Five-Minute Guide to Finding the Best 8K Gaming Monitor

Today’s 8K monitors are extraordinary. For gaming, there’s nothing quite like them. From incredible sharpness to unparalleled color accuracy, they’re a must-have for serious gamers in 2021.
Make no mistake: 8K monitors are light-years ahead of the 4K tech that was revolutionary just a few short years ago. With that, die-hard gamers are now taking their experiences to the next level with 8K displays.
However, upgrading your gaming experience isn’t as straightforward as simply purchasing a new 8K display. To find out why, check out this handy five-minute guide to 8K monitors in 2021.

Upgrading to an 8K Monitor

Unlike with lots of previous monitor tech, upgrading to 8K doesn’t simply involve buying a new display. For example, while the difference between 4K and 5K is significant, the difference between 4K and 8K is truly massive.
Accordingly, cutting-edge 8K displays are heavily reliant on powerful, similarly advanced processors. As a result, before upgrading to an 8K monitor, it’s necessary to ensure that a gaming PC’s graphics processing unit is up to the task.
Furthermore, not all of today’s highest-resolution monitors are designed for gaming. Those designed for viewing only aren’t generally suitable for gameplay because of their lower refresh rates. Instead, it’s necessary to choose one that supports a 144Hz refresh rate. Monitors capable of supporting 144Hz are marketed specifically to gamers.
At the same time, less gaming-focused options are also suitable as long as they’re capable of that all-important 144Hz refresh rate.

8K Monitor Considerations

Once it’s been determined that a gaming PC can support an 8K display, there are a number of other important considerations. Further to selecting a monitor with an appropriate refresh rate for gaming, it’s vital to then take into account panel type and curvature.

Panel Type

Right now, 8K monitor choices are limited to the likes of the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K as the market continues to find its feet. More broadly speaking, however, buyers of top-tier displays across the board have three panel types from which to choose.
These panel types are known as twisted nematic, vertical alignment, and in-plane switching. They are more commonly referred to simply as TN, VA, and IPS, respectively. Each offers a different degree of image quality and performance. Where gaming is a priority, choosing the right panel type is crucial.

Twisted Nematic

Many gamers consider the twisted nematic displays as the best, thanks to their high refresh rates and low response times. Yet, they tend to suffer from limited viewing angles and produce paler colors, not best suited to, for example, watching sports or enjoying movies.

In-Plane Switching

For movie buffs, in-plane switching displays are better, boasting excellent color accuracy and wide viewing angles. Unfortunately, though, this comes at the expense of maximum refresh rates, and many IPS monitors are, therefore, a poor choice for gaming. They’re also the most expensive of the three panel types.

Vertical Alignment

Anyone looking for a good all-rounder in terms of a top-tier monitor will want to consider a vertical alignment display. Offering excellent contrast and image depth, most VA displays benefit from high refresh rates. However, their response times will be slower than TN alternatives.
Mid-priced vertical alignment displays are the best option for home and entertainment in general. Yet, where gaming is the only purpose, a TN monitor is often preferable. They’re the least expensive of the three to buy on average, too.

Curvature

Another important consideration when buying an 8K gaming monitor will always be a display’s curvature. Manufacturers market curved monitors to gamers. As one might expect, these tend to have TN or twisted nematic displays. As such, they’re not ideal for watching movies or more general, day-to-day, non-gaming purposes.
Curved monitors are popular with gamers for the immersive experiences they offer. Curved IPS or in-plane switching displays are available as well, albeit at a significant cost. For non-IPS displays with a curve, image depth and color quality may suffer. Still, this shouldn’t affect most gamers’ experiences as something that’s apparent primarily when using a monitor for other purposes.

8K Monitor Costs

No guide to 8K gaming monitors would be complete without a closer look at pricing. However, there’s no avoiding the fact that 8K displays are currently very expensive. Of course, costs will come down in time, but buyers should expect to pay anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000 or more for now.
There’s little doubt that the experience on offer is fantastic and far exceeds what much more common 4K displays—and, increasingly, 5K versions—are capable of. For now, 5K monitors remain a more affordable middle ground. Though 5k monitors are a marked improvement over 4K, they’re still a long way behind 8K as far as maximum performance goes.
In terms of cost, remember that an 8K monitor may further call for an upgraded graphics processing unit to see its full potential. In this case, expect to conceivably have to budget another $2,000 or more for a suitable GPU like the ASUS GeForce RTX 3090.

8K Gaming Monitor Warranty

It’s essential to protect any investment made into cutting-edge 8K tech, if you can. All 8K monitor manufacturers will offer a 30-day to one-year limited warranty. However, limited warranties are limited in their protection and won’t cover your device for the long term. To fully protect your investment, you should purchase a warranty.
At this time, Upsie covers monitors with a purchase price of up to $1,999. Most 8k monitors are more expensive than that, though, meaning that Upsie cannot protect them at this time. Upsie can provide extended warranties for most 4k and 5k monitors. The robust Upsie warranty will overlap with the manufacturer’s warranty and take over the coverage once the limited warranty expires. Additionally, those with an extended warranty from Upsie have access to 24/7/365 claim services, ensuring your device is repaired as quickly as possible.

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