Best Monitor Experience - 40" Unscaled

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mugwump, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. mugwump macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2004
    I read a lot of posts here about monitors, 4k and 5k, yet everyone one of them have settings that are scaled down in resolution.

    I've read in some other forums that the ultimate monitor experience is using macOS at the native resolution -- having a larger UHD 4K screen without scaling. Apparently with the monitor so close, 40" seems to be the sweet spot.

    Anyone running their mac pro unscaled UHD 4K or 5K with a larger monitor?
  2. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    I'm using a Philips 40" 4K monitor & it's great. I had for many years used a 30" 2560x1600 so the 40" was a nice upgrade as the pixel density & thus font size is pretty much the same. The model I have has been superseded by a 43" that also has HDMI 2.0 vs the 1.4 on my model.
  3. frou, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017

    frou macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2009
    The sweetspot for "unscaled" UHD monitor is more like 32" because that gives 130-140 PPI.

    If PPI further drops to close to 100 (which is pretty much what the billions of mainstream monitors in the world have) then things get coarse-looking. So a 40" unscaled UHD is cool, but is way skewed towards impressive physical size, with detail taking a hit.

    For reference, Apple's take on a dense non-retina MBP was 133PPI (1920x1200 @ 17") :)
  4. mugwump, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017

    mugwump thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2004
    But most people scale the MBP resolution down!

    A Mac Pro monitor screen is also further away. So you would want a larger screen b/c the retina effect would happen at a lower PPI at the further distance. Mobile devices are even closer to the eye than laptop screens, but smaller.

    I think the point is achieving the most comfortable viewing of content with the goal of always native resolution -- no scaling.

    A 32" monitor is the best size for 4k unscaled? So everything is comfortably viewable? I tend to like smaller widgets but that could be too small.

    Also, with the sheer size of the thing, I wonder if the curved screen makes things easier to view, such as items in the corner of the screen.
  5. Troy2000 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2009
    I am using a three-monitor configuration consisting of two 40" Iiyama X4071UHSU-B1s and one 49" Wasabi Mango UHD490. No scaling.

    It is glorious.
  6. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I've never found viewing content at native resolution on 4k "comfortable." Everything is just too small. Using one of the UI scales at 4k is the best way to go, but maybe that's just me. Yes, you can fit more and more on the screen, but at some point it's all too small to read.

    I can't imagine how awful native 5k would be. Blah.

    Anyway, you better make sure your eyesight is perfect.
  7. sarthak macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    I picked up a Seiki 42" (41.5" actual) 4K 60Hz display for development work. The Apple official HD 5770 manages to squeeze out 40Hz with SwitchResX on Sierra (PixelClockPatch is non-functional). However, there are better options available such as 40" IPS panels now on the market.

    If you want to use 3840x2160 at native resolution without scaling then 40" is the minimum. Go for slightly larger if you can (41.5", 42", 43") as the extra few inches makes text easier to read given the high pixel density.

    This was my upgrade to replace older 3x 30" ACDs, so the pixel density on a 41.5" display is very similar. Anything smaller for 4K than 40" is rather uncomfortable if viewed unscaled, I would not recommend it.
  8. frou, Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017

    frou macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2009
    No, that is 2007-2011 era MBP17 with no Retina™ stuff involved. Simpler times.

    There's less relevant stuff like physical screen dimensions and Retina™ clouding the issue here. The question can simply be boiled down to:

    What's the maximum PPI that's comfortably readable from typical viewing distance?

    (Assuming the OS outputting in old-fashioned "normal" mode -- no Retina™, high-dpi, scaling or other modes activated)

    And the answer depends on the individual's eyesight and tastes. The way I use them, I'm sticking with my answer of ~135 PPI for both desktops and laptops.

    Check out this site to play around with:{"a":0,"tvs":[[32,16,9,3840,2160,0],[17,16,10,1920,1200,0],[40,16,9,3840,2160,0],[27,16,9,5120,2880,0]]}
  9. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    Thanks for that link which confirms that a 40" 4K which is 110 PPI is a nice upgrade from a 30" 2560 x 1600 which is 101 PPI.

    I miss the 1920x1200 screen on my 17" MBP. I now have a 15" rMBP & have it set to 'More Space' to maximise screen real estate but would prefer it physically larger so that I didn't have to increase window size to make the text large enough to read.
  10. dakovar macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    I went from two 30" Dell monitors to one 40" curved 4K Samsung tv (UN40JU6500). I'm thrilled by the change. The only downside is that it's running at 30Hz....but this is only noticeable as the mouse feels a little slow moving on the screen. Videos and everything else look great. The curved 40" is a great size in my opinion even pretty close.
  11. StrawberryX, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017

    StrawberryX macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    I run a 43" 4k monitor at 60hz, mainly used for media, presentation and collective work.
    It's a bit like 4 22" monitors or something ...
    A GTX 680 to drive it, I don't know if it gets to 60hz or 10bit
    I'm happy the old mac pro and 2015 macbook air can manage the 4K.
    Ocean of real estate,
    Still 23" HD something 1920 x 1200 feels less crazy.
    A lot of the 40+ monitors can do split screen stuff, It's funny for teamwork.
    Some 4K codecs are slow on the cMP.
    I like more real estate and no crazy high ppi for the moment ...
    the real use in 4K for me is the massive space, crazy high ppi is just crazy high ppi ...
    It's pretty oldschool on a 40+ monitor
    just really big ... like a wall ... I don't use it when I'm working alone, 23" is fine ...
    TV's are cheaper but DP 1.2 is more practical I think.
  12. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    It's actually OK on my 84" 4K TV :D

    But TBH, sitting just 3 feet away from a 84" TV for video editing is definitely not normal.
  13. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    I have been looking at the SwitchResX website, trying to see if this software might help me get 60Hz using a 4k TV (Samsung 6290, 40"). The TV works great at 30Hz, but I cannot seem to get a 60Hz option in OS X (sierra) using DP to HDMI or HDMI to HDMI cables, despite being quite sure my GPU (AMD 460) supports it.

    Would love any input that assists me in getting 60Hz from this monitor. It is quite usable at 30Hz (recording studio application - incredible screen real estate!) but would be even better at 60Hz. Thanks in advance for any assistance offered.
  14. StrawberryX macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    I'm no expert but I think everything has to be right.
    DP 1.2 to DP 1.2 cable that supports 60hz to monitor.
    I don't know for TV's and HDMI, but if HDMI 1.4 is a part of the connection I don't know if 60hz is possible.
    I think HDMI 2.0 supports 60hz and with the right converter cable it might be possible ...
    I don't know ... I only know from when I was looking to buy the technology was not mature.
    When I was shopping, most TV's were HDMI 1.4, more stuff to improve and upscale images,
    but not ideal to sit in front of and use as a very big normal computer monitor.
  15. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
  16. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
  17. StrawberryX macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    I'm happy for you that it works :)
    Good to know DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 converter cables work,
    I think that's interesting for everyone. :)
  18. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    It sure was for me!

    I tried using SwitchResX connecting directly from DP to HDMI and HDMI to HDMI but could not achieve 60Hz without the linked adaptor. Graphics card is Gigabyte RX 460 4GB.

    40 inches of 4k is very cool. I no longer feel the 27" retina iMacs have anything on my Mac Pro setup.

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