Windows 8.1 DPI Scaling Enhancements to Optimize New Crop of Amazing 4K Displays

When we posted our look at Windows 8.1 earlier this month, we covered a lot that was new to the OS, and admittedly, there was a lot more packed in than we originally anticipated. Despite that, we still managed to miss a couple of major DPI improvements that were added to the update, and for those sporting 4K displays, or multiple displays of differing resolutions, you're going to love this.

When Microsoft pushed Windows 8 out the door last fall, it must not have believed that the 4K revolution would be so quick to catch on. Like Windows 7, the maximum DPI value offered via the OS was 150%. That might be fine for an enormous 4K display, but what if you have 4K in something like a 30" frame, or one even smaller? No one loves to squint at their PC, and for that reason, Microsoft has bumped the max DPI value to 200% in Windows 8.1.

If that were the only DPI enhancement to Windows 8.1, there'd be little to get excited about (especially for those who don't have intentions of picking up a 4K display anytime soon). But, it gets better. Also new is per-display scaling. Anyone who owns multiple monitors of differing sizes and resolutions is going to know the problem that this will fix. No longer will an app look just fine on one display and ridiculously small or large on the next. Microsoft gives a perfect example of the improvements with this shot:

The monitor on the left is 23", boasting a 1080p resolution; the middle, a 27" with a 2560x1440 resolution; and finally, the right, a 32" with a 3840x2160 resolution (4K). Despite the wildly varying specs here, being able to adjust the DPI on a per-display basis allows users to retain some congruency from one display to the next. Without question, this minor addition is going to be a major improvement for a lot of users.

Past all this, developers will now gain control over how DPI levels affect their apps, which admittedly should have been something implemented a long time ago. Either way, all of these changes are welcomed, and if you're a 4K user, you can rest-assured that Microsoft has you covered - if you're using Windows 8, that is.