Home Gaming Just 1.74% of PC gamers have adopted 4K

Just 1.74% of PC gamers have adopted 4K

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The new mid-gen consoles heralded the beginning of the 4K era, brining UHD gaming to the masses. Sure, you could argue that few games consistently run at the target resolution natively. Some games instead use dynamic resolution scaling or rendering techniques. That techno-disclaimer aside, a great many games are actually outputting in native 4K, especially on the Xbox One X, and they do so using setting that hover around “medium” settings, usually at 30fps. The PS4 Pro isn’t quite up to that task, and usually runs games at a lower resolution.

Of course, mighty PC gamers, with their mighty PC hardware can run games at TRUE 4K! With the power of their machines, sculpted from ore-bearing rocks by god himself, PCs can run games at the highest of resolutions, at the highest of settings. Glorious.

Only, how many PC gamers actually do that? According to Steam stats, not very many at all. The latest Steam hardware survey (via Tech Raptor) shows that just 1.74% of PC gamers run single monitor setups running at 4K. The overwhelming majority run their games at 1080p.

  • 1024 x 768: 0.47%
  • 1280 x 1024: 1.64%
  • 1920 x 1080: 64.58%
  • 2560 x 1440: 4.95%
  • 3840 x 2160: 1.74%

It’s worth noting that because PCs are more amenable to multi-monitor setups, there are gamers who run at the 4K horizontal resolution, but with a vertical resolution of 1080, by sticking two monitors next to each other, and that configuration accounts for 74.82% of multi-monitor set ups.

Of course, one of the reasons that there’s been little 4K adoption (beyond it being expensive, of course) is that the number of people slinging cards capable of running in 4K is miniscule. The most popular card used for games on Steam is Nvidia’s 1060, which has captured 14.44% of the market. The card that’ll do a semi-passable 4K that has the most market share is AMD’s RX580 with 1.54%, while the most used 4K capable card that’ll give a decent experience is the GeForce RTX 2070 with just 1.41%.

I think what it really shows is that no matter how much many PC gamers blather on about frame rates and resolutions and PC being better, very few of them actually have machines that would rival or even better the experience you’ll get with the mid-gen console upgrades.

Last Updated: November 7, 2019

86 Comments

  1. Yozzie

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Geoff has been on a PC bashing spree the last month xD

    Reply

  2. Yozzie

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Geoff has been on a PC bashing spree the last month xD

    Reply

  3. Yozzie

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Geoff has been on a PC bashing spree the last month xD

    Reply

  4. Yozzie

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Geoff has been on a PC bashing spree the last month xD

    Reply

  5. Yozzie

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Geoff has been on a PC bashing spree the last month xD

    Reply

  6. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

  7. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

  8. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

  9. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

  10. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

  11. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

  12. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

  13. Kromas

    November 7, 2019 at 16:32

    PC gamers are way more interested in high fps than high resolution (I assume based on my own personal experience and that of the many people I game with. (just added this before someone in the comments get their panties in a knot)). 4K at 30 fps is not great and a game actually looks crisper in 1080p at 60fps from my own experience. Hell even VR require more FPS than it does resolution to look better.

    tldr; Higher FPS > Higher Resolution.

    Reply

  14. Kromas

    November 7, 2019 at 16:32

    PC gamers are way more interested in high fps than high resolution (I assume based on my own personal experience and that of the many people I game with. (just added this before someone in the comments get their panties in a knot)). 4K at 30 fps is not great and a game actually looks crisper in 1080p at 60fps from my own experience. Hell even VR require more FPS than it does resolution to look better.

    tldr; Higher FPS > Higher Resolution.

    Reply

  15. Darren Peach

    November 7, 2019 at 19:35

    First 2 paragraphs…..Satire much….actually, second paragraph.

    Reply

  16. HvR

    November 7, 2019 at 15:09

    Most of the times this conversation comes up it is to show how much BS Sony and M$ pushes everytime they release a new console.

    The reason for going PC is when you want to play something different to same old boring AAA annual releases that is the standard of the console gaming libraries. You maybe get 1 or 2 games a generation that breaks the mold.

    Reply

  17. Yozzie

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Geoff has been on a PC bashing spree the last month xD

    Reply

  18. jimz0r

    November 7, 2019 at 16:30

    Because the performance hit is just too drastic to see any benefit.

    Recently upgraded to a 2K monitor (2560×1440) @ 144hz.

    Try getting close to 4k@144 fps in anything other than potato games.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 7, 2019 at 16:32

      I’m also looking into getting a 2K 144hz monitor for my year-end gift to myself.

      What did you get?

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 7, 2019 at 16:32

      I’m also looking into getting a 2K 144hz monitor for my year-end gift to myself.

      What did you get?

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 7, 2019 at 16:32

      I’m also looking into getting a 2K 144hz monitor for my year-end gift to myself.

      What did you get?

      Reply

      • jimz0r

        November 7, 2019 at 16:33

        LG 32GK650F 31.5″ QHD 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor @ Takealot

        I thought about getting an ultrawide, but a good gaming ultrawide is like double the price

        Reply

      • jimz0r

        November 7, 2019 at 16:33

        LG 32GK650F 31.5″ QHD 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor @ Takealot

        I thought about getting an ultrawide, but a good gaming ultrawide is like double the price

        Reply

      • jimz0r

        November 7, 2019 at 16:33

        LG 32GK650F 31.5″ QHD 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor @ Takealot

        I thought about getting an ultrawide, but a good gaming ultrawide is like double the price

        Reply

      • jimz0r

        November 7, 2019 at 16:33

        LG 32GK650F 31.5″ QHD 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor @ Takealot

        I thought about getting an ultrawide, but a good gaming ultrawide is like double the price

        Reply

      • jimz0r

        November 7, 2019 at 16:33

        LG 32GK650F 31.5″ QHD 144Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor @ Takealot

        I thought about getting an ultrawide, but a good gaming ultrawide is like double the price

        Reply

  19. Kromas

    November 7, 2019 at 16:32

    PC gamers are way more interested in high fps than high resolution (I assume based on my own personal experience and that of the many people I game with. (just added this before someone in the comments get their panties in a knot)). 4K at 30 fps is not great and a game actually looks crisper in 1080p at 60fps from my own experience. Hell even VR require more FPS than it does resolution to look better.

    tldr; Higher FPS > Higher Resolution.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 8, 2019 at 00:42

      And higher refresh rate better than higher reso

      Reply

      • jimz0r

        November 8, 2019 at 02:32

        Something console gamers will only grasp when the next-gen releases and they can get 100+ fps in their PS4/XB1 games.

        Reply

      • jimz0r

        November 8, 2019 at 02:32

        Something console gamers will only grasp when the next-gen releases and they can get 100+ fps in their PS4/XB1 games.

        Reply

        • Kromas

          November 8, 2019 at 02:32

          I really hope so for their sakes as the last gen touted 4k 60fps and couldn’t even manage true 4k 30fps. They had to hoble together dynamic resolution and cap the frames at 30.

          Reply

  20. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 7, 2019 at 19:34

    4K is expensive on a PC & hardly anyone uses it? Duh.
    http://giphygifs.s3.amazonaws.com/media/L8XuphFGqlSfe/giphy.gif

    Reply

  21. Llama In The Rift

    November 7, 2019 at 19:34

    2K/4k monitors are much cheaper than 2 years ago…I’ll easily pick one up when bonus time arives, problem is GPU’s capable of running 4K smooth, don’t have that kind of money for a RTX 2080/2070…so if we can get a cheap mid range 4K GPU by the next 2 years it will most certainly change the game and get 2K/4K as the next standard

    Reply

    • G8crasha

      November 7, 2019 at 22:21

      True. One of the limitations for us as PC gamers is not only the GPU but also the monitors. A 4K PC monitor is still more expensive than a 4K TV.

      The other issue is that it is not always about resolution. There are so many others bells and whistles that make a game gorgeous to look at, so it isn’t all about the resolution. Absolutely high end 4K with everything maxed out is still out of reach of most PC gamers due to costs, and today’s consoles definitely do not even touch this level of fidelity, but 4K PC gaming is still possible with a 1660. With a few graphical settings reduced, most of the gamers in the list above would run 4K comfortably if they have a 4K enabled monitor!

      I also expect 4K PC gaming to become more financially viable with the next generation of consoles, so I welcome the new PS5 and ‘Scarlett’ Xbox!

      Reply

    • G8crasha

      November 7, 2019 at 22:21

      True. One of the limitations for us as PC gamers is not only the GPU but also the monitors. A 4K PC monitor is still more expensive than a 4K TV.

      The other issue is that it is not always about resolution. There are so many others bells and whistles that make a game gorgeous to look at, so it isn’t all about the resolution. Absolutely high end 4K with everything maxed out is still out of reach of most PC gamers due to costs, and today’s consoles definitely do not even touch this level of fidelity, but 4K PC gaming is still possible with a 1660. With a few graphical settings reduced, most of the gamers in the list above would run 4K comfortably if they have a 4K enabled monitor!

      I also expect 4K PC gaming to become more financially viable with the next generation of consoles, so I welcome the new PS5 and ‘Scarlett’ Xbox!

      Reply

      • G8crasha

        November 7, 2019 at 22:21

        And I’ll be getting a PS5 when it releases, so nobody can call me a PC Master Race snob!

        Reply

  22. Raptor Rants

    November 7, 2019 at 19:34

    Has anyone seen the latest nVidia updates that allow GPU based upscaling to take lower res resolutions and upscale to a monitor’s native display?

    I reckon that’s going to be a massive game changer in the PC market as PC’s will start to use the same tricks that consoles do to upscale lower resolutions to a native 4k image (or whatever your screen is pushing as native).

    I think only the turing cards are currently capable of the fancy pants version, but even the pascal cards have a version of this that seems to work fairly ok.

    So it’s going to be interesting to see how the GPU market is affected as a lot of folk will be able to buy lower tier cards and have resolutons that look like native 1080p/2k/4k resolutions for games. Going to be so good for the pocket of pc gamers /

    Reply

  23. Viper_ZA

    November 7, 2019 at 19:35

    WQHD is the sweet spot <3

    Reply

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