Question Lost - old or new, HD or 4K, HDMI 2.1 apocalypse?!

TheJuggernaut

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Feb 12, 2014
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Hi Guys,

Made the mistake or replacing my old, ratty, disgusting carpet in my office w/ some ceramic tile and opened pandora's box. That of course led to, new paint on the walls, new paint on the trim, repainting the bookcases, some new furniture, and finally - the setup. I'm not gonna lie, I thought I knew what I wanted, but it's totally thrown me for a complete loop. I've got a POS 'L' shaped corner desk with enough workspace for maybe 1 notepad. Speaking of which, my present setup is the microboard 34" ultrawide 100mHz flanked by 2 Asus 24" VG248 144mHz HD monitors. All of it's run w/ the gigabyte gtx 1070.

First, I really like the Microboard 34" Ultrawide. It's great at pretty much everything. The only strange thing is if you don't use it in split mode, every website you go to seems to have more margin than content, lol. It's an awesome, well-rounded monitor, but the obvious drawback is the 2 asus's never see 144mHz due to the MB being limited to 100. I game maybe 20% of the time I'm on the computers, so I'm probably going to end up selling the Asus(es?) Even when I'm gaming, it's solely on the MB.

So, I'm sure you guys would probably recommend what I considered first...just get another MB and sell the 2 Asu(i?..figured maybe multiple asus would be like fungus is to fungi?) That'd be great if it were that easy, but the MB's have vanished from the market, save some guy selling them for almost DOUBLE what I bought mine for. Want to say I paid $600, and the only place I found them was on ebay for $1k.

Queue the OCD. Well, now I can't just have 2 different brands of ultrawide monitors. It would bug me everyday - seriously. So rather than pay another $1k for the MB on ebay, I've thought of a few alternatives. All in all, I'd like to stick to within $500 + whatever my current setup would sell for. From the looks of it, that'd probably be $150x2 for the asuss and anywhere from $400-$800 for the MB (i seriously have no clue what it would go for, but it's in flawless condition) - so say $1.2-1.6k for everything. Of course, that begs the question of what are the makers coming out with since HDMI 2.1 has been out for almost 2 years now. Stuff's gotta be coming down the pipe, meaning (maybe) affordable 5-8k displays, price drops on the 4ks, etc. I don't want to remodel my office and have it become obsolete overnight!

I've considered a few options, but don't know how the GTX 1070 would factor into the equation (be it overkill or underkill). Here's what I've considered:
  • Sell the MB, get another asus vg248 w/ a nice triple monitor stand and put maybe $100-$200 back in my pocket
  • Keep the MB, sell the 2 asus, and wall mount a 55" TCL above the MB - which would be pretty much a wash.
  • Sell all 3 monitors and jump to 2 - 32" to 35" 4k monitors and dual monitor stand. Probably go w/ a wall mount or elevated stand/mount for the monitors as well to free up a ton of desk space. Could be a wash, but likely pull out $100-$200 out of pocket.
  • Sell all 3 monitors and jump to 2 - 32" to 35" 4k curved monitors. I'm a sucker for the sexy sleek look of a curved monitor. I'm just not sure it'd be worth the extra $300-$400 which puts me at the top of my budget.
  • Sell all 3 monitors and jump to the 49" super ultrawide samsung. It's on sale for $1k at the moment, but I think I'm too much of a snob to consider a 1080 - just kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It does almost everything else I'm looking for - looks decent, great for productivity, great refresh rate at 144, but it's still 3840x1080 - which I can presently get with just 2 of the asus! That set would look great (IMO), but I'd probably end up in the red $200-$300. Might as well just get the 3rd asus and go 5760x1080 w/ a triple stand for ~$300 - which means I'd likely come out ahead by $100-$300 - while avoiding instaobsolecense if HDMI 2.1 start flying off the shelves. Actually, I'd probably come out further ahead than that - because at that point, there's no real need for the GTX 1070 either. I've got an old GTX 680 collecting dust that'll drive 3 HD monitors like a top. So I could maybe add another $250-350 for that in my pocket...it just isn't 4k! Which also drives me nuts. Once you've seen 4k next to HD, it's like looking at a corvette next to a pinto.
  • I've also tried rotating the 2 asus displays to portrait instead of a landscape orientation - hate it, and it looks terrible.
So that's where I'm at. No-wheres-ville, USA, and been trying to decide what to do for the last two weeks. I'm sick of looking at monitors and TVs lol. To 4k or not to 4k is the question, and while I do love battlefield, I just don't play enough FPS'ers to justify dumping gobs of money into a beefy GC or 4k 144mHz monitors. Heck, half the time I play the old school company of heroes anyways!

What would you guys do? I'm kind of leaning towards dropping back to 3 x asus and going from the 1070 to 680 option, and then throwing that money towards a larger, nicer desk (which I've also grown ridiculously sick of look at. I won't get into desk options now, but there's no good layout for this room. It's got a really weird shape that's impossible to bring any symmetry to. Two doors, 1 wall has a bookshelf on it, 1 wall is 80% 6' tall windows, 1 wall is a chimney with this weird 17" storage nook on one side, and one wall is normal. I'm about to just burn it all down and continue using my laptop, lol.

So, advice, options, criticisms, send it all! I can't decide what way to go.
 

gasaraki

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Jun 11, 2008
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Wow. OK. So you're wrong here "what are the makers coming out with since HDMI 2.1 has been out for almost 2 years now. "

TVs with HDMI 2.1 ports are just getting released this year and only the high end stuff. HDMI 2.1 for desktops is still pretty much useless because 1. Displayport 1.3 has been providing the need bandwidth for years now and 2. Computer monitors don't need anything really from the HDMI 2.1 port that the 2.0 port can't do maybe besides 4K bandwidth at 120Hz and above.

If you maybe only play games 20% of the time, I don't see why you need 144Hz monitors...

Out of your options I would choose option 2 or
option 3 but just do one 4K monitor (not TV) 27" or bigger. TVs don't make good monitors, remember that.
 

TheJuggernaut

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Feb 12, 2014
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Thanks for the advice!

So you think the bottleneck today is the graphics cards instead of the monitors or transportation format used? There seems to be a fair amount of moderately priced 4K monitors. It's not until you add the curve or the higher refresh rate where the prices seem to really jump.

You know, I've heard that a lot about TVs (making bad monitors). I'm guessing that applies mainly to the gaming side of the equation? I was actually surprised after casting to the 55" TCL that's actually 2-3 years old now. The clarity actually seemed better than the laptop. Of course, that doesn't make sense unless the TCL has some pretty trick upscaling?..or maybe my eye sight is just going. They're advertising the 55" we already have at $340 which is a really great price (even if the 120 mHz claim is kind of a joke). It looks like they have a new Dolby Vision HDR version as well, that's about $100-150 more. I couldn't tell you if it was worth it or not. The 55" would dwarf the 34", but could be useful for presentations and what not (I work out of my home office), so I might try the 50" or even the 43" instead. I guess the real question is how close is too close to the tv for work purposes?
 
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gasaraki

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Jun 11, 2008
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Yeah 4K monitors without any fancy features like high refresh rate are cheap now.

If you are mainly using the computer for work and will be sitting a little bit away from the TV, you can use a 4K TV as a monitor. Just realize that TV have high input latency and response but if you are not playing games, that wouldn't matter. Even TVs in "game mode" have an display latency of 15 to 25 millisecond vs 1 to 4ms for monitors.
 

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