Extreme builds: 4k or 3X1080p?

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setup powerful 4k Graphics technology Monitors extreme Displays
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Hello to all readers, this is my first tutorial and any suggestions/ improvements are welcome.

Let me start off with description of the urge or neccessity to get such high end setups. People have different budgets, and therefore buy accordingly, but there're some people who have really impressive builds and 1 FHD or 1440p is just not sufficient to really test the build or get the build to it's potential. That said, movie buffs, serious 3D developers/ VFX/ graphic renderers and others have specific needs to get 4k, the most common being to get more density in a smaller size for more efficient projects or more details for their cinema level movie-watching urge.

Whatever be the need, one really don't need a 4k or 3XFHD setup with regular usage or streaming or basic development. Gamers do love such setups, especially the 3XFHD for the insanely realistic fun in racing games. Developers on the other hand would love 4k to get most out of their workspace. But these statements are very general and therefore I'll try to get deep into the matter from here now.

Basic requirements:
First and foremost, the components (mainly GPU) to run either setups efficiently. Atleast R9 290 or up/ GTX 780 or up is the bare minimum for running these setups. Titan and its Black version are the choice of developers and renderers due to better double-precision point technology it uses. The recommended setup to get most out of the setups is GTX 780 or 780 Ti SLI or R9 290 or 290X CF. Also, there should be the actual need to get such setups. Having $1k in spare doesn't always mean extreme setups if you're a casual gamer or not a pro developer.

Mainstream resolutions:
These resolutions are HD, HD+ and FHD, and are common the common choices for regular user. HD resolution corresponds to 1366X768 pixels and is considered a bare minimum resolution to work with nowadays. This doesn't offer great detail, and so many pre-built PCs, especially laptops and monitors come with a slightly higher 1600X900 HD+ resolution, which offers a better density and therefore greater detail. This might not always be the case as the sizes of display vary greatly, the best size to work with HD or HD+ would be 19"/21" and 23" respectively. Any higher size would not be enjoyable from the normal 2-3 feet distance.

So to tackle these issues, we have FHD or 1080p display, which corresponds to 1920X1080 pixels, and is the preferred choice for any type of user with a moderate to high budget.The sizes go upto 27"+ and it offers what we call Full HD and is the highest mainstream resolution currently used by numerous of TV/ Internet streaming service providers. It offers great detail and a gamer/ developer with a good or even high budget ($1.2k+) don't normally go higher than this.

A third type of resolution, the Wide Quad HD, or 2560X1440 pixels. Its the resolution from where enthusiast level resolutions (the ones in this topic title included) take up. This one is a great resolution for the power user and is rapidly becoming budget friendly too. Its the link between FHD and 4k. Much greater detail and is generally complimented with high end cards (GTX 770 or R9 280X or higher).


4k, an early glimpse:
Well, 4k simply is four times the FHD resolution. The journey for 4k has been like that of FHD in its early years. Very less native 4k content is available. Its still very expensive ($500+) and it isn't always pleasant to increase text size in windows for text to be readable.
But it has got its own advantages as well. So much pixel density means a very good platform to do 3D development on, to watch the movies in the best way possible on PC(except the ones connected to TV) with the best detail.

3XFHD, a BIG setup:
We're all familier with our FHD TV sets and/or PC Monitors. Good image quality, mainstream and very much budget friendly. That's exactly what ethusiasts don't like, mainstream. They need something which, if not the highest pixel density, can atleast give them a big area to game/ develop/ render on. So they just add 2 more FHD $200 Monitors to get off. Sounds pretty fun.

The deeper reasons:
4k: People really like more and more detail in their setups. History is evident, people have always inclined towards detail over size in computers. 4k is a technology which'll become as mainstream as FHD or even 720p by the end of this decade definately. The size is unlikely to increase beyond 32", but density keeps growing. 1440p are making their presence felt in the market right now. It seems like every few years a better resolution becomes commercially available.
720p became available in early 2000s, FHD was the preferred choice of high end users by 2008-9, 1440p put its front solidly in early 2012s and now in 2013-14, UHD has grown popularity among enthuaists. No wonder, bigger is better is not the slogan, efficient is better surely is. People don't want 40" screens (some do want them) but rather want more pixel density.

3XFHD: Games are very good on FHD, but it feels like something is missing. Also, when you're rendering 3 different videos in the same program, it feels congested, physically. That is why people take 3XFHD setups. A gamer gets it to get a surround experience while gaming. A developer gets to get more space to do simultaneous work and thuse be more efficient. They look majestic, especially if they have very thin bazels and are absolute compliment a power user's setup.
4k may not be differnciable from FHD from some distance, but three 23" FHD monitors aligned side by side sure do look brilliant and exotic.

So what should I choose?
What's your needs? One would ask. IF you're interested in pro gaming and want to feast on the surround experience, get the 3XFHD. Developers, if you need more space to work on, but have limited space or don't want bazels to disturb you, get a 4k.

I'd prefer 4k for both gamers and dvelopers for one specific reason: Its an evolving tech, and its garuanteed to become the mainstream resolution by the end of this decade. So why not invest today and reap the rewards?

Games are becoming more and more 4k-able and in a few years time the extreme test for high end cards would not be 80+ FPS on Ultra on FHD on latest titles, but rather 60+ FPS on 4k on Ultra, which most single GPUs fail to do today.

It'll not be surprising to see a 120Hz 4k monitor to release next year. But its almost sure that no single GPU, except the beefy 6GB or above, will handle Ultra on 4k with 60+ FPS in the next few years, but I may be completely wrong here.

I'd really want developers to try out 4k, its a really good platform to build complex designs without sacrifying on a view of the complete build. Its an A1 platform, and better than 3XFHD for developers IMO.

Gamers, 4k is a really good option but since they want quality of gaming, it'd be better to game with 3XFHD to get a amazingly realistic experience. But there're some games which don't like 3X setups, but for racing games, its a dream setup. 4k Won't help much here.

Conclusion:
If you're planning to invest for a long time (5 years or so), then 4k is an extremely viable option, it'll be mainstream after some time (5 years) and so will be affordable too. You can buy a couple of more 4k then and a beastly rig would be waiting to get the most out of the then latest games, which should support multi 4k. Make sure you're not on R9 290X CF or 780 Ti SLI or it'll be a bottleneck most probably. A tri or quad SLI or CF with the then latest GPUs or atleast 2 way Titans is recommendable for Multi 4k.

But, if you're planning to upgrade in the near future (2-4 years), and are a gamer, a 3XFHD is a very much desirable option. It'll not be an inferior resolution for atleast 3-5 years from now. And 4k isn't much optimized for gaming right now.

Source:
Self written, based on experience with FHD, 4k (currently in use), 1440p, 720p and alot of other display types including 16:9 (best one), 4:3 (still good), 5:4 (somewhat weird but I had one) and 21:9 (no use).