Dual Monitors with 13" 2015 rMBP: Apple Thunderbolt Displays or 4K?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gthorson, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. gthorson macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2015
    Southern California
    I'm upgrading my office setup and need advice. I'll be buying a 13" 2015 rMBP loaded (i7, 16GB, 1TB) and will be getting dual monitors.

    Would you choose two Apple Thunderbolt displays, or two 4K displays? Why?

    FYI, I mainly work with productivity apps.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion!
  2. appleminion macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2015
    how do you have so much money to buy all this stuff?

    i'd say thunderbolt display b/c it's cheaper... but if money is no concern for you, 4k obviously
  3. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Apple's Thunderbolt displays are heavily overpriced at the moment. I'd go for 4K displays that support displayport. Displayport works natively with the thunderbolt ports on the mackook pro.
  4. gthorson thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2015
    Southern California
    I'd like to keep the cost of each monitor below $1,000.

    The two 4K monitors I've read some about are:

    1) Dell 27" Ultra HD 4K ($590)


    2) Samsung 28" Ultra High Def LED Monitor

    Would you choose either one of these over the Apple Thunderbolt Display? I'm a bit torn because I like both the aesthetics and the connectivity of the Apple displays, but I like the higher resolution of the 4K Dells and Samsungs.

    What do you think?
  5. stiligFox macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2009
    Keep in mind your rMBP will have a harder time rendering two 4k TV's over the Thunderbolt displays, since there is quite a bit more pixels to push.

    That said, if you understand that, I would actually go with the 4k displays since they are a better deal at this point. The benefit of the Apple display is that it also has a built in webcam and speaker system, but other than that, it's pretty darn outdated.

    As for Dell VS Samsung, I think at this point it's pretty much personal preference, although I've never seen a Samsung display that I didn't like.
  6. flur macrumors 68000

    Nov 12, 2012
    FWIW, the Dell screens that I've worked with have not been great. But I haven't owned one of the 4k screens, so they may be different.
  7. tayh macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2012
    Keep in mind that the Thunderbolt Display Is a great dock!

    It has Ethernet, 3 X USB, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt Port, webcam, mic, and speakers.
  8. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    For me this would be a no brainer if you're willing to spend that kind of cash.

    4K all the way. Thunderbolt monitors will be outdated in no time. If you plan on using the dual monitors for several years you definitely want to get the 4k.
  9. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I can't speak to what the newest version of the 13" rMBP is capable of, but I can offer that my late-2013 15" rMBP and a 2014 15" rMBP (both with the discrete GPU) cannot drive two 4k monitors at 60 Hz - the can drive one 4k monitor at 60Hz over DP and one at 30Hz over HDMI. I have two Dell P2715Q (Rev A) monitors on my desk, both connected to my rMBP. I can daisychain two 4k monitors and mirror a desktop @60Hz but can't extend a desktop at all - a limitation of the OS and/or lack of proper drivers IMO.

    There's a very long thread in the Mac Peripherals forums about the two Dell P-line 4k monitors that will offer the same sentiment as I'm offering.

    There's one member, larrysing1963, who's driving one 29" (I think that's the size) LG Thunderbolt monitor and one P2715Q monitor with a 15" rMBP with an integrated GPU (I think they're daisychained, but you'd need to confirm that) - I'd suggest consulting with him.

    As to the Samsung monitor, that's the old 4k tech. We tried two, they were IMO junk and went back.

    I have hope that 10.9.3 will offer better 4k support. I've also installed nVidia's CUDA drivers, to no avail. I can connect my two P2715Q monitors to a Windows box here in the office and drive both at 4k either daisychained or via the two DP ports in the (really cheap) AMD video card.

    My next purchase will be a riMac, and I'll connect one of my 4k monitors to that unit.
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    2 x 4K asking a lot...

    ... of a thin light 13" laptop with an igpu. In theory it'll work. In practice I think it'll struggle.

    Don't buy thunderbolt displays until apple update them Firewire and USB 2 Ugh. They are now overpriced and under specced.
  11. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    I agree. ^^

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