Laptops

Does My Laptop Support 4K? (How To Get The Best Resolution)

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, the advantages of having a 4K display, 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:  

  • Computer Monitors 
    Since most internet content, such as videos and games, come in 4K resolution, computer monitors can now support this display. This allows gamers and other users to enjoy the visual benefits that these contents have to offer.  
  • Laptops  
    Like computer monitors, many modern laptops are now supporting this display to cater to various users that require this resolution. Furthermore, it enhances the performance of the computer, allowing users to enjoy the 4K experience.  
  • Televisions  
    As mentioned, several broadcasting companies have released 4K resolution content. To support this, manufacturers have released TVs that can support this display.  
  • Video Cameras  
    To produce 4K display content, you need devices that can shoot at this resolution. Now, manufacturers have released video cameras that shoot at 4K resolution and can be used by anyone.  
dell xps 4k laptop

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. 

macbook pro 4k laptop

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:  

Windows 10 

To check whether your Windows 10 laptop can support 4K resolution, follow the steps below:  

  1. 1
    From your computer, go to Start Settings System Display. Alternatively, you can type Display Resolution on your windows search bar.  
  2. 2
    On the Display page, scroll down to the Scale and Layout Section.  
  3. 3
    Next, look for the setting that says Display Resolution.  
  4. 4
    Then, 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.  

macOS 

Here’s how to find if a Mac computer can run in 4K:  

  1. 1
    Press the Apple logo found on the top-left corner of your screen, and click About this Mac. 
  2. 2
    On this page, navigate to the Display section.  
  3. 3
    Under 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 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:  

  1. 1
    Open the Windows search bar by pressing and holding Windows S keys. Alternatively, you can press the search icon beside the Start menu.  
  2. 2
    In the search bar, type in dxdiag.  
  3. 3
    On this window, you will see several tabs at the top. Click Display 
  4. 4
    On 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.  
  5. 5
    Lastly, 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 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:  

  • HDMI 1.4: This cable is tested to output high-quality 1080p to 4k, so you won’t run into problems if this is the HDMI cable you have.  
  • HDMI 2.0: This has the same functions as the 1.4 cable but offers a wider variety of colors to out to your 4K device.  
  • HDMI 2.0a: This cable is enhanced for HDR and has a more vibrant color than other cables. This can also run 4K resolutions.  
  • HDMI 2.1: This offers better refresh rates than the cables above and enables dynamic HDR.  

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. 


Conclusion

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.