Looking for a large 4K Monitor (15" MBP)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rudy69, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Rudy69 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    I have a 2017 15" MBP and I use an older 27" iMac at my desk but I'm starting to feel cramped and I want a large monitor (that will be plugged in to both but used mainly from the 15" MBP). Here's some of the features I wanted:

    - Large (around 40")
    - 4k (or 5K but they're rare and $$$)
    - USB-C/TB3 (not required but then I'll have to get a USB-C or TB3 dock which adds $$$)
    - Ethernet would be nice but not required (I do believe a USB to Ethernet adapter can be used with most monitors)
    - Not worried about high (over 60) refresh rates or syncing features for gaming, this monitor will be used for coding 99% of the time.

    Here's the best ones I found so far:



    I'm leaning towards LG one as I'm not convinced by the ultra wide part, but I'm not 100% sure. I did look at TVs but I found most of them to end up being around the same price if not more.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    if a monitor that size won't be a nightmare to use then the LG looks a good buy.
  3. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Rather than one big monitor have you considered two 27" monitors? I'm using 2 x Dell 27" 4K monitors (forget the model number) and use them for everything from word, excel, lightroom, photoshop and gaming. Very happy with them. Used them on both PC and Mac and they work very well.

    The reason I suggest this is that a 40" screen is still only 4K. It's not 8K. I have to scale mine at 150% in Windows, but you could probably reduce that to 120% or lower depending on your eyesight and get more room on a 40" monitor. But I still find using a couple of monitors is much better when having to compare content from one document to another, etc. And they are very well priced.

    I would also look at a dock. Yes it adds more cost, but it gives you all of what you want. Startech make one that will work with a Mac and there gear is normally very good.


    I've worked in loads of environments that use USB docs and a couple of monitors with the usual crappy corporate laptops running integrated graphics and they are fine, so your Macbook should work well with this setup. I also got a couple of monitor brackets that fit onto the back of my desk so there's no stand on the desk itself that gives me loads of space back on the desk.
  4. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    The Acer only has a 75 Hz refresh rate and isn't even 4K resolution. The LG has no height or swivel adjustments, horrible selection of ports (because it's basically a TV set, not a computer monitor), USB-C won't charge your laptop and is overpriced for what you get.

    Which arm would you prefer to have chopped off? Both horrible choices.

    I'm with Shaun, two 27" monitors would be better in the end for most uses, and probably cost about the same.
  5. Rudy69 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    Part of the reason I want such a large 4K monitor is because I don't want to run it in "retina" mode (and I won't be running Windows so it's 100% or 200%, no in between).
    The 2x 27" idea isn't bad but I feel everything will be too small if I run them in full resolution and too big if I run them in retina mode (I never liked regular 1080p 27" monitors, I always went for the 1440p ones).

    The Acer was included as something different but yea I'm leaning towards the LG, but looking for suggestions for a different monitor if a better one is available.

    As for the adjustments, I agree that the stock stand is pretty lame but it does have support for a vesa stand/arm (I have one right now but it doesn't support a 43" monitor so I would need a new one).

    A really good point you bring up though is the lack of charging. I had read somewhere that it was outputting 40w which I though would be enough to keep it alive when I'm using it and charge it when it's sleeping BUT it looks like that might have been wrong and it just won't charge :(

    As I replied to Shaun I'm not 100% sold on the 2x 27" setup but it might work I guess. My current setup right now is the 15" MBP, 27" iMac (1440p, not 5K) and a terrible 22" monitor I mostly use to watch youtube videos while I work, this one is not staying.
  6. dhershberger macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2018
    I have a 40-inch 4k monitor and cringe at the idea of losing vertical space after taking an interested look at Samsung's 49-inch ultra-wide. I would go for the LG.
  7. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Why won't you run the screen in retina mode? I've run these 4K monitors on a nMP and they just worked. Tried them at 100% and everything was too small. tried them at 200% and everything is too big. There's a setting that emulates a 1440p monitor (the same resolution as the old 27" iMac) and that looked great on everything from text, web pages, photo editing and games. I've been very happy with them. I sold the nMP around 18 months ago, but kept the monitors. I honestly can't see me getting rid of them and I work on them 8+ hours a day.

    If I were given the choice between a 40" screen and 2 x 27" screens I'd go for the dual screen setup every time. I'd even go as far as saying I'd think about adding a third screen and certainly wouldn't be in a rush to go back to a single screen. You can flip between full-screen apps independantly on each monitor too - so much more flexible than one big screen
  8. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    I have several times used a TV as a monitor, mostly because of cost, but the experience has always been less than optimal.

    One thing you have to think about with a TV as a monitor is if it will do 4K at 60Hz and 4:4:4 Chroma. For watching movies 4:2:2 or even 4:2:0 can look great. But if you get text on a screen at anything other than 4:4:4 it will be blurry. More and more TVs have this, but you have to make sure that you are on an input that supports it and also many TVs only support 4:4:4 when the computer preset is selected. So, you can get there, but it might take you a while to figure out how to set it up correctly.

    The other issue is that drove me crazy is that most TVs shut off when idle. A monitor will wake when you wake the machine, but you have to turn on a TV. For me it was an irritation if I got distracted for a few minutes and had to find the remote to turn it on, etc.

    With a good 4K monitor on a Mac you can adjust it to appear like 1440. So my DELL monitor next to my Retina iMac looks like the same size. It's technically not pixel doubling, and if you look close you can see that it is not as smooth as the 5K, but for normal uses I never notice the difference.
  9. Rudy69 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    Thanks guys! I didn't realize that you could scale it to look like 1440p which was the main reason I didn't want to run them in retina mode. I think I'll be looking for a good deal for some smaller monitors maybe. This is exactly why I made this post before buying :p
  10. Rudy69 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    I ended up picking up a refurbished LG Ultrafine 27 5k monitor lol. Got a pretty good deal @ $850 CAD after shipping and taxes. I'm guessing LG flooded the market with a bunch of refurbs based on all the deals lately (woot.com etc), this seller guarantees not a single dead pixel or scratches so hopefully everything will work out.
  11. Zippy99 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2017
    I might be going the same route on the UltraFine (refurbished), let us know how it works out.
  12. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I’m considering going from triple to a single lg 5k, wouldn’t mind dual 5K but afraid it takes too much room
  13. Rudy69 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    I just got it yesterday so I don't have too much experience with it yet but so far I love it. So far what I like:

    - 5k looks great, using it in pure retina mode for now but I might try the other options later
    - One cable to plug in is great
    - Works with the built-in brightness buttons (first time I've seen a 3rd party monitor do that)
    - Speakers are good (I'd say on par with my late 2012 27" iMac)

    What I don't like:

    - LG Screen Manager (this is a huge missed opportunity, I really wanted to use the built in window tile manager but it's so terrible it's not even funny)
    - Sometimes it feels a bit slow at starting when I plug it in, but that might be due to the monitor being "off" until it's plugged in
    - It's nice and sleek (minimal amount of ports etc) but I do wish I could have plugged in my iMac to use when my MacBook Pro is upstairs or something (even at a lower resolution since it doesn't support 5K).

    Overall I am really happy, the box was in "fair" condition but everything inside looked brand new and unopened, no dust no prints etc. Also the seller I purchased from was guaranteeing not a single dead pixel (they said they were pre tested) and my display is perfect.
  14. sepo01 macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    Anchorage, AK
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2018 ---
    i have the Dell P2715Q 4K monitor. I like it but my eyesight prevents me from running it at the highest resolution. Something I didn’t consider prior to purchase
  15. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I don't run mine a the highest resolution for that very reason. Scale it back so it represents 1440p and it looks really good. Have done this on both Macs and PC's and I'm happy with the results.
  16. rosswil macrumors newbie


    Mar 16, 2018
    So I have had the Dell P2715Q a 32" 4K from crossover and a Korean brand 40". After using all three in different contexts my favorite size is the 32", you can run at full resolution without squinting (unlike the 27") and you don't find yourself moving your head to look in the corners like the 40". If I had it to do over I would sell the 40" and get another 32". Probably the monoprice 32" 4k https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=27772 and adding a usbc/thunderbolt dock or the LG32UD99W https://www.amazon.com/LG-32UD99-W-32-Inch-UHD-Monitor/dp/B06XDY3TXW

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15 February 26, 2018