BenQ BL3201PH (4K) vs Dell P2715Q (4K) vs Benq BL3200PT (WQHD)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SheridanMac, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. SheridanMac, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016

    SheridanMac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #1
    Up until I got my new 2015 15" MBPr(AMD), my highest resolution on a monitor was the Dell 24" 1920x1200 display. My mac's retina display is starting to make that "Full HD" look a little shabby but I'm living with it. However, I need more real estate on my external display so am in the market for a new larger display. Considering the three displays listed in the title.

    The BenQ 32" 4k, Dell 27"4K and Benq 32" QHD monitors are currently $900 (Amazon), $500 (Amazon), and $377 (refurbished through BenQ on ebay).

    I'd be using this monitor primarily for web development and other coding, and would preferably use my MBP in clamshell mode and rely entirely on the external display. I worry about the Dell 27" 4K because it's not that much bigger than my current Dell, plus all the wake issues everyone's talking about. The Benq 32" 4K is really what I want but that $900 price is super hard to swallow. The BenQ WQHD resolution model seems like the safest play. Tons of real estate in a rock solid product that has great reviews, with none of the "4K headaches" that most of the new displays seem to have. I wonder if the PPI will be a problem though. 2560x1440 at 32" has an even lower PPI than even my current Dell. Bummer.

    Has anyone here grappled with these issues? Or have experience with two or more of the monitors I'm looking at? Any advice much appreciated.
     
  2. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I have the BL3201PH. It's an amazing gorgeous monitor, but unless you're going to run it at native res or 1080p Retina, you might have a bit of a problem powering the display. I run mine in 2560x1440 mode as a decent trade off of performance and space, and even then it's not 100% smooth on my GT750M. You might have a better chance having a better mGPU though.

    Even at 32", 4k native is way too small to actually use. The only saving grace really is that media is displayed at 1:1 despite HiRes being on, so I'm still taking advantage of the 4k display, but it makes all content seem so pathetically small!
     
  3. SheridanMac thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, Matt. I didn't think about the scaling issues before but that's a good point. In a perfect world I'd want to run the 4K scaled to 2560x1440 as well to maximize the real estate. When using the BenQ do you run your MBPr in clamshell mode? Also, does your BenQ look significantly or even just noticeably better scaled at 1920x1080 versus 2560x1440? I've tried the various scaling options on my MBPr screen and found that I really do prefer it at the "default" scaling. Just ever so slightly sharper. I didn't notice any performance issues with the non-default options though. I'd hope that in clamshell mode my AMD graphics could handle a single 4K display scaled to 2560x1440 without performance issues but probably need to research that more.
     
  4. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Yeah I run it in clamshell, it's even worse in dual screen (especially since I'm already running a scaled res on the built in display too).

    The main issue is that the computer is rendering a 2560x1440 HiRes, which is 5120x2880, but then scaling that down to fit the 3840x2160 resolution, which keeps it look sharp, compared to native 2560x1440 on the 4k display. It's the downscaling which adds the extra load and starts to be a bit much, as native 4k is easy to run compared.

    1920x1080 is obviously a bit sharper, but it's hard to tell, and I don't really notice, it's still significantly sharper than the native 2560x1440 display would look.
     
  5. SheridanMac thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2011
    #5
    Ended up ordering the BL3200PT. Decided that 4K at 32" just too expensive for my current budget and not enough certainty regarding my laptop's ability to power it the way I'd want it to.
     
  6. SheridanMac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #6
    Hey MattZani, just curious, have you spent any time using your BenQ 4K at its native resolution (o.e. scaling off)? Beginning to second guess my decision on getting the lesser monitor. I know that icons and everything will be TINY at 4K, but isn't 32" big enough that it's somewhat workable? I figure that so long as I can zoom in or increase font size on the apps I'm working on, that working at native resolution might actually be just fine.
     
  7. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Not really no, menu items, Photoshop, general web browsing was all too small, and I disliked increasing font size, it wasn't as usable as it seemed.

    As said though, any media I'm working on in programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop, FCPX are all 1:1
     
  8. SheridanMac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #8
    Thanks for the feedback. I've heard varying reports on native 4K at 32", with a fairly even split between those that love it and those that say it's just not workable. My waller's better off just sticking with the WQHD, so maybe that's the best play...
     
  9. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I was tempted by the Philips 40" 4k, and I think at that size I could use native, it's just a touch too small even sitting close, it's readable, but it's a bit too much strain.
     

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