To Ultrawide or not to Ultrawide


I’ve been using an Acer Predator Z35P for a while now. I absolutely love it except for a few points that I’ve been considering.

1. The esport standard is 16:9

Playing games at 3440x1440 is amazing, of course. But I mostly play games like #heroesofthestorm and #overwatch. In the competitive space, they’re all playing at 16:9 resolutions and in most cases just 1080p rather than even 1440p.

This might not seem like too much of a big deal but there is something to be said about playing with a regulation football or on a regulation basketball hoop height.

I think there’s something to that.

2. Streaming and video is largely 16:9

I know @Bradum will disagree with me here but the numbers suggest that 16:9 is the better viewing experience for what exists in the market today. There is something to be said for meeting the audience where they are.

This goes back to point number one. If you are streaming to connect with people, it might make sense to connect with how they are playing the game.

3. Multitasking is improved… unless you’re a gamer

One of the main benefits of a wide display is how great it is for multitasking. The problem is that it doesn’t really translate to playing video games. Unless you’re playing in Windowed mode or you’re using a hack to split your display, you’re likely playing in full screen anyway.

Dual displays are much easier to manage than splitting or windowing.


So with that I might actually be considering selling my Ultrawide and going back to a dual display setup. Crazy? Maybe.


Just buy a second normal monitor and get the best of both worlds.


It’s already a struggle to run everything on ultra, 1440p, wide, while streaming, with background processes to support.


Unless you’re trying to go pro, this is irrelevant, IMO. I think the real question to focus on is whether or not you enjoy the 21:9 format.

Yes, but if all the fake 21:9 videos have taught us anything, there is a desire for content in the format; at this point 21:9 users are effectively early adopters. The transition from 4:3 to 16:9 didn’t happen overnight, and I don’t expect the mainstream switch to 21:9 to be quick, but I’d be surprised if it does shift eventually. Also, it’s not like you can’t watch 16:9 content on a 21:9; I dare say 21:9 views 16:9 content better than vice versa.

I disagree with this sentiment as a blanket statement. Some games don’t allow for you to run things the way you wanted to run HOTS, but other games do. As an example, here’s Fortnite:

Not maybe crazy, definitely crazy.


Those are all good counter points.


They’re most likely being forced to use a standard set of equipment in professional tournaments. Unless you’re going pro, I don’t see that being a problem. And I certainly don’t see why you’d make your experience worse to get the “pro experience”.

There’s no debate that a 16:9 stream better matches the displays that the majority of the people will be watching on. But the 16:9 content market is also infinitely more saturated, and far harder for you to set your content apart from the bazillion other streamers doing the exact same thing.

Personally, I’d rather have a bigger share of a growing market, than a smaller share of a stagnant and overly saturated market.

Just buy a cheap second display. I got a 24" 1080p IPS monitor for like… 100 Canadian Rupees. I’d rather do that than cut my gaming real estate almost in half, especially because, if I’m gaming, I’m rarely paying a massive amount of attention to what’s happening on the other monitor.

--------- The button to make a line is gone? ----------------------

But at the end of the day it’s all personal preference.


Oh shit, it is

3 hyphens make the line, apparently.


One option is that I could downgrade my fullscreen gaming to 1080 ultrawide. That would probably be close to performance neutral with a second display.


You mean get the 1080p ultrawide?

Hmm. If only someone had told you to do that in the first place.

Also, a second display takes next to zero extra resources.


No I mean run the game at 1080 on the 1440.



Well that is unfortunate. Maybe I should sell for the 1080?


Correct video posted now.


Why don’t you just play the game at 21:9 and stream it at 16:9.


You mean with letterboxing?


This would be my choice, AND add a second 16:9 monitor

Also: Damn you and your live editing.


I think he means actually stream it at 16:9. Problem with that is that the HUD often shifts to the edge, so you’ll be cutting off a lot of assets.

I had the exact same thought at one point, then realized the problem.