic AS09A51 status: Unknown 
CPU:
  Topology: Dual Core model: Pentium T4300 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Penryn 
  rev: A L2 cache: 1024 KiB 
  flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 bogomips: 8378 
  Speed: 1197 MHz min/max: 1200/2100 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1582 2: 1719 
Graphics:
  Device-1: NVIDIA G98M [GeForce G 105M] vendor: Acer Incorporated ALI 
  driver: nvidia v: 340.107 bus ID: 01:00.0 
  Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: nvidia 
  unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,nouveau,vesa 
  resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz, 1366x768~60Hz 
  OpenGL: renderer: GeForce G 105M/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.107 
  direct render: Yes 
Audio:
  Device-1: Intel 82801I HD Audio vendor: Acer Incorporated ALI 
  driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.0-55-generic 
Network:
  Device-1: Broadcom and subsidiaries NetLink BCM5784M Gigabit Ethernet PCIe 
  vendor: Acer Incorporated ALI driver: tg3 v: 3.137 port: 2000 
  bus ID: 02:00.0 
  IF: enp2s0 state: down mac: <filter> 
  Device-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR928X Wireless Network Adapter vendor: Lite-On 
  driver: ath9k v: kernel port: 2000 bus ID: 03:00.0 
  IF: wlp3s0 state: up mac: <filter> 
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 298.09 GiB used: 108.19 GiB (36.3%) 
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Western Digital model: WD3200BEVT-22ZCT0 
  size: 298.09 GiB 
Partition:
  ID-1: / size: 9.90 GiB used: 7.37 GiB (74.5%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda8 
  ID-2: swap-1 size: 3.96 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda7 
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 65.0 C mobo: 65.0 C gpu: nvidia temp: 66 C 
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:
  Processes: 166 Uptime: 26m Memory: 3.85 GiB used: 1.02 GiB (26.5%) 
  Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 7.4.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.20 
  inxi: 3.0.32 
d) Soon I'll buy a new laptop as well. What should I pay attention to?

e) HDMI 2.0: does it make a substantial difference over 1.4? Should I avoid monitors with only 1.4 HDMI?

Thanks!
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JayM
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Re: 4k Monitor: does it make sense?

#2

Post by JayM » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:21 am

palimmo wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:25 am
Hi,
I'm going to buy a new monitor (something between 27' and 31') soon.
It will be used mainly connected to my laptop to stream movies and do sometimes office stuffs. I am not a gamer or graphic editor.

a) Does it make sense to spend more and buy a 4k monitor over a 1080p? (budget: max. 250€)
Is the difference on a 27'-31' monitor watching full screen movies (ca. 2m away from the screen) noticeable?
That depends on the size of the monitor, the capabilities of the graphics card driving it, and the operating system's desktop environment's scaling abilities. Just because a monitor's native resolution is 4K doesn't mean it has to be run at that. You could select 1920x1080 in the OS's display settings for example. So if you buy a monitor that's capable of 4K you could hold that ability in reserve as it were until you get a computer system capable of fully exploiting that capability. But if you buy a huge monitor and run it at a low resolution you could end up with icons the size of dinner plates. (I exaggerate.) This can be solved with a bit of tweaking as per the relevant Wiki article. Same with icons and fonts that are too small at 4K.
b) Right now I do not think many stream services or tv channels provide a 4k resolution. Will it be in the near future?
No one can predict the future but you could search the web to see if more 4K TV broadcasts, cable or streaming video are currently being planned.
c) My actual laptop probably doesn't even have enough resources to stream 4k. Am I wrong?
You're not wrong. Streaming it will depend on your Internet bandwidth, but playing it is another manner. That computer might even struggle with 720p HD.
d) Soon I'll buy a new laptop as well. What should I pay attention to?
How close to 3840 × 2160px 4K resolution it's capable of. I have no idea what's available in 2019 but the closest I've personally seen was a high-end subnotebook (ultrabook) with native 3200x1800px resolution, an Intel Core i7 4-core 8-thread CPU and 12GB of DDR3-1666 RAM that was released in 2016. Bear in mind that if your laptop's GPU can't natively handle full 4K its GPU and (to a lesser extent) CPU will have to work harder to scale the video to the GPU's maximum resolution on-the-fly as it's being played which could lead to video issues such as lags, buffering and screen tearing.
e) HDMI 2.0: does it make a substantial difference over 1.4? Should I avoid monitors with only 1.4 HDMI?
No idea. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=hdmi+2.0+vs.+ ... &ia=videos

Unless your heart is set on getting a new laptop too, a cheaper solution would be to buy a used midrange desktop computer around 4 to 6 years old and a fully 4K-capable graphics card with 2 or more GB of fast DDR4 VRAM and a wide bus (256k) and use it as your dedicated home theater (theatre?) or entertainment system computer. If space is an issue you could look for one with a mini-tower or small form factor case. Then you could keep your current laptop for your office work, or buy a better one. A newer, used laptop along with a newer, used desktop and video card would probably cost less in total than a brand-new high-resolution laptop would, plus the desktop PC would be a lot easier to upgrade in the future, such as when 8K resolution becomes more common and you decide you want that.
Last edited by JayM on Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:41 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Bamber
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Re: 4k Monitor: does it make sense?

#3

Post by Bamber » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:52 am

If the size was 23/24 inch I'd say 1080p is fine.
But since you're going to buy between 27' and 31' it makes sense to go above in resolution.
But why the jump to 4k :confused: there's a resolution in between: 2560x1440 and that's what I think you should buy; it'll be a great improvement coming from 1080p but it wont tax your hardware as much as a 4k monitor. It'll be easier to scale things up too, just rise the fonts dpi and the icon size here and there.

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Re: 4k Monitor: does it make sense?

#4

Post by sunrat » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:04 pm

I have 2 systems both with 4K monitors, one with 43" (TV really but works well as monitor) driven by a GTX 970, and the other a 27" driven by a GTX 560 Ti. The GTX 560 Ti won't do 4K but it looks way better at 1920 x 1080 than my old HD monitor.
For 27" and above 4K is essential for me, never going back.
Just do it!

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palimmo
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Re: 4k Monitor: does it make sense?

#5

Post by palimmo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:53 am

Are these 2 options worthwhile?

HP 27fw silber/weiß Monitor (1920x1080/16:9/5ms/2x HDMI /1x VGA/AMD FreeSync) 159€
https://cdn.expert.de/e6/60/78/3688afa4 ... 109591.pdf


ACER Nitro RG270bmiix Gaming-Monitor (1920x1080/IPS/1ms/75 HZ/2x HDMI/Zero Frame/Freesync/Lautsprecher) 179€
https://cdn.expert.de/59/a3/4b/b473ed85 ... 104530.pdf
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j2mcgreg
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Re: 4k Monitor: does it make sense?

#6

Post by j2mcgreg » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:21 pm

Based on this review:

https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/hp/27f

I would pass on the HP. A wobble due to a flimsy stand would drive me crazy. Also keep in mind that HP doesn't manufacture monitors rather they re-brand them for the retail market. I think that you'd get a better deal by buying from monitor makers like AOC, Samsung, Viewsonic, LG et al.
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finickyrelic
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Re: 4k Monitor: does it make sense?

#7

Post by finickyrelic » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:23 pm

palimmo wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:25 am
Hi,
I'm going to buy a new monitor (something between 27' and 31') soon.
It will be used mainly connected to my laptop to stream movies and do sometimes office stuffs. I am not a gamer or graphic editor.

a) Does it make sense to spend more and buy a 4k monitor over a 1080p? (budget: max. 250€)
I currently use a dual monitor setup - 24" 1900x1200 1080p and 27" 3840x2160 HiDPi.

You should be aware that it takes a lot of fidgeting to get a workable setup if you have a mix of 1080p and 4K. Manually increasing some things like font sizes, icon sizes, and DPI in XFCE is very helpful, but you will have to get used some user interface elements being less than optimally sized (really tiny or really big).

The only setup that has Just Worked® really well so far for me was Gnome on Wayland with Fedora 30. But I prefer using MX and XFCE so I just deal with it.

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