External monitors experiences on the new macbooks

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by bryan.cfii, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. bryan.cfii, Jun 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2016

    bryan.cfii macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    #1
    I'm really interested in a macbook for school as I have a knee issue and need as light as possible. What I'm very interested in is the experience that others have had with the various monitors and resolutions with their macbook. I see Apple is capping the resolution of the external at just under 4K@ 30hz with both screens on. I'm looking for at least 60hz and would typically only be running the external screen by itself.

    I'm coming from a late 2011 MBP so my current resolution is 1280x800 to put it in perspective.

    I'm looking to hear whats been used successfully set up wise that others are happy with. I see a IPS WQHD 2560 x 1440 Display on amazon that would double as a dock that I think would be good, but I don't want to run this thing like a dog just by using an external monitor.

    The next thing I would consider is a MBA which would be a step up GPU wise, but a down grade screen wise. I read a lot of text so I was trying to go up in resolution.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    There is a way to make 4K at 60Hz work, see this thread. Unless you're gaming or doing other GPU intensive stuff, the GPU in rMB will be fine for you. The resolution limitation is purely due to the USB-C port, not the GPU.
     
  3. Trvlngnrs macrumors 6502

    Trvlngnrs

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    #3
    If you are referring to the Acer 27", Costco has it $ 100 cheaper.
     
  4. bryan.cfii thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    #4
    Yeah I was LOL! Thanks so much for letting me know
     
  5. BigTomCallaghan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    #5
    You guys have a link I can check out?
     
  6. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #6
    Acer monitor is not 4K or WQHD so macbook will drive it 2560x1440 @ 60Hz without any modifications. I myself tried this monitor but there was an issue with my connection where it constantly loses signal and screen goes black. I also found the quality of the screen less than desirable even though its IPS. I'm currently running mine with LG27UD88-W which is a 4K display and everything is through one USB-C cable. Although I prefer the 2560x1440 res, the quality more than makes up for the HiDPI since 3840 x 2160 is way too small on a 27" screen.
     
  7. Trvlngnrs macrumors 6502

    Trvlngnrs

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    #7
    Do you have a 2015 or 2016 rMB? I have a 2015.
    Did you do the 4K - 60hz hack?

    I'm not sold on the Acer yet, I may get the Dell U2715H as I read so many good things about it - but it's not 4K.
    Trvlngnrs
     
  8. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #8
    I have the 2016 version listed in my sig. I did the 60hz hack and works perfectly. I don't like the HiDPI on a 27 inch display but 4K makes it look real nice. I still think 2560 x 1440 is best for 27 inches. At the moment, options are extremely limited if you want to do everything through one USB-C cable.
     
  9. bryan.cfii thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    #9
    Hey, Thank You for the heads up on that issue. I really appreciate the knowledge and experience!
     
  10. redman042 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #10
    New Mac owner here (well I just placed the order for a 2016 rMB but it won't arrive until Monday).

    I also want to use an Acer or Asus WQHD 2560x1440 display (a 2k display) with my MacBook. Since I'm new to Macs, I'm not sure how all the scaling options work. I'm also still trying to figure out the resolution limitations of the new MacBook.

    Here's what I want to do:
    • Connect through HDMI using the Apple Multiport adapter
    • Run the external display at 2560x1440 native, at 60 Hz, without any hacks if possible
    • Run the Mac's internal display at native resolution. I'd set it below the monitor and be able to drag windows up to the external display or down to the Mac's display.
    • Scale the text size to something that balances readability with real estate.

    I'm doing this now at work on a Surface Pro 4 in Windows 10. The WQHD is set at 125% scaling and the Surface's 5k display is set at 225% scaling.

    Can the Mac, specifically the rMB 2016, do this or something similar?
     
  11. redman042 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #11
    So I just ran the test described above. I connected my new MacBook to my office display (2560x1440 Acer G257HU) as a second display. Worked great! The Acer ran in native resolution at 60Hz, and the rMBP ran at its native resolution. I could adjust monitor positions (top to bottom rather than side to side) with no problem. The native scaling worked best on the display, though scaled resolutions were reasonably clear (but not quite as crisp as native).

    Just ordered a 2k display for my home. I chose a different one, the Asus PB258Q, which is slightly more expensive but has a much better stand and a little bit better image quality, according to the reviews. Both are very nice monitors and appear to be well-suited to the MacBook without bumping you down to 30Hz mode or over-taxing the GPU.
     

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