4K resolution has been supported by many devices for quite some time now. In fact, some laptops are specifically designed to output 4K displays. A laptop with this kind of resolution will not only produce a better display, such as making your games look sharper, but it can also improve the overall performance of your computer. Unfortunately, not all laptops can support this huge resolution.
So, if you are wondering, “does my laptop support 4K?” This article will help you determine whether the laptop you have can output this resolution, whether 4K displays are worth it or not, and how to achieve it if your computer can’t support the resolution.
The term 4K refers to an image resolution and is measured in pixels. It is 3480 x 2160 pixels or 2160p. A full High Definition (HD) 1080p image is only 1920 x 1080 pixels, whereas 4K displays have about 8 million pixels, which is four times more pixels than your regular 1080p display graphics card.
To understand how image resolution works, think of your screen as a grid with rows and columns. For example, a full HD 1080p image is 1080 rows and 1920 columns wide, and a 4K image approximately doubles these numbers in both directions, resulting in four times as many pixels in total. Basically, you could fit all the pixels from your 1080p image onto a quarter of a 4K screen.
So, you might have figured that the term 4K comes from the display being 4,000 pixels wide. Some may also call it 2160p or Ultra HD. Whichever name you use, it all refers to a 4K resolution.
Devices That Use 4K Resolution
Many devices are now offering 4K resolution. However, before this became a popular trend among electronics, several applications and media broadcasters started offering 4K media content.
For example, streaming giant YouTube started accepting 4K videos in 2010, and several other streaming services followed this trend, including Netflix, in 2014.
Apart from that, 4K DCI, a higher resolution version of 4K, has also been seen in movie theaters since 2011. Now, the 4K display has become a standard in television and internet content. Here are the devices that utilize this resolution:
Advantages Of 4K Resolution
If you’re still unsure whether or not a 4K display is worth it for you to try on your laptop, here are some benefits of using this display:
More Detailed gaming
If you have a laptop or computer monitor that can support a 4K display, you’re in for a treat. This type of resolution can provide you with a great immersive experience, allowing you to play your game with sharper fine details and better visual effects.
Clarity For Streaming And Other Tasks
With higher resolution, you can expect your everyday tasks to look great. In addition, the text and graphics on your computer will be sharper and smoother, allowing you to enjoy your favorite apps’ interfaces. Apart from that, many major streaming services offer 4K displays so that you can watch your favorite shows at their best resolution.
Photo And Video Editing
When it comes to photos and videos, the higher the display’s pixel density, the greater detail you’ll see. With a 4K display, you can examine the fine details of high-resolution images and videos. However, keep in mind that not all photos and videos are in 4k resolution. You need to shoot them with a device that can render such a display.
Part Of The Premium Package
If you want a laptop that has the most powerful processor, GPU, or other features, you’re also going to get a 4K display with it. Modern laptops that have premium builds tend to have a 4K display as one of their features. For example, a Razer Blade Pro offers excellent design and high-end graphics, but it is only available in a 3840 x 2160-pixel touchscreen.
Does My Laptop Support 4K? (Finding Laptop Resolution Support)
If you want to know if your laptop can support 4K Display, you can check your computer’s settings. Below are the methods on how to do so on Windows and Mac:
To check whether your Windows 10 laptop can support 4K resolution, follow the steps below:
- 1From your computer, go to Start > Settings > System > Display. Alternatively, you can type Display Resolution on your windows search bar.
- 2On the Display page, scroll down to the Scale and Layout Section.
- 3Next, look for the setting that says Display Resolution.
- 4Then, click on the drop-down box to check the available resolution on your laptop. If you see 3840 x 2160, then your computer is running on 4K UHD. If it says 4096 x 2304, it’s in full 4K. However, if you don’t see any of them, your laptop does not support a 4K display.
Here’s how to find if a Mac computer can run in 4K:
- 1Press the Apple logo found on the top-left corner of your screen, and click About this Mac.
- 2On this page, navigate to the Display section.
- 3Under the Display section, you will find the resolution in between the parentheses. The same with Windows; if it says 3840 x 2160, then you have 4K UHD. If it’s 4096 x 2304, then your Mac can support a full 4K. Otherwise, your Mac can’t run 4K.
How To Output 4K Resolution From Laptops To Monitors
If you found out that your laptop can’t support 4K, don’t worry. You have another option to display 4K resolution using your computer. For example, you can use an external 4K curved monitor.
However, before you purchase one, you need to know whether your laptop has a graphic card capable of supporting that. You can do so by checking the specs of your computer. Otherwise, follow the steps below:
- 1Open the Windows search bar by pressing and holding Windows + S keys. Alternatively, you can press the search icon beside the Start menu.
- 2In the search bar, type in dxdiag.
- 3On this window, you will see several tabs at the top. Click Display.
- 4On the Display tab, you will see all the supported video settings of your laptop. If you have a GPU installed with up-to-date drivers, you might also see a Display2 tab.
- 5Lastly, take note of the graphics card you have. Then, check online whether it can support a 4K output or not.
Connecting Your 4K Monitor To Your Laptop
The quickest way to have a 4K output on your laptop is by connecting it to a 4K screen with an HDMI cable. However, not just any HDMI that came with the monitor will do. First, you need a High-Speed HDMI cable. There are several types of High-Speed HDMI cables. The most common ones are below:
All of these cables work well when outputting a 4K display from your laptop. It is up to you which cable to use, depending on your need. Remember, the beefier the HDMI cable, the more uses it has.
Lastly, once you connect the High-Speed HDMI cable to your laptop and the external screen, it may take some time to connect, so don’t worry if you don’t see your screen right away.
Is A 4K Laptop Worth It?
A 4K laptop is worth it if you need something that has a larger screen, especially if you are a gamer, artist, editor, or designer who works on high-definition photos and videos.
However, if you’re not one of those and you just want a larger screen, having a 4K screen is still worth it. A 4K display has no real downsides and won’t affect the performance of your computer, apart from the expensive price tag that comes with it.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can I connect a 4K monitor with a normal 1080p laptop and expect it to show in 4K?
Yes. The display resolution of an external monitor depends on the device itself and the capacity of your laptop’s graphic card. If you have a modern laptop, outputting 4K on an external monitor won’t be a problem as long as you have a High-Speed HDMI or a DisplayPort connector.
How many cores do I need for 4K?
Running at a 4K resolution doesn’t depend on your computer’s processor. Instead, it relies on your GPU, so it doesn’t matter how many cores your laptop has. However, the number of cores is vital to run heavy programs and games that may need 4K resolution.
Can the RTX 2070 run 4K?
Yes, RTX2070 can run 4K resolution at 60Hz and high-refresh gameplay at 1440p.
Most modern laptops can output 4K resolution. If the computer you have can’t display 4K using its screen, don’t worry. You can use an external monitor to display this resolution.
If you don’t like having a different screen, you can purchase a new 4K laptop to accommodate your needs.
Jake Redman is a UK-born-digital nomad & founder of Ultimate Quality Content, a collective of high-end copywriters formed to provide detailed insight into everything technology-related. Jake is the definition of a man-nerd. He gets excited over things like processor architecture, ray-tracing, & is an avid E-Sports fan, specifically League of Legends. When he isn’t writing detailed tech-related articles, Jake can be found performing fire-breathing shows & wields a dragon staff, or on the sofa playing Mario Kart.