When choosing a gaming monitor, it’s just not as easy as it used to be. With all the new display technologies coming out on a seemingly daily basis, the whole market is awash in one-trick gimmicks and buzzwords.
Between the fifteen kinds of 3D technology, curvy displays and myriad of aspect ratios available, there seems to be one factor in gaming monitor choice that people don’t really consider. After a point, how much does resolution actually matter now?
That’s not to say that people don’t look into the resolution of a monitor before buying it. The bigger the resolution, the better it must surely be, right? This isn’t truly considering resolution, merely impulse buying based on a number.
It’s easy to get sucked into the resolution hype, with gaming news’ unending coverage of whether or not the latest consoles and gaming PCs are capable of vaunted 4K resolution. There must, though, be a point of diminishing return when it comes to the importance of resolution in a gaming monitor.
After all, the human eye can only see so much definition to begin with, and increasingly high resolutions put equally increasing demands on the gaming machines and the games that run on them. The lack of prevalent 4K support in machines and game titles isn’t due to disinterest from engineers and developers. It’s a real task to make full use of such high resolutions.
Character and world models require tremendously higher levels of detail to look good in any resolution beyond 1080p. This in turn makes art and design far more expensive, which makes games of any real substance far more expensive as well.
Likewise, machines need far beefier hardware to display these immensely detailed, high-resolution worlds at the rapid frame rates all gamers have come to expect.
That said, these high resolutions simply aren’t all that practical at the moment and it’s looking to be a while yet before that changes. Does this mean that these high resolutions really don’t matter all that much when it comes to choosing a game monitor then?
Not necessarily. Resolutions higher than 1080p aren’t that practical now and they may not be for at least another generation of hardware. At the same time, the steam locomotive wasn’t all that practical for its first few years of existence either.
A new monitor of any real quality is a serious investment, and future-proofing such a purchase is a very wise decision.
So, the answer to the question ultimately is, resolution doesn’t matter that much right now past 1080p. It matters a great deal when not wanting to buy yet another gaming monitor in a few years. After all, nobody’s made of money these days.