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