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Jeff Stubbers (Technology Consultant Lead)

Asus 4K PQ321Q Monitor

Written on September 10, 2014 by Jeff Stubbers
"I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!"
This quote from the movie Elf keeps coming to mind when using the 31.5-inch Asus PQ321Q monitor. I have recently had a chance to try this 4K monitor, and it's amazing! Believe it or not, the first thing that really stands out to me is the color reproduction. I was anticipating that I would be blown away by how much extra work space I would have - and I am - but honestly the first thing that has a huge impact is the screen's crisp, clean color. I never noticed how other monitors didn't really supply a true white, but after setting up this monitor next to my other standard monitors, the color difference can be easily seen when comparing this one to the previous one. The white colors of my previous monitor now looks... grey and washed out.
One photo which really stands out for me is this photo of veggies, taken by Micah Musick from our tech support team.  The carrots are a deep orange, tomatoes are a bright red, corn husks light to deep green, and bag of huckleberries have a nice variety from deep purple to light red. 
(Of course the colors in this photo will look different for you, depending on the quality of monitor you are using). It was surprising to see the colors drop from the photo as I drug it from the Asus 4K monitor to other very nice screens I had nearby. All this and I had not even color calibrated the Asus PQ321Q monitor yet!
The second thing I noticed of course was the extra screen real estate. A 4K monitor, or 3840x2160 resolution to be technically more accurate, offers a lot more work space. The screen resolution offers 4x the space of the ubiquitous "Full HD" 1920x1080 resolution that the majority of monitors offer these days. This is a massive amount of space to get my work done. No longer do I have to have programs overlapping each other. As someone whom has a lot of program windows running simultaneously, having this extra screen real estate is a tremendous help. I can now space out my workload and see all the programs at the same time without having to tab between them. This is huge time saver, and now I don't accidentally lose a browser window behind other program windows. Those of you who have many, many tabs and browsers open like I do will know of this issue of losing Internet browser windows behind other programs, and forgetting about them. That is a resource hog when it happens because the Internet browser tab is open using resources - mostly RAM - when it is not being utilized, and sometimes a new tab or Internet browser gets opened up to duplicate the "lost" browser window.
Could you simply get four 1920x1080 monitors to have the same screen real estate to work with, and save money in the process? - Sure, but it would take up a lot more physical space on your desk, even if you used those arms or racks to hold monitors in 2x2 rows. Having all of your work-space in a more compact form without the monitor bezels of 4 1920x1080 resolution monitors in between the screens has a lot going for it. This is particularly evident if you wanted to maximize a movie or other video to full screen mode, or game at 3840x2160. Not to mention that multiple monitors will be using more power, and needing 4 power connections as opposed to 1, and 4 video connections to your graphics card. With low-cost 1920x1080 resolution monitors, you will also not have the color quality of this beautiful 31.5-inch 3840x2160 resolution monitor either.
On the professional photo editing side, this is also an excellent 10-bit RGB monitor for professional photo editing with over 1.07 billion colors. This provides smoother color transitions between color shades, and allows for the colors that you see on screen to be closer to what you see when printing in color. For the best color reproduction, it is best to use a workstation class graphics card (Nvidia Quadro / AMD FirePro), which can offer true 10-bit per channel color output. However, even without a workstation class graphics card, I was able to see a difference in color reproduction on-screen with a standard desktop class graphics card (Nvidia Geforce / AMD Radeon). I can only image how it may be with a workstation class graphics card.
There are smaller 28-inch and 24-inch 3840x2160 resolution monitors available, but the smaller sized monitors are forced to fit this resolution into a smaller screen. This means the pixels get smaller from a pixel pitch of 0.182 mm of a 31.5-inch 4K screen to a pixel pitch of 0.16mm on a 28-inch 4K screen, and pixel pitch of 0.137 mm on a 24-inch 4K screen. Therefore along with the pixels getting smaller, so does everything else, such as text, images, etc.  To compensate, you can increase the font size on the smaller 4K monitors, but then you are taking up more pixels per text character, and you start to lose one of the benefits of the higher resolution which is to fit more content on the screen. Yes budget also does have a role to play in deciding which monitor to go with, but for those who have to fit a lot of content on screen, such as myself, the 31.5" Asus PQ321Q 4K monitor would be my choice.
Have you had the pleasure of using one of these fantastic Asus 31.5" 3840x2160 monitors, even if just for a moment? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Best Regards, 
Jeff Stubbers 
Puget Systems 
Tags: Asus, Monitor, Review, Hardware
Kevin Crosby

Been holding off to get a 4k monitor until the video cards caught up a bit, but now it seems that something like the PNY VCQK4200-PB Quadro is about there. Any expirence with this combo or other DP adapters with enough bandwidth to drive this at 60hz?

Posted on 2014-09-16 16:51:31
Jeff Stubbers

The Quadro K4200 can support a 4K monitor at 60Hz. In fact, any graphics card with DisplayPort 1.2 will be able to support a 4K (3840x2160) monitor at 60Hz. This can be a desktop class, or workstation class graphics card. We have a great article that discusses this at: http://tinyurl.com/lzv3s6y . That article is a bit dated now, at over a year old, and Nvidia has corrected the issues we were seeing since then. I would recommend using any current graphics card with 2GB onboard video RAM with DisplayPort outputs these days. The GTX 750 Ti graphics card or higher-end should make for a great choice.

Posted on 2014-09-16 22:51:36
Kevin Crosby

Good Information here Jeff, thanks

Posted on 2014-09-17 13:54:16