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4k monitor pros/cons

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thinking about an end of year purchase of 4k monitor for my windows machine.  Does VW tolerate a 4k monitor?  What are the pros and cons of making this move?  I have a gtx 1070 card, but might also upgrade that if need be.

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On 11/25/2019 at 6:37 AM, grant_PD said:

thinking about an end of year purchase of 4k monitor for my windows machine.  Does VW tolerate a 4k monitor?  What are the pros and cons of making this move?  I have a gtx 1070 card, but might also upgrade that if need be.

 

Curious about this as well.

 

I have a 3K, 2000x3000, 13" screen on a Microsoft Surface Book. My eyes aren't great now, but the clarity is really good and makes up for the small screen. I'm amazed how well I can work on it - almost as easily as my 1.9K, 1200 x 1920 , 24" monitor. 

 

I'm guessing a 4K, 24" or larger monitor would be better than my current monitor.

 

Hoping someone with real world experience chimes in.

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I ended up getting a wqhd (2k) screen, 32" for my main screen.  I was scared off of 4k by reports that the OS has trouble scaling with that resolution.  I love the resolution, VW is very crisp and clean and I don't need to zoom around so much.  My secondary monitor is my old 27" HD monitor, so the palettes are a little larger naturally, which helps out as well.  Very happy with my choice.  

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+1 for 2 WQHD (2560x1140) monitors, I'm using Dell 25" WQHD monitors and they are a nice balance between monitor size and resolution and graphic card requirements (i.e. you don't need a very expensive recent graphics card). Text and icons are smaller but still very readable. The GTX-1070 will have no problems with two WQHD monitors (I used a GTX-960 with that setup without issues).

 

For a dual monitor setup it is best to have both monitors to be of the same size and resolution.

 

With 4K you may need to scale to make things readable and with that you'll loose some of the advantage of 4K over WQHD when it comes to screen real estate.With two 4K monitors you will need a new graphics card as well in at least the higher mid range or lower high end segment with 8GB of memory (e.g. nVidia GTX-1660 TI or RTX-2060 Super or the AMD RX-1750/1750XT).

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For now I tried to avoid HiDPI monitors too.

(Although I like my cheap small 24" 4k HiDPI Dell very much !)

 

Just because I think OS and Software aren't that ready today.

- The only OS where HiDPI works perfectly is macOS.

- Windows itself works well while I have problems with Software.

(Mainly Bricscad)

- On Linux HiDPI scaling needed from 2018 until end of 2019 to

finally appear on mostly all Distributions and Desktops.

Now it works basically well for me in Linux itself (KDE here)

but not only Bricscad, still many Software, even Firefox may show

mere results with text or icon sizes.

 

My eyes are bad already, but with scaling, I would prefer any highres

monitor in general. But not all Software is ready for it for now.

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I was just searching to see if anyone else noticed perspective issues with 4k monitors and ran across this thread.  I am running dual 4k Benq 32" PD3200U.  Here is my experience.

 

WINDOWS 10 DESKTOP

Home built with a GTX 1080ti and a slightly older AMD FX CPU.  Both monitors at 4k with 125% zoom.

Honestly, flawless.  The workspace looks and runs great.  Flyover perspective is excellent.

 

2018 Mac Book Pro

2.9 i9 with the VEGA 20.  Mojave.  Both monitors at 4k.

UI scaling is needed.  Flyover @ normal perspective looks awful at 4k and the icons are insanely small.

 

I run VWX fully on just a single monitor at a time although both are in use.  The WIN10 is a better experience.

 

Your GTX 1070 will push 4k just fine.  I highly recommend it on Windows.  Mac, at least on my MBP, leaves something to be desired.

 

 

 

Edited by Industrial Event Services
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A GTX-1080 Ti is noticeably more powerful than a GTX-1070. In theory the GTX-1070 should be able to drive two 4K displays but how smooth it will be I don't know as it will also depend on how much strain the software is putting on the GPU.

 

The issue I have with 4K is that if one needs 125% scaling you loose some of the advantage over a WQHD monitor and two WQHD monitors definitely provide a wider working area than a single 4K monitor which is what most people want/need and may be cheaper as well (though not necessarily as it depends on the kind of monitor). I prefer to get monitors that I can use at full resolution, without scaling.

For using two 4K monitors at full resolution (i.e. 100% scaling) the GTX-1070 might be on the edge between usable/not so usable depending on software requirements, not just of VW but also of other software.

 

Taking into account the size of icons and text on a 25" WQHD I would go for a monitor size of 29" at least, preferably 30" or 32" for a 4K monitor if you don't want to scale.

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Microsoft has greatly improved automatic scaling for High DPI screens. My 2016 MS Surface Book has a 3000x2000 resolution 13" screen. The recommended Settings/Display is 200% For 99% of applications it automatically works just fine, and VW has always looked surprisingly "normal". For a few applications, a tweak is needed.


I was concerned a 13" screen would be too small, especially for VW. So, I tested a screenshot pic of VW at a local store. Everything seemed readable. The clarity of MS PixelSense makes up for the screen size. I have not had a problem reading items any more than my 1200 x 1920 , 24" monitor. Though very readable, I would still rather have the new 15" Surface. VW "snap loupe" using the Z key is especially great for small screens. And, I do make use of tool palette auto-hide so the drawing area is as large as possible. 

 

Based on this, I suspect a 4K display would render VW just fine, and it would be good for other apps. But, I would want to experiment seeing a screenshot. Not concerned about newer GTX cards running 1 or 2 4K monitors. 

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I run VW often on a 17" 4K Windows 10 laptop. I have the Windows display scaling set to 225%. 

Most everything works great and I am getting used to it to the point that I miss the resolution on my desktop monitor. The general display scaling setting is really just changing the size of the text and icons on the screen. I still get a benefit in the 4K resolution in the drawings I am working on. 

The only real issue I have with vectorworks is the size of the radio buttons in the object info pallet - they are very small and somewhat tedious to hit on the 4k monitor, and I have not found a way to scale them up without over scaling everything, but I have gotten used to it.  

Other applications vary. Some - mostly older software I have not upgraded - are not "resolution aware". I occasionally use an Adobe CS4 suite, for example. The photo I am working on looks great on the screen, but the tool pallets and menus were initially very, very, VERY small.  But, I have found a work around in the program specific windows settings for almost everything where I needed to adjust the scaling different than what windows was doing.  

The only issues I have now are...I guess you would call them "sub programs" or other windows that open up within a program. Some of those windows open up and are not resolution aware, even though the main application is, which results in weirdness, or "teeny tiny-ness". But this is usually just things like help windows, message windows, etc. so not a real big deal. 

S

 

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Unfortunately scaling scales everything on my Win10 system, so a 4K monitor with 200% scaling would actually have the same working area of a 2K monitor without scaling, the only difference being that text might be a bit larger on the 4K monitor.

 

While this may be useful for small monitors/screens, I'd rather get a bigger monitor for 4K resolution so that I wouldn't have to scale the display.

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Hmmm.

Windows scaling doesn't change my screen's resolution - it is still 4K. The scaling just changes the number of the pixels used for text, icons, etc.  and, i believe that those things need to be of a certain size to be usable, regardless of screen resolution. And so does the size of objects you are snapping to.  

 

When I zoom out, I see more detail on my 4K monitor than I do on my other monitors - I don't lose line weight nearly as quickly, etc. So the 4K helps me visually...BUT...I can't use much of that resolution to actually work. And so perhaps that is what you mean by "working area" - and  I would agree that functionally, the 4K monitor does not help my actual work flow a whole lot. I still need to zoom in to make the area I am working on large enough to accurately click and snap - and the amount of screen required to do that didn't change much regardless of the screen resolution - it has more to do with user interface accuracy. 

 

And in fact, I was at first regretting spending the money for the higher resolution monitor, because I thought I would be able to have more on my 17in "desktop".

 

But, as I mentioned, I have gotten very used to the resolution, and I miss it when I am working on my larger older monitors, because details don't look as crisp and clean, etc. Is my 4K twice as clear as a 2K monitor. No. Is it more clear. Yes. Am I glad I have the 4K screen 6 months in. Yes. The closest analogy that comes to my mind is getting a new eye glass prescription after a year or two of growing older. I can still see fine with the old prescription, but...

 

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10 hours ago, SLFY said:

Windows scaling doesn't change my screen's resolution - it is still 4K. The scaling just changes the number of the pixels used for text, icons, etc.  and, i believe that those things need to be of a certain size to be usable, regardless of screen resolution. And so does the size of objects you are snapping to.

 

10 hours ago, SLFY said:

When I zoom out, I see more detail on my 4K monitor than I do on my other monitors - I don't lose line weight nearly as quickly, etc. So the 4K helps me visually...BUT...I can't use much of that resolution to actually work. And so perhaps that is what you mean by "working area" - and  I would agree that functionally, the 4K monitor does not help my actual work flow a whole lot.

Yes that is what I meant, the monitor resolution does not change but the useable area does.

 

It is like having a twice a big living room, you will have more space but if the furniture also gets twice as big then not much of that extra space is left. Which is why I said I would prefer to get a monitor with a size where I don't have to scale.

 

The reason why it looks crisper on your 4K monitor is that at the same monitor size the higher resolution will result in smaller pixels being used for the display so it will be able to show finer detail better (e.g. comparable when zooming in on the same image with a 72 dpi or 300 dpi, the latter will allow you to zoom in far more and show finer details because of the less coarse pixels). Which is one of the reasons why you don't lose line thickness that quickly as with a lower resolution monitor because you have more pixels to use for showing line thickness.

 

So yes there is a benefit as you mentioned, but when it comes to working area (which is usually the reason for getting a higher resolution monitor)  having to scale is not making for an optimal investment unless you get a monitor size where you don't have to scale but still can see everything well. The poster I was responding to was looking at 24" or larger with 4K, which would require scaling at anything below 27" or 28"  (unless he has eagle eyes).

 

 

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I hope we aren't two ships passing in the fog here..but I don't understand how a larger monitor helps with making use of the 4K resolution. The pixels per inch does not change regardless of how many inches big the screen is. Any 4K monitor is going to show a resolution that is higher than you can functionally work. 

 

Again the advantage is the detail you can SEE in the 4K monitor. If I could take a 4K resolution screen shot of my 4K screen, and opened it on a 2K screen, in such a way that all the pixel were showing, it would take up roughly twice as much screen in both directions. 

 

 

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23 hours ago, SLFY said:

The pixels per inch does not change regardless of how many inches big the screen is.

Actually pixels per inch do change depending on monitor size. The total number of pixels does remain the same. 4K resolution is actually an incorrect term, it should be 4K pixels.

 

I.e. 4K is 3840 pixels horizontal and 2160 pixels vertical (there are slight variations depending on which 4K definition we are talking about but I'm taking the commonly used one)

Let's assume a 24" monitor is 24" wide and a 32" monitor is 32" wide instead of diagonal, just for calculation purposes.

Defined this way, fitting 3840 pixels in 24" gives 160 ppi, on 32" this would be 120 ppi, so resolution in ppi does change with monitor size. With 160 ppi you are fitting in more pixels in an inch than with 120 ppi, so the pixels need to be smaller. This in turn means you need more pixels to display the same apparent width on your monitor if you are scaling so with zooming out you'll still have those extra pixels and will lose line width less quickly than on a lower pixel density monitor (i.e. larger monitor) as you already noticed.

 

This difference in ppi is why the same 4K will look sharper on a smaller monitor but also smaller without scaling. With a larger monitor the pixels are larger so a 20 pixel wide line will also seem thicker than a 20 pixel wide line on a smaller 4K monitor because the pixels are larger respectively smaller. With scaling you are basically simulating larger pixels to make things look larger/less tiny.

 

Scaling your display on a monitor does affect your actual working area though compared to non-scaled monitor as I mentioned earlier in this discussion, so in general I would aim for a monitor size where you don't have to scale but still have a sharp display. This is why I would rather prefer a WQHD (approx. 2K) non-scaled monitor over a 4K monitor with 200% scaling if the monitor size would be in the 24"-26" range. For a 4K non-scaled monitor use I would go for 32" or not too much lower than that (e.g. 30" if you have good eyes). That way you would get the most out of teh monitor's "real estate".

 

23 hours ago, SLFY said:

Again the advantage is the detail you can SEE in the 4K monitor. If I could take a 4K resolution screen shot of my 4K screen, and opened it on a 2K screen, in such a way that all the pixel were showing, it would take up roughly twice as much screen in both directions. 

Yes it would take up twice as much "space" on your 2K monitor but the detail is just because you are using twice as much pixels to display exactly the same thing, so compared to a 2K monitor of the same image it looks like you have more detail. But what you don't have is a bigger image in the sense of content.

Without scaling you would be able to fit more content on the screen, but the detail in ppi would be the same if the amount of content would be twice of than on the 2K monitor because the pixel/content ratio would then be the same.

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Ha! Well only one of the ships was in the fog. If I would have ever given it a thought, I would have realized that amount of data that would be required for a large 4K screen would be massive. Duh. Guess the moron who's big screen TV is a 10 year old 32" should keep his mouth shut on resolution.

 

So I now see why you feel the monitor size is important for full use of the 4K - thanks. 

 

However, my point still stands. My newest monitor is a 17" 4K (laptop)...and now that I have used it for a while, when I go to replace my  other 2K monitors they will be replaced with 4K regardless of the size I feel I can afford / have room for. In my mind there is a definite benefit to the resolution when I am working - not night and day, but a benefit. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 4:26 PM, SLFY said:

However, my point still stands. My newest monitor is a 17" 4K (laptop)...and now that I have used it for a while, when I go to replace my  other 2K monitors they will be replaced with 4K regardless of the size I feel I can afford / have room for. In my mind there is a definite benefit to the resolution when I am working - not night and day, but a benefit. 

I agree there is some benefit in your usage case. The only thing to keep in mind is whether the GPU can handle two 4K monitors smoothly in combination with the software used as all those 4K pixels still need to be handled by it, regardless of scaling or not.

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BenQ 32" 4k monitor off laptop with GTX 1070.  

No problem with power and speed but with Windows scaling set to 150% or higher which is ideally where I want it for icon size, things are a bit blurry.  125% is fine.

 

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