How is LG ultrafine 5k in 4k mode?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by unagimiyagi, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    Anyone tried the 5k in 4k scaled mode?

    I have a 4k capable macbook pro that says it's compatible.
    But I want someone to tell me if the text really looks retina or does everything look soft?
  2. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    If your MBP is only capable of 4K, it cannot run the 5K monitor using macOS HiDPI scaling. This native scaling requires your Mac to drive the full 5K monitor, and thus be "5K compatible".

    As I understand Apple's docs, what you are actually able to do is provide a 4K signal to the monitor, and allow the monitor to apply its own scaling algorithm to fill the screen. In this case, the resulting picture quality will presumably be significantly worse than if scaling were handled by macOS. I may be wrong, though.
  3. unagimiyagi thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    Tried the 4k mode today. It works OK. Scaling artifacts are noticeable close up but it definitely is a your mileage may vary. I asked a non-technical person what they thought (after seeing the 'real' 5k) and they said it looks fine. Then they looked closer and they said they could see some not perfectly crisp text. But when just doing your work like coding, writing, surfing, it's not really noticeable if you aren't looking for it. But if you do design work, etc, it's not ideal. A true 4k signal on a 4k monitor would look better. If you're picky in any sense of the word, I don't think 4k mode is going to make you happy long-term. I also don't think that most people spend $1000 on a monitor and settle for a picture that they can "just live with". They want a near perfect retina picture I would think.

    If I had no laptops that were capable of outputting 5k, I'd definitely buy the 21.5" 4k ultra fine.

    I am thinking of taking the thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter back because I don't think I'll end up connecting my older laptops to the 5k and accepting the quality of the 4k signal.
  4. avalys macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2004
    It looks really good. I have a Dell 27" 4K monitor at work and a work-issued previous-gen MBP. To my eyes, running the Ultrafine 5K through a TB2/TB3 converter in 4K mode with "looks like 2560x1440" looks the same as the Dell at the same "looks like" resolution. As I said in another thread, I can definitely see the difference between that and the native retina 5K when I use it with my personal MBP, but it's the difference between "great" and "fantastic" image quality. Nothing wrong with the image quality in 4K mode at all.

    Just FYI: you need to be running Mac OS Sierra / 10.12 in order for the TB2/TB3 converter to work! I was still running 10.11 on my work laptop and plugging in the cable instantly froze the computer every time.
  5. pshifrin macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2010
    I was in the GCT Apple Store store today and they have two 5ks on display. One is connected to a Mac Pro and the other a Mac Mini. I was checking them out since I'm considering one for my 2016 mpb. I forgot they were running at 4K and they looked great to me.

Share This Page