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We bask in 5K glory with the Dell UltraSharp 27 UP2715K

Gordon Mah Ung | Sept. 16, 2015
Look at these adorable kittens! We walk you through the ins and outs of 5K and tell you what you'll need to run it.

Who doesn’t want more pixels? If you raised your hand, go to the back of the classroom and sulk with your beige 800x600 CRT, because as controversial as it is to promote more pixels, one look at Dell’s beautiful UltraHD 5K monitor will have even the haters convinced moar is better.

That doesn’t mean 5K is without its warts—which I’ll walk you through—but good gods, seeing 5120x2880 pixels spread across the UltraSharp 27 UP2715K is enough to make a grown nerd cry.

To give you an idea of just how many pixels a 5K monitor packs, you can’t just look at the raw resolution. You really need to think about it in megapixels.

A typical 23-inch, 1920x1080 monitor is about 2 million pixels. A 27-inch 2560x1440 notches that up to 3.7 megapixels. The current 4K buzzword, with its resolution of 3840x2160, takes it to a juicy 8.2 megapixels.

But that Dell? That UltraHD 5K monitor? Think 14.7 million pixels, or more than seven times the pixels in your Full HD monitor and about 70 percent more than an UltraHD 4K monitor. Dayum.

Why 5K? Cat pictures that’s why. Cat image courtesy of the Furrtographer

Do you really need more pixels?

The pursuit of pixels is indeed controversial. On one side you have the people who believe once you’ve exceeded a certain pixel density your eyes can’t see more, so it's overkill. On laptops, more pixels means a battery life penalty. Even worse, all those pixels mean you need a big, hairy GPU or GPUs to push it in gaming. 

On the other side, you have those who think pixel density is the bee's knees. It smooths out everything so you’ll never even remember what a pixel is. More pixels can also have a practical impact in giving you more desktop real estate to work with. Anyone who works with CAD or any other discipline that requires an enormous amount of data on the screen knows the value of more pixels.

Here’s a quick way to illustrate it using cats. I’m allergic to cats and don’t have cute cat pics of my own, so thanks to Josh Norem of the for use of his supercute images.

Here’s how many pixesl a 1920x1080 image would occupy at 100 percent on a 5K monitor. Cat image courtesy of the Furrtographer

Here’s what a 1920x1080 image or FHD would look like at 100 percent on the 5K monitor. Next is the popular 2560x1440 resolution that’s usually found on 27-inch monitors.

Let’s jump it up to a typical 27-inch 2560x1440 monitor.


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