External monitor for Macbook Pro, so confusing :(

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ruialmeida, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. ruialmeida macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2014
    Hi from Portugal,

    I have a Macbook Pro 15 (Mid 2014) and the one thing i love the most is the screen quality (retina). Those crisp text are beautiful... i´m a webdesigner, so i´m kind a pixel freak.

    I want to buy an external monitor for my Mac, but i want that crisp look and the 2 monitors that i´m "dating" are:

    - LG - 29UM65-P - 279 euros / 2560 x 1080
    - Samsung - U28D590D - 599 euros / 3840 X 2160

    I went to the store with my Mac and did a tryout with both monitors with HDMI

    SAMSUNG - The text and icons are crisp giving that "retina look"
    LG - Lot´s of extra space but.... the text and icons are... well... like the old macbooks with no retina. I was very disappointed.

    I´m very confused because my Mac is 2880 x 1800 and the LG is 2560 x 1080. The diference is minimal, so i was thinking that i was going to see the "retina look" on the LG but nooo.

    Does anyone had the same problem?
    Do i have to do something on the configurations to have that "retina look"?
    I connect with HDMI, maybe with the displayport i will have the "retina look"?
    Is this a DPI/PPI/PPC problem or a resolution problem?

    I really like the LG because of the widescreen and the very good price comparing with the SAMSUNG.

    I know the samsung was more resolution, but the resolution difference between my Mac and the LG is minimal.

    My wish is someone here says "no problem dude, you just have to do this or that and you will have that crisp look on your LG screen".

    I just want a external monitor with "retina look" for a good price, an i was thinking that the LG is going to be a good solution.

    Please... help :confused:
  2. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    I'd like to tell you that there is an easy solution but if there is, I wouldn't know it. I use the Thunderbolt display for my MacBook Pro and always close the MacBook so I'm only using the large screen.
  3. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    The LG has fewer pixels on a much larger screen, so you are not going to get the retina look with that.

    The Samsung screen has a TN panel, a technology that usually suffers from very narrow viewing angles. Did you notice the colour shifting as you moved your head?

    As a web designer, you might prefer the colour accuracy of a VA or IPS panel.

    There probably isn't the monitor you want at the price you want in the stores. But there are multiple monitors coming out over the next few months that have good screen technology, high resolution, and reasonable prices. Hopefully there will be one to suit you.
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Sorry, as Moonjumper notes it's a pixel density thing. Retina-ism is a function of pixel density and your ability to see them.

    So with an iPhone up close you need way over 200 PPI or you'll see the pixels themselves. But the same image on an old TV about 25' away and you would NOT see the pixels.

    Another more real example: at about 16" with 20/20 vision the pixels in a retina iMac aren't apparent to most. You don't get that with an IPS regular iMac 2560x1440 until you sit 32" away.

    So you'd have to shrink all the pixels in that LG down to a much smaller size to get retina at the same viewing distance.

  5. ruialmeida thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2014

    Hum... it seems i have to find another monitor. Well, tks for all the input :)
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    No 1080p screen bigger than a smartphone is going to give you a "retina" experience (even if its an ultra-wide 1080p). There's a word for a 1080p screen and its "television" not "computer monitor!" Both 1080p ("Full HD") and UHD ("4k") are a blight on the face of computing, because they're based on what's good for video rather than what's good for everything else.

    The "retina feel" is a function of the size of the screen, the number of pixels and how far away you sit. There's a handy calculator here: http://isthisretina.com

    Also, when driving a "retina" or "4k" (like the Samsung) display, the Mac doubles the number of horizontal and vertical pixels of all the system fonts, icons, scroll bars etc. which is great on a 15" retina display, but makes them really a bit too big for a 28" screen. So I'd go into displays settings and select one of the "Scaled" and one of the "more space" options, and see what you think about that, both in terms of appearance and performance (it will put more load on your GPU), before going for a 4k screen.

    I think, on balance, unless I was specifically working with 4k video, I'd still go for a 27" 2560x1440 screen (same resolution as the Apple TB display and the non-retina iMac) or a pair of 24" 1920x1200 displays (the new Dell U2415 looks nice). 4k is not an ideal resolution for Macs, which is why Apple have jumped to 5k for the retina iMac.

    Sadly, because of interface issues, I think its going to be a while before you can buy a 5k screen for your existing Mac - if ever.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
  8. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Monoprice is a great company with a superb service ethic and fantastic prices. They have monitors that are well-regarded. Depending on where you are in the world, they may be a great option for you. Take a look: http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=113&cp_id=11320
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    +1. I have one of their IPS 2560x1440 panels next to my riMac, and while it's obviously not as good, it's a super value and the best of the rest IMHO, unless you need pro level color calibration. Make sure you get the proper connection options (I went DVI and should have gone DP).

    It's funny, I was just reading a post from a photographer complaining about retina because he has to create small images that on the riMac are so tiny that it's hard to get sharpening right, so he needs essentially a crappier monitor to work on for the small work. The 2560x1440 might fit that bill for you.
  10. kant macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2004
    LG has come out with a 25" 2560x1080 line. That's better pixel density than the 29" by quite a bit. I was giving serious consideration to one until an Asus ArtPro came up used in the marketplace for a nice price. Very happy with it, but if I wasn't I'd be giving the LG a shot.

    25UM65-P 14ms
    25UM64-S 14ms (5ms GTG)

    25UM55-P (found under their commercial displays rather than computer monitors. Spec says 0.2286 x 0.2286 pixel pitch. I'd assume that the the other two are the same. This one only has 2 hdmi in. The others have a Display Port and DVI-D.)

    All thee support Picture by Picture.

    Their Portugal site lists a 25UM65. Notice the lack of the "-P" The spec sheet says 99% Adobe RGB while the ones above are all 100%, so this one may have a different panel?


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