Good, Non-4K External Monitor (24-27") for 15" rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JulesK, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    I just picked up a new 15" rMBP (it has the separate GPU), and will be using it at home with an external monitor in clam-shell mode. I currently use a 24" ACD, which I can use with the rMBP, but am considering other options. Criteria:

    -Higher resolution (but not 4K), in the 24-27" size. I want something that can be easily driven by the laptop.

    -Maximum compatibility - as close to plug-and-play compatible as an Apple display would be (sleep/wake, miniDP connectivity, etc.).

    -Built-in USB3 hub (powered, ideally).

    Obviously, a nice pictures is important, but I am not a graphic professional and am not obsessive about color accuracy.

    There obviously are many, many monitors out there that are much cheaper than anything Apple offers, but many seems to have issues when used with a rMBP. Even a refurbished TBD is really expensive, but at least I know it will work with the rMPB with few headaches (MagSafe converter aside). The Dell monitors seem to have great specs but often appear to have compatibility issues.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've tried going through as many threads as possible, but wanted to ask the direct question.
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Except for some 4k monitors with issues all monitors are compatible. They all go into standby when the signal from the notebook stops. They are all compatible. Some may need hdmi adapters as not all have Displayport but they all work. They are all plug and play, except maybe for some calibration. Over any digitial connector (aka everything but VGA) the notebook will know the right resolution and select it immediately.

    In 24" you only find 1080p displays with some 16:10 models and the 27" equivalent is the 1440p version. There are some 1080p 27" which you should avoid but 21-24" all have the same resolution.

    If you use it for movies and text. The MVA panels are the best. At night the 3000:1 contrast is just way better for perceived sharpness and the look of dark scenes than anything IPS.
    They are also quite cheap but there are no good 27" versions (they are all 1080p). Dell S2440L or the iiyama ProLite XB2483HSU is a good example. Some Benqs with even better contrast. They also work quite well for gaming, better than most IPS, worse than TN.
    Otherwise there is a range of displays with IPS at higher price points that also come with better backlights and a wider color spectrum. The human visual system is more contrast reliant than color though, so if you don't need it for photography or graphics I would prefer the MVA, they are also cheap enough that you can through in a good display arm.
    Look for Vesa mounting in specifications. Most displays have it but some don't.
    Much better to have a display attached to a mobile arm to push it around the desk and out of the way when needed. It is 80 bucks for an arm with the price of a decent display you can still afford 3 before you hit the 1000$ of an ACD.
  3. JulesK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    Thank you for this very helpful information. I guess, for it's size, that I may end up sticking with the 24" ACD.


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