Forget Choosing Between 4K or 3×1: Enter NVIDIA’s Surround 4K
Posted on October 18, 2013 9:30 AM by Rob Williams
One of the best experiences as a tech enthusiast is witnessing the progression of certain technologies, such as displays. As a gamer, though, there are some forms of progression that don’t get me quite as excited as others. Take 4K, for example, one of the most in-your-face buzzwords this year.
You might be asking, “How on earth does this dolt not appreciate 4K?” – the truth: I do. However, with AMD and NVIDIA talking so much about it as of late, I felt like both of them forgot about another technology that I greatly appreciate: Multi-monitor. Remember a couple of years ago? It’s all either company could talk about, and I’d like to think that it’s for good reason.
A 4K resolution is the equivalent of 1080p x 4, or 3840×2160 to be precise, and it shares the same aspect ratio of 16:9. As such, while any game running at 4K is going to be noticeably crisper, what you see on the screen is going to remain 1:1; in gist, you don’t see more of the game, you just see a crisper game.
Compare this to 3×1, where three monitors work in tandem to display up to 300% of the scene (certain games are more like 250% due to how the side displays render for peripheral vision). Regardless of the game, I appreciate being able to see more of the world, and for that reason, I have a far greater interest in 3×1 than I do 4K.
There’s just one compromise, and I’m sure it’s obvious: 4K 3×1.
At its press event being held in Montreal, NVIDIA announced just that. Say it with me: Dayum!
Just a couple of years ago, 2560×1600 seemed like a monster resolution (and to be fair, it still is), but compared to 4K, it’s paltry: 4.2 megapixels vs. 8.3 megapixels. Introduce 4K 3×1 into the mix? We’re talking a ridiculous 24.9 megapixels.
If what we might as well call 25 megapixels doesn’t have the oomph required to get the point across, consider this: The final resolution is 11520×2160. It strikes me as rather significant to see a resolution break through the 10K pixel width.
It goes without saying that such a mammoth resolution is going to require a mammoth GPU setup – I’d imagine quad GPUs are not going to be entirely uncommon for those blessed enough to own 3x 4K displays. And in truth, most of today’s games are likely unable to run at truly desirable levels even still – bear in mind that at this point, we’re talking 1080p x 12. It’s almost mind-boggling to think about.
What’s not mind-boggling is the fact that I want such a setup, and I know I’m not alone.