How to Get 4K Resolution on A 1080P Monitor?

19 minutes read

To get 4K resolution on a 1080p monitor, you would need to use some software or settings that simulate or scale the 4K resolution on your display. However, it's important to note that this method won't truly provide you with the level of detail and clarity that a native 4K resolution display offers.

One way to achieve a higher resolution on your 1080p monitor is through software called Virtual Super Resolution (VSR) or Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR). These technologies are usually supported by graphics cards, such as AMD Radeon or Nvidia GeForce, and allow you to render games or applications at a higher resolution and then downscale them to fit your 1080p monitor. This can result in a crisper image but may cause a decrease in performance due to the increased workload for your GPU.

Some graphics card control panels have options like VSR or DSR that you can enable. You would need to access your graphics card settings through its respective control panel to enable the feature and select the desired resolution. Keep in mind that not all graphics cards support this feature, so you will need to check whether your specific GPU is compatible.

Additionally, some third-party software can help upscale your display resolution. Examples include Reshade, which allows you to apply various visual enhancements including resolution scaling, or programs like OBS Studio that can help upscale video content. These methods, however, may not provide the same level of quality as native 4K.

It's important to mention that while these methods can improve image quality and provide a higher resolution feel, they do not actually upgrade your monitor's physical capabilities. If you truly want to experience 4K resolution, you'll need to invest in a native 4K display.

Best 4k Monitors of 2024

SAMSUNG UJ59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) Computer Monitor, HDMI, Display Port, Eye Saver/Flicker Free Mode, FreeSync (LU32J590UQNXZA),Black

Rating is 5 out of 5

SAMSUNG UJ59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) Computer Monitor, HDMI, Display Port, Eye Saver/Flicker Free Mode, FreeSync (LU32J590UQNXZA),Black

  • WIDESCREEN UHD: With 4x the pixels of Full HD, get more screen space (vs 16:9 screen) and UHD images; View documents & webpages w/ less scrolling, work more comfortably w/ multiple windows & toolbars, and enjoy photos, videos & games in stunning 4K
  • A BILLION COLOR SHADES: Supporting a billion shades of color, the UJ59 delivers incredibly vivid and realistic images; Its color accuracy means colors appear true to life, making the UJ59 ideal for photo, video and graphics applications
  • SEAMLESS UPSCALING: Samsung’s UHD upscaling technology includes signal analysis and detail enhancement that seamlessly upconverts SD, HD and Full HD content to near UHD-level picture quality
  • WIDESCREEN 4K GAMING: With 8.3 million pixels supporting a wide range of colors and resolving every image with astonishing clarity, UHD gives you a wider view for a truly thrilling and immersive gaming experience
  • SMOOTHER GAMEPLAY: AMD FreeSync synchronizes the refresh rate of your graphics card & monitor to reduce image tear & stutter; Low Input Lag Mode minimizes the delay between mouse, keyboard or joystick input and onscreen response for smooth gaming
HP OMEN 27k UHD 144Hz Gaming Monitor, 4K UHD Display (3840 x 2160), IPS Panel, 99% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3, 16:9, OMEN Gaming Hub, 27k (2023),Black

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

HP OMEN 27k UHD 144Hz Gaming Monitor, 4K UHD Display (3840 x 2160), IPS Panel, 99% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3, 16:9, OMEN Gaming Hub, 27k (2023),Black

  • UNCOMPROMISING PERFORMANCE - Get lost in the captivating definition and ultra-precise details of 4K resolution on this 27” diagonal monitor. The pixel dense 3840 x 2160 resolution transforms your game into a remarkable, lifelike experience
  • VISUALS BEYOND IMAGINATION - Get deeper hues and a wide array of colors with 99% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 for precisely recreated colors so lifelike you get lost in your gameplay
  • THE JOY HQ - Behold your gaming headquarters. Whether you’re playing in or out of game, quickly switch between devices and control them with the same keyboard & mouse thanks to the KVM switch
  • REFINE YOUR PLAY SPACE - Made to impress in and out of game, the new OMEN look blends sophistication and fun to elevate what a gaming setup can look like. Through aRGB lighting and integrated dual speakers, make your play space just how you like it
  • ALL YOUR FUN, CUSTOM - Play around with every possible setting in OMEN Gaming Hub—a one-stop shop for customizing your ecosystem. Make your monitor, any PC, and select accessories work better together the way you want
  • EVERY MOTION AND PIXEL KEEPS UP WITH YOU - How fast your pixels can react to changing frames is critical for fast-paced gaming, and a 1ms GtG response time with Overdrive ensures even the most action-packed moments are fluid, crisp, and free of motion blur
  • EASILY MAKE OUT DETAILS - See details even in shadow and replicate reality on your screen with VESA DisplayHDR 400 for enhanced contrast, deeper shadows and brighter highlights
  • NEXT GEN CONSOLE COMPATIBLE - Compatible with any console, and get 120FPS at 4K through HDMI 2.1 on the latest consoles
  • ADJUSTABLE STAND - Find comfort while you game with 100mm of height adjust, pivot and tilt capabilities
  • HP EYE EASE WITH EYESAFE CERTIFICATION - Keep your screentime comfortable with beautiful colors while reducing blue light.
ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A 28” Monitor, 4K UHD (3840 x 2160), IPS, Adaptive-Sync/ FreeSync, Eye Care, DisplayPort HDMI, DCI-P3 HDR 10, Shadow Boost, Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A 28” Monitor, 4K UHD (3840 x 2160), IPS, Adaptive-Sync/ FreeSync, Eye Care, DisplayPort HDMI, DCI-P3 HDR 10, Shadow Boost, Black

  • 28-inch 4K (3840x2160) IPS DCI-P3 grade gaming monitor for stunning crisp and detailed visuals.Specific uses for product - Gaming
  • Compatible with industry-standard HDR10 high dynamic range for color and brightness levels that exceed the capabilities of ordinary monitors
  • FreeSync technology to eliminate screen tearing and choppy frame rates
  • Shadow Boost enhances image details in dark areas, brightening scenes without over-exposing bright areas
  • Rich Connectivity with HDMI (v2.0) x2 and DisplayPort 1.2 ports
  • Supports both Adaptive-Sync with NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards and FreeSync with AMD Radeon graphics cards Compatible with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series, GTX 16 series, RTX 20 series and newer graphics cards
  • What's in the box: DisplayPort cable, Power cord, Warranty card, Quick Start guide
Dell S2721QS 27 Inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Ultra-Thin Bezel Monitor, AMD FreeSync (HDMI, DisplayPort), VESA Certified, Silver

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Dell S2721QS 27 Inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Ultra-Thin Bezel Monitor, AMD FreeSync (HDMI, DisplayPort), VESA Certified, Silver

  • IMMERSIVE DISPLAY: Experience stunning 4K UHD with a three-sided ultrathin bezel design, providing immersive viewing with 4 times the resolution of Full HD. Supports HDR content playback for a lifelike visual experience.Specific uses for product - Gaming.Pixel Per Inch : 163. Brightness : 350 cd/m².Horizontal Viewing Angle : 178°. Vertical Viewing Angle : 178°
  • ELEGENT DESIGN: The back side of this monitor features a subtle textured pattern that gives it a unique look. It brings the feeling of a harmonious blend of great style and quality into every living space.
  • COMFORT VIEW: Customize your viewing experience with a height adjustable stand, tilt, swivel & pivot features, ensuring all-day comfort and ergonomic versatility.
  • SEAMLEASS SWITCHING: Built-in dual HDMI ports keep your devices always plugged in and let you effortlessly switch between streaming and console gaming.
SAMSUNG 43" Odyssey Neo G7 Series 4K UHD Smart Gaming Monitor, 144Hz, 1ms, VESA Display HDR600, Quantum Matrix Technology, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, LS43CG702NNXZA, 2023, Black

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

SAMSUNG 43" Odyssey Neo G7 Series 4K UHD Smart Gaming Monitor, 144Hz, 1ms, VESA Display HDR600, Quantum Matrix Technology, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, LS43CG702NNXZA, 2023, Black

  • QUANTUM MATRIX TECHNOLOGY: Quantum Matrix Technology w/ Quantum Mini LEDs create controlled brightness and impressive contrast for games to come to life; Plus, advanced 12-bit back light unit allows detailed HDR control for unmatched picture quality*.Power Supply Type : AC100-240V 50/60Hz. Power Cable Length : 1.5 m
  • VESA DISPLAY HDR600: Experience a new level of multi-entertainment with life-like visuals; With 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and VESA Display HDR600, both videos and games deliver abundant, deeper blacks and greater color detail*Sync Premium Pro
  • SMART TV EXPERIENCE: Enjoy your favorite shows and movies through the Smart TV apps; Take a break from marathon gaming sessions and catch up on must-see streaming content with just a simple Wi-Fi connection**
  • SAMSUNG GAMING HUB: The best of gaming all in one place; Samsung Gaming Hub allows instant access to top cloud gaming services and your favorite consoles; Smooth visuals and responsive gameplay are powered by advanced game streaming technology***
  • 4K GAMING REFRESH RATES: 144Hz refresh rate eliminates lag for gameplay with ultra-smooth action; Identify enemies with elite precision with a 1ms(MPRT) response time , precise mouse movements, and blur-free frames with minimized ghosting*
  • AMD FREESYNC PREMIUM PRO: Effortlessly smooth gameplay; AMD FreeSync Premium Pro features adaptive sync technology which reduces screen tearing, stutter, and input latency; Low frame rate compensation ensures every scene flows seamlessly
  • MATTE DISPLAY: Focus only on what matters; The matte display absorbs, but does not reflect, artificial and natural light, minimizing glare and keeping you immersed during the toughest battles and hardest levels*
  • FLEX MOVE SCREEN: Optimize your gaming setup for boosted performance with Flex Move Screen by adjusting the on-screen size from 43 to 20 inches so you can maintain a winning position****
  • ULTRAWIDE GAME VIEW: Extend the screen and uncover unseen areas of game worlds with the Ultrawide Game View feature; Expand the aspect ratio easily from 16:9 to 21:9 to gain a competitive edge****
  • GAME BAR: Easily view the status of the most important settings such as FPS or HDR; Modify response time or screen ratio, as well as the game picture mode, without having to leave your game screen to keep you focused on your goal*
Dell S2722QC 27-inch 4K USB-C Monitor - UHD (3840 x 2160) Display, 60Hz Refresh Rate, 8MS Grey-to-Grey Response Time (Normal Mode), Built-in Dual 3W Speakers, 1.07 Billion Colors Platinum Silver

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Dell S2722QC 27-inch 4K USB-C Monitor - UHD (3840 x 2160) Display, 60Hz Refresh Rate, 8MS Grey-to-Grey Response Time (Normal Mode), Built-in Dual 3W Speakers, 1.07 Billion Colors Platinum Silver

  • SUPERIOR SCREEN: With a three-sided ultrathin bezel design that lets you to see more without interruptions, high functionality meets superb style. Enjoy crisp visuals with an impressive 4.0ms response time.Specific uses for product - Business.Pixel per inch (PPI) : 163. Operating Temperature : 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
  • COMFORT COMES FIRST: Customize your views with a height-adjustable stand and a monitor that tilts, swivels and pivots so you look your best and feel your best during work sessions or movie binges.
  • VERSATILE CONNECTIVITY: Easily charge and connect your laptop on this USB-C monitor. This single-cable solution reduces clutter on your desktop and transmits power, video, audio and data—all at once.
  • INTEGRATED SPEAKERS: This usb-c monitor comes equipped with everything you need including built-in dual 3W integrated speakers.
  • PERSONALIZED COMFORT: Customize your views with a height-adjustable stand that tilts, swivels and pivots allowing you to view at your most optimal position.

How can I adjust my 1080p monitor to support 4K resolution?

Unfortunately, you cannot adjust a 1080p monitor to support 4K resolution. The resolution of a monitor is determined by its physical hardware. A 1080p monitor has a fixed resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, while a 4K monitor has a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels.

If you want to experience 4K resolution, you will need to purchase a 4K monitor that is designed to support that resolution.

What is the recommended process to upgrade my 1080p monitor to display 4K resolution?

To upgrade your 1080p monitor to display 4K resolution, you would need to follow these steps:

  1. Check Compatibility: Ensure that your computer or device supports 4K resolution. Verify if your graphics card, HDMI or DisplayPort output, and the operating system can handle 4K resolution.
  2. Determine Monitor Compatibility: Confirm if your current monitor can support 4K resolution. If it does not, you will need to purchase a new monitor that is capable of displaying 4K resolution.
  3. Connect via HDMI or DisplayPort: Make sure that your device has an HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 (or higher) port as these support 4K resolution. Connect your computer to the monitor using the appropriate cable.
  4. Update Graphics Driver: Ensure your graphics card drivers are up to date. Visit the manufacturer's website and download the latest drivers, then install them on your computer.
  5. Adjust Display Settings: Right-click on your desktop and select "Display Settings" or "Screen Resolution." Check if your computer recognizes the 4K monitor. Set the resolution to 3840x2160 (4K) if it is not already selected.
  6. Enable 4K: Some monitors have specific settings to enable 4K resolution. Check the monitor's manual or on-screen menus to ensure that 4K is enabled.
  7. Test and Adjust: Open a 4K resolution video or image to verify that the monitor is displaying content in 4K. Adjust any settings necessary to optimize your viewing experience.

Remember to consider the hardware requirements of 4K content such as a powerful graphics card, sufficient RAM, and adequate storage space.

What changes should I make in my 1080p monitor settings to display 4K videos?

To display 4K videos on a 1080p monitor, you won't be able to truly achieve 4K resolution as the monitor's maximum resolution is limited to 1080p. However, you can still make adjustments to enhance the viewing experience. Here are a few settings you can change:

  1. Playback quality: Use a media player or streaming service that allows you to adjust the playback quality of the video. Many platforms offer settings like "auto," "high," or "HD." Choose the highest available setting for the best possible resolution.
  2. Display scaling: You can try adjusting the display scaling settings on your computer to zoom in on the video and fill the entire screen. However, keep in mind that this won't increase the resolution; it will only stretch the content to fit the screen, potentially sacrificing image quality.
  3. Video player settings: Some media players offer options to enhance video playback, such as post-processing settings or upscaling algorithms. Explore the settings of your video player and experiment with different options to see if any improvements can be made.
  4. View distance: Position yourself at an optimal viewing distance from the monitor. Sitting closer to the screen might help you notice more details and improve the perception of image quality.
  5. Brightness and contrast: Adjust the brightness and contrast settings on your monitor to optimize the visual experience, making sure the video is neither too dark nor overexposed.
  6. Color calibration: Calibrate your monitor's color settings. Although this won't directly impact the resolution, it can enhance the overall viewing experience and color accuracy.

Remember that these adjustments won't truly turn your 1080p monitor into a 4K display, but they may help improve the playback of 4K videos on your existing monitor.

How do I adjust my 1080p monitor's scaling settings for a 4K-like display?

If you want to adjust the scaling settings on your 1080p monitor to achieve a 4K-like display, you can follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on your Desktop and select "Display settings" from the context menu.
  2. In the "Display" settings window, scroll down to the "Scale and layout" section.
  3. Under the "Scale and layout" section, you will find a dropdown menu labeled "Resolution" or "Display resolution." Click on it and select the highest resolution available for your monitor. In this case, it would be 1920x1080 (or 1080p).
  4. After selecting the highest resolution, you will notice that the content on your screen becomes smaller. To increase the scaling to simulate a 4K-like display, adjust the "Scale and layout" slider to a higher percentage (e.g., 125% or 150%). This will increase the size of the content while maintaining a higher resolution feel.
  5. Play around with the scaling percentage until you find the desired balance between size and sharpness. Remember to click "Apply" or "OK" to save the changes.
  6. Once you have adjusted the scaling, your 1080p monitor should reflect a larger and sharper display, giving a similar visual experience to 4K.

Keep in mind that while this can improve the visual experience somewhat, it will not actually increase the number of pixels on your screen. True 4K resolution requires a monitor capable of physically displaying the additional pixels.

How do I change settings to get 4K resolution on a 1080p monitor in Windows?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to achieve a true 4K resolution on a 1080p monitor. The display's physical limitation determines the maximum resolution it can support.

However, if you still want to attempt this and obtain a higher resolution experience, you can try enabling supersampling or virtual resolution scaling. This process uses software to render the content at a higher resolution and then downscales it to fit the monitor.

Here's how you can attempt this in Windows:

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select "Display settings."
  2. Scroll down and click on "Advanced display settings."
  3. Under the "Resolution" section, click on "Display adapter properties."
  4. In the new window, go to the "Monitor" tab.
  5. Check if your graphics driver supports a virtual resolution or supersampling feature. If it does, you'll find an option named "Enable virtual resolution" or "Enable supersampling." If available, check the box next to it and click "Apply." Note: Not all graphics drivers or GPUs support this feature.
  6. If the option is not available, you can try utilizing custom third-party tools such as the Nvidia Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) or AMD Virtual Super Resolution (VSR). These tools are provided by graphics card manufacturers and enable virtual resolutions on their respective GPUs.

Keep in mind that enabling virtual resolutions or supersampling on a 1080p monitor might result in a slight improvement in image quality, but it won't create a true 4K experience. The monitor's physical limitation will still determine the final output quality.

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