Turnpike

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2011
443
282
New York City!
What's are the best options for an external display for the new 12" Macbooks that gives a high-resolution picture similar to the retina display (but larger, of course) that the 12" can handle?

I watch a LOT of movies/TV, and REALLY appreciate a retina-quality screen of the MBPro and iPad Air.... Bright, crisp picture, and the glossy smooth finish. (Not like Dell's new 13 inch XPS type screen, where it's not the same crisp picture, though it's considered the same or similar in resolution to Retina). I'm looking for the best external monitor that I could plug my 12" Macbook into that would give me the best Retina-like picture, that the 12" Macbook can easily power (graphics-wise). Ideally I'd like a 32" TV size monitor, but I know there are limits in this situation, especially with the 12" laptop driving it. So if possible I'd like something that's at least 24" or larger, and the price is not an issue, just the smooth operation of using it with the super slim laptop.

Any solutions or suggestions would be appreciated, especially if you have experience in matching something up.

Thanks! :)
 
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Turnpike

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2011
443
282
New York City!
Also, does anyone know if the 4K display by Sharp that Apple has on their site gives off the same glossy crisp picture that a retina display does...? Or is it a matte type finish like the XPS Dell laptops?
 

Wallabe

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
660
205
The Macbook can handle 4K at 30Hz.

If you really want to know how it does with a particular 4K display, see if you can bring the Macbook along with the appropriate adapter and cable to BestBuy, and plug it directly into whatever TV/monitor you plan to get. 4K TV have multiple HDMI input, so it's a quick plug-in and changing the HDMI input selection using the remote. That's a good way to try every display so you can buy the right one.
 
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ctyrider

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2012
1,005
576
Will that Dell monitor have a bright crisp glossy picture like the Retinas? They seem quite affordable....

I don't know if U2515H picture is "like Retinas" ("retina" is mostly a marketing term anyway).. But it's a high quality 25" 1440p display, I am very happy with it.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,823
3,499
That Dell is not high resolution compared to the rMB (pixel counts are awful similar, but one is in a 12" screen, the other in a 25").

Still, 4k is probably not a great idea for the current rMB. 30hz will not make for a great experience, and I would imagine you will really be taxing the thing just to drive it at that. That Dell is probably about the best you can get for this notebook.
 

dsquared81

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2010
420
11
Orange County
That Dell is not high resolution compared to the rMB (pixel counts are awful similar, but one is in a 12" screen, the other in a 25").

Still, 4k is probably not a great idea for the current rMB. 30hz will not make for a great experience, and I would imagine you will really be taxing the thing just to drive it at that. That Dell is probably about the best you can get for this notebook.

In your opinion would driving a 4k monitor be better suited for a rMPP 13?
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,823
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In your opinion would driving a 4k monitor be better suited for a rMPP 13?

Yes, definitely. If you want a 4k monitor, you need one of the more powerful MacBook Pros. If you aren't buying brand-new, make sure to check the compatibility list.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,823
3,499
I picked up the Apple digital adapter last night and today have it attached to my Dell p2715q 4k monitor at work. If what you really want is just very sharp text, and don't mind operating with only 1920x1080 pixels of workspace, then the Macbook does, in fact pair with a 4k monitor just fine. It seems to be running at 60hz at this resolution as there is no lag and everything is crystal clear. There are no options to work at scaled resolutions between this and the full native resolution which is too small, IMO, and I think if you tried that you'd be pushing the limits of the Macbook. But for sharp text, a 4k monitor is a workable solution with this little laptop.
 

Niarlatop

macrumors member
May 13, 2015
75
25
It seems to be running at 60hz at this resolution as there is no lag and everything is crystal clear.

I find this very curious, the hardware specifications of this notebook only allows 30 Hz on a 4K screen. Don't you notice some lag when you move your cursor around or scroll down documents? It should be way more fluid on your internal screen than on the external one.

Anyway it's good that you like this setup, Retina sharpness on an external screen is a true delight ;)
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,823
3,499
I find this very curious, the hardware specifications of this notebook only allows 30 Hz on a 4K screen. Don't you notice some lag when you move your cursor around or scroll down documents? It should be way more fluid on your internal screen than on the external one.

Anyway it's good that you like this setup, Retina sharpness on an external screen is a true delight ;)

I'm not certain, as I don't know how to verify the refresh rate in use on the Mac, however I've had a lot of experience using my 4k display at 30hz when connected to my Surface Pro as it requires a hack to get it to work at 50hz, and that hack often gets wiped out by system updates and I end up working at 30hz until I get around to re-applying the hack. At 30hz even text entry can't keep up with my typing speed. I didn't notice this at all at 1920x1080 from the MacBook.

If I understand correctly, it should work because the MacBook is not treating the 4k display as true 4k. The MacBook is outputting a 1920x1080 signal which is then visually displayed in a 4 pixel to 1 ratio on the physical hardware of the screen. Exactly how retina works on iOS devices.
 

Mindinversion

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2008
357
129
Keep in mind, High DPI is not the only thing one needs to consider for "Apple Retina like performance"

This may or may not be an issue for some people, but in my experience finding an acceptable external monitor after using the RiMac and MBP/Macbook has been an absolute NIGHTMARE, and it's all due to one small component:

The Anti Glare coating.

For me, it doesn't matter how good the panel is or how high resolution, almost all of the anti glare coatings make my whites fuzzy, which in turns makes text look fuzzy, which gives me a headache after awhile.

From that angle, I've been using my old trusty 27" Apple Cinema display, though I did just pick up a Dell 34" curved display. It's one of the few non apple screens I've seen that minimizes that fuzzy white issue [it's not perfect, but it's close] Of course These screens have their own issues [backlight bleed, which is an IPS panel standard problem] But between the two I'll take a bit of bleed over a splitting headache.
 

Wallabe

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
660
205
I found out that it will do 60Hz at 4K resolution using a USB-C to displayport cable.

If you happen to have a displayport input in the display.

http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-USB...sr=8-1&keywords=monoprice+usbc+to+displayport

There are compromises of course, no power, and you have to keep the laptop open. If only there was a second USB-C or induction charging like Apple Watch. Now that's something, you get to keep the "MagSafe".

It's only 30Hz if you go through HDMI.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,823
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I found out that it will do 60Hz at 4K resolution using a USB-C to displayport cable.

If you happen to have a displayport input in the display.

http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-USB...sr=8-1&keywords=monoprice+usbc+to+displayport

There are compromises of course, no power, and you have to keep the laptop open. If only there was a second USB-C or induction charging like Apple Watch. Now that's something, you get to keep the "MagSafe".

It's only 30Hz if you go through HDMI.

I'm 99% sure that in the case of the rMB that's not true due to bandwidth and chipset limitations. See https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...-and-accessories.1884706/page-7#post-21490963
 

ctyrider

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2012
1,005
576
I found out that it will do 60Hz at 4K resolution using a USB-C to displayport cable.

If you happen to have a displayport input in the display.

http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-USB...sr=8-1&keywords=monoprice+usbc+to+displayport

There are compromises of course, no power, and you have to keep the laptop open. If only there was a second USB-C or induction charging like Apple Watch. Now that's something, you get to keep the "MagSafe".

It's only 30Hz if you go through HDMI.

That's incorrect.
 

w0rd3r

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2014
145
51
France
I think, considering what you said on the first post, that a 21/9 monitor should be your best option. Something like this
Capture 2.jpg
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
14,016
4,648
When we start to get monitors that are USB-C, would that also charge the macbook eliminating the need for the adapter?
 
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