If there is one space I’ve typically skimped on with my PC it has been in the monitor department. Or if not skimped per se, then definitely at least been behind the times. I suppose I’ve sort of jumped between the two states here and there. It started for example with refusing to move on from CRT.
I got up to a 19″ CRT while everyone else had already moved onto LCD. And honestly, it wasn’t even anything to do with the fact LCD panels started to catch up in refresh rate or visual quality that ultimately made me switch. No no, what finally got me was going to LANs and watching enviously as others breezed across the carpark with their LCD screens vs. the herculean effort required the lug the 19″ CRT that far.
I forget exactly when, but it’s only been in the last 4 or 5 years that I invested in a monitor with a higher than 60hz refresh rate too. But I still went 1080p, looking for performance over visual fidelity. I thought people trying to jump to 4K at that stage were crazy. (And actually, that far back, they probably were.)
A bit over a year ago, I probably went in for what was truly a pricey monitor (by my standards), an ASUS 27″ 1440p IPS panel that could still support 144hz refresh rate. That’s what I’m using now (with the prior 1080p monitor sitting alongside as secondary).
Even that relatively small seeming increase from 1920×1080 to 2560×1440 was quite a revelation to me. And I found it to be a fantastic balance in visual quality and performance. While I’m not running a current generation RTX card, I do have a 1080ti which is more than adequate for powering that resolution.
Which brings us to today…
Like Jeromai’s, it’s still 49″ and retains the crazy 32:9 aspect ratio. But given that is already a monitor of behemoth proportions, I think not going bigger still was probably the right call. The biggest upgrade over last year’s model is the jump from DFHD (Dual Full HD, 3840×1080) up to DQHD (Dual QHD, 5120×1440).
It is a lot of pixels to drive, which does concern me a little. But it’s less than a 4K res panel asks of your video card by roughly a million, so given 4K benchmarks I’m reasonably hopeful I wont have to sacrifice in the frames department too heavily.
The other concern is of course support for the resolution. Even 21:9 — the far more common widescreen format — is only barely beginning to pick-up steam. In fact, consulting Steam’s Hardware survey results, at the time of writing this 5120×1440 (or last year’s 3840×1080 for that matter) are bundled up into the ‘Other’ category for Primary Screen Resolutions which as a whole has 1.83% representation.
The more common 21:9 resolutions have ~1.69% between them. (Compared to the still prevailing 1920×1080 at a whopping 63.47%.)
Still, watching from afar it does appear that support is improving overtime. And… This might be a bit of blasphemy amongst the widescreen diehards… But black bars don’t bother me terribly.
While not ideal, I could happily play my older titles in 16:9 in the middle of the screen — or, more likely — put them into windowed mode with other things alongside.
And then there is the HDR aspect and the whole new world of caring about ‘nits’! Apparently in this case they’re a good thing to have, unlike back in school. ;) Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey supports HDR on PC apparently, so mayhaps I’ll have occasion to go back and finish up after all.
In any case. Order is in. Now just to wait. And of course, in typical Nait style — I decided on what I wanted and received approval from the Boss (read: Wife) to actually make the purchase on a Friday after close of business.
I got a good deal on the price ordering from who I did, but now that the waiting has commenced I almost would rather to have paid more to just pick it up. Hah.