Ask DN: 4K Monitor - Recommendations?

8 years ago from , Product Designer

Hi guys,

So, I'm debating wether or not to go get myself a 4K Monitor.. There are, quite a few on the market at the moment and I don't know which one to go for? I'm not on such a tight budget, but preferably I'd like to get a mid range one that would do the job well, for our profession. Has anyone got one of their own? If so which one and why?

I was tempted to go get myself the Samsung U28D590D (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-U28D590D-inch-Ultra-Monitor/dp/B00IJS6PCC) because of the price and gaming reasons, but again I don't know if its worth it for designing?

Anyway, I don't want to keep rambling on. If any of you have any recommendations, please let me know. I'd be very thankful!


  • E BensleyE Bensley, 8 years ago

    Slightly different opinion, but here goes: I was in the market a few months ago for a new monitor. I've spent years working with the 24" Dell range, all 1080p and IPS, really good quality screens. I was curious about 4k as a next step but I hit several problems. Firstly, most of the consumer 4k screens I looked at suffered from really poor colour reproduction, this was really obvious on the Samsung Model. Second, the refresh rates and grey to grey times were quite slow.

    I'd like to suggest an alternate route, which is a higher quality 2560x1600 or 1440 monitor from the likes of Dell or Asus with IPS and all those goodies. I went for the Asus 27" pro IPS which looks absolutely amazing. The colours are deep and vibrant, as well as accurate, with a rating of 99% sRGB. It's also about 15hz faster than the 4k model with a 2ms g2g response, much faster than the 6 or 8ms from the Samsung 4k.

    In the end it's down to preference and needs, if you don't need a fast refresh rate or accurate colour, the crispness of 4k is lovely, hence why I love my rMBP 15 so much, it's beautiful.

    Let us know what you go for and good luck!

    2 points
    • Aaron S, 8 years ago

      Thanks for the great reply Ewen! I didn't even consider getting a 1440, it seems like a great idea. So I decided to go with the Samsung, bought it yesterday. Tested it and tried it for about 2 hours. Colours are awful, you could tell there was a massive difference compared to my old HP Pavillion 23i, which was an IPS. So I've decided to go with the BenQ 4K (http://www.amazon.co.uk/BenQ-BL3201PT-32-Inch-LCD-Monitor/dp/B00P8UFBA6/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1436689549&sr=1-1&keywords=benq+4k) I did some research and a lot of graphic professionals say its fantastic. I'm returning the old Samsung, getting a full refund, and buying myself this bad boy.

      What are your thoughts, do you recon I've done the right thing?

      Thanks again for the advice!

      0 points
      • E BensleyE Bensley, 8 years ago

        Hey. I've had a look through all the reviews and this actually seems like an awesome choice. This covers the colour issue which for me was the biggest deal breaker. There's some good info on whirlpool (which is an Aus tech forum, I'm sure there's an equivalent for your area) which seems to indicate it's really good, especially the colour reproduction, so I'd say this is definitely the way to go.

        0 points
        • Dustin CartwrightDustin Cartwright, 8 years ago

          Not much help now, but the vast majority of IPS panels (accurate color reproduction) won't be able to deliver better than 4-6ms response times. Monitors with a 1-2ms response are typically TN, and suffer from color problems.

          While it's always great to hunt down the best option, I promise you that an extra 3ms on the response time won't kill your gaming ;). Unless you're a serious competitive gamer on the side, you'll be fine.

          0 points
  • Taylor Van OrdenTaylor Van Orden, 8 years ago

    I bought one from Korea about a year ago. They've gotten better over there and offer better cable options (I only have a Dual-DVI)

    I think this is the one I have? http://www.ebay.com/itm/X-STAR-DP2710-LED-MULTI-27inch-AH-VA-Panel-WQHD-2560x1440-Computer-Monitor-/331180242313?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d1be17589

    I love it, but Apple's shitty dual dvi cable is the worst. Snowflakes, weird things if my MBP goes to sleep sometimes, etc. Usually a quick unplug and replug will fix it instantly. I still love my monitor, but mostly because it's 27 inches, gorgeous, and was <$300.

    I would recommend checking out /r/monitors on reddit because they know their shit and have a good mix of people using monitors for gaming and designing and everything else.

    1 point
  • Dustin CartwrightDustin Cartwright, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    Consider a few things when monitor shopping, particularly at 4k.

    Screen size is highly important, not just because it can take up more (or less) room on your desk... There are 4k monitors as small as 24" and some as large as 32". The difference, is how large or small the pixels are. 32" will have a larger picture, since it's the same resolution over a larger canvas; While a 4k 24" monitor will be pretty compact.

    The panel type is also extremely important. If you're a designer first and gamer second, get an IPS panel - no debate. TN panels have 1-2ms response times, but the color reproduction on them is poor enough to really make designing accurately very hard. IPS panels typically have response times around 4ms - 6ms, but I can personally promise you that the extra response time isn't noticeable at all. We're talking fractions of a second here, and unless you're a professional gamer you wouldn't even be able to notice.

    The monitor price and/or manufacturer availability is getting more flexible with 4k hitting the consumer level, but I would suggest sticking to the more commonly known brands. Dell, Samsung, LG, Asus, etc. You can definitely save a few hundred dollars getting a Korean monitor, but you're going to be working on this day to day... Do you really want to risk getting a monitor with funky color reproduction? Expect to shell out for a solid IPS 4k monitor.

    Finally, if at all possible buy your monitor locally. You can compare against other models in-store, or at the very least have the option to return if the pixels are just too tiny (really, it's a problem).

    0 points
  • Doug OrchardDoug Orchard, 8 years ago

    I'm running a Dell 2715q ( 27" 4K ) at home and at work. 4K is great as long as you have an IPS panel. Tried and tested TN panels and gradients look disturbingly bad, so bad my first 4K monitor had to be returned. Chose Dell in the end for their out-of-the-box calibration and higher quality builds. Performance on a older macBook Pro does get hit with a 4K external screen. Overall 4K is great, all the current OS's support it but you will find your self upgrading your PC's graphics card. Must admit 4K on 27" is a bit over kill. Now that I have it, I wish the monitor was minimum of 32" in size as I tend to sit too close to the monitor. This isn't a complaint just a nuance. Last comment to have is that if you are running MacOS and 4k, get divvy app. That way you can have all your apps on the one screen.

    0 points
  • Matt Mischuk, 8 years ago

    I've been patiently waiting for Apple to release a retina 27-inch thunderbolt display.

    0 points
  • Kevin SuttleKevin Suttle, 8 years ago

    I was thinking that a single curved display would be perfect. 5K and curved? That sounds about right. :)

    0 points
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 8 years ago

    I thought they would be more expensive.

    I can't recommend a specific one (I'm using the 5k iMac), but I can tell you that they look gorgeous and to get ready for a performance drop if you're using PS.

    0 points
    • Patrick SchneiderPatrick Schneider, 8 years ago

      how badly is the performance drop? Manageable or disturbing?

      1 point
      • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 8 years ago

        PS was never very fast but you should keep in mind that the canvas is rendered at a native resolution. That means that on my screen a 1920 file will be half the size of what 1920 would be on a normal monitor so I need to use 3840.

        You can work out the math for your DPI and see how it works right now - it's not about the monitor itself.

        Some people recommend zooming to 200% but you will quickly get used to the sharpness of everything else and your work will look blurry.

        0 points
        • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, 8 years ago

          I have a Retina iMac at both my work location and my home, both of various configurations. Photoshop is extremely difficult to use (as is Illustrator). I primarily use Sketch, but the performance lags with the Adobe stuff made it dreadful to work on a .psd or .ai

          If you use Affinity or Sketch its nbd though. And mannnnn is it nice. 5k is out of control beautiful. I love looking at the screen, couldn't ever go back.

          1 point