Here’s where things get interesting. Not everyone has a 4K-ready PC, but if your TV is 4K, you want to get the best picture possible. To do that, you’ll want your PC to output a 4K resolution at all times, after which we can use a few tricks to scale your games up from a lower resolution—similar to what the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro do. You will get a better overall picture than just running your PC at 1080p, without needing to upgrade your graphics card.
First, right-click the Windows desktop and choose Display Settings. Scroll down to Display Resolution and set it to 3,840 by 2,160 (it should say “Recommended” in parentheses next to it). This will ensure your PC is outputting a 4K signal.
Next, launch a game and enter its video or display settings. Ideally, it will have a setting called Resolution Scaling (sometimes called Render Scale or something similar). This setting is usually a percentage value, and it will render the game’s graphics at a lower resolution while keeping other UI elements at a super sharp 4K.
For example, you would set your game’s resolution to 3,840 by 2,160, then change resolution scaling to 70 percent, which will give you the performance of running the game at 2,688 by 1,512 with sharper graphics and text than 1080p would provide.
Some games might have even more options for bridging this gap, like Watch Dogs 2’s Temporal Filtering or Titanfall 2’s Adaptive Resolution—though these are a bit fewer and further between right now.
Poke around the settings and see what you can find—just make sure both Windows and your game are set to 3,840 by 2,160 before tweaking these settings for best results.