Conclusion

The Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K is a great way to inexpensively experience 4K gaming and the extra real estate used for productivity.  The only issue is that the Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K is such a reflective display, and there may be issues for some users with color shifting in the corners when viewed from an angle, especially in portrait mode.

For the approximately $450-500 that you pay for the Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K , you get a very fast response high-quality 4K 60Hz LED that is excellent for 2D gaming and as a general purpose display. It might be considered “entry level” 4K and it may be satisfying for many as it is for us.

The 4K price premium has dropped significantly from last year.  We paid $429 for the Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K where a similar quality 28″ HD 1080P display may cost around $250.  The good news is that SLI or CrossFire using a top video card is unnecessary to enjoy 4K gaming now.  A single GTX 980 is sufficient from our experience to enjoy 4K with minor setting compromises.  And we shall continue benching at 4K in the same demanding manner that we bench at 1920×1080 and at 2560×1600 – even at 4K.  We expect that it won’t be very long before a single GPU video card can handle 4K with max details and with even some AA added as it does at 2560×1600 today.

Pros

  • The Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K display is reasonably fast with a (best scenario) 1ms rated response time; and it is ideal for inexpensive entry-level gaming, even with a single GPU and minor setting compromises
  • It is very thin and stylish
  • The connectors are very easy to get to as the panel rotates to Portrait mode.
  • The OSD menu has great options and is intuitive
  • The connection options are great and you can enjoy 4K at 60Hz over DP 1.2; it also accepts 4 inputs simultaneously for PiP or PbP.
  • It is a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy 4K gaming, and if a game is too demanding at 4K, it still looks great in 1080P!

Cons:

  • Warranty is awful at only 1 year.  Not recommended even at its current price of $369.  It failed after 18 months of service.
  • The panel has all the color shift issues associated with TN especially in Portrait mode; it is decent in Landscape as 28″ is a fine size for a TN.
  • The display is too reflective for a room with strong ambient light sources.  If so, consider an overlay.
  • No DisplayPort cable is included although HDMI is included in the box.  Fortunately there is a warning on Monoprice’s website to pick up a DP cable if you want to enjoy 4K at 60Hz.  You might consider a very high quality DP cable if you have issues.

With 4K’s limitations in mind and the fact that the Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K is a TN panel, it is an inexpensive way to enjoy 4K gaming. [Edited 07.27.16 to remove Editor’s Choice Award and to give information on the poor warranty even though it is currently $369 from Monoprice.]

In the meantime, check out BTR’s Community or leave a comment below.  We have put our 4K display to good use and are benching for an upcoming GTX 980 SLI versus 290X CrossFire evaluation that features 30 games from 1920×1080 to 4K.  And we have VisionTek’s Wallet Drive and DriveXpander reviews set up for publication next week.

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