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How you can enjoy 4K games and movies on a PC

It's something natural and inevitable: once you've tried your best, you will hardly accept less than that. The same goes for technology: if you have already tried 4K games and movies on your computer, the 1080p will seem little less than obsolete and you will do anything to get it. Then we tell you what you need to continue enjoying 4K, although we anticipate that it is not cheap. By the way: before buying, we recommend that you inform yourself about the best graphics cards and the best 4K monitors.

man with 4K games and moviesBill Roberson / Digital Trends

And is that making your system conform to the specifications for 4K is not as simple as it is for 1080p, or even 1440p. 4K? Keep reading and find out what you need.

A powerful graphics card is fair and necessary

If your wallet is open to invest in a 4K screen, we recommend that you keep it in order to continue spending, now on one or two high-end graphics cards. To play in 4K it is important that your graphics card processes large amounts of information in the blink of an eye, and for that, you must ensure that your graphics card has the necessary capacity.

Video RAM is the key to 4K games, and in our tests, we realized that if you don't have a graphics card powerful enough, you'll have trouble handling the amount of processing 4K requires.

With 12 GB of GDDR5X, the Nvidia GTX Titan XP is the most powerful card in existence and can handle 4K games better than any other configuration in the world. However, its amazing price of $ 1,200 dollars makes it unattainable. Fortunately for many, it is not the only option.

The Nvidia GTX 1080 and its slightly more powerful brother, the GTX 1080 Ti, are also fantastically fit for 4K. The best thing is that you can find them at $ 550 dollars and $ 700 dollars respectively. If you go down to 1070 or less quality, only older games or those with very low settings can be played.

Also, AMD has some options. Your Vega 64 graphics card is capable of playing 4K (with a single card) and you only have to invest around $ 580 dollars. On the other hand, the Vega 56 is not as viable, although it can offer decent 4K gaming experiences.

As for laptops, the 4K game is still quite difficult. Even the best gaming laptops prioritize lower resolutions and higher frame rates, since playing in 4K is incredibly tiring, even for desktop hardware.

It is also unlikely that you can really appreciate the details of 4K on a laptop screen of less than 20 inches. But if you plan to power your laptop with a 4K gaming screen, you should buy the most powerful system you can find, something like an Alienware 17 R5.

It is worth noting that Nvidia is expected to release a new generation of graphics cards in 2018 and AMD its own new technology in early 2019, so it may be a good idea to wait a few months to see how they turn out. After all, Nvidia's GTX 10 series graphics cards are in some cases up to two years long.

Another option that some consider with 4K games, are the twin graphics cards in SLI or Crossfire configurations. While that is feasible and is often necessary to achieve high frame rates at maximum levels of detail in the most demanding games, you should know that the winnings are not linear.

Nor are there many games that adequately support dual GPU technologies, so consider wisely before committing to PC configurations with multiple cards, as they can be more problematic than they are worth.

Processors and RAM are not that important

Although, regularly, gaming PCs include a powerful central processor and high-speed memory, they are not as important for running a system in 4K, as is a decent graphics card.

When it comes to selecting a CPU to match it with your graphics card, you want to make sure it is fairly recent, although it does not need to be high-end. If you opt for an Intel CPU, make sure it is from the last generations, at least a fourth generation chip, and from the Core i5 or Core i7 processor range. If you are looking for AMD CPUs, the big leap in performance that was made with your Ryzen line means that, your best bet is to start with the Ryzen 5 chips and upload according to your budget.

As for RAM, although higher speeds can help increase frame rates in some games, by a percentage point or two, just make sure you have enough for the type of system you are running.

How to choose the right screen?

Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

Finally, you will need a 4K monitor. But choosing one today is not as simple as being. You can spend more than a thousand dollars on high update speeds and synchronization technologies, or a couple of hundred, on a more basic offer. What you choose depends on the budget and the requirements you have regarding the features and specifications.

If you plan to play on your new 4K screen, the higher update rates are useful, but unless you over-money, you're going to have trouble boosting games in the 60 most common FPS. All our favorite 4K monitors are more image-oriented than faster gameplay.

Size is an important consideration as well. If you buy a screen too small, you will not be able to appreciate all the extra pixel details. There are also some problems of scale in certain games and professional software. Some allow you to scale the interface, but that can reduce the sharpness, which is half the reason why people buy 4K monitors in the first place. We believe that if you buy a 4K screen you must be at least 27 inches.