Any external Monitor, which matches iMacs quality on the market?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by scarab0, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. scarab0 macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2017
    #1
    Hey guys,

    sorry if that has been discussed already but all I found were threads about the LG and some Dell Monitors.

    What I want to discuss right here is, which Monitors come close to what the iMac 27 5k from 2017 delivers?

    I actually switched from Windows the the iMac and figured I could keep on using my Dell 3008 WFP as an external monitor. However, it is pretty much horrible compared to what my iMac offers. The Dell is not as bright, even though I have brightness at 100 and has poor color quality. Crazy how I thought my Dell Monitors were fantastic :-(

    So I figured out, I could go with the LG Ultrafine. However, I found a lot of poor feedback about the 4k and the 5k monitors. I even read somewhere, that the LG Ultrafine does not deliver the same picture as the iMac does. That is what I am looking for though. I mean, if my external monitor will not match the iMac quality, I will hardly use it, which means there is no point investing money in it in the first place. I want my external monitor to have an identical view as my iMac!

    I searched through youtube, but could hardly find a video comparing the actual external monitors to the iMac 5k displays. So my questions are the following:

    • Are there any decent 4k 27inch monitors worth buying?
    • Is there a huge difference between a 4k and a 5k monitor?
    • Should I rather wait a little for better models?
     
  2. adam9c1 macrumors 68000

    adam9c1

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    #2
    A 27 inch Cinema Display will be a pretty good match.

    Won’t offer the resolution you need.
     
  3. kerplunknet macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Actually, the LG UltraFine monitors are incredible. They are the closest you will find to an iMac 5K’s display — possibly better picture quality. I own two 27-inch LG UltraFine 5K monitors.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #4
    OP wrote:
    "I want my external monitor to have an identical view as my iMac!"

    You're setting yourself up for disappointment.
    I doubt that ANY display you find is going to be "identical" to the one of the iMac.
    Even if the display is excellent, it's unlikely you can get them to appear to your eyes as "exactly the same". I doubt if even the best Eizo will give you that.

    That said, there are plenty of good 3rd-party 4k displays.
    Pick one that has good reviews, and use it...
     
  5. scarab0 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2017
    #5
    Thanks for the replies guys. Maybe I am just biased, because I have been working on two Dell 30 inch in the past 8 years. So obviously everything looked identical on both of them.

    Now I will def. sell the Dell, as I simply don't use it and keep all the windows mostly on the iMac, given its much better quality. Kind of frustrating to not be able to reproduce the picture quality of the iMac to an external monitor so I will wait a bit and see how the pricing develops.

    Everyone using an Macbook sort of has an advantage here, as they cannot miss, what they don't have :)
     
  6. kerplunknet macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Listen, I’m not sure what the other posters in this thread are thinking. I am sure they have never owned an LG UltraFine 5K monitor before and just fantasize through things they have read online, but I guarantee you will get identical (or better) quality from the UltraFine 5K compared to the iMac 5K’s display.

    I strongly recommend using a colorimeter and calibrating both displays, no matter which monitor you end up with. This is a surefire way to have nearly identical color reproduction as long as you are using a high quality display.
     
  7. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #7
    The LG UltraFine 5K display uses literally the same LG panel as the 2017 iMac 5K. The only difference is that the iMac's panel is fused to its front glass which is more reflective than the UltraFine 5K, however both are still glossy displays.

    (And yes, that means for a few months the UltraFine 5K had a better panel than the iMac that was on sale at the time.)

    If you have a Thunderbolt 3-equipped Mac, nothing on the market comes close to the UltraFine 5K in terms of picture quality.
     
  8. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a

    HenryAZ

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    #8
    IMO, running 4k on a 27" monitor just doesn't work well. 4k resolution does not scale well to 2560x1440. A 5k monitor scales well to 2560x1440, as that is true pixel doubled, and that's what the 5k iMac's do. 4K does, however, scale well to 1920x1080 or 1920x1600, as that is pixel doubled, as in a 21" iMac. If you want true 4k, step up to a 32"+ monitor, like the Eizo EV3237. You'll get fantastic real estate running at 3840x2160. On a 32", some screen elements will be a bit small, but you can adjust most with app settings. I think the real sweet spot for a 4k monitor in native resolution will be a 36" or 38" model.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #9
    Henry wrote:
    "IMO, running 4k on a 27" monitor just doesn't work well. 4k resolution does not scale well to 2560x1440."

    Your problem is that you don't HAVE a "4k monitor" if 2560x1440 is "all you've got" (i.e., the native resolution).
    That's a "1440p" display, NOT a 4k display.

    There are PLENTY of 27" displays out that that offer REAL 4k (3840 x 2160) as their native resolution.
     
  10. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a

    HenryAZ

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    #10
    I'll restate my objection. Running 3840x2160 on a 27" monitor requires a magnifying glass to read anything. Most who buy a 4k 27" monitor will run it scaled, and it does not scale well, because 3840x2160 is not a natural scale for 1440p. It is a natural for 1080p. Some system programs (Contacts, for example) do not offer any provision for increasing the text size. I run 3840x2160 on a 32" monitor, and even then it is hard to see for the programs that do not offer any way to change the text size. If you want a monitor that matches the 5k iMacs, then you need a 5k (5120x2880) monitor, and the graphics output to drive it.
     
  11. scarab0 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2017
    #11
    Thanks for the replies guys :)

    I have a further question. I just noticed that I am not scaling my iMac right now. I am running it at 2560x1440. I have tried 2880x1620 and even further, but then I simply cannot read any Mails and have trouble using Final Cut given the letters and numbers become very small. It probably has to do with my table, which has 1 meter depth so my iMac is quite far away from me, compared to others?! Is there anyone who can scale his iMac to 3200x1800?!

    So because of that, I figured out I just need a good monitor which can display 2560x1440 very well and I am good? I mean, is there a huge difference between, lets say the LG Ultrafine 4k and 5k, if both are set up to 2560x1440?

    And lastly, isn't the iMac 27 5k supposed to be able to display 5120x2880? If so, where can I set it up to such resolution as the monitor settings allow me to scale up to 3200x1800 at maximum. Or am I missing something?
     
  12. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #12
    This old post of mine may help explain...
    So, yes, there is a big benefit to a 5K display over a 4K display even if they are both running at the same scale.

    (By the way you can make an iMac display 5120 × 2880 at 1x scale by holding the Option key down when selecting a different resolution. It will look tiny and be unusable. But again, at the default 2560 × 1440 there are still 5120 × 2880 pixels being utilised.)
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #13
  14. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #14
  15. Fishrrman, Dec 30, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #15
    "1440p at 32"? Ouch."

    It's not "ouch" if one's eyes are aging with less-than-perfect vision (I'm nearly 70). The pixel size using 1440@32" is about .28mm.

    I'm currently using a 27" display @1080p, which yields .31mm pixel size.
    Actually looks fine to me (using a Mac Mini).
    I'm considering moving to 32" 1440p, but am actually wondering if the pixel size might then be "too small" for me.

    For me, it doesn't matter how "sharp" text is, if it's too small I still can't discern it.
    So I prefer larger pixels which will yield "larger" text (at what might be called "normal" font sizes, such as 12 or 14).

    I do also have a retina MacBook Pro, and although the text is sharp, I still find myself having to "get closer" to the display (than normal reading distance) to make out text now and then.
     
  16. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #16
    Good point, if you can’t see the difference, no need to get a high DPI screen!
     
  17. 1080p macrumors 68030

    1080p

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    #17
    Thanks for the mention. I appreciate it.
     
  18. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a

    HenryAZ

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    #18
    Age and eyes definitely matter. My favorite for a long time was 2560xx1440, on various monitors that offered greater and greater pixel density. 2560x1440 ( the iMac standard, whether natural or pixel doubled) is a good size, and its pixel density has multiplied over the years. And I used that resolution for a number of years, on iMacs and Minis. But having moved to a true 3840x2160 @ 60 Hz monitor at 32", I will never go back to any kind of scaled. My Fusion VM's run at 2560x1600, on a 3840x2160 screen space. My desktop and apps are readable, but some are small. But the real estate is fantastic.
     
  19. utgjon macrumors member

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    #19

    The 5k iMac is displaying 5120x2880, but to give a 'useable' resolution, it's using 4 pixels to show what would be shown in 1 pixel in a 2560x1440 resolution monitor.

    This results in crisper text and curved lines on the screen.

    You're looking for a display that will match your iMac, both in terms of resolution and colour reproduction - the LG Ultrafine 5k is the only one that will be identical. The LG Ultrafine 4k will be an absolute match in terms of quality, but just in a smaller size - it is the display from the 21.5" iMac.

    If you put a 1440p monitor next to your 5k iMac, you WILL notice the difference.
     
  20. scarab0 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2017
    #20
    Guys, thank you very much for the discussion.

    I made the decision that a 4k Monitor is not an option after trying out a 4k Dell. Now I am deciding whether to get the DELL UP2715k or the LG 5k Ultrafine. Both will be used models but with warranty.

    Dell UP2715K:

    • roughly 700-800 EUR
    • better build quality (?) and should last for a long time
    • no known issues whatsoever
    • needs both USB-C Ports of my iMac
    • looks better, especially in combination with the iMac
    • just 350 cd/m

    LG 5k Ultrafine:

    • roughly 850-1000 EUR
    • a lot of plastic and just doesn't seem solid overall
    • a lot of issues, so quite a gamble
    • just needs one USB-C Port
    • 500 cd/m
    Am I missing something?

    Now, I will probably never use the full brightness of the iMac ,so the cd/m is something I shouldn't worry about? Is there anyone, who would rather go with the Dell for the iMac, given its cheaper and most likely won't have any quality issues over the next couple years? I will use Spyder5 to calibrate the monitors.

    I won't be able to return either of the monitors, but have warranty with either Apple or Dell directly.
     
  21. kudos212 Suspended

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    #21
    The LG 5k has wider color gamut and is much brighter which is why it's newer and more expensive. point blank.
     
  22. scarab0 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2017
    #22
    So I managed to receive the new iiyama 5k as well as the LG 5k monitor and here are my thoughts:

    iiyama: I actually only managed to get it to work on 4k mode as I don't have the right for 5k cable right now. However, the quality of the display is really good. I actually don't even see any difference to my iMac 5k Retina from 2017. Obviously, if I turn the brightness to the max, the iMac is way ahead here.

    LG 5k: The one I got today is from October 2017, it worked flawlessly with the iMac so far. Wakes up very fast. The iMac and the LG both share the same color settings within MacOS. Yet the LG is clearly more "yellow" and not as clearly "white" as the iMac. I wonder how that is possible in the first place, if they both share the same panel?

    Overall, I prefer the iiyama for my iMac setup, because its way cheaper, fits better than the LG and seems to match the iMac better. It is also possible to adjust red, green and blue colors in the iiyama settings. Moreover the display color settings for the LG, iMac and the iiyama are the same within the MacOS. Given that iiyama confirmed that they are using the same panel as the iMac it seems pretty obvious, that they are trying to either copy the iMac or attract Apple Customers.

    What I worry about is, the iiyama only delivers 8 Bit and has way less colors. Obviously, it has no usb-c, neither anything else besides HDMI and DP. Therefore the question remains, whether the DELL will actually be the better choice. Too bad I cannot test it :(

    https://www.displayspecifications.com/en/comparison/d4d0442e2

    The DELL seems to win at anything but at brightness and dynamic and static contrast. I don't really know but I guess 350 cd vs 440 cd will be quite a difference :(
     
  23. scarab0 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2017
    #23
    Another update:

    I received the Moshi USB-C to DP cable, which is supposed to run 5k resolution on external monitors. It does not. Basically the iiyama went black screen for like 20 seconds and then it was flickering for roughly 3-5 seconds. I managed to navigate to monitor settings and see what resolution it actually wants to display, once connected to the Moshi cable. The resolution however, was the same as with my another USB-C to DP (that only supports up to 4k).

    iiyama actually confirmed, that there is no cable on the market to get the iMacs 5k resolution going. After roughly a month of searching and trying out I made the decision to just go with the iMac only for now. I scaled it to 2880x1620 and it seems fine for now.
     
  24. therocksome macrumors newbie

    therocksome

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    Dec 12, 2017
    #25
    The 5K ultrafine is pretty good now. Even the 4K. The issues HAVE been fixed. They are easy to find second hand, however just make sure you have the one that does not have the wi fi issue (the first iteration of the 5k Ultrafine). Do not buy it new if you can avoid it. If that is out of your price range go for the Dell 27 inch 4K monitor or the new Microsoft HDR monitor (1440P). Yoy should be fine!
     

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25 December 23, 2017