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2015 was the Revolution of Resolutions, but 2016 is even more exciting

By: Anthony Garreffa | Monitors in Displays & Projectors | Posted: Dec 31, 2015 6:50 pm

The biggest changes in resolutions and refresh rates are going to come from DisplayPort 1.3, which will amp up the available bandwidth to 32.4 Gbps - an increase of 50% from the 21.6 Gbps on tap from DisplayPort 1.2. But it's not just DisplayPort that will provide huge resolutions and ever-increasing refresh rates, but it'll be VR headsets, too.


DisplayPort 1.3 allows up to 4K @ 120Hz, or 3440x1440 @ 190Hz


Right now, we're limited to 4K 60Hz and 3440x1440 at 100Hz on the Acer Predator X34, but in 2016, we're going to see these shackles broken and new heights reached. DisplayPort 1.3 will allow for 4K @ 120Hz, and even 3440x1440 at a huge 190Hz - yeah, 190Hz. On the lower-end of the spectrum, 1920x1080 will be capable of 240Hz, and so too will 2560x1440. It'll be a huge year for refresh rates, and I'm sure NVIDIA and AMD are rubbing their hands together with glee. AMD's new Radeon cards in 2016 will support DP 1.3, so I'm sure NVIDIA's new GPUs will, too.





4K at 120Hz with G-Sync or FreeSync is going to be absolutely incredible, but I'm personally worried about the physical panel size. 28-inch panels aren't big enough to use 4K to its full potential, so I want to see some monitor manufacturers offering 30 or 32-inch 4K monitors with the glorious 120Hz refresh rate. When it comes to UltraWide monitors, I simply can't believe we're going to see 190Hz at 3440x1440... that's going to be absolutely incredible. The Predator X34's dominance will be short lived, especially when it has its predecessor clocking in at 190Hz. Ugh, I'm so excited!



Entering a new reality with VR


As much as I'm excited about display technology, resolutions and refresh rates, I'm just as, if not more, excited about the future of VR headsets. As an owner of both the Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 headsets, I've also tried the various Rift prototypes at trade shows like CES and GTC, as well as the HTC Vive a few times along the way. At CES 2016 early next month, I've got a meeting booked with HTC to try out the latest iteration of the Vive and the nifty refreshed controllers. I'm beyond excited to see what HTC and Valve have done after they've teased a "very, very big technological breakthrough" with the Vive recently.


The HTC Vive will rock the following specs:




  • Resolution: 2160x1200 (or 1080x1200 per eye)
  • Display tech: OLED
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • FOV: 110 degrees (or higher)
  • Input: SteamVR controllers


The Oculus Rift will feature:




  • Resolution: 2160x1200 (or 1080x1200 per eye)
  • Display tech: OLED
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • FOV: 110 degrees (or higher)
  • Input: Xbox 360 controllers (Oculus Touch controllers coming later 2016)


VR headsets are going to push PC requirements up, as you'll be driving much more resolution - 2160x1200 is a huge increase on the GPU required to run games - but it's not the resolution, it's the refresh rate. Both the Rift and Vive run 90Hz refresh rates, and for the optimal experience, you'll need to hit 90FPS minimum. Anything under that is going to result in judder and issues, and with the screen so close to your eyes, this is going to be a big problem. But with the next-gen GPUs on their way from both AMD and NVIDIA, we're not far away from gaming on a single GPU at 2160x1200 at 90FPS.

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