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What Is 5K Resolution? A Basic Definition

27-inch iMac with 5K display

5K describes a display resolution of 5120 x 2880. Resolution explains how many pixels a display has in length x width format (the more, the better when choosing a PC monitor).

Few monitors actually have this resolution today, though Apple's 27-inch iMac offers it. LG's 27-inch Ultrafine 5K monitor also outputs at 5120 x 2880. Few games benefit from running at this high of a resolution. Unless you're a graphics professional, you can probably be satisfied with a lower resolution screen. 

Common Monitor Resolutions:

5K5120 x 2880
4K3840 x 2160 (typical monitor resolution)4096 x 2160 (official cinema resolution)
Ultra HD (UHD)3840 x 2160
Quad HD (QHD) aka Wide Quad HD (WQHD)2560 x 1440
2K2560 x 1440 (typical monitor resolution)2048 x 1080 (official cinema resolution)
WUXGA 1920 x 1200
Full HD (FHD) aka 1080p aka HD1920 x 1080
HD aka 720p1280 x 720

This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary.

Further reading: 

  • AllanGH

    5K is the industry's latest way of unburdening the impatient of their money; and fostering the mentality of continual and frequent upgrades, just to "keep up with the Joneses"...