2018 MacBook Air + LG Ultrafine 4K Monitor

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JPH675, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. JPH675 macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #1
    All of us have a system or way we use our Mac notebooks. Currently I have a first generation, early 2015 MacBook 1.1 that I use about 2/3 of the time with the LG 4K UltraFine monitor I bought from Apple. It's been a great plug and play combo into the only MacBook port for nearly 4 years, but it's time to upgrade.

    I am thinking that the new 2018 MacBook Air should also be a seamless plug and play into the T3 port for the 4K monitor in place of the early 2015 MacBook without the need for additional adapters. Anything wrong with my thinking? Any input? Thanks IMG_1560.jpg
     
  2. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000

    PatriotInvasion

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    #2
    You will be able to swap out the 2015 12" MacBook for the 2018 MacBook Air and everything will work the exact same (but with a faster Mac). Just one clarification though...the 21.5" 4K LG UltraFine display doesn't actually have a Thunderbolt 3 connection like it's larger 5K counterpart. It is plain USB-C only. Same connector, but more limited data throughput.
     
  3. littlepud macrumors 6502

    littlepud

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    #3
    The LG Ultrafine 4K's downstream USB-C ports are limited to USB 2.0 speed, as the upstream port has to carry both USB and Displayport in Alternate Mode.
     
  4. robvas macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Yup. I have one and I plug my USB drives into another port, too slow to use them at 2.0 speeds.
     
  5. PatriotInvasion, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018

    PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000

    PatriotInvasion

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    #5
    I'm guessing these limitations are part of the reason Apple didn't want to build their own 5K display. Back in 2016, Thunderbolt 3 combined with DisplayPort 1.2 couldn't transfer a 5K image and maintain throughput for an additional Thunderbolt output in the display for daisy-chaining. I believe the latest Whiskey Lake/Amber Lake chips from Intel support native DisplayPort 1.4, which I think will allow for Thunderbolt 3 displays with an additional Thunderbolt 3 output and USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds for docking. I could be wrong on that, but if true, Apple's "Pro Display" coming next year is likely to include all of that which is more of a true successor to their original Thunderbolt Display than the LG UltraFine line.

    https://thunderbolttechnology.net/b...yport-14-and-basic-peripheral-compatibility-u

    The new MacBook Air contains this new Thunderbolt 3 controller ^

    There's an LG 4K Thunderbolt 3 display coming out that is along these lines - https://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-32UL950-W-4k-uhd-led-monitor - and it's going to be priced at $1,299. Assuming Apple's 5K version would be more like $1,499, but at that point, might as well just buy a whole 5K iMac and get an entire computer with it.
     
  6. JPH675 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #6
    The USB-C connected 4K LG Ultrafine monitor: Do you think that 4K screen would cause the rMBA fan to run during use?
     
  7. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000

    PatriotInvasion

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    #7
    I doubt it. It's well within the spec of the Air and the port powering it.
     
  8. JPH675 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #8
    Have the new 2018 MacBook Air in my hands. The USB-C connected 4K LG UltraFine display plugs directly into the MacBook Air with no adapter needed. I use the 4K display in mirroring mode just like I used to with the early 2015 MacBook.

    To set this up with the 4K display plugged into the MBA: Apple Menu<System Preferences<Display then notice a tab called "arrangement." Near the bottom of that window is a box that needs checked to 'mirror displays.' You're all set.
     
  9. pedregosa macrumors regular

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    Mar 31, 2010
    #9
    I, too, have used a Macbook with the 4K LG UltraFine for a while -- really like the combo. So happy to hear that it works as well as the new Air, to which I may upgrade (if one considers it an upgrade). But I'd be curious if anyone has tried using the new Air with the larger 5K version. It is within specs to do so, but wondering what the real-life experience turns out to be.
     
  10. dbow4d4 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2018
    #10
    --- Post Merged, Nov 28, 2018 ---

    Did you go with the 8gb or 16gb RAM version?
     
  11. JPH675 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #11
    MBA 8 GB version and it has been just fine. Just like my early 2015 MacBook version with 8 GB was fine too.
     
  12. JPH675 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #12
    The first post in this thread was the early 2015 MacBook Air + the LG 4K UltraFine Monitor, this post is with the same monitor but the 2018 MBA with 8 GB RAM. Both the MBA and the 4K monitor are on max brightness. The MBA brightness issue is fine to my eyes when used alone, and plugged into the monitor, there is no issue with brightness.

    I did notice that the MBA brightness is one click above the early 2015 MacBook in terms of brightness. For example, the MacBook brightness at 2 clicks below max level is the same as the MBA at 1 click below max level. MBA-4K.jpg
     
  13. JPH675 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #13
    After spending 5 full days with the new 2018 MacBook Air, here are my thoughts.

    I upgraded from an early 2015 12” retina MacBook 1.1--8GB RAM--256 GB storage. The new 2018 MacBook Air is a clear upgrade, 8 GB/256 Storage.

    The greater real estate of the 13.3” screen is easily noticeable vs. the 12” MacBook screen, which I like. It also is easier for me to present info to a client with the bigger screen.

    The ¾ pound weight increase is not noticeable for me

    Clearly the new MBA is faster, and I figured it was more than adequate for my use given the 2015 rMB was also adequate.

    Was very concerned about the screen quality, colors, and brightness. The screen is one notch below the old 2015 MacBook in brightness, which I can live with. Then, calibrated the screen from a factory setting of 6509 up to 7000 and the colors improved a great deal to my eye. The MBA screen will work for me.

    There is a very significant difference between the generation 1 keyboard and this upgraded generation 3 keyboard of the MBA. I never had issues with the generation 1 rMB keyboard.

    Also think the new trackpad works with more finesse.

    Battery life is much better with the MBA vs. 2015 rMB.

    Speakers are an upgrade and sound pretty good.

    I used Time Machine to migrate a little over 100 GB of data and the fan never came on during this process, and the process was flawless.

    In my office, I use the new MBA with a LG UltraFine 4K display, used as a mirror and it works without the MBA fan coming on. However, above the F4 - F8 function keys, the metal there does get very warm to the touch when using the 4K display.

    Only once, while on an interactive real estate website showing an office building’s layout, have I heard the fan come on. The rMB simply just got very warm when I went to that same website.

    Will be keeping this laptop unless this new 2018 screws up in the next couple of days.
     
  14. kreasonos macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #14
    Very nice report. Appreciate that feedback. I want to use the new 2018 MBA with an external 1440p or 4k display. Was wondering how it did. Thank you!
     
  15. EugW, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018

    EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    #15
    I felt the 2015 MacBook was somewhat slow even in 2015. Adequate but a bit laggy. The 2017 models feel noticeably faster.

    Personally I think the Gen 1 MacBook keyboard is horrible. It is the main reason I didn’t buy that model in fact.

    This may be in part related to the CPU (and GPU) performance. The 2018 MBA is significantly better performer, roughly similar to the 2017 i7 MacBook, which in turn is much, much faster than the 2015 MacBooks.

    —-

    BTW, you mentioned that you are using the 4K monitor in mirror mode. Any lag in that mode? Have you tried desktop extension mode and if so, any lag?

    I tried desktop extension to a 4K 60 Hz screen over HDMI and it was fine without lag on my 2017 Core m3 MacBook, but mine was only a limited test with relatively light usage.
     
  16. JPH675 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #16
    No lag but I am not gaming either. No experience with desktop extension mode

    Recall that the LG UltraFine 4K monitor uses the more limited USB-C cord for plug-in unlike the 5K monitor. I simply plug the USB-C cord into one of the ports on the left side of the MBA and it mirrors well for my use.
     
  17. Wags macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Side note. Did just notice the LG UltraFine 4K’s are not available until the first week of January. They must not have did a manufacturing run on them in a while.
     
  18. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2017
    #18
    this monitor is a total crap, avoid like a plague
     
  19. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #19
    Please elaborate.

    The panel is the same one Apple uses in the 21.5” iMac. Does LG’s implemenatation suck, and if so, how so?
     
  20. _Kiki_, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018

    _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2017
    #20
    horrible image retention like most LG panels usually after some hours on the counter, iMacs Retina included, also potentially vertical line for bonus when LCD is intact, I never experienced similar issues with other LCD manufacturers, my 6 years old tv 42" Philips still working flawlessly, not like this LG crap below

    [​IMG]

    iMac 27 Retina 2015 imac27_5k_cut.jpg
     
  21. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #21
    Don’t have those problems on my iMac 27”.
     

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