UHD vs FHD for a laptop

wreckace

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Jan 7, 2018
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I desperately need advice!

I am a content creator and I do CAD, BIM and CGI.

I have placed an order with Dell for a 15" Alienware 15 R3 with a UHD display, i7 7700 HQ processor and GTX 1070 GPU and I hope to receive the laptop within the next couple of days.

While awaiting the arrival of my order, I have stumbled on a number of reviews advising against having 4k UHD displays on laptops and I am wondering if I'll regret getting the UHD display instead of the FHD. I am now considering returning it once it arrives.

These reviews have specifically mentioned scaling, battery, gaming and general application performance issues associated with the UHD display on laptops.

Has anyone especially digital content creators had any bad experiences such as scaling of apps or battery performance with the UHD display on the Alienware 15 R3 or gaming laptops in general?

Aside from work, I play FIFA 18 and also occasionally do FPS gaming. Would AutoCAD, Revit, 3Ds Max, SketchUp, Lumion and MS Office applications run without any issues on a UHD display?

Would old games like "Resident Evil 6" and "I am Alive" run smoothly on the UHD display? What about new games like Resident Evil 7 and other new triple A titles? Would gaming experience suffer on the UHD display.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I would not get a 4k display on a laptop, for the screen size you are using it is not worth it. You will have small icons and text. Maybe on a larger 17" laptop, even then it's not worth it for me. If you want the high res display, use it with a monitor, and see if you can find a 1440 screen system vs 1080. I would take the extra cost a 4k screen is and use it for a faster CPU, larger hard drive, pretty much anything else.
 

clarkjd

Distinguished


The issue with the UHD display, is that it has 4 times the number of pixels as a standard 1920x1080 p display, therefore requiring the GPU to work 4 times as hard to render the image. That translates to reduced battery life.

The only reason gaming performance suffers is that it takes an enormous amount of computing power to generate all of those pixels at a rate fast enough to give a smooth gaming experience. Depending on the game, even a 1080ti might not be enough horsepower to get the frame rate needed.

That being said, all I can recommend is to try it, You might be very happy with the experience. I know I am pleased with my 4K display and would hate to give it up.
 

adamjhayes44

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Dec 10, 2017
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There was a time when we were amazed with the 5 mega pixel camera quality on a mobile phone. Now we can't even think about it. I think you should at least try the better one. Let's welcome the new technology.
 

wreckace

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Jan 7, 2018
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Many thanks for your answer.

So basically you don't mind the reduced battery life, poor gaming and application running performance your UHD display gives you.

What I can't understand is why Dell and other manufacturers make you pay more for the UHD display when it clearly does not offer the same level of performance as the significantly cheaper FHD display.

Why is it even an option when it clearly has a negative impact on battery life and running of applications? So one basically pays more to get an awful laptop experience? It doesn't make any sense.

 

clarkjd

Distinguished

Have you seen a 4K display? People pay extra for that sharpness and high resolution, not for the battery life. Most people gaming @4K on a laptop have the charger plugged in while playing.

 

SENOR BURTOS

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Apr 23, 2017
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hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I would not get a 4k display on a laptop, for the screen size you are using it is not worth it. You will have small icons and text. Maybe on a larger 17" laptop, even then it's not worth it for me. If you want the high res display, use it with a monitor, and see if you can find a 1440 screen system vs 1080. I would take the extra cost a 4k screen is and use it for a faster CPU, larger hard drive, pretty much anything else.
 

wreckace

Prominent
Jan 7, 2018
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510
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So in summary, stay away from UHD displays on laptops. The cons significantly outweigh the pros. UHD is Eye candy (at 15" is it really?) but comes along with reduced battery life, increased energy consumption, unsatisfactory gaming experience and OS / application scaling issues...hmmm
 
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