Back at the beginning of December I got excited about (opens in new tab) the prospect of actually affordable Ultra High Definition (UHD) screens coming to our desktops in the very near future. As well as announcing the 24-inch UP2414Q - a lovely IPS IGZO panel with a hefty price-tag - Dell also hinted at a sub-$1,000 28-inch 4K screen.
That sounded perfect for PC gamers hoping for affordable 4K screens in future. Sadly it looks like this particular screen was a little too good to be true.
Despite the uber-res of 3840x2160, and a reported 5ms response time, the P2815Q is restricted to just a 30Hz refresh rate when running at its native resolution. That's simply not good enough for PC gamers.
It's a real shame as Dell had been showing the screen off at CES last week in Vegas, and framed the $699 monitor as a great choice for 4k gaming. When I first heard the reports that it was restricting the panel refresh to 30Hz at 3840x2160 I had hoped that was purely on the aging HDMI connection, but sadly it's the same for the DisplayPort connection too.
Dell has had to make that compromise, along with using a twisted nematic (TN) panel instead of an in-plane switching (IPS) option, in order to keep the price of their 28-inch monitor down. But for gamers it's just a compromise too far.
I had the impressive (though frighteningly expensive) Asus PQ321Q running at 30Hz while I was struggling to get the big screen running happily with my test rig and its simply not a pleasant experience no matter how big the resolution is.(opens in new tab)
But while 4K is a possible future for PC gaming, it's still a way off becoming anywhere near a mainstream option. What you can get very soon though are some rather lovely-looking 27-inch 120Hz G-Sync screens, like Asus' RoG Swift PG278Q. I'm hoping to get my mitts on one when they arrive in the Spring.