4k Monitor - USB-C or no USB-C?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by holger, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. holger macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    Hi there,

    for my MacBook Pro 13" 2017, I want to buy a monitor.
    As 21:9 ultrawides aren't really available/affordable in real 4k (i.e. 2000p), I may just go for a "regular" 4k monitor.

    I'm considering e.g. a LG 27UD58P and a LG 27UD88-W.
    And I wonder, the 88 is significantly more expensive (almost 2x) but features USB-C.

    What is the advantage of having a USB-C monitor vs. an HDMI monitor and a USB-C-> 4k@60Hz HDMI or displayport adapter? Is there any?

    If I want a USB-C hub, I might as well get a separate one that supports charging, fast USB-A ports, SD-card reader, separate. I didn't find such a hub built-in to a monitor. Even the more expensive ones only have 2x USB-A - which isn't really enough.

    Would appreciate your input.
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    It sounds like you are pretty much onto it yourself.

    The advantage is that you will be able to carry display signal, power, and USB data over just the one USB-C cable. Otherwise you would need three separate cables.
    This would also free up your Apple power adaptor, so you can keep that in your bag to take away with you.

    If you run the monitor at 4K 60 Hz through USB-C, its USB ports will function at USB 2.0 speeds.
  3. holger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    Thanks! If the USB ports only work at - slow - USB 2.0 speeds, that means either go for a quite expensive Thunderbolt display or for an external Thunderbolt/USB hub. And if I choose the latter option, I might as well go for a much cheaper DisplayPort or HDMI display.

    Do I get this right? Any real-world experience with the setup?
  4. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    If I were you I'd get the USB-C monitor that way you have a 1 cable solution. The alternative is to get a regular monitor and get the Caldigit TS3 or TS3 Plus. Both are on sale right now. $200 and $250 respectively.
  5. JTToft, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

    JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - Yes, you are correct. It's a trade-off. You still get charging and display signal over one cable, though. And slow USB for things that don't require fast performance.

    No, I do not own a USB-C monitor. But I know how they work.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd choose the best 4k display (rated on quality and reviews), and... not worry about USB-c at all.
    But that's just me.
  7. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    A decent dock with a "regular" monitor of choice will give you the same single-cable solution and more I/Os than any USB-C monitors can provide. The only possible upside for USB-C monitor is perhaps less real estate used, and one less power cord to deal with, which are most likely secondary on a desktop situation. The cost of a dock is a concern, but then a USB-C monitor is priced premium compared to regular counterparts which offset the difference, on top of limiting your choices on other more important factors in choosing displays.

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6 March 13, 2018