Advice on choosing a monitor for 2017 MBP 15 inch

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by useruser, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. useruser macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2014
    Hello All,

    I've been browsing these forums and reading articles but the more I read the more confused I become.

    I'm about to take delivery of the 2017 MBP 15 and I'm thinking of getting a good quality monitor for working from my home office.

    I'm hoping for something that looks fantastic and is easy on my eyes. I currently have a mid 2014 rmbp 13 and I find the screen excellent and ideal at the default screen setting. I want a monitor that allows me to have the same/better quality as the new 15 inch but gives me more screen real estate. As well as work I play some games.

    I was assuming that I wanted a 4K monitor and given the ports on the 2017 MBP I figured I should get something with USB-c. A few people have recommended this monitor:

    and I thought it looked a good combination of price/quality.

    However, I then went to the US site to see if I could find customer reviews and found someone who sounds (to me!) very authoritative and who wrote:

    "Let's say it plainly: for a Mac, the "correct" resolution for a 27"-32" monitor is 2560x1440, or 4x that for 'retina', which is a 5K display: 5120x2880.
    The correct resolution for a 20-24" monitor is 1980x1080, or 4x that for 'retina'. That is a 4K display.

    So for the best experience on a Mac, you should skip this monitor and get a 4K monitor in the 20-24" range, or visit your bank manager and then order a 5K monitor."

    But then some people say he's wrong and it's blah blah blah and my head spins and so I find myself here and looking for help from you good people!

    Should I go for 4K? Or does that only really work up to 24 inches and for above that I would want 5K? Can I dispense with 4K and get a 1440p? Would that give me the extra real estate / quality that I want? Would I get it in USB-c?

    Any help much appreciated!
  2. CaptRB macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California
    I'm a photographer.

    This is one of your best choices.

    Dell P2715Q
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Small company owner, CAD drafting/document production/word processing/some visualization and video. Over 50 higher-end displays (Dell/BenQ/Eizo/Iiyama) in my offices including a few dozen 27"-32" UHD displays, with regular demos (pretty much weekly) from my vendors.

    I use 27" UHD displays in my offices and home office, and own P2715Q displays that I "delegated" in favor of BenQ BL2711U displays. FWIW, the P2715 is a decent display but it's also about 4 years old tech (all of mine are nearing the end of their 3-year warranty, and I didn't buy them on Day 1). BenQ controls their subsidiary panel manufacturer, offers nice warranties (3 year generally), includes HDMI 2 (not the v1.4 on the P2715Q) is far more Mac-friendly than Dell, and I prefer the OSM on the BenQ to the dumbed-down OSM on my P2715Q displays. I've RMA'ed fully 60% of my Dells and 0% of my BenQs.

    I'm holding off on USB-C as a display interface right now. None of the manufacturers offer what their throughput is - DP 1.2 tells me only 1/3 of the story (DP version, throughput, and frequency at that throughput). My P2715Q units shipped with cables that were not VESA-compliant/certified, while my BenQ/Eizo/Iiyama displays did.

    Last bit, if you're using the display for writing/word processing/general work a 1440p or 1600p display will work nicely. I get deep discounts for my hardware through my vendors so can pick and choose what I want most of the time - if we weren't showing fly-throughs/overs and presentations for my clients I'd pass on UHD displays unless they're 32-inch or larger and stick with 1440p/1600p displays for now. And, get a VESA-compliant/certified cable from Accell/Belkin/StarTech - focus on 2160p cables, they're only a buck or two more than ones with less throughput.
  4. useruser thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2014
    Thanks both. Given light workload but some gaming, should I consider 4K? And if so, should I only look at 4K up to say 24 inch (as per comment quoted in OP)? If not 4K, would a 1400 / 1600 give me extra screen real estate yet still provide a really sharp image and readability?

    One article I read which concerned me was this which talks about the Benq, Dell and LG being in the 'bad zone' in terms of ideal compatibility with Macs. Is this nonsense? If there is something to it does it really matter given my usage?!

    Another article talked of matching the PPI of monitors to the computers - similar PPI allowed for the best presentation / scaling.

    Paralysis by overanalysis! (And a lack of knowledge...)
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    IMO, that "chart" really doesn't reflect my real world and does reflect using those displays at max resolution. So, I'll call useless BS. I'm in one of my offices today, using a P2715Q in portrait (late-2013 rMBP with a dGPU) at 1080p - the text/graphics/interface are pretty much crystal clear; I use this layout for composing documents and a bit of web surfing. I use glasses that are specifically ground for reading and computer use, and there's no fuzziness whatsoever. I switched over to 2160x3840 @60Hz - everything's a bit "tiny" but still crystal as in I can't see any fuzziness and I can read what I'm typing from 18 inches away with no issue. IMO the BenQ unit I called out is even better despite the same pixel pitch.

    I'll pick nits with that post. What that evaluator also didn't call out was whether a VESA-compliant/certified cable was being used - a compliant/certified cable will properly convey DisplayID while a non-compliant/certified generally will not; using a VESA-compliant/certified cable really does make a difference and anyone who disagrees with me about this has no clue what they're writing about. I'm not going to pick this nit here - I've done it elsewhere in these forums, citing my sources. The bjango article first leaves out that essential bit, failed to offer that TB2 cables are DP 1.1a at a maximum and you'll never get 4k@60Hz with a TB cable (so why bother mentioning TB2 at all is my point here), and picked a lot of displays that are 3-4 years old now (plus the MS Surface Studio, which won't even work with a Mac!).

    If you do choose to buy a Dell, take my advice and buy directly from Dell and get one with a 3-year warranty - you'll get much better customer service. Cheers.
  6. useruser thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2014
    Thank you. I'm leaning heavily towards the Benq on the back of your advice. Will it be okay for gaming? On Benq's website it doesn't come up when you check the gaming box.
  7. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    LG Ultrafine 5k...beautiful monitor. Same color/retina quality as the MacBook Pro with 85 W charging, FaceTime, speakers, and extra USB ports to boot....all via one cable. Not a bad choice. I haven't regretted my purchase one bit.
  8. useruser thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2014
    Thanks but I think the Ultrafine 5K is out of my budget. Wife wouldn't let me spend that kind of money! I think about GBP 6-700 is probably the maximum budget I'll be allowed.
  9. maxsquared macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    You can get one from ebay for about that price.
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

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9 September 18, 2017