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macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 20, 2006
I don't think I want to spend the money on a 24" 4K since I have a lower res 24". I don't fully understand all this scaling business. Is there a 27" monitor that is recommended for high res or 4K? I'm spoiled, I don't want to see pixels anymore but also don't want to hold up a magnifying glass to read anything. Like, what iMac type 27" type display looks as good with a mini?


macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2009
Nope, not on macOS. Read this article:



macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
You don't say what sort of work you need this for. Nor do you mention a budget. A good display for the average user who wants something which looks clean and crisp is a lot cheaper than what somebody needs for pro video and photo work.

If you want retina pixel density. You'll need a 5K diskplay. As far as I'm aware. The only one left on the market is the LG 27MD5KB-B. Outside of Apple 5K was a flop.

If you don't care about retina density. 4K is perfectly fine. For proper 1:2 conversion. You'll need to set it at 1920x1080 scaled. That way text an UI elements will be the equivalent size of a 27" 1920x1080 display. Just with sharper detail.

You can set it to 2560x1440 scaled. As it is an odd conversion. You do get some minor scaling issues as @frou alluded to in the above article. Although I set two 27" 4K LG Thunderbolt displays up to an iMac 5K for a client. With all set to the same scaling (2560x1440). The 4K displays are hardly distinguishable from the iMac's 5K display. This computer is being used for office tasks. I couldn't say the same would be true if used for pro work or video. Never tested it.


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 20, 2006
Sorry I didn't mention. No pro work but some photo editing on a hobby level. Budget is $500.
Fishrrman and Frou, thanks! I can understand that stuff.


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
There are PLENTY of "good 27" 4k displays".

You just have to do your "due diligence", find out what's available and "investigate" every one of them to find one that will satisfy you.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 1, 2009
$500 will get you a ton of 27" 4k options. I bought a LG 27" 4k 100% sRGB color 10bit monitor for $320 for example. Very solid budget color accurate monitor for photo editing.

Apple seems to feel like 109 DPI (216 DPI retina) is the ideal size for comfort. The 15" MBP and 21" iMac and 27" iMac all use this DPI. DPI is dots per inch. The new 32" Apple HDR display also uses this DPI.

Any larger of a DPI and the text is a little harder to read comfortably. Any smaller makes the text very easy to read but you lose screen space.

27" 5k or 2.5k is the optimal 109 DPI according to Apple. You can still use a 4k 27" however. Apple has a great feature to scale retina displays and you can set a 4k 27" to use 2560 or 3008 wide work space. While not as crystal clear as a 5k 27" it is still vastly more detailed than a non retina display. A 5k monitor uses retina to use 2x as many pixels for the width as a normal 2560 monitor would use. So the UI space is the same 2560 pixels wide even with a 5k monitor. Thats the space the applications and text take up. What the retina does is fill in the jagged gaps to make it look clearer and less jagged. 2x retina means 2x2 pixels or 4 pixels make up the space of 1 pixel on a non retina display. Using a 4k 27" scaled to 2560 means the retina is 1.5x. Much better than non retina but not s good as 2x retina. That 1.5x tends to be enough to help fill in those jagged gaps however and it looks very good compared to a non retina 2560 wide display.

There is also 32" 4k options out there that can be scaled to 3008 wide UI space. Thats the same physical size and UI space and DPI as the new apple 32" HDR display. A much more affordable option vs $5,000. It will not be the same HDR capable for professional HDR color grading but it is the same size. Retina will only be 1.2x so only slightly better than non retina so the clarity filling in those jagged edges will not be as good but tis still a nice size to work with and still the optimal 109 DPI that Apple likes.

You can of course go higher than 109 DPI. Some people have better eyes and have no problem using monitors with a higher DPI. The 15" MBP for example is commonly scaled to 1920 wide which is 141 DPI. Difficult to read for some but many are fine with it and use it at that scale all the time. A 27" 4k scaled to 3008 is 128 DPI which is a bit easier than the MBP at 1920 and for many users likely perfectly usable.
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