Your 1440p gaming monitor may actually be an undercover 4K panel... but don't get too excited | PCGamesN

Your 1440p gaming monitor may actually be an undercover 4K panel... but don't get too excited

4K gaming monitor

Panel manufacturers are occasionally selling 4K panels under the guise of 1440p gaming monitors. While prices can vary wildly between Ultra-HD (UHD) and quad-HD (QHD) monitors, it’s supposedly only a nominal price difference to manufacturers who would rather get monitors out the door than wait on supply shortages.

While popular for gamers as a sweet spot between resolution and high framerates, 1440p (or QHD) panels never quite took off in the TV space. That left 4K as the emerging standard for modern TVs - entirely skipping over quad-HD. The knock-on effect this popularity is that 27-inch UHD panels are now as cheap, if not cheaper, than their 1440p equivalents.

We’ve searched high and low for the best gaming monitors around. Here’s what we found.

So rather than hold up the entire production line, some panel manufacturers find it cheaper, or at least worthwhile, to instead swap the panel out for one of a higher resolution and write off the usual premium for 4K. Now if only the parity in 1440p and 4K panel pricing was represented in consumer pricing, too...

The news comes from Prad (via TechPowerUp), a German tech site that specialise in displays, who spoke with the unnamed panel manufacturers. They confirmed the occasional panel swap was often carried out when 1440p sales outstrip supply.

Acer Predator monitor

It’s unclear how many monitors are affected by the purposeful mix-up, as we don’t yet know which panel manufacturer actually employs 4K panels in lieu of 1440p. Anyone with one of these undercover 4K monitors can’t simply ‘unlock’ higher resolutions either. Any monitors with UHD panels masquerading as 1440p are locked behind (supposedly) impassable firmware. They would say that though...

Non-native resolutions don’t appear quite as crisp or sharp as those running at the intended 1:1 pixel resolution. The pixels displayed on-screen may appear blurrier than a native counterpart under certain conditions. Since it’s also impossible to unlock a full 4K resolution, these ‘free’ high-res panels really aren’t all they're cracked up to be.

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SkankwOn avatarShriven avatarJacob Ridley avatarJac Atax avatarKourgath223 avatar
Shriven Avatar
3525
3 Weeks ago

Do a product test! This story might have some legs.

2
Jacob Ridley Avatar
44
3 Weeks ago

I'd love to right off the bat, but all of the 1440p monitors we've reviewed recently have all been sent away :(

I have a feeling even if we did round up some 1440p monitors that we would just end up with native panels across the board... the 4K panel swap is likely a very limited occurrence.

1
SkankwOn Avatar
201
3 Weeks ago

Hmmm, interesting! I have a BenQ XL2730Z Freesync monitor which is 1440p.

It was one of the first Freesync displays to market though, so I doubt mine is 4k in disguise. I'm guessing this is a more recent practice?

1
Jacob Ridley Avatar
44
3 Weeks ago

I'm afraid we don't know how long this has been practice. Nor do we know which panel manufacturer this is in regards to.

If you haven't noticed a lack of sharpness up until this point, however, you're probably all good :)

1
Jac Atax Avatar
227
3 Weeks ago

Looking forward to future articles on how to overclock/unlock your monitor.

1
Kourgath223 Avatar
1
3 Weeks ago

I think my Samsung C27HG70 is one of these since if I use the HDMI cable and look at the monitor information through the monitor's menu it says the native resolution is 3840x2160, though strangely when using the DisplayPort cable it reports 2560x1440 as the native resolution so not sure what is up with that.

1