This post is very misleading. 4K is nowhere near becoming mainstream and nowhere near being actually a worthy investment, especially at this price point. And then, you say 4K, but really its not, its just pre-real-4K crap that you should stay away from (4K is 4096x2160 NOT 3840x2160).
Before getting started I would like to precise I'm only talking about IPS (and variants) screens, I don't think anyone should buy a TN screen nowadays (which is what cheap 4K tends to be).
So in buying one of theses here is what you get
- premium price because you are too early to the party
- a technology still in early state that still has issues
- the need for a beast of a GPU without actually being able to benefit from it that much (more pixel, but then again, if you need to lower some settings to get decent fps, pixels are worthless)
- not much content that will use this resolution (whats more, 1080p
streaming still isn't possible for everyone) and even when it will get
around the bandwidth needed is way over most internet connection
(fibre isn't there yet, come again in at least 5 years, 10 years is
- software support that is still "hit and miss"
- no real estate gain unless you get at least 40" (which is gigantic and way overpriced)
- an actual quality improvement for text that is not that convincing (I find it disappointing once you tried).
I would urge anyone willing to jump on the 4k bandwagon to try it beforehand, because it is probably not worth it unless you have some special need.
I built myself a computer last month and I was getting a new screen as well. I had a 1440p screen and of course wanted to jump to 4K. My build already had a GTX 980Ti, so GPU wasn't an issue.
So I tried both and after some testing it became clear it wasnt worth it at all. GPU was running hotter all the time, games weren't running that well. You get 35-something FPS on the latest GPU hungry games, which is not OK and if you lower some graphics quality related settings you tend to notice more than the pixels make up for).
And actually, for movies and games, the difference between 4K and 1440p at this screen size is barely visible (good luck finding 4K movies in the first place). You actually need some time to tell one from the other ; if you would show it to a non tech-savy person, he probably wouldn't tell the difference before you explained to him (explanation was needed for my mum and 2 friends, so...).
It has already been proved that people cant really tell the difference between 1080p upscaled and true 4K when watching movies so I guess its no surprise.
To me, the difference between 4k and 1440p feels like the difference between thunderbolt and usb3. Sure, thunderbolt is technically better, it allows much more, it is technically superior, it is faster, but for 99% of people it doesn't bring enough to the table to warrant the price difference.
Some will tell they can totally see the difference and it is totally necessary for them, just like some claim they can totally see the difference past 60fps when it has been proved that after ~50fps you cant really tell much if the FPS is stable or just like some claim they can totally hear the difference between lossless and a 256kpbs MP4 when they really cant.
Since you did prove that last point on this very website, I'm a bit disappointed by this post ; I find it very misleading for someone who is really searching for answers like I did before trying out myself.
In conclusion, anyone looking to buy a new screen should probably stick with 1440p, they will get much more for the money. My 500$ 1440p screens has so much more stuff than the 700$ 4k I sent back that its not even funny ; USB3 hub, audio hub, 10bits support, nice mounting stand with all kind of adjustment. At this price point there is no 4K screen (even "false" 4k) that has any of it and those things most likely matters more to most people in the long run.
So unless you can shell out at least a thousand bucks for a LG 31MU97 you should probably stick to 1440p or go for Ultra-wide if you are in need for screen estate (and dont want to go for multiple screens wich is a productivity killer contrary to popular belief).
But better yet, you should probably wait for full HDMI 2.0 support, Displayport 1.3 support, mainstream G-Sync/FreeSync support and GPUs that can run everything at this resolution without needing to lower settings or suffer low FPS without requiring multiple GPUs (gonna take at least one or 2 years).
But really, the real deal will come with 5k which is to 4k what 1440p is to 1080p ; in the meantime you money is probably better used elsewhere.
If you do have a lot of money, by all means, go for it, they are technically better, you are just going against the Pareto principle, using a lot of money to get those last 20 percent...