A Higher resolutions are rarely optimal for gaming: refresh rate > size > resolution.
The number of pixels on a monitor are proportional to the GPU load required to power it. At 8k, 16 times more GPU performance is required than at 1080p.
Resolution Horizontal pixels Vertical pixels Total pixels
1080p 1920 1080 2 Million
1440p 2560 1440 4 Million
4k 3840 2160 8 Million
8k 7680 4320 33 Million

Refresh Rate

A 60 Hz monitor updates 60 times per second. 60 Hz is ok for desktop use but during fast paced gaming 60 Hz is noticeably jerky. At 120 Hz games appear smoother and are far more immersive. Beyond 120 Hz diminishing returns kick in fast. Most users struggle to tell the difference between 120 Hz and 240 Hz. Refresh rates beyond 240 Hz are largely wasted on human eyes.

Monitor Size

Larger monitors are generally better. For desktop tasks, there is more space to arrange windows and whilst gaming, a larger screen is more immersive.

Resolution

For a given monitor size, as resolution increases, pixel density also increases.

Desktop

If pixel density is too low text starts to look grainy. On the other hand, If pixel density is too high, UI elements (Start menu, taskbar buttons etc) become difficult to see. Popular combinations are 24 inches at 1080p and 27 inches at 1440p. These combinations produce a pixel density that is comfortable for most users, without the need for windows display scaling (which causes a degree of blurriness).

Gaming

The more pixels, the more work for the GPU. Doubling the number of pixels approximately halves the frame rate. Trading a higher frame rate for a lower resolution often results in more immersive gaming. For example, on a 27 inch monitor, playing Fortnite at 144 fps 1080p is preferable to playing at 81 fps 1440p, 36 fps 4k or 9 fps 8k. Of course, 144 fps at 8k would be even better but that would require 16 times more GPU performance. In the tradeoff between graphics settings, resolution and average fps, resolution beyond 1080p is normally the least important factor. Higher resolutions are barely even noticeable in-game.

Conclusion

Large high resolution monitors massively increase productivity for desktop tasks but gamers that own high resolution monitors are normally better off running games at lower resolutions. Whilst gaming just 150cm from a 65inch screen, it’s hard to see the difference in quality between 1080p and 4K. Running games at 1080p results in higher frame rates and therefore smoother and more immersive gameplay.

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