8K gaming monitors: why you shouldn’t expect them in 2023

Finally, 8K is on its way to gaming monitors. At least that’s what Samsung’s new Odyssey Neo G9 2023 is pushing to usher in a new generation of gaming displays. But 8K itself is nothing new. With GPUs and consoles he has been recognized as mainstream in gaming for nearly three years.

As the era of next-gen displays begins to arrive, we feel that 8K should be the destination for the next big game. But don’t buy the hype. It will be a long time before 8K gaming becomes mainstream, but there are several big reasons.

what we have now

There is one 8K monitor currently on the market. Dell’s UltraSharp UP3218K sells for a whopping $4,000. It’s also nothing new, being released nearly six years ago at this point. This means it doesn’t have the connectivity of HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort 2.1 and is fixed at a refresh rate of 60Hz.

Monitors have evolved over the years, so it’s a wonder we haven’t seen 8K development in front of monitors. The most practical reason is the connection standard. Even with a 60Hz refresh rate, an 8K monitor would require a data rate of around 50 Gbps. It wasn’t until 2020 that HDMI 2.1, which supports around 45Gbps of data, became widely supported, while DisplayPort 1.4 only supports around 26Gbps.

Monitors like the UltraSharp UP3218K have useful compression features, but the short answer is that there weren’t any cables and ports that could transfer the massive amount of data needed for 8K resolution.

DisplayPort 2.1 changes that. Offering data rates of 78Gbps and supporting 3:1 lossless compression, it can support 8K at 144Hz with High Dynamic Range (HDR) turned on. When the UltraSharp UP3218K was released, there weren’t enough ports and cables to transfer enough data to an 8K gaming monitor, but now they are.

The ecosystem surrounding DisplayPort 2.1 is currently in question. AMD’s RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT support DisplayPort 2.1 and are very powerful GPUs, but Nvidia’s latest RTX 40 series graphics cards do not. Similarly, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are locked to HDMI 2.1. That connection supports 8K at 60Hz, but these consoles aren’t strong enough to drive that resolution (not powerful enough to drive native 4K).

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs.
Jacob Roach/Digital Trends

Frankly, even the best graphics cards available today cannot drive 8K. The only GPU that makes sense is the RTX 4090, in large part because that graphics card supports Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) 3, which allows AI to generate new frames. It’s important to remember that 8K contains four times as many pixels as 4K and most GPUs still struggle with native 4K today.

To underscore this point, AMD has exclusively released the following 8K gaming footage. P’s lie Shortly before this article was published. It looks impressive, but can the video be viewed in 8K? Almost no one can, and that’s the problem.

At the very least, we’ll have to wait for the next-generation Nvidia GPUs to have a full PC ecosystem that supports DisplayPort 2.1. Still, it could be a few more years before we see a monitor that supports his DisplayPort 2.1 at a reasonable price. On top of that, there are more pressing reasons why 8K hasn’t reached the monitor world yet.

power demand

POWRUI 6 Outlet Extender with 2 USB charging ports.

If you’re a frequent Digital Treads reader, you may have read that the EU could effectively ban 8K TVs next year. why? power demand. The 8K Association, a group of 8K industry advocates, points out: [brightness] As a 4K TV of comparable size.

As the resolution increases, the size of each pixel decreases. Also, the smaller the pixel, the more backlight light is required to achieve reasonable brightness. That Dell 8K monitor? It typically consumes about 90 watts of power. The 4K version approaches 30W. That’s not a bad thing — TVs can easily exceed 100W — but this is the power needed when the screen is on at all, not the maximum power possible. only amplifies the power demand of

Premium 4K displays like the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 consume significantly more power (three times or more) than typical 4K displays due to their high refresh rate and local dimming. In most parts of the world, the cost of extra power is insignificant, but more power means more heat.

It’s hard to say how much heat there is. His 8K gaming monitor with high refresh rate isn’t flying around. We speculate that high backlight demands combined with premium features such as high local dimming zones and high refresh rates create a hurdle for 8K gaming monitors to date, with heat being a major factor. I think.

LED backlight for Apple's Pro Display.

The impact on the environment cannot be ignored. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PC gaming consumes more electricity per year than electric clothes dryers, water heaters, and space heaters, surpassed only by lighting, air conditioning, and refrigeration. Most of that energy comes from the PC itself, but in an era of increasing power demands from GPUs and CPUs, it’s hard to justify adding more power through the display and putting more strain on the system.

This is not an unsolvable problem. LCD backlights have become very efficient, mainly because so much energy is wasted in different stages of the screen. In contrast, OLED has no such energy loss, but OLED technology is currently not very efficient. Further optimization of OLEDs has the potential to significantly improve energy efficiency, which has already been confirmed. For example, eLeap is a new OLED technology that can significantly reduce energy consumption by increasing the light throughput of each OLED pixel.

Between power, heat, and environmental impact, no single area completely wrecks an 8K gaming monitor. Combined, however, they pose a major hurdle for his 8K monitors with high refresh rates, at least for the next few years.

8K games in the end

Side view of Samsung's Odyssey Neo G9 2023.

We are entering a new era of gaming monitors, and the 2023 Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is proof of that. However, it will still be a few years before connectivity standards broadly support his 8K displays with high refresh rates and develop efficiency standards to mitigate the power demands of such high resolutions.

One thing is for sure, monitor brands will continue to push 8K as the next destination for gaming. It’s been seen on the graphics card and console front for a few years now, and monitors are starting to catch up. 8K and the hardware that enables it still need a lot of development before 8K becomes a viable option for gaming.

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