LG's 34-inch 21:9 monitor leads me to believe ultrawide is better than 4K

LG’s 34-inch 21:9 monitor leads me to believe ultrawide is better than 4K

LG’s 34-inch 21:9 monitor leads me to believe ultrawide is better than 4K

After using a 4K monitor for a long time, I’m getting a little tired of next-gen gaming resolutions. They don’t noticeably offer anything beyond what you’d get from a beautiful 27-inch IPS 1440p screen. The thing is, while 4K does give a huge boost in pixel count, it doesn’t make a huge difference in games where the texture resolution doesn’t change. All you really have to do is increase the frame rate in exchange for the possibility of being able to lower the antialiasing settings a notch. If you’re looking to drastically upgrade your gaming monitor, you should seriously consider the new ultra-wide 34-inch 21:9 screen that’s coming out of the factory of all the good monitor manufacturers out there.

4K enthusiasts might talk about the benefits of increased desk space, if not for the fact that affordable 4K screens are all 28 inches and at 100% zoom, without your nose touching the panel. Advances in desktop and browser scaling mean you can increase the size of fonts, icons, and web pages, but you have to say goodbye to the extra space.

The extra width of a 21:9 screen gives your games an extra dimension that 4K simply can’t. The impact is huge and requires real experience to get the full effect.

I had a 4K panel on my desk at my office, and it was of little interest, but when I fired up the LG 34UM95, a huge crowd poured into the test bench — something we haven’t seen since our last Oculus Rift launch . Mac Format and Imagine FX watched with glee as we traveled through the asteroid belt in Elite: Dangerous, exchanged hotlines with internet folks in Battlefield 4, and gaped at Chris Nolan’s Interstellar The Ultra Wide HD trailer for Crossover.

You probably don’t spend as much time (if at all) looking at the far edges of an ultrawide monitor, but the extra visual cues you get from the extra peripheral vision can make a huge difference in games. We’ve seen 21:9 panels before, but the 29-inch 2560×1080 screen felt too cramped in vertical space for use on a Windows desktop. However, this 3440×1440 resolution looks great even when you’re not in the game.

Another bonus: you won’t be squeezing your poor GPU to this ultrawide resolution. There are less than 40% more pixels in this 21:9 panel than in a standard 2560×1440 screen. At 4K resolution, your graphics card needs to process more than 120% more pixels.

The only problem now is the price. At around £800/$1300, this LG 34UM95 is too expensive to be a realistic option, but there will be cheaper versions released by other companies that have basically the same screen. AOC and Philips are launching similarly spec panels at the same price as affordable 4K screens – and they’ll be the real temptresses for this new line of gaming monitors.

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Wilbert Wood
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