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12K (Triple 4K Monitor) Graphics Test Bench Upgrade Review

Introduction


1080p, 1440p, 1660p, 2160p; just a random bunch of numbers with a ‘p’ after them can mean nothing to some people; however, to gamers it means a whole world of display quality goodness. For the last few years, 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) monitors have been the normal standard for a ‘decent’ gaming setup and what most graphics cards are tested at. Then we started moving up to higher resolutions such as 2560 x 1440p and 2560 x 1600p.

For some, this wasn’t enough; despite the pixel densities growing larger, as humans we wanted even more pixels. This resorted to users buying multiple monitors and connecting them one next to another and activating AMD ‘EyeFinity’ or NVIDIA ‘Surround’ to have an almost 180° viewing range. Even though the latter part of the pixel count didn’t change, this meant that monitor set-ups were hitting 5760 pixels wide by using three 1920 x 1080p monitors.

Then we move onto today, 1080p and 1440p has been surpassed by what has now become the new ‘standard’ of gaming, 2160p, or 4K. At this resolution, even the most powerful of graphics cards can struggle to churn out the desired 60FPS which we have come to accept as the acceptable standard. So what about when you put three 4K monitors next to each other and ask for 11520 x 2160 of pixelated goodness (or 6480 x 3840 if you prefer your monitors in portrait mode.)

Before we go rushing into things, there are some issues regarding our particular test system. The provided AOC monitors (U2868PQU) has known issues with AMD graphics cards and 60Hz refresh rate. Symptoms can present themselves as minor screen flickering to a complete system freeze. This was made worse when trying to display at 11520 x 2160; however, after multiple tests, we found the issue was subdued by putting the monitors into Portrait mode. This isn’t the ideal gaming set-up, however, in the interest of bringing you the information; I endured the pain of a 2″ thick bezel between each monitor.

To get to the technical nitty gritty, a typical 4K monitor at 60Hz refresh rate can present 497 Million information pixels per second, so this set-up can present almost 1.5 Billion pixels per second; yes 1.5 BILLION. To put that into perspective, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a screen size of 1440 x 2560 and a refresh rate of 60Hz; that works out to a mere 221 Million pixels per second in comparison.

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Rikki Wright

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