Question 4k monitor at reduced input resolution ?

jradley

Active Member
Hi,

I have a dilemma, hope someone can offer some advice......

A new job means I need to expand my monitor set-up at home. I currently have a Dell U2311H which has been brilliant for both work and photo editing, but I now need an extra monitor for all the stuff work requires.

I quite fancy going to 27" as I think it hits a sweet spot in terms of size. I got thinking that if I'm going that large I could also go 4k. But here's the problem - my eyesight isn't 20:20 and running it from the PCs (Windows 10) at 4k without scaling everything is going to look tiny. It will be fine for my home PC which is entirely photo editing but my work PC is a typical mix of browser and office type apps. I am led to believe that Windows scales many apps really badly.

The question therefore is how practical is it to run a 4k monitor at reduced input and have it upscale ? My thinking is I would get a new KVM capable of supporting 4k and run my home PC 4K and my work PC 2560x1440 (or even 1920x1080, as that might scale easier). Are there external upscalers that could do the job without costing more than the monitor itself ?

Is this a good idea or a really, really, bad idea ? I was thinking of the Dell U2720Q BTW.

Cheers,

John
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I am led to believe that Windows scales many apps really badly.
Nah. While some Windows applications do scale badly (although fewer than a couple of years ago) it's often because the application developer isn't designing for it rather than a lack of support on Windows.

There are a some cases where windows is the limiting factor, but they tend to be more niche things like dragging between two monitors with different scaling factors.

Although if you're worried about early adopter issues I don't quite understand why you're looking at a HiDPI screen in the first place, just go for a normal resolution?

Having said that 27" is a bit of an awkward size at the moment since there's no option for an equivalent pixel size to [email protected]". Only 1920x1080 again, or the 32" resolution of 2560x1440 which means everything will be smaller than you're used to when scaled down to a 27".


Resolution scaling is well supported, both the monitor electronics itself and your graphics card drivers will happily scale whatever windows output is to whatever the screen resolution is. No need for external boxes.
 

jradley

Active Member
Resolution scaling is well supported, both the monitor electronics itself and your graphics card drivers will happily scale whatever windows output is to whatever the screen resolution is. No need for external boxes.
Ah, but will it look any good ? If I force the graphics card to say 1080p or something else less than 4k will the monitor do a good job of making it look nice - that is my concern. I appreciate the quality of upscaling in the monitor will very a lot from product to product, but it's not something I've found covered in any of the reviews - I'm sure they are all tested at native resolution.

As for Windows 10 scaling - I did a quick experiment on my work laptop to my current display by scaling to 125% - I wasn't impressed :(

Oh, the reason for considering 4k at all is simply so that I have the ability to display 4k content in all its glory. It's not really a thing for me right now, but if I'm investing in a high end monitor I'd like to future proof it.

Cheers,

John
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Have a look at this PC monitor review site, he covers it, look for the "Interpolation and upscaling" section near the end of the review, he typically offers some suggestions settings for scaling, it wont ever look as good as native but can mitigate some of the softness.
 

jradley

Active Member
Thanks for that - I've not come across that review site before. It doesn't cover a comprehensive review of the particular monitor I'm after, which is a shame, but the reviews of others show a mixed bag when it comes to upscaling. The evident thing is, which is perhaps to be expected, is that none of them look as good when upscaling as native.

If only there were decent shops where you can actually try out monitors hooked up to a PC or my own laptop. I did pop into Currys PC World but they had nothing even close to what I'm after. I hate doing it but I may just have to buy online and return it if I don't get along with it.

Cheers,

John
 

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