Back at CES in January, Dell announced the next step in personal screen resolution advancements. The recent rise of ‘4K’ (or more accurately, Ultra-HD at 3840x2160) monitors has shown that there is a demand for high resolution interfaces beyond a smartphone. Back when UHD monitors in a 16:9 format launched en masse, prices were high ($3500-5000+) and stocks were limited – I remember back in 2013 testing the Sharp 32-inch 4K display at a vendor in Taiwan several years ago in one of the first pieces to test 4K/UHD gaming. The fact that this was the only UHD monitor that GIGABYTE had in their HQ was a testament to how new the technology was. Now, 24-inch UHD displays can be had for as little as $350. We may see history repeat itself with 8K monitors from today.

As always, the first Dell monitors off the production line are designed to be high-end professional monitors. The UP3218K goes in at higher than average specifications, such as 1300:1 contrast ratio, 400 nits brightness, but also offers 100% AdobeRGB, 100% RGB and 98% DCI-P3. The UP3218K is part of Dell’s UltraSharp range, which means we should expect the monitor to be color calibrated out of the box to within a given dE value, typically dE < 3.

Specifications
Dell UltraSharp UP3218K
Panel 31.5" IPS
Resolution 7680 × 4320
Brightness 400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio 1300:1
Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Color Saturation 100% Adobe RGB
100% sRGB
98% DCI-P3
100% Rec 709
Display Colors 1.07 billion
Inputs 2 × DisplayPort 1.4
Connectivity USB 3.0 Hub:
3x USB 3.0-A Downstream
1x USB 3.0-A Downstream (power)
USB 3.0-B Upstream
Audio Line-Out
Rated Power Consumption 87 W

Naturally a question pops up as to how to hook an 8K display up, especially will all the bells and whistles. The display uses two DP1.4 inputs to provide enough bandwidth, which means that we’re typically dealing with the internal controller stitching together two 3840x4320 displays, similar to how the early 4K monitors did (but with a few more years experience on how to do it). It is possible that Dell supports a single DP1.4 cable, which would most likely use Display Stream Compression 1.2 to offer a visually lossless image as a single panel, however one may suspect that given the target market for this panel, a truly lossless image is probably preferred, even when dealing with two input streams.

Overall an 8K monitor offers 33.2 megapixels of coverage, which in a 32-inch (31.5-inch) form factor gives 280 pixels per inch. 33.2 megapixels is four times that of UHD, which is 8.3 megapixels. Users wanting to play some AAA titles at 8K on this beast are going to run into walls with memory bandwidth very quickly, however eSports titles should run OK. Using some undocumented tricks, a pair of tests in our new set of gaming benchmarks for CPU reviews can render at 8K or even 16K without needing a monitor, so you might see some numbers in due course showing where we stand with GPU power on this technology. It’s worth noting that Raja Koduri, SVP of AMD’s Radeon Technology Group, has stated that VR needs 16K per-eye at 144 Hz to emulate the human experience, so we're still a way off in the display technology reaching consumer price points at least.

From 2013 to 2016, the prices of UHD monitors fell from $3500-$5000 to $350-$500. Extrapolating this, users wanting an 8K panel on their desk in a more comfortable price bracket might have to wait until 2020 or so to get one. By then, 16K might exist, back at the $5000 price point. Maybe.

Dell’s UP3218K is now available to purchase on Dell’s website for $4999. Currently taking pre-orders, the estimated shipping date is set as April 17th for US50. Linus from LinusTechTips should be happy, as they just invested in a pair of 8K video cameras. Time to submit my own acquisition request…


Image from Wikipedia

Source: Dell

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  • tojumikie - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    I guess I'm the only one here that views his 4k monitor on 100%?
    I love that I can put 8 pages on 1 screen in MS word at 100%
    Reply
  • tojumikie - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    It's a Samsung 28 inch Reply
  • willis936 - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    Do you use telescopic glasses? Reply
  • tojumikie - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    hahah Reply
  • tojumikie - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    I'm only 21 though so maybe that has something to do with it. Looks fine to me. It's really just like looking at a 14" laptop at 100%. Same text size Reply
  • Valantar - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    So this is essentially a 3x3 grid of Dell XPS 11s, just borderless and with better color reproduction. I mean, I think 2560x1440 is overkill on 13" laptops, let alone 11". This is insane. Although probably useful for some, still insane. I imagine display resolutions like this will kill anti-aliasing for most, if not all games. When GPUs can run them, of course, which will probably be some time around 2025. Reply
  • Kamus - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    the whole point of "overkill" resolutions is exactly the same as it is on phones for monitors:

    You can't ever see pixel structures or individual pixels / sub pixels.

    And that, as we know from phones, is cool.

    Just not nearly as cool as it would have been if Dell released the 4K OLED monitor that would've blown this one out of the water.

    LCD can get 32k resolution and it would still look like crap compared to any OLED monitor. It's just too bad making big OLED monitors can't be done in a cost effective way, unless you're LG.
    Reply
  • smartthanyou - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    Hmmm, well the price per pixels isn't that bad. :) Reply
  • Kamus - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    This is so underwhelming...

    Last year they promised a 4k OLED that would've blown this out of the water.

    This is just "moar pixels" that look just like every other LCD out there.
    Reply
  • timbotim - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    I'm another one of the few on 100% scaling on win7 @110ppi (4k on 40inch). So this is not for me, but delighted that a key vendor is offering 8K. I do hope someone will release 8K somewhere between 55 to 88 inch (160 to 100ppi) as this allows seeing pixels when I really need to, as well as being able to hand-eye manipulate small detail within large scenaria without too much concentration/caret slowdown (99.9% at 1.7mm, 95% at 0.85mm). Reply

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