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8k is the Next Golden Age of Gaming

by on14 October 2014 5036 times

When I first started covering the computer world the most common resolution was 640x680 with the hard core gamers getting 800x600. The dream of the day, which some called the golden age of gaming, was 1600x1200 with around 30Fps. Now the dream is “photo realistic” resolutions without the need for heavy anti-aliasing and texture filtering. Even in the mobile world this is becoming a bigger issue with retina displays on the Apple side of the world and 3 and 4k screens on the PC side.

However even 4k is not truly photo realistic. To get there we need something a little higher. This is the next step that both NVIDIA and AMD are working towards: 8k. In raw terms 8k is 7680x4320 or about 48 Million Pixels to display. That is a massive amount of data to push to a monitor even if you are not trying to change the underlying image 30 times per second.

However, 8k resolution is not something that is really on the board right now. According to PCGamesN NVIDIA and AMD are already thinking about the next jump in resolution, but it seems that this might be a long way off. The typical 25-30% performance bumps between generations is not going to cut it. At least that is what NVIDIA is saying. According to one source at NVIDIA the GPU needed to push 8k will have to be about six times more powerful than what we have today.

Even 4k is a rough sell for gaming with current technology. You can push some media content out at 4k, but when it comes to 3D gaming things get a little rough and often require multiple GPUs to get things to even out.

So why are we talking about 8k? Well according to some this is the resolution that best matches what we can perceive with our eyes. Beyond 8K the human eye will not notice differences in resolution so this is the goal for the real golden age of gaming. Before we get there we will need to see some changes to more than just the GPU though. Game developers will need to change the way they code their gaming engines and how they push textures and images. Memory, CPU, Motherboard and even drive speeds will need to be improved or games will find themselves bottlenecked by something besides the GPU again.

It will be a wild ride to get to 8k with some pretty big changes to the computers are built from the ground up, but in the end the idea that we could have games that look “real” to our eyes is something to look forward to.

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Last modified on 14 October 2014
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