Futureproof your setup with these 4 objects of 4K desire

We've already explained what 4K technology means for your design business; now it's time to get practical. If you want to be 4K-ready then you're going to have to splash out on some serious hardware. Here are four pieces of kit that can get you started.

01. AMD FirePro W8000 graphics card

It ain't cheap, but an AMD graphics card powered by the FirePro W8000 GPU chipset and 4GB GDDR RAM will drive four monitors at 4096x2160 via DisplayPort 1.2. Admittedly, it's probably overkill for standard graphics work, but for demanding video, 3D and motion graphics setups, it's bang on.

02. Dell Ultrasharp UP3214Q

  • Price: £2770

With the catchy UP3214Q, Dell brings a relatively affordable 4K display to the creative market. The 32-inch IPS display has an Ultra HD resolution of 3840x2160 (with PPI of 140), 99 per cent AdobeRGB and 100 per cent sRGB coverage, viewing angles of 178 degrees/178 degrees, and connects via HDMI, DisplayPort or mini-DisplayPort. It also has four USB 3.0 ports. All of this coupled with a slick, space-saving design.

03. Apple Mac Pro

  • Price: From £2499

If you read our recent feature on whether you really need a Mac Pro, there's not much else to tell you about the machine, except that it's a 4K editor's dream. The base machine features dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics processors with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM each - enabling you to power up to three 4K displays at once. Pair it with Final Cut Pro X and editing native 4K video becomes achievable at not such a bad price. You'll need to stick as much RAM in it as you can afford, as well as a raft of Thunderbolt storage. So it's not a budget option, but affordable for studios that need to work with native 4K footage.

04. Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

Price: £2300

You may think shooting in 4K is out of your price range, but with prices starting at £2,300, the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is relatively inexpensive. The camera, which features a large 4K Super 35 size sensor, captures footage in CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 file formats. What's more, it has an EF-compatible lens mount. Lenses tend to cost a small fortune but there are cheaper options available such as the Zeiss Compact Prime CP .2 28mm T2.1 (£3100) and you could always rent them depending on your needs.

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 226.

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Rob Carney

Rob is editorial, graphic design and publishing lead at Transport for London. He previously worked at Future Publishing over the course of several years, where he launched digital art magazine, ImagineFX; and edited graphic design magazine Computer Arts, as well as the Computer Arts Projects series, and was also editor of technology magazine, T3.