Question 27" 1440p vs 4k for productivity/light gaming? (~$500)

grizzlybeer

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Apr 23, 2014
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Hi guys, I want to upgrade my smaller monitor (of 2) that I use mainly for work (spreadsheets)/browsing, and occasionally play games (90% prod, 10% gaming). I currently have a 24" 1920x1200 60hz and 22" 1680x1050 60hz. When I play games I typically play single player games, occasionally Vermintide 2 or Total War: Warhammer 2 being the most taxing games I own, on a R9 280X. I dont think I'll be updating the GPU anytime soon as I would imagine I have to start my build from scratch. I like the idea of having more screen real estate on the 4k but I hear that downscaling may be necessary to view stuff, so I wonder if just getting the 1440p with higher refresh (165hz) makes more sense. The 2 monitors I'm looking at are the LG 27UL600-W ($430) and the Dell S2721DGF ($500).

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/lg-27ul600-w-27-ips-led-4k-uhd-freesync-monitor-with-hdr-silver-white/6329956.p?skuId=6329956

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-27-fast-ips-qhd-gaming-monitor-with-vesa-displayhdr-s2721dgf-freesync-and-g-sync-compatible-1ms-response-time/6421624.p?skuId=6421624
 
Last edited:

TK31

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Nov 4, 2011
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For productivity, unless you go a physically bigger size, my personal minimum for 4k being 32", a large resolution in my experience makes font hard to read at smaller screen sizes unless you use custom scaling which can make things go a bit funny in certain applications. 1440p @ 27" is great, with 165hz giving you a buttery smooth productivity experience (scrolling will be smooth etc.).

As for gaming, your R9 280X wont be able to make good use of the 4k, as even some current gen graphics cards struggle to pump out 4k gaming. A 1440p would fare better in this instance however, it would not reach the full 165hz under more taxing games. So with both monitor options in terms of that 10% gaming, you are basically "futureproofing" for when/if you upgrade your GPU.
 
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grizzlybeer

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Apr 23, 2014
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Thanks for your feedback! I couldnt decide on which to choose so I got both and will return the one I dont like. The 4k I picked up already and the 1440p is being shipped soon.

I was in awe at what the 4k looked like, only to then discover I was looking at it with 150% scaling!! I tried changing it to 100% scaling, which made me understand why people avoid doing so on a 27". It gave me a headache to try to read things, and I understand what people mean by many apps/websites not being optimized for 4k - so much empty space! As such I'll give the 1440p a proper go and likely keep that one, since the 4k would be running at 150% anyways, but I would have the increased refresh on the 1440p. Plus I really like Dell monitors.
 

tdxloki

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Thanks for your feedback! I couldnt decide on which to choose so I got both and will return the one I dont like. The 4k I picked up already and the 1440p is being shipped soon.

I was in awe at what the 4k looked like, only to then discover I was looking at it with 150% scaling!! I tried changing it to 100% scaling, which made me understand why people avoid doing so on a 27". It gave me a headache to try to read things, and I understand what people mean by many apps/websites not being optimized for 4k - so much empty space! As such I'll give the 1440p a proper go and likely keep that one, since the 4k would be running at 150% anyways, but I would have the increased refresh on the 1440p. Plus I really like Dell monitors.
Which did you eventually keep?
I have essentially the same setup (Asus 16:10 24' ProArt paired with a R9 280X) and have the same basic question. I have been looking for either a 4K 30' expecting to run at 150% or 1440 27' with at least 144Hz refresh.
People say that the 144Hz is for games but the quickness will be noticed on simple desktop applications, i.e., mousing and scrolling and just smoother.
On the other hand, the pixel density of 4K will make text sharper, even with the need to run at %150 scale.
I am leaning toward the 4K because while I am currently using 60Hz refresh which seems adequately smooth and I don't know any better the smoothness of 144Hz but sharper text and 2D lines might be a nice improvement for reading documents and working with powerpoint and excel.
I game even less than you.
What do you think?
 

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