Preview of 4K Gaming Performance
As far as display quality improvements go, recently the focus has been on either better colours with IPS displays or the faster 120 Hz and 144 Hz offerings with 3D features (neither of them for any reasonable price unfortunately). Today, TV and monitor manufacturers aim for the next big thing – 4K resolution (3840x2160) with 4 times as many pixels as the current HD standard (1920x1080). Running games at that resolution gives the same performance hit as enabling the 2x2 SuperSampling anti-aliasing at 1920x1080, which is a lot.
Recently, AnandTech did a quick preview of max settings 4K performance in Metro 2033, Dirt 3 and Sleeping Dogs. While GTX 680 and HD 7950 are still very capable cards, only Dirt 3 is not too demanding for them at 3840x2160, where they still give 40 FPS on max settings. For the other two games, only QUAD GTX Titans provide enough performance for 60 FPS at max settings at that resolution.
Obviously, lowering settings considerably would allow playable framerates on more popular cards, but it is rare to see benchmarks where current high-end GPUs are in the back at unplayable framerates. The 4K displays themselves are still pretty expensive as well, so such resolution increase will remain beyond what most gamers are willing to spend for a while. All in all, today, for a high quality gaming experience at 4K you will have to spend 4K on a monitor and another 4K on graphics cards.