Dual 4k monitors on tbMBP 13"

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by samparmenter, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. samparmenter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #1
    I have a 5K iMac and one of the new 13" macbook pros but working on both of them is a bit of a faff so I am considering binning the iMac in favour of the macbook in clamshell mode and dual 4lk monitors. I know this is possible but the question is how much it is likely to affect performance.

    I don't think I want the LG 4k Ultrafine because its only 21.5" which is pretty small all things considered. I don't want to get 4k screens and run them scaled at 1080 either because I currently have dual 1080 24" monitors and there isn't enough screen real estate for my liking and its not worth dropping probably the best part of £1000 on 2 new monitors to have the same resolution as before only sharper.

    People have been using various scaled resolutions to combat this but this obviously has a performance downside. I don't want to find that I have an OS that runs sluggishly if I run dual 27" 4k screens scaled to a weird res.

    Is there anyone out there (mainly web and app developers) who has tested the new 13" tbMBP with dual 4 monitors and if possible, people who have tested it with the various scaled resolutions.

    I like the look of the LG 27UD88 monitors and there are lots of reviews out there but none that I can find that are using two of them at once.

    What are peoples views on this?
     
  2. chfilm, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017

    chfilm macrumors 65816

    chfilm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    I have the MacBook and two 4K 27" dells, but only one tb3-tb2 adapter to connect them, so I can't exactly test it. But I'll run the single 4K on the MacBook in scaled mode for you in a second.

    Update:
    Huh that's odd: I tried to connect the Monitor via my Tb 3- TB2 adapter via Minidisplayport to DP. But it doesn't work at all. No Signal.
    My TB Display works this way. Is the TB Adapter not suitable for a simple Displayport Signal??
     
  3. econ macrumors newbie

    econ

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    #3


    https://9to5mac.com/2016/11/17/apple-macbook-pro-thunderbolt-3-adapter-displayport/

    it just works. or does it?
     
  4. chfilm macrumors 65816

    chfilm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #4
  5. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #5
    It's stupid, but it's not Apple's fault. It's just the way the video signals work.

    Apple does need to make the limitation clearer, though. Look at all those one star reviews.
     
  6. chfilm macrumors 65816

    chfilm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    really don't care whos fault it is, but it breaks the idea of what thunderbolt set out to be, if there are exceptions like this. One port for everything.
    I hope TB 3 can keep that promise better.
     
  7. samparmenter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #7
    Is anyone using dual 4k lg ultrafines? I am tempted to get them over a single 5k but I worry that I won't like the size of the screens. 21.5" is pretty small but I can get 2 of them for nearly the same price as a single 5k.

    I don't know how I feel about the idea of buying two of them to try and then find that I need to take them back.
     
  8. samparmenter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #8
    I've bitten the bullet and gone for dual 4k lg ultrafines with my 13" tbMBP so I will report back about how they perform. I picked one up an hour ago to see if I liked the display and I have a second being delivered tomorrow. Have to say, they are lovely monitors. Its quite small next to a 27" iMac but its fantastic quality and I don't think that its too small.

    I'm running it at 2560x1440 or perhaps 3008x1692 depending on whether I get much better performance from them that way. I will have it in clamshell mode when I am running two of them. There is a noticeable sluggishness to the UI when running the internal display scaled along with the 21" scaled however its not a deal breaker. I don't use things like expose that much and the stuff that I am doing doesn't really cause me issue. I'm hoping that when I add a second scaled 21" and clamshell the MBP it will manage ok.

    If it doesn't, I'll send them both back and look at other options.
     
  9. samparmenter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #9
    Just setup the second monitor and it seems perfectly usable. Animations in macOS are pretty slow but its not enough to ruin the experience. I'm a programmer so having 2 nice high res monitors that are the same size and resolution is nice. Honestly I think that 2 27" LG ultrafines would be too big to work with comfortably. This is a nice amount of screen and you never have to move your eyes too far.

    This will be replacing my old setup which was a iMac 5k and a 24" 1080p monitor which always looked **** next to the iMac and 1080 really is a poor resolution. The only things I would like to do now are get a vertical dock like the new hinge ones and perhaps a thunderbolt 3 dock to hide under the desk.

    The biggest issue with this setup at the moment is that I don't have an ethernet usb-c adaptor yet so I am on wireless. Makes you realise how much slower it is than a wired connection.

    If I end up with some money to burn I might get a Akitio node to add an eGPU to this setup which would solve all the choppy animation issues but thats a low priority.
     
  10. zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    #10
    I'd like to know also. I have the 15" TB with 512gb and 455 video and it is seamless with the dual 4K LG Ultrafines. Works perfectly, wakes up, goes to sleep, in clamshell mode and with the screen down. I'm thinking of keeping the 4K monitors but downsizing to the 13" MBP.
     
  11. nikster0029 Contributor

    nikster0029

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #11
    I am going to try your set up this Friday with two Ultra Fine 4k monitors. Can you plug in both cables to the same side of the MacBook Pro?
     
  12. samparmenter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #12
    Yeah, I havent had any issues with pluggins into any set of the ports. I doubt I have used every possible combination but I have definitely used one on each side and both on one side. Depending on what you are doing I would recommend running it at native (scaled) resolution as transitions and animations are super choppy if you don't.

    I'm a programmer so im not moving many windows about and have it at 3008x1692 and that seems to beat the crap out of the GFX card. If you run it at the highest "scaled" option of the basic options (i.e. don't hold option when clicking "scaled") it runs totally fine. Not perfect but pretty good.
     

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