43 inch 4k vs 34 inch 1440p

Sep 9, 2020
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I currently have a Dell Ultrawide u3417w (1440p 34inch ultrawide). With the launch of the 3000 series GPU's, I'm thinking it's time to bump up to 4k gaming. High refresh rate isn't really important to me as I'm not into esports games and I've never had about 60hz anyway, but I'd like to make the jump above 60hz this go around.

It seems the only options currently available for monitors with 4k, above 60hz refresh rate, that are above the standard 27 inch size (I feel like 27 will feel small compared to what I'm used to with the ultrawide) are 43 inches.

Now, my question. The monitor I have has a pixel per inch of 109, and a 43 inch 4k monitor would have a ppi of 103. Will I basically be making a lateral move here in that case? Just trading more screen space for about the same clarity?
 

Zoid

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Jan 13, 2020
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Yes, it's correct that you'd have a similar PPI so your monitor clarity / sharpness from the same viewing distance will be about the same. But assuming you bought a 43" monitor, would you still be sitting the same distance away from it? A 43" monitor at the typical viewing distance of a 27" monitor is going to look MASSIVE.

At 43" we're really talking more in TV terms, so you would need to give some thought as to how you're going to integrate it into your setup. Sitting right in front of a giant monitor can be nice for productivity tasks, but in games where you need to be able to quickly take in the whole screen it can be straining on the eyes. That's been my experience anyway, but maybe it's different for you!

As for the jump to 4K from 1440p, where you'd see a big difference is in games or videos where you have a lot more pixels to dedicate to any given on-screen element. So graphics will look clearer, less aliased, and more detailed.
 
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Sep 9, 2020
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Currently I sit between 20-22inches from my 34 inch 1440p monitor. It's on an adjustable arm which moves it to that distance for me. The back of my desk is about 38 inches from my seating position, so if I put the 43 inch on the back of my desk I'd be looking at a viewing distance of about 34 inches (almost 3 feet).

So I think the viewing distance should be okay. I just don't really see the point in upgrading my monitor if I'm going to be looking at the same image quality, just with more screen space to cover. I want to get a 4k monitor and say "Wow it looks so much better" not "meh it looks about the same". And please excuse my ignorance if that isn't the case in this scenario. It sounds like your last point is where the difference is.
 

Oussebon

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In your case, I'm not sure pixel density and size are the main metrics to look at.

I'd start with aspect ratio. You're losing something with the transition, going from a 21:9 screen to a 16:9. So there will be less of the game world to your sides, even with the higher resolution.

If we pretend to slice that extra width off your 34" 1440p ultrawide and leave it as 16:9 1440p, the screen would be about 26.7". So you're moving from a ~27" 1440p screen to a 43" 4k screen.

I moved from a 23" 1080p monitor to a 31.5" 1440p monitor. Both of which are very similar in pixel density. I actually wanted a 27" monitor but for reasons that aren't worth detailing I ended up with this one.

The difference is night and day. It's not just the better panel either. Looking at 1080p screenshots from my games on this screen (as in, at 1080p size, not inflated to fill the screen) just looks so empty.

As Zoid says, it's not just the pixel density but the additional pixels let the image be more detailed. Or else we'd all be playing at 720p on tiny screens right in front of us (let's ignore VR, and mobile phones...)

There's also something to be said for your eyes being filled with screen in terms of how immersive things are, with the image itself being sharper.

Ultimately you're still moving from 1440p to 4k. It's an upgrade and you're likely to feel it. The big question, for me, is whether the loss of the extra width would bug you.
 
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Sep 9, 2020
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Great info and points here guys.

Good to know that the jump from 1440 to 4k will be noticeable even in the massive 43 incher. Interesting point about the aspect ratio. On one hand, yes I think the views are more naturally beautiful on the 21:9, but on the other, I do frequently have slight issues with UI being pushed to far out from the main focus and I don't think that is a screen size issue, I think that there is just more space between what the developers made the focal point (center of the screen) and where the UI sits. So if I am understanding correctly even on the bigger 43 inch screen my UI will feel like it is closer in FOV.

Also, it doesn't appear that any 4k 21:9 monitors exists so that isn't even an option if I wanted to go up to 4k. Hmmmm tough call.
 

Oussebon

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but on the other, I do frequently have slight issues with UI being pushed to far out from the main focus
Yes, this is the other side of the coin - ultrawide resolutions are still not entirely supported / properly catered for, even in some modern major releases.

Also, it doesn't appear that any 4k 21:9 monitors exists so that isn't even an option if I wanted to go up to 4k. Hmmmm tough call.
Not surprising given that the extra pixels need even more horsepower to drive them! And that 4k monitors above 60hz are still relatively new.

I did wonder whether we might start seeing some "4k ultrawide" monitors after posting the above though. The RTX 3080 or 3090 for those with the pockets might deliver the horsepower.

Actually a quick search (searching for 5120 x 2160 resolution) does show they are starting to exist, but only aimed at professional audiences so far (e.g. I don't see mention of adaptive sync)

MSI have one that I think uses the same panel by LG.
 
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Right, and nothing above 60hz. I'd be planning on picking up a 3080 or 3090. Right now it seems like the only options are 27 inch 4k 120+ hz or 43 inch 4k 120+ hz.
 

Zoid

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Also, it doesn't appear that any 4k 21:9 monitors exists so that isn't even an option if I wanted to go up to 4k. Hmmmm tough call.
I get confused when using traditional resolution shorthand (1080p, 1440p, 4k) to talk about non-16:9 displays. A 1440p ultrawide is kinda just like a 4k screen with the top chopped off. So you can think of getting a 4k monitor as just taking your current monitor and stacking another half an ultrawide on top of it, if that helps you visualize the difference. Or maybe that makes things more confusing :p

There's some crazy stuff like the MSI Prestige PS341WU which is 5,120 x 2,160, but also $1,000 so I can't recommend that unless you're swimming in cash. (I see as I type this that @Oussebon has already pointed out the existence of these displays).

Right, and nothing above 60hz. I'd be planning on picking up a 3080 or 3090. Right now it seems like the only options are 27 inch 4k 120+ hz or 43 inch 4k 120+ hz.
I suspect part of the reason that there hasn't been a lot of exploring of the market space above 4k 60Hz is because TV sales drive a lot of profit in the industry and 3,840 x 2,160 60Hz pushes the max of the HDMI interface. And in the computer monitor space, we haven't had GPUs that can support high resolutions at fast refresh rates for that long.

I agree with @Oussebon that it's likely we'll start seeing more of these displays make it into the market as the "average" (though increasingly moneyed) PC gamer gains the ability to push these higher resolutions.
 
Sep 9, 2020
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Looks like the MSI Prestige is capped at 60hz as well. I'd be looking at the acer-predator-cg437k which is also $1000 so I don't mind the spend (probably wouldn't go much over $1k though).
 

Oussebon

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A 1440p ultrawide is kinda just like a 4k screen with the top chopped off. So you can think of getting a 4k monitor as just taking your current monitor and stacking another half an ultrawide on top of it, if that helps you visualize the difference
4k is 3840 x 2160 vs 3440 x 1440 so there are more pixels horizontally as well as vertically. But it's not like adding extra height to a 1440p ultrawide, it's more like chopping the sides off and making what's left larger and more detailed. :)
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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I sit about two feet away from a 28 inch 4k monitor and the edges are just within my vision when looking directly at the screen. Given you have an adjustable arm to fit your monitor on, a 27 inch monitor would work.

I know you said you would put it on your desk but just to add that with a 43 inch monitor you probably cannot use your arm. The weight would be too much for it. I had a look at a few 40 inch 4k monitors and they are typically 14kg or more.

This article, although missing 40 inch monitors gives a good indication of the distance to your monitor. 40 inch would probably work out to be about 3 feet.

So actually either would work and the visual impact would be very similar. Big isn't always better, the same resolution at different distances can look pretty much identical.


As for moving from a 1080p to a 4k monitor. It's a world of difference. I'm playing AC Odyssey at the moment at 1080p with some settings turned down to get 60fps. Running it at 4k it looks stunning but only runs at 12-15fps so is unplayable with my current GPU.

PS A lot of games I play don't require a lot of GPU power or work well at 30fps. Stuff like Guild Wars 2, Forza Horizon 4, Path of Exile.
 
Jan 15, 2020
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Im pretty sure the 'weird' thing about esports players is that they actually prefer to play at 1080 on like 24-27 inch monitors, not 4k on ultrawides, to get the most FPS out of the games they play. I've read that before not sure if thats an actual fact.

I do not think its a "world of difference" going up in resolution having played at 1080 and 2k and 4k, yes you have more pixels to look at which is cool to anyone but it just means you need a more demanding gpu to get the FPS at a higher resolution. Rather have a smooth buttery experience with a 1080 or 2k monitor at higher refresh rates than 4k at 60hz imo regardless if its ultrawide.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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Im pretty sure the 'weird' thing about esports players is that they actually prefer to play at 1080 on like 24-27 inch monitors, not 4k on ultrawides, to get the most FPS out of the games they play. I've read that before not sure if thats an actual fact.

I do not think its a "world of difference" going up in resolution having played at 1080 and 2k and 4k, yes you have more pixels to look at which is cool to anyone but it just means you need a more demanding gpu to get the FPS at a higher resolution. Rather have a smooth buttery experience with a 1080 or 2k monitor at higher refresh rates than 4k at 60hz imo regardless if its ultrawide.
Although by an esports player the article I linked is actually not about esports at all. A lot of other articles are too generic and say you should sit at an arm's length from your monitor which is wrong if you consider bigger monitors.
 
Sep 9, 2020
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I think 55 inch is going to be way too big for my desk. I have about a 3 foot viewing distance. Also the PPI on that 55 inch would be even lower than the 43 inch which is my original concern going from 1440p 34 inch to a 4k 43 incher.
 
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