Video games in 4k resolution are everywhere these days. And we have 4k TVs flourishing on the market to thank for that. It comes as no surprise that people want to play their favorite games on the larger screen with crisp, realistic images that 4k TVs offer.
But are 4k TVs good for gaming?
Facts About 4k TVs and Gaming
4k resolutions are now standard for most modern TVs, with four times more pixels than Full HD. Many new video games are available in 4k resolution, as well. However, older games and consoles will still work with 4k TVs.
How Much Input Lag Do 4K TVs Have?
The lowest input lag you can find on 4k TVs is at 8.8 ms with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
With Variable Refresh Rate, a 4k resolution can give you up to 6.1 ms of input lag.
What Are The Refresh Rates On These Models?
The refresh rates of 4k TVs are either 60 Hz or 120 Hz, with some TVs supporting Variable Refresh Rates.
What Is Variable Refresh Rate?
A Variable Refresh Rate lets you maintain screen integrity in a video game as the TV renders on-the-fly.
Unlike movie clips, where everything is already rendered, video games render data every time you input a command.
The Variable Refresh Rate helps your TV keep up with the movement you input to prevent screen tearing.
Do 4K TVs Have a “Game Mode”?
Many 4k TVs feature a Game Mode that helps improve gaming performance.
Game Mode is a setting that diverts processing resources to lower the input lag on your TV. It improves how fast your TV responds and the reflection of keystrokes while sacrificing a bit of image quality.
Can All 4K TVs Be Used As Computer Monitors?
You can use any 4k TV as a computer monitor, but there will be some limitations.
- First, you’re going to encounter some lag when you make inputs with your keyboard or mouse. You can resolve this by turning on the Game Mode.
- Second, image quality might not be what you’re expecting, given that the TV has 4k resolution. To get better results, you will need to have a video card that uses at least HDMI 2.0 to get 4k resolution with 24-bit color. A good example of graphics cards that can do this are the Nvidia 10-series and GTX 950 to 960 cards, as well as the AMD RX Vega 56/64 and 500-series graphics cards.
What About LED PlayStation and Xbox Compatibility?
You won’t have any issue using your PlayStation and Xbox with a 4k TV.
But you only get the full benefits of the 4k TV when playing 4k games. Older gaming consoles and games can work with your 4k TV if the TV has a good upscaling feature.
If you want to use an old console, go for one that can do at least 1080p gaming.
Do People Generally Use 4K TVs For Gaming?
While many people still use lower resolution TVs for gaming, many people are now switching to 4k TVs.
That’s because the prices are starting to go down on these units.
With 4k now being the standard resolution for newer TVs, it is only a matter of time until most people shift to 4k TVs for gaming.
When video game developers shift to 4k as a standard for gaming, it will be a 4k world!
How Good Is the Image Quality and Resolution on 4k TVs?
For the most part, 4k TVs have exceptional image quality, although that will depend on the brand.
One of the primary considerations that dictate the image quality is the type of display. 4k TVs using OLED have better colors when compared to their LED counterparts.
But LED displays are not prone to burn-in, unlike OLED displays.
There are 4k TVs that have better image quality than their upscale 8k counterparts. That is proof that bigger resolutions don’t always equal better image quality!
Can Video Games Ruin 4K TVs?
Video games don’t pose any problems with 4k TV.
Unlike before, when CRT TVs could get ruined by video game use, modern TVs can handle video games without potentially damaging them.
Whether you use 4k or full HD, video games won’t hurt your TV.
Are 4K TVs Durable?
4k TVs have a lifespan of up to seven years with heavy use.
With light to moderate use, a 4k TV can last for more than 10 years.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of 4k TVs for Gaming?
The advantages of using a 4k TV for gaming:
- 4k TVs provide better image detail than full HD displays—four times the resolution, in fact.
- And since you get more pixels in an area, 4k TVs provide a clearer depth of image on the screen.
- If you watch a lot of 3D movies, having a 4k TV can help improve 3D imaging.
On the downside:
- You only make the most of 4k TVs if your content is in 4k.
- You need HDMI 2.0 at least to maximize the 4k resolution.
- 4k TVs can cost more.
What Are the Qualities of a Good TV for Gaming?
If you are looking for a good 4k TV for gaming, the first thing you need to get is a low input lag. Having a low input lag helps reflect commands from keyboards or gaming pads to the screen faster.
The second thing to look for is Variable Refresh Rate. This feature does not come standard for all 4k TVs, but it makes a big difference when you are playing 4k video games.
If you can’t get a Variable Refresh Rate, you can settle with a 120 Hz refresh rate.
You might not be able to play games with 4k resolutions at high frame rates, but you still get a smooth gaming experience even with shooter games.
What Are the Best 4K TVs for Gaming?
Should you decide to spring for a 4k TV for gaming, the only problem you will have is choosing which one to get. As 4k TVs proliferate the market, you will find plenty of options available.
Here are some of the top picks for 4k TVs for gaming.
The LG CX is a favorite among buyers.
- It sports an OLED display, which gives you wider viewing angles, sharper blacks, and better color accuracy.
- The CX features one of the lowest input lags you can find in a TV today, which is great for gaming. It also supports Variable Refresh Rate with FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility and has near-instantaneous response time.
- Sweetening things further for the CX is its Auto-Low Latency Mode, which switches the TV to game mode when it detects a video game being launched.
- And, even with HDR, the CX still performs top-notch with low input lag.
- The viewing angles are wide, which makes this TV perfect when playing multiplayer games with family or friends gathered around the TV.
- For the downside of things, the CX is prone to burn-in, like any other OLED display.
If you can’t handle the burn-in risks of the LG CX, then give the Samsung Q80T some thought.
- It’s the best 4k TV you can get with an LED panel.
- It comes with HDMI 2.1, which lets you play 4k games with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The Q80T also supports Variable Refresh Rates that minimizes screen tearing, as well as a low input lag.
- The Q80T features Black Frame Insertion to mitigate motion blur.
- It also comes with local dimming, so you can use the Q80T in dim environments.
- Viewing angles are wide, thanks to Ultra Viewing Angle technology by Samsung. Although it does compromise contrasts for this feature, the image quality is still impressive.
- For the disadvantage of this TV, the Q80T’s Variable Refresh Rate and 120 Hz Refresh Rate is only available for models measuring at least 55 inches. That means the 49 and 50-inch models are stuck with a fixed 60 Hz.
Vizio M-Series Quantum 2020
The Vizio M-Series Quantum 2020 is a budget offering worth considering if you want a 4k TV for gaming.
- For its gaming features, the M-Series comes with FreeSync support. And while it is limited to a 60 Hz refresh rate, it still performs quite decently.
- Response time is also exceptional and comes with a Black Frame Insertion feature for better clarity during fast-paced scenes. Input lag is also low, even with the Variable Refresh Rate or HDR gaming.
- Speaking of HDR, the M-Series supports HDR10+ and Dolby vision with an extensive color gamut.
- On the downside, the M-Series has some issues with upscaling content from 480p and 720p. It also has limited viewing angles, so it’s not the best TV available for multi-player gaming.
4k TVs are everywhere, and more video games are being developed to meet this resolution standard. It is only a matter of time until 4k becomes the default resolution for gaming consoles.
4k TVs for gaming are a good investment and will last you years when taken care of properly.