What 4k monitor?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2015

Basically, I am interested in buying a 4k monitor for my Macbook pro retina. I am a student studying Applied Sciences of Audio and Music Technology. When I first got my mac my intention was to get a HengeDock and then just get a thunderbolt display and have essentially a desktop for home and then a laptop for when I'm in lectures. Although after reading into the Thunderbolt display I notice it has essentially the same resolution as my Macbook (Macbook pro retina 13 inch late 2013 8gb of ram quad core i5 with intel iris 1536) and because I have my mac on a stand the screen would be the same distance away from my face so I would start to see pixels which I would like to avoid and sitting at £900 I think it's very over priced. So my attention quickly turned to 4k or UHD but as I understand it my Macbook is only powerful enough to push 4k at 30hz I have no Idea if that is good or not. I only browse the web, watch Netflix and do uni work I do a lot of work on Logic x and Ableton. From what I can gather these aren't too straining for the graphics card.

 

What I want out of the monitor. Firstly I would like to have the screen the same sort of quality as my Macbook such as colour and what not. I cannot fit anything bigger that 27-28 inch on my desk and I would like it to look premium to a certain degree I don't want it to look like an average monitor. I love the construction of the thunderbolt display. All in all, I want a 4k display that looks as good as my screen on my MacBook that simply just works I don't want to purchase something and be even slightly disappointed.

 

All of this for a budget of around £500

 

Can anyone help me?

 

Lewis

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    as I understand it my Macbook is only powerful enough to push 4k at 30hz I have no Idea if that is good or not

    According to Apple, only the 13" from 2015 onwards will support 60Hz:

    https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202856

    30Hz isn't worth it. If you check out the following site, turn the motion blur off on the boxes at the top and switch the fps to 30 on any of the objects and you'll see the judder introduced:

    http://frames-per-second.appspot.com

    This would be visible in everything that is moved around like when scrolling, moving windows, moving the mouse.

    If that kind of lag wouldn't bother you, Dell has a suitable display in either 24" or 27":

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/inch-Dell-P2715Q-Monitor-LED-x/dp/B00QAT4RDQ
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-P2415Q-23-8-Inch-Ultra-Monitor/dp/B00R420WNM
    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/dell-p2715q-monitor

    One of the negative reviews on Amazon notes the mouse lag. That will be from their computer only supporting 30Hz. It's not a display limitation though so if you wanted to have a 4K display anyway, a future laptop upgrade will run it at 60Hz.

    Apple uses a 5K panel in the iMac, which needs external display standards to improve before they can upgrade their Thunderbolt display. Display manufacturers like Dell have been putting split panels in their displays so it's like two monitors at lower resolution each but there's no visible separation on the panel. This requires multiple display streams to run (MST), sometimes two display inputs/cables.

    Displayport 1.3 supports 5K so Thunderbolt 3 with Skylake later this year should allow Apple to finally update the Thunderbolt display to Retina. There was a rumor (from LG who makes Apple's panels) of the iMac moving to 8K but DP 1.3 won't allow for that, it needs DP 1.4 so who knows. Your laptop definitely wouldn't run those though so not worth waiting for.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    According to Apple, only the 13" from 2015 onwards will support 60Hz:



    https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202856



    30Hz isn't worth it. If you check out the following site, turn the motion blur off on the boxes at the top and switch the fps to 30 on any of the objects and you'll see the judder introduced:



    http://frames-per-second.appspot.com



    This would be visible in everything that is moved around like when scrolling, moving windows, moving the mouse.



    If that kind of lag wouldn't bother you, Dell has a suitable display in either 24" or 27":



    http://www.amazon.co.uk/inch-Dell-P2715Q-Monitor-LED-x/dp/B00QAT4RDQ

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-P2415Q-23-8-Inch-Ultra-Monitor/dp/B00R420WNM

    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/dell-p2715q-monitor



    One of the negative reviews on Amazon notes the mouse lag. That will be from their computer only supporting 30Hz. It's not a display limitation though so if you wanted to have a 4K display anyway, a future laptop upgrade will run it at 60Hz.



    Apple uses a 5K panel in the iMac, which needs external display standards to improve before they can upgrade their Thunderbolt display. Display manufacturers like Dell have been putting split panels in their displays so it's like two monitors at lower resolution each but there's no visible separation on the panel. This requires multiple display streams to run (MST), sometimes two display inputs/cables.



    Displayport 1.3 supports 5K so Thunderbolt 3 with Skylake later this year should allow Apple to finally update the Thunderbolt display to Retina. There was a rumor (from LG who makes Apple's panels) of the iMac moving to 8K but DP 1.3 won't allow for that, it needs DP 1.4 so who knows. Your laptop definitely wouldn't run those though so not worth waiting for.

    I was thinking about getting the Dell UltraSharp u2515h as I've heard nearly everyone say 4k@30hz isn't worth it. In your opinion would this be the best choice? The monitor is £252  or is there a better resolution monitor I could run at 60hz as I noticed a massive difference between the 30hz and 60hz.

    PPI is quite important to me as I'm used to a retina display and the monitor will be at the same distance away. Basically if you were in my position what monitor would you buy for £500 or less

  • Reply 3 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    I was thinking about getting the Dell UltraSharp u2515h as I've heard nearly everyone say 4k@30hz isn't worth it. In your opinion would this be the best choice? The monitor is £252  or is there a better resolution monitor I could run at 60hz as I noticed a massive difference between the 30hz and 60hz.
    PPI is quite important to me as I'm used to a retina display and the monitor will be at the same distance away. Basically if you were in my position what monitor would you buy for £500 or less.

    The u2515h would be a good choice for that price. You can run 4K displays at 1440p 60Hz too though so that would save you buying another display later to get 4K. It might not be as sharp as a native 1440p display but you shouldn't see the pixels:

    http://www.muada.com/2015/03-22-using-a-dell-p2415q-4k-monitor-with-a-2013-macbook-pro.html
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1816805&page=20

    Someone there used software to expand the display options. One of the options had 4K 50Hz. The bandwidth for 50Hz 4K fits within the Thunderbolt 1 10Gbps limit.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The u2515h would be a good choice for that price. You can run 4K displays at 1440p 60Hz too though so that would save you buying another display later to get 4K. It might not be as sharp as a native 1440p display but you shouldn't see the pixels:



    http://www.muada.com/2015/03-22-using-a-dell-p2415q-4k-monitor-with-a-2013-macbook-pro.html

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1816805&page=20



    Someone there used software to expand the display options. One of the options had 4K 50Hz. The bandwidth for 50Hz 4K fits within the Thunderbolt 1 10Gbps limit.

    4k at 50hz seems a very nice option would you say this is my best bet and how hard would it be to achieve this? would you also say that that is  better solution over the u2512h?

  • Reply 5 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The u2515h would be a good choice for that price. You can run 4K displays at 1440p 60Hz too though so that would save you buying another display later to get 4K. It might not be as sharp as a native 1440p display but you shouldn't see the pixels:



    http://www.muada.com/2015/03-22-using-a-dell-p2415q-4k-monitor-with-a-2013-macbook-pro.html

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1816805&page=20



    Someone there used software to expand the display options. One of the options had 4K 50Hz. The bandwidth for 50Hz 4K fits within the Thunderbolt 1 10Gbps limit.

    I just looked at the webpage you provided and cannot for the life of me figure out how he achived 4k @50hz would that b be naitive 4k or is it some funny scaling or whatever 

  • Reply 6 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The u2515h would be a good choice for that price. You can run 4K displays at 1440p 60Hz too though so that would save you buying another display later to get 4K. It might not be as sharp as a native 1440p display but you shouldn't see the pixels:



    http://www.muada.com/2015/03-22-using-a-dell-p2415q-4k-monitor-with-a-2013-macbook-pro.html

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1816805&page=20



    Someone there used software to expand the display options. One of the options had 4K 50Hz. The bandwidth for 50Hz 4K fits within the Thunderbolt 1 10Gbps limit.

    The way I see it it's between the Dell Ultra sharp U2515H and the Dell P2415Q  Ultra HD 4K. The 4k is £100 more which is still very affordable the 4k monitor is 1 inch smaller and has a much bigger resolution but apart from that they are almost identical. Now being a student my mac and studio monitors and equipment cost me nearly £3000 so an upgrade won't be on the cards for the next 4-5 year unfortunately and by that time I doubt I'll be wanting a 4k monitor probably a 5 or even 6k so the argument for the 4k being almost future proof is almost invalidated. I don't think my mac was designed to support a monitor with much bigger resolution than one preinstalled 2560x1600 so the U2515H has 2560x1440@ 60hz and you mentioned That the 4k could also be configured to run at 1440 but it wouldn't be as sharp. You also said that with a bit of software I could run 4k@50hz which I think is an excellent compromise. If i could indeed do that easily with no extra cost I think I'll be going for the 4k but if it seems to difficult or The quality isnt as good at the U2515H I will be going for that one. Please give me your opinions and thoughts :)  

  • Reply 7 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    4k at 50hz seems a very nice option would you say this is my best bet and how hard would it be to achieve this? would you also say that that is  better solution over the u2512h?

    The software used to get extra display modes is this:

    http://www.madrau.com

    It would be the native 4K resolution, no odd scaling, it would just offer a different refresh rate.
    I don't think my mac was designed to support a monitor with much bigger resolution than one preinstalled 2560x1600 so the U2515H has 2560x1440@ 60hz and you mentioned That the 4k could also be configured to run at 1440 but it wouldn't be as sharp. You also said that with a bit of software I could run 4k@50hz which I think is an excellent compromise. If i could indeed do that easily with no extra cost I think I'll be going for the 4k but if it seems to difficult or The quality isnt as good at the U2515H I will be going for that one.

    The spec says 2560x1600 on two displays over TB and 4K over HDMI but at 30Hz:

    https://support.apple.com/kb/SP691?locale=en_US

    This spec was written before the displays were available. Worst case you'd run the 4K one at 1440p. I don't know if it would look noticeably worse than the native 1440p one. I expect it would be like your Retina MBP on one of non-optimal scaled modes. If you go into the display system preference and switch it to one of the higher scales it will probably look something like that if you couldn't get it to work ok at 4K 50Hz.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The software used to get extra display modes is this:



    http://www.madrau.com



    It would be the native 4K resolution, no odd scaling, it would just offer a different refresh rate.

    The spec says 2560x1600 on two displays over TB and 4K over HDMI but at 30Hz:



    https://support.apple.com/kb/SP691?locale=en_US



    This spec was written before the displays were available. Worst case you'd run the 4K one at 1440p. I don't know if it would look noticeably worse than the native 1440p one. I expect it would be like your Retina MBP on one of non-optimal scaled modes. If you go into the display system preference and switch it to one of the higher scales it will probably look something like that if you couldn't get it to work ok at 4K 50Hz.



    I have my mac set to the most space available so its not on default retina anyway. So just to clarify 4k @ 50hz with software is my best bet and then failing that 4kmonitor  at 1440p@60hz? both over thunderbolt also know as display port?

  • Reply 9 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    I have my mac set to the most space available so its not on default retina anyway. So just to clarify 4k @ 50hz with software is my best bet and then failing that 4kmonitor  at 1440p@60hz? both over thunderbolt also know as display port?

    Yes, I think 4k at 50Hz would be best and failing that, 1440p at 60Hz. It would be either over Thunderbolt or HDMI, whichever works best by using a mini-displayport to displayport cable or just a standard HDMI cable. The display will come with a bunch of cables.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Marvin wrote: »
    Yes, I think 4k at 50Hz would be best and failing that, 1440p at 60Hz. It would be either over Thunderbolt or HDMI, whichever works best by using a mini-displayport to displayport cable or just a standard HDMI cable. The display will come with a bunch of cables.
    Check the photo I posted what do you think about that? A person with the same hardware and the two options and he think the u2525h is superior I doubt I'd get a headache but food for thought
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Marvin wrote: »
    Yes, I think 4k at 50Hz would be best and failing that, 1440p at 60Hz. It would be either over Thunderbolt or HDMI, whichever works best by using a mini-displayport to displayport cable or just a standard HDMI cable. The display will come with a bunch of cables.
    one other thing would I get more screen real estate on the u2515h I noticed that switchresx was 1980x1080 pixel doubled @50hz not native 4k? So if get more space with the native 2560x1440@60hz? Is that correct
  • Reply 13 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    one other thing would I get more screen real estate on the u2515h I noticed that switchresx was 1980x1080 pixel doubled @50hz not native 4k? So if get more space with the native 2560x1440@60hz? Is that correct

    You'd never run the display at native 4K because everything would be tiny, here's what the 27" 5K iMac looks like at native setting:

    1000

    High resolution displays just improve sharpness in a normal UI but they can show high-res video and images without scaling, which makes them look more life-like. I would have expected the 4K display to allow 1440p as one of the HiDPI modes but you might end up messing around with it a lot and not get anywhere.

    The main benefit to the 4K display would be not having to buy another display in future as a newer machine should let it operate ok at 60Hz. That person says the native 1440p display is better quality. It will be easier to setup.

    I find 1440p to be a bit small even on a 27" display so I'd probably use 1080p HiDPI instead of 1440p on a 24"/25" but if you prefer the space then 1440p will be easier to deal with on the u2515h.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    bory05bory05 Posts: 1member

    I can't comment on the exact models you mentioned, you might want to spend a little time browsing this page: http://thedigitalcamera.net/best-monitor-for-macbook-pro-and-mac-mini/?

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