On a 4k monitor, can you play games at 1080p?


When it comes to 4K monitors, most let you choose between a professional or a gaming resolution, which is a nice feature. These resolutions are great for HD video and high-end video games due to their increased pixel count and improved picture quality (almost four times the standard).

However, you may be imagining a “1080p on a 4k monitor” scenario. Full HD video can be played back on 4K Ultra HD monitors, but you won’t be able to see it in the 1920 x 1080p resolution you’re accustomed to seeing on these displays. Instead, a 4K Ultra HD screen requires an upscaling of the movie to accommodate the extra pixels.

There is no need to panic if you are still unsure about how this technology works. As a result, we’ve figured out and talked about all of the 1080p resolutions on 4K monitors in this article to make the concept more understandable for you.

Important Key points

  • Because of the lower processing demands of 1080p screens, you should expect to see an increase in refresh rates and reaction times if you’re shopping for gaming monitors.
  • Due to the higher cost and more work space required by 4K monitors, they must be factored into your overall budget and requirements.
  • 4K displays have four times the image density of 1080p screens, making them ideal for video editors and other creative professionals.

What Is a 1080p Streaming Quality?

There are many ways to make digital displays. The term “1080p” refers to a display having a resolution of 1,920 pixels on the horizontal and 1,080 pixels on the vertical. Filling up the screen with 1,920 pixels in each direction requires a lot of pixels.

Multiplying the number of pixels across (1920) and down yields 2,073,600. (1080). The pixel density is a measure of how many pixels are visible on a particular area of the screen. Approximately two megapixels in terms of digital photography. The number of pixels on a screen remains constant, but the density of those pixels changes as the screen’s size changes.

4K is a slang term for ultra-high definition.

A 4K monitor is nothing more than a regular monitor with a 4K screen attached to it. The monitor has a total pixel count of 8.3 million, divided into 3,840 horizontal and 2,160 vertical. To identify a 4K display, look for the resolution as “3840 x 2160” in the product specs.

Pixels (tiny black and white squares) are organized on the primary panel at a high “resolution,” which refers to the number of pixels per inch. The picture you see on the primary monitor is made up of several smaller groups of pixels. “K” in 4K stands for “Kilo,” which is a horizontal resolution of about 4,000 pixels.

What Happens When You Put 1080p on a 4k Monitor?

A 1080p screen cannot display the same level of clarity as a camera that shoots in 4K. However, 4K footage is still superior to 1080p footage when viewed on a 4K monitor.

A technique called “chroma subsampling” reduces the amount of color data a standard 1080p camera captures to one value for every four pixels. Although each pixel in a 4K video has a color value, downscaling to 1080p doesn’t degrade the image’s quality.

It’s important to note that this does not suggest that you should wait to watch HD content until it has improved in quality before doing so. On-the-fly upscaling takes place while the video is playing. Despite the fact that most major manufacturers’ 4K Ultra HD MONITORS do an outstanding job of upscaling, certain affordable versions don’t perform well. In order to get the greatest results, we recommend sticking with the brands indicated earlier.

If you’ve already purchased a 4K display, there are options for people who don’t like the quality of the upscaling. Both a high-end A/V receiver with built-in 4K upscaling and a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player (or even an Ultra HD Blu-ray compatible Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X) have an upscaling processor built-in, so you can obtain 4K upscaling in either of these ways.

When Compared To 1080p Displays, Why Does 4K Seem Better?

You could assume that your display’s pixel count is the limiting factor when it comes to image quality. In addition, the encoding process’s retention or erasure of data for each pixel affects the picture quality.

With the use of a technique known as “chroma subsampling,” the color data gathered by 1080p cameras can be reduced by up to 75 percent with minimal loss in quality. Subsampling came in handy when network capacity limitations made storing and delivering video more challenging.

Rather than reducing color data, 4K cameras provide each pixel with its unique chroma value. Downsampling 4K color data to 1080p is necessary since there are four times fewer pixels on a 1080p screen than a 4K screen (at a rate of 4 pixels of 4K data for every 1 pixel of 1080p that needs to be rendered). An extrapolation can be used to fill any holes that may be left by subsampling in the unique color values provided for each of the 4K pixels.

When viewed on a 1080p display, a 4K stream seems better than ordinary 1080p material because of how the 4K camera acquired color data and the following processing and translation to appear in 1080p. On the other hand, the difference between 1080p and 4K displays on a 1080p monitor will not be noticeable. If enhanced color data improves a picture’s clarity, this may be the only benefit.

Using a 1080p Resolution Setting, how do I connect a 4K monitor?

  • All settings in Windows > Settings > Devices and Display should be restored to their default values.
  • Second, I changed the 1080p monitor’s display to a 3840 x 2160 resolution (4k).
  • After that, I made the native 4k monitor my primary screen.
  • The “screen resolution” tab was accessible by doing a right-click on the desktop.
  • In order to make all of my screens look the same, I increased the little box’s opacity to 200 percent.
  • My next step was to move the desktop items to my native 1080p display, which was upscaled to 4k.

Both displays appear to display identically sized text and writing, since they consider themselves to be of equal size. Even though the 1080p display is a touch smudgy, I don’t mind that when I’m using Chrome to browse the web.

Is There A Difference Between 4K And UHD?

It doesn’t exist on a consumer-level. In a sentence, either word may be used. Video and film industry experts will tell you that what we refer to as 4K is not actually 4K at all. Technically, they’re correct.

A resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels is required for 4K, a digital cinema standard. The first number represents a horizontal measurement, while the second is a vertical measurement because they both fit inside a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The term “4K” makes sense because the horizontal resolution is approximately 4,096 x 3,840 pixels, which is more than double the previous 2K standard of 2048 x 1080.

A Quick Guide To Different Screen Resolutions

In the process of purchasing a new display, the native resolution is a vital consideration. 1080p is the most often used resolution in the world today. The most spectacular graphics cards are required to support 1440p and 4K, despite their increasing popularity. Choosing a new monitor (or screen size for couch gaming) should take into account the following resolutions:

  • 1280 x 720 – HD / 720p
  • 1920 x 1080 – FHD (Full HD) / 1080p
  • 2560 x 1440 – QHD/WQHD (Quad HD) / 1440p
  • 3840 x 2160 – UHD (Ultra HD) / 4K 2160p
  • 7680 × 4320 – FUHD (Full Ultra HD) / 8K 4320p

4K is the true successor to 1080p, which is universally accepted as the standard for high-definition television. Because of this, you’ll have a better understanding of how much more your graphics card is put to the test when running a resource-intensive program or game. Your computer’s capabilities are the only thing that matters here, as indicated earlier. A minimum frame rate of 60 fps is required for a smooth gameplay experience.

The more frames per second your display can handle, the better. More expensive 120Hz displays are capable of displaying 120 frames per second at 1080p resolution, although they are more expensive. Stutter-free gaming at a higher HD resolution than Full HD is possible with a 1440p display and a refresh rate of 144Hz. You’ll be able to do this as long as your graphics card and other components are powerful enough.

Is It Necessary To Use A 4K Ultra HD Monitor?

No, I don’t need a Porterhouse steak. Not! No, sirloin is not sufficient for you. Despite the fact that 4K is the new standard in the business, your HD MONITOR will still be able to function years from now, just like analog broadcasts did in 2009. However, if you see a 4K Ultra HD TV for gamers, you could be persuaded to upgrade.

If you are happy with your present MONITOR, there is no need to upgrade to 4K, but if you are shopping for a new television, it would be a mistake not to do so. As far as I know, the cost isn’t going to be an issue. A 50-inch 4K MONITOR costs $320 or less; a 55-inch model costs $400 or less; and a 65-inch model costs between $520 and $620. Wow, isn’t it wonderful?

What 4K content is available?

For a long time, there wasn’t much content available in Ultra High Definition (UHD). As a result, customers were reluctant to purchase the monitors. Since so much 4K content is now readily available, this isn’t an issue anymore.

Unconventional media, such as broadcast television in 4K and streaming video via devices like Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV, is now available in 4K. Users can even upload their own 4K videos to social media sites like YouTube. Video-on-demand (VOD) services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have a vast selection of 4K content available, including 4K movies and MONITOR series. Around 80 channels around the world are broadcasting in 4K. A 4K Blu-ray player is required to enjoy 4K movies purchased from sites like Amazon.com.

YouTube and Vimeo have grown increasingly popular for recording and distributing 4K content. Explore everything that piques your interest.

Choosing Between a 4K and 8K monitor is a difficult decision.

Despite the excitement around 4K Ultra HD, a new kid on the block has already emerged. 7680 by 4320 is four times the resolution of 4K Ultra HD and sixteen times the display resolution of Full HD, as the name suggests. (or 4320p). 8K resolution monitors are expensive, but also have a few other drawbacks, such as their high price point with scaling concerns.

At this moment, we do not propose that you get a bag despite your deep pockets. Even while development appears to be moving at breakneck speed, it will be some time before 8K replaces 4K Ultra HD as the industry standard. MONITOR technology is likely to progress significantly during the next few years, making current models obsolete.


Between 1080p and 4K computer monitors

The pixel count and quality of these photos are dramatically different. A 1080p on 4k monitor provides clear, high-definition graphics that are also known as HD displays. The term “ultra-high-definition” (abbreviated “UHD”) is frequently used to describe a 4K display. Since a 4K monitor has four times the total pixel count and twice the horizontal and vertical pixels of a 1080p panel, there is no comparison between 4K and 2K computer displays.

Additionally, this variation in monitor resolution and pixel count has an impact on refresh rate, cost, and other monitor performance elements.


The cost of 4K and UHD monitors is significantly higher than that of HD monitors. As a result, over the course of several decades, the industry has refined 1080p screens while keeping the component prices low. Despite the importance of conserving money, immersion need not be sacrificed.

Refresh Rates And Response Times

For a variety of reasons, gamers frequently prefer 1080p displays to 4K ones. Graphically, the latter is substantially more demanding on the graphics card and CPU, but has a significantly higher k-resolution. The responsiveness and refresh rates of 1080p displays are unquestionably better than those of 4K displays. Over the next few years, the performance gap between 4K displays and HDTVs is expected to narrow.

Desk Room Is Necessary

Many 27-inch and even larger 4K monitors are currently available. In other words, make sure you have enough room for a high-end monitor. Given their smaller size and reduced cost, 1080p displays are readily available in most companies and homes. 4K monitors’ increased tv resolution more than makes up for this, of course.

What to Know About 1080p on a 4K Display

Why does the 1080p video appear grainy on the 4K screen?

Because you’re converting a 1080p picture to fit on a 2160p/4K monitor, it looks pixelated. It’s blurry because it’s trying to fit inside the 4K resolution. Because running at a lesser resolution than the display’s native resolution always results in pixelated content.

What happens if you’re playing a 1080p game on a 4K display?

The experience will be similar to playing at 480p on a 1080p screen if you play at 1080p on a 4k display. You’re effectively using a 4k second monitor to display a 4x image. In order to see 1080p photos, you’ll have to use a 4k screen.

Do 4K games work on a 1080p display?

Many individuals will never be able to enjoy 4K gaming. On the other side, you can still run 4K games on your PC even if you only have a 1080p display. To help you out, we’re going to show you the ins and outs of upscaling your games to 4K resolution.

Is it possible to use 1920 x 1080 on a 4K display?

if by “4k” you mean a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160, then the answer is indeed yes. Because it’s a perfect square, the original picture fills precisely four pixels for each pixel on the screen; hence, different scaling is needed.

The Ending Observation

Despite the fact that 1080p does not look terrible on a 4K gaming panel, it does not look as well as it would on a 1080p gaming monitor. As a result, the vast majority of gamers are still using a 1080p resolution on a 4K display. Hopefully, reading this post will help you better grasp how to play your favorite video games on a 4K monitor with 1080p resolution.