1080p vs 4K Laptop for Gaming & Video/Photo Editing


Jan 14, 2012

I'm currently on the market for a new laptop. I'm going off to college next year and I'm looking for something that will hold me till I graduate college. It's mostly going to be used for the standard college stuff, as well as some video/photo editing as that's a bit of a hobby of mine. I'm also a big PC gamer so I already have a gaming PC at home, but wouldn't mind to be able to play a little something on the go. Basically I'm looking for a laptop that can do all these things okay but not necessarily great, because I'm on a pretty strict budget ($1,400). I might be able to squeeze an extra hundred or so, but it's questionable. Since the budget's tight I've decided to get something during the black friday sales. Right now I'm looking at the Lenovo Y700 line. There are two that have caught my eye. The specs are:

Ideapad Y700-15 Touch - 80NW0017US ($1,399)

Processor: 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor (2.60GHz 1600MHz 6MB)

Operating system: Windows 10 Home 64

Display: 15.6" UHD LED AntiGlare Backlit Multitouch (3840x2160)

Memory: 16.0GB PC4-17000 DDR4 2133 MHz

Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 RPM+128GB SSD

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB


Ideapad Y700-17 Laptop - 80Q00010US ($1,199)

Processor: 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor (2.60GHz 1600MHz 6MB)

Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64

Display: 17.3" FHD IPS AntiGlare with integrated camera (1920x1080)

Memory: 16.0GB PC4-17000 DDR4 2133 MHz

Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 RPM+128GB SSD

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB

The difference between the two is pretty much just in screen size and resolution. 17.3" 1080p vs. 15.3" 4K (Touchscreen). My instinct would be just to get the one with the higher resolution, but I've been told that there are problems associated with having a 4K screen that size. I was also wondering if there would be a negative impact of gaming performance. I don't really expect a mobile graphics card to run games well in 4K so I would just try to run them at 1080. Will there be any unforeseen (by me) impacts on gaming performance compared to the other laptop even though I'm running them at the same resolution? The deal only lasts till tomorrow so if someone could respond fairly soon I would be very grateful.

Thank You.

P.S. Also if anyone knows of a better deal, or a laptop that's more suited towards my needs at this price range it would be greatly appreciated.


Moible GPUs are not good enough to handle games at 4k. In a desktop you would need a PC with at least on GTX 980 Ti to play games at 4k resolution with the highest graphic settings.

The most powerful GPUs for laptops are basically the mobile GTX 980m and a cherry picked desktop GTX 980 chip that have been tested to be capable of running using less amps than most other desktop GTX 980 chips. I believe their clock speed has been lowed to reduce power consumption so a GTX 980 in a laptop has about 90% the performance of a stock speed GTX 980.

The mobile GTX 980m is basically about as powerful as a desktop GTX 960. Two GTX 980m SLI'ed would be more powerful than the GTX 980 used in laptops, but probably only equal to a desktop GTX 980. A desktop GTX 980 running games at 4k resolution will only give you around 20 FPS - 30 FPS depending on the game. See following link to a review of a nVidia GTX 980 Ti which also has results for a desktop GTX 980.


There is no performance penalty running games at 1080p on a 4k screen compared to a laptop with the same exact specs but with a 1080p screen.


Jan 8, 2016

I just purchased a laptop with a 4k screen with an Intel graphics HD 520 in it. Integrated and really not a gaming GPU. However, I have seen people on youtube and other sites demonstrating that this gpu can run some first person shooters (battlefield 3 etc) on low and maybe medium settings with decent frame rates deemed playable. These laptops that run these games have 1080 native screens, no higher, with mostly i5 cpu's. So I have noticed that my new laptop with 4k resolution (Dell Inspiron 17568 "4K Ultra HD" with an intel i7 -6500U) is not able to run those same games as well as the 1080 laptops. Yes I am also lowering the resolution on my laptop to match the other laptops to 1080p. So I would like to know if you might know why my laptop is getting less fps than the native 1080p laptops. You mentioned that lowering the resolution from 4k to 1080 would not suffer any performance loss compared to native 1080p laptops. Any help would be appreciated.
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