2018 Mac Mini monitor dilemma

Srwmusic

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 10, 2019
5
0
Hi folks,

Thanks in advance for any help.

I have a 2018 Mac Mini arriving soon with 32 gig of RAM and the upgraded processor. My issue is monitor choice. I would like a 34 inch wide monitor for the work I do, but I’ve seen lots of articles suggesting that even a screen as large as 27 inches is rubbish at 4K due to the scaling? The options I’ve found so far are:

1. Samsung 34 inch WQHD, which is a 3440 by 1440 resolution screen.

Or...

2. Samsung 32 inch 4K at 3840 by 2160 resolution.

My question is which option would work best and for what reasons? If 27 inch is a push at 4K then is 32 inch going to be horrendous? I really can’t get my head around the maths!

Incidentally both of these monitors connect via HDMI, not USB-C, which seems a shame.

Finally, in an ideal would TWO 21 inch 4K displays be the ultimate setup, assuming that 21inch is the ‘sweet spot’ for 4K. And what strain would this put on the computer?

Many thanks

Steve
 

mpfuchs

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
484
1,234
VA
I'm using an LG 34" wide with my mini. Loving the setup.
Resolution is the same you mentioned above, but it has USB-C.
 

Stephen.R

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2018
1,363
903
Thailand
Samsung 34 inch WQHD, which is a 3440 by 1440 resolution screen
Despite the 'big' numbers, in terms of resolution and how it will look, that's pretty much just a 27" 2560x1440p display, with extra pixels on the sides. I don't mean that specifically as a bad thing, what I mean is: it's got a PPI of 109.68, the "sweet spots" for macOS displays in terms of PPI are 110 and 220. So you won't have any scaling issues, because macOS won't scale that display the way it scales 4k/5k displays.

Samsung 32 inch 4K at 3840 by 2160 resolution
That is going to be scaled by macOS, with a default of "looks like 1920x1080". I find that setting slightly too large on a 24" 4K display, I can't imagine how ridiculously big it will be on a 32". If you have just one display, you may be able to use the scaling system to get a better "looks like" resolution. I was able to run a single 4k, 24" at a higher "looks like" resolution this way for a little while, but I got a 2nd one shortly after and the experiment ended because it won't run two that way without glitches.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,152
5,516
Seems to me that if you buy a 32" display that's "4k", and you then run it in HiDPI mode ("looks like 1080p"), you're going to be looking at 1080p BLOWN UP to 32" diagonally.

That's far worse than 4k on a 27" display!

For 32" in HiDPI mode, seems like the "proper" native resolution would be 5k -- but nobody makes a display in that configuration.

For a 32" 16x9 display, the best compromise seems to be "plain old" 1440p (2550x1440), no HiDPI mode. This will yield a pixel size of about .277 ...
 
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Srwmusic

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 10, 2019
5
0
Despite the 'big' numbers, in terms of resolution and how it will look, that's pretty much just a 27" 2560x1440p display, with extra pixels on the sides. I don't mean that specifically as a bad thing, what I mean is: it's got a PPI of 109.68, the "sweet spots" for macOS displays in terms of PPI are 110 and 220. So you won't have any scaling issues, because macOS won't scale that display the way it scales 4k/5k displays.


That is going to be scaled by macOS, with a default of "looks like 1920x1080". I find that setting slightly too large on a 24" 4K display, I can't imagine how ridiculously big it will be on a 32". If you have just one display, you may be able to use the scaling system to get a better "looks like" resolution. I was able to run a single 4k, 24" at a higher "looks like" resolution this way for a little while, but I got a 2nd one shortly after and the experiment ended because it won't run two that way without glitches.
Ok, thanks. So from your advice it would seem I’m better off with the lower priced, non 4K monitor...