Looking for Alternative to LG 5k Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MNJohn, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. MNJohn macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014
    Given the continuing train wreck status of LG's 5K display (for example, Apple continuing to ship known defective units), I have been hesitant to reorder a unit to replace a non-shielded unit that I returned in February (after returning a LG 4K display that had a defective USB-C port).

    I had planned to repurchase an LG 5K before the 25% Apple discount expires on March 31 but reports of Apple's and LG's reporeted continuing problems in supplying properly functioning units to customers has me questioning the wisdom of this approach.

    Are any USB-C, single cable, 27+ inch 4K or 5K monitor alternatives that should be compatible with a late 2016 15" MBP that are scheduled to become available in the near term? I am looking for a quality alternative to the LG crap that has been released to date.
  2. jimthing, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017

    jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    No sorry, there isn't.

    FYI, the 5K's now largely work absolutely fine for their essential job: being great at displaying a computer display image. (My two "702" serial number ones certainly do, as confirmed by other users on various threads.) So I really think you're over-egging it with the "train wreck" analysis. Sure there are a few minor software niggles, but a train wreck they certainly do not make.
  3. mds1256 macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2011
    Check out the LG 27UD88
  4. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    If the model is a 4k display with HDMI or DisplayPort, would you consider them (along with a 60hz-capable USB-C-->HDMI or DP cable such as this?)
  5. jukkhop macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2016
    There are none. Didn't want to wait anymore so I went with an iMac. I hope to see single-stream 5K monitors on the market in a couple years.
  6. Karnicopia, Mar 22, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017

    Karnicopia macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2015
    I'm driving myself up the wall with this stuff. I work from home a lot so I need to be able to connect my PC to the same monitor so the LG 5k is pretty much out the window unless I want to use RDP every time I want to use my work computer which seems like way too much of a pain to deal with if I wanted to keep both on one monitor.

    I am getting into photography so I'd rather get a monitor with wide color space. This LG looks perfect but it's DCI 4k and apparently you can't transmit that at 60 hz over DisplayPort in OS X so it's either DCI 4k at 30 hz or UHD 4k at 60 hz stretched to fill the screen which kind of sounds like they shouldn't have made this a DCI 4k monitor in the first place to me. Too bad because if it wasn't for this the monitor would be pretty perfect. Sounds like you can get software to get OS X to transmit at DCI 4k @ 50 hz over DisplayPort but I really don't want to have to that much trouble to use my monitor to it's potential.


    LG also has the 32MU99 coming out which sounds really interesting but they won't say how it works with Adobe RGB which I'd like for photography. With the HDR it has a higher peak brightness than most monitors (550 cd2 it says in specs) so it may get closest to the brightness of the ultra fines. Seems like this one overall comes the closest but it just won't have the resolution.


    I was also thinking of giving up some of the resolution and gaining some on panel and overall image quality with an Eizo monitor, they have the CS/CG2730 coming out that seem really nice. Seems like the color, uniformity black levels and just overall quality would be great with these but you lose resolution. I wouldn't be able to use the retina scaling on the Eizo but I'd imagine it's a better overall image and I'd probably want to scale the image to about 2560x1440 on the monitor anyway so not sure how much the resolution loss would really cost me if the display itself is better.


    This is a pretty direct competitor from Dell but at this price I could buy the 5k ultra fine for the MacBook and buy a Eizo FlexScan for work. So I'd have trouble with the price on this one I guess but it gets you pretty close. Problem is at this price it should be a significant step up in some way and I don't see how it is.


    Here's Asus 4k at about this range. This is another good one but honestly the color spaces don't seem that impressive and if you are going to pay for those I'd like them to be higher %. Too bad because this seems like a really interesting mix of options.


    One thing I like that the LG monitors have is the AMD free synch so that puts the LG ahead of the Asus IMO. Price on the dell kills it for me I'd rather just get the ultra fine and an Eizo flex scan for work at that point. That LG 32UD99 will be interesting though it seems like it ticks most of the boxes and I think it's either between that and the Eizo or just getting the LG 5k and running two different setups for Mac vs my work machine. I still haven't really decided but since the deal is running out on ultra fines I'll have to decide pretty quick. I guess I'm leaning toward the Eizo 2730 for now. I'd probably scale the image to about that resolution anyway and I think I'd appreciate the other improvements to image quality more than I lose vs a similarly scaled image on a higher resolution screen.
  7. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    Threads like this one (which is very informative) leave me gobsmacked that Apple doesn't currently make its own line of Mac displays. This is something people NEED, Apple!!!
  8. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    Apple always uses manufactured displays, the same one in the LG 5K is the same that's been used into he previous 5K iMacs.

    I RDP into my work system and its nicer then having all these systems plugged in or switching back and forth, just use various spaces and get work done and disconnect when needed, fits my work uses really well.
  9. ctyrider macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2012
    I don't think so. There is literally nothing wrong with the currently shipping LG 5K display. The shielding issue has been addressed.
  10. MNJohn, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017

    MNJohn thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014
    See https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/lg-ultrafine-5k-issues-bugs.2024679/page-19 for a continuing list of problems.

    Also, have you read the continuing reviews of the LG 4K and 5K displays on Apple's website?

    The initial design and QC of the 4K and 5K were terrible. I may still reorder a replacement for the junk I got on my first attempts but only because there are not any options that don't require more adapters at the present.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    There are numerous 4k displays on the market. Many of excellent quality.

    One must be willing to forego USB-c connectivity, however.
  12. MNJohn thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014
    How do you feel the new Eizo CS2730 would be for reading text, web browsing, etc?
  13. Redneck1089 macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2004
    If you want 5k the only other display on the market is the HP Z27Q. I was thinking about buying one because I don't trust LG's monitor.
  14. MNJohn, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017

    MNJohn thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014

    Eizo also has the EV2780 which is a 27" with USB-C that supplies video, audio and power (only 30W).

    My concern is if this monitor supplies 30W of continuous power while connected, can it damage a 15" MacBook Pro's battery which normally charges at 85W?
  15. iBrooker macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2016
    Look out for the new LG 32UD99 - a 4K 32" monitor that's due out any day now...
  16. Karnicopia, Mar 28, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

    Karnicopia macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2015
    I'm probably a bad source on this because I'm new to Apple so I'm just figuring this stuff out myself and I've never had rentna scaling monitors or anything like that, my last monitor is 1080p probably at 27" so either is probably going to look great to me. I do know this is approximately the resolution I want to see things scaled to on this size screen so I guess the difference to me would be the value of the retina scaling where it takes 5k and down samples it to this vs just running the monitor natively at this resolution without any scaling. I do think it's beneficial to not do any scaling but 5k down sampled is likely sharper. I really can't quantify how valuable that is though and it's my main problem, you will have people saying anything except 5k at 27" or 4k at about 21" is crap but I've never had anything close to those resolutions on a monitor and I've always been fine. So for me it's probably a case of not knowing what I'm missing but I'm thinking you gain more in black levels, color accuracy, panel evenness, factory calibration etc on this than you lose in retina downsampling from the 5k but who knows I could be wrong. My thinking is basically that resolution is just one aspect of visual quality and the Eizo should be significantly better at every other aspect.

    I don't think this would damage your MacBook in any way, I'm not positive on that but they advertise that it works with the 2016 MacBook Pro on their website so it shouldn't damage anything. I think it would just charge slower and may slowly lose charge if you are pushing things. If you want to charge over cable this may not be the best option but check out maybe that LG or ASUS I think those are both 4k and can do 60 watt charging which is at least closer. Another option is to get a dock that can deliver 85 watts over usb c and then you just connect the dock to the monitor which still gives you a one cable solution to the laptop but opens up a lot more monitor choices. Overall this looks like a really nice monitor through the paper mode seems great and I like that you can do dual inputs as split screen, that would be great integration between Mac and windows computers. I'm looking at the CS2730 mainly because of the wide color space for photography but if I wasn't looking for that or usb c was really important this would be a nice option.
  17. MNJohn, Mar 28, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

    MNJohn thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014
    After writing the above post, I discovered the Eizo EV2780 will not be imported into the US. Accordingly, I just went ahead and ordered an Eizo EV2750-no 5K or USB-C inputs but has very solid reviews, manufactured in Japan (NOT in China!) and a 5 year warranty. I will connect it to my late 2016 15" MBP with a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter and be done with this USB-C option limiting nonsense. Since this monitor has HDMI, DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs and a USB-C outputs it should have connectability for the foreseeable future.

    As a side note, Apple's response to my inquiries regarding procuring a properly manufactured LG 5K monitor were pathetic. On Sunday, in an attempt to avoid a panel lottery in procuring a 703 manufactured LG 5K by ordering online, I called Apple's Mall of America store in Bloomington, MN to inquire if the store had any stock and, if so, if any were 703 units. The Apple sales person was very unhelpful and I was informed that units were in stock but he would not tell me how many or if any of the units were 703's. That is, the sales person could not walk 50 feet to check his stock but he thought it a perfectly acceptable alternative for me to drive nearly 20 miles, each way, to check it out for myself.

    This, to me, was "the straw that broke the camel's back". Because this whole ordeal with LG's 4K and 5K monitors has been such a pain, I called Apple to register my disapproval of this shoddy customer service at the Mall of America store. The Apple representative who answered the call was very helpful and offered to call the Apple Mall of America store to contact the store manager to inform him/her of the poor service the store provided and get the information I was seeking. The Apple representative called the Apple Mall of America store twice: On BOTH attempts to call the Mall of America store, the Apple representative said that the store picked up the phone call and promptly HUNG UP ON HER! At this point, we completed a complaint regarding this poor service and generated an Apple case number that was to be forwarded to management at Apple's Mall of America store who, in turn, was supposed to follow up and contact me. Well, nearly 48 hours later, I have yet to receive the requested call.

    Apple is just not what it used to be: Since the early 1990s, I have always been willing to pay the "Apple premium" for reliable, innovative products and great customer service. Sadly, none of these attributes are apparently priorities at Apple today and purchasing the Eizo monitor represents for me, after 25+ years, just the beginning of my efforts to look elsewhere for quality computer products and services.
  18. Karnicopia, Mar 29, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017

    Karnicopia macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2015
    Cool that looks like a great monitor and I think it's actually the exact same monitor the only difference is the connections. Since it only charges at 30 watts and you don't get the 1 cable solution anyway I'd probably rather just go with the DisplayPort version. So what I was suggesting is you could always pick up one of these IBM usb c docks:


    This will supply 90 watts over usb c to your MacBook Pro so you have the one cable solution when you want to connect your laptop and then you just go from the dock to your monitor in whichever interface works best (multiple connections here won't matter to you on a day to day basis). So it's functionally the same as having the one cable solution you just have a dock to hide instead of using the monitor as a dock. Really opens up your options on what kind of monitor you can buy if you have the 15" and need 85 watt charging. Yeah it sucks to have the added cost of the dock but you save some cost not having to buy a usb c monitor as well and it really opens up your options.

    Sorry to hear about your trouble with the LG's. I really haven't even tried to pick one up yet so no clue on their quality or support. The fact that they are even trying to sell unshielded ones is kind of a fiasco. They should stop those from getting out at the store level, if it hasn't been shielded, send it back for shielding to stop them from getting out in the first place. Customers shouldn't have to worry about receiving an unshielded version after the issue was identified.
  19. MNJohn, Mar 30, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017

    MNJohn thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014
    Thank you very much for the kind words and the recommendation of the Lenovo hub.

    I never did receive a follow up call from the Apple Mall of America store manager regarding the poor customer service I experienced when inquiring about the availability of a 703 LG 5K.

    Yesterday I called Apple to "close the loop" and inform of them of the failure to follow up. The Apple customer rep forwarded me to an Apple Customer Relations person. After reading my case history, me recounting it again and explaining my reason for this call was to communicate that I had never received a call back from the Mall of America store manager, her response was something along the lines of "Did you want a call back?". Somewat in disbelief that the person who asked this question could actually be involved in Apple Customer Relations group, my response to her was:

    1) "My expectation was that is why the original Apple rep asked me for my telephone number and permission to provide it to the Mall of America store manager. ".

    2) "And wouldn't the store manager want to talk to the dissatisfied customer to see how things could be straightened out?"

    The Apple Customer Relations person then mused something along the lines of "Why didn't the original Apple rep just call the store manager at the Mall of America and communicate the information and request for a call back?" My respose was "Because the store hung up on your rep's calls TWICE!".

    And we wonder why Apple is so screwed up these days.....
  20. rgb2cmyk, Apr 2, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017

    rgb2cmyk macrumors newbie


    Apr 2, 2017
    I should let you know that I have been unable to get the LG31MU97 to work correctly with a MacBook Pro 2016. I've tried both the a Startech DisplayPort to USBC cable and a Uptab miniDisplayport to USBC adapter with the LG provided DisplayPort cable. Both send the monitor/Macbook into the usual display black refresh detecting an external display sequence. Except it never stops looping with MacBook screen adjusting resolutions, and nothing ever displayed on the LG.

    There is an option on the LG to turn off DisplayPort 1.2. When off it works at DCI 4k at 30hz. Turn it back on I get the endless loop.

    Interestingly on PBP mode with DisplayPort 1.2 turned on, I get 2048x2160 @60hz without issue. But full screen it never manages to bring up the LG display at any resolution.

    Also I plug the monitor into my MacBook Pro Late 2013 and I get DCI 4k@50hz no problem with DisplayPort cable and DisplayPort 1.2 turned on.

    Both machines are running El Capitan.

    I guess the monitor is going back. *sigh*. I actually really like it.
  21. MNJohn, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017

    MNJohn thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014

    I purchased the Plugable USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter Cable to connect my late 2016 15" MBP to the Eizo FlexScan 2750 (which replaced the flawed LG 5K that I returned) and it is working fine. Perhaps you might like to try the Plugable USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter Cable before you return the LG?
  22. Majikthese42 macrumors newbie


    Jul 21, 2005
    Apple is again offering Certified Refurbished 27-inch Thunderbolt displays for $799. "Save $200.00, 20% off".

    Interesting. I had looked previously when my first LG 5K display and then my second one proved to be buggy, and Thunderbolt displays were unavailable from Apple, even refurbished. They could be found on eBay, at a price premium, but I declined to take the chance.

    I'm still leaning towards the Eizo EV2750 -- in part because of the 5-year warranty.
  23. tonyz123456 macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2017
    I got a "702" model LG 5K monitor and have had very few issues. I think there was the odd screen flash but overall very very usable and nothing that would cause me to return it. My wifi router also sits about 3 feet away from my monitor and does not seem to cause any interference issues. I'm not sure what you're looking for with a "703" model monitor but my model seems to work fine and well within spec.

    Respectfully, there's a lot of good alternatives out there but I don't think the LG 5K monitor is anywhere close to as bad as you're making it out to be at this point. I have an Apple Thunderbolt Display at work and this is easily 5x better in pretty much every way possible except for the number of ports. The Eizo you highlighted has the same native resolution as the Apple Thunderbolt Display and doesn't seem to be in the same class as the LG 5K monitor. http://www.hw4all.com/eizo-flexscan-ev2780-review-test-monitor/

    From a technical perspective, the only thing missing on the LG 5K monitor is 10 bit HDR support like in many newer UHD TVs but the only 4k HDR computer monitor seems to be from LG as well...
  24. MNJohn, Apr 12, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017

    MNJohn thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014

    It is true the resolution of the Eizo is not 5K. The Eizo EV2750 was designed as a quality office monitor with many ergonomic features that reduce eye stain over many hours of continuous viewing (flicker free, automatic contextual and ambient light brightness control, landscape-portait rotation, stability on the desk, etc). Additionally, it comes with a five year warranty and is manufactured in Japan with quality materials (metal in many components versus plastic in the LG 5K).

    In contrast, in my experience, and judgement, the LG 5k was designed, and manufactured, on the cheap to offer a 27 inch 5K display at a low price point. The shielding problems, inability to rotate the display, flimsy plastic bezels, instability of the stand, poor QC, etc I believe support such a conclusion. For me, native 5K resolution in a 27 inch diagonal monitor is just not worrh the design and quality trade offs the LG 5K requires.


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