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Can You Use a 4K TV for PC Gaming?


Before computer monitors were ever a thing, TVs were the go-to output devices for computing worldwide. However, their limitations called for the development of specialized computer monitors. 

These monitors were designed to offer higher-quality pictures and speed. It made it all the easier for them to replace TVs completely. 

Fast forward a couple of decades, and technology has made it possible for people to enjoy higher-quality videos and content on their TV. You can find content in various high-definition formats, from 1080p HD to 4K UHD. 

Considering that TVs are much more reliable in terms of video and image rendering, it begs the question: 

“Can you use a 4K TV for PC gaming?” 

On top of that, would it be a great idea? 

We answer both of those questions, plus more, in the succeeding sections. Stick around to learn more. 

Can You Use a 4K TV for PC Gaming or Not?

A smart TV in the living room

Yes, most modern 4K TVs can be used for PC gaming. To get the best picture, you’ll have to make sure that it has at least an HDMI 2.0 port and a framerate of 60.  Additionally, you need to ensure your graphics card supports HDMI 2.0 so you don’t experience HDCP handshake issues. 

If you own an older 4K TV, connecting it to a PC for gaming might not be ideal. Older TVs are typically equipped with the older HDMI 1.4, meaning it wouldn’t be ideal for gaming. 

On top of that, older 4K TVs have a framerate of 30, which is hardly enough to support most of today’s PC games. 

Will a 4K TV Give Me Better Graphics for Gaming?

A 4K TV in a woody living room

TVs are popular for having better color accuracy than most PC monitors. This is why 4K TVs have become a staple for most digital content creators. 

However, 4K TVs can be a hit or miss for gamers. 

Here’s why:

Input Lag

A woman is frustrated because of TV lagging

Input lag is a major factor to consider when it comes to gaming. This determines how long a picture is rendered on-screen after a command is made. 

If the input lag is too long, it can cause all sorts of inconveniences to your game, e.g., poorer response rates, more defeats, and just less enjoyment for players overall.

Some higher-end 4K TVs do a good job at shortening input lag. However, the majority of them aren’t as dependable. 

Computer monitors, especially those specifically created for gaming, have little to no input latency at all. This makes them a better choice for intermediate to professional gamers. 

Refresh Rates

A man watching 4K TV in his bedroom

Refresh rates refer to the number of times an image is drawn on your display per second. It’s often represented by the unit “Hz” or “Hertz” and can often be found on the backside labels of monitors and TVs. 

If you’re into competitive gaming, making sure you have a refresh rate of at least 144Hz is essential. And while most computer monitors can meet this “golden standard” in gaming, the same can’t be said for 4K TVs.

Most 4K TVs are equipped with a refresh rate of 120Hz. It’s not the worst refresh rate around; however, it’s also not sufficient for most modern-day PC games. 

Pixel Density

A TV in a white living room

Computer monitors have a higher pixel density than most modern 4K TVs. Pixel density is the number of pixels within every inch of your screen. 

The higher the density, the more vibrant and crisper images can be. On the flip side, the lower the pixel density, the higher the likelihood images and texts appear blurry.

For example, the LG C1 4K OLED  TV will perform better compared to a regular LED TV like the TCL 40-inch smart TV .

Should I Use a 4K TV for PC Gaming? 

A man using 4K TV as a PC

There are benefits to using 4K TVs for PC gaming. Here are some of the most common reasons why people use 4K TVs for gaming: 

Affordability

Due to the technology involved in creating gaming monitors, this equipment can get expensive in a flash. Although 4K TVs also often come at a premium, costs aren’t always as exorbitant as buying a gaming monitor. 

Viewing Distance

The great thing about 4K TVs is that it allows you to enjoy your games from a distance. You can be lounging on your sofa playing Elder Ring and not worry about how painful your back will feel in a couple of hours. 

You also have more flexibility in terms of viewing angles with a 4K TV. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in the far corner of your living room. Your viewing experience won’t be affected. 

A man using TV to play game

Flexibility

You can use a 4K TV for much more than just gaming and watching movies. In fact, many content creators use 4K TVs to edit images, videos, drawings, and more. 

The bigger screen gives them a better view of important details that otherwise wouldn’t be spotted on a smaller screen.

Can You Upscale PC Games to Fit 4K on TV?

A kid playing game on 4K TV

That depends on the type of graphics card your computer has. If your computer has a graphics card equipped for the job, like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (Founders Edition) , you can. 

Does the upscaling happen automatically?

The upscaling process can happen automatically for some computers and 4K TVs. It will still depend on your computer’s video settings and if the auto-upscaling feature is turned on (or present at all). 

If it doesn’t happen automatically, you can visit the Nvidia menu to tweak the settings and allow auto-upscaling to 4K.

The bottom line

An adult playing game on TV

Both computer monitors and 4K TVs are great for PC gaming. 

Going for a slightly more affordable 4K TV is a great way to boost your gaming experience without breaking the bank if you’re on a tight budget. 

On the other hand, if you have a higher budget than most and want to enjoy a more stimulating gaming experience, a high-end gaming monitor would be a great choice. 

Keep in mind that features and specs will vary between devices. Thus, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the same content quality between any two devices. 

Before making a final decision, double-check your choices, so you don’t end up wasting your hard-earned cash. 

And that’s basically all you need to know about 4K TVs for PC gaming.

Last update on 2022-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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