fyi - typos in verdict: should be "has proven" and "fewer texture units"
Very late night writing. I'm impressed that's all there was actually.
Serious question: does 4k on medium settings look better than 1080p on ultra for desktop-sized screens (say under 30")? These cards seem to hold a lot of promise for large 4k screens or eyefinity setups.
This is going to be relative to the game, and to the users perception. Medium settings will have lower quality shadows and lighting, both of which are not improved just be resolution alone.
Some games will look great, and most will likely play excellent, but do you really want to spend $550+ on a graphics card to play your games at medium?
4K can make up the difference of not using anti-aliasing, but it can't improve low quality visual features beyond making them look sharper.
I was in microcenter the other day, one of the very few places you can actually see a 4K display physically. I have to say i wasn't impressed, everything looked small, it just looks like they shrunk the images on PC.
Maybe it was just that monitor but it did not look special to the point where i would spend $500 on monitor and $650 for a new GPU.
Sounds like you only got to see the monitor in a Windows environment, and not a gaming perspective. Windows 8.1 doesn't scale 4K displays very well, making everything much smaller, sometimes to small to work with. Windows 7 is even worse.
Windows 10 is supposed to have better scaling for 4K displays, but I haven't personally had a chance to verify this so take that as you will.
I'd like to point out that before LCD screen were popular, 19- and 20-inch monitors used to have ridiculously high resultions that made everything tiny. This was the norm back then, and even saught after. It's only since the immergence of 4K screen that we've gone full circle in that regard. People are just used to larger icons and text now.
I hope you can add the 5.7 driver results.
Aside from the spot testing we mentioned, we did not get a chance to fully benchmark the card with that driver before the samples we both had were sent back. My sample was gone before the driver was even released. Igor only had a few hours with it at the time.
Future reviews will of course run the newer driver so we'll those tests for you as soon as we can.