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gavroche

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 25, 2007
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Left Coast
I'm getting ready to order a Mini to replace a 2010 iMac. So I purchased a new monitor. Went with a 27" Philips UHD/4k (3840x2160). I had been considering a 32", but thought maybe it would be too big on my desk. What I didn't take into account was that the iMac has a whole ton of wasted space... huge bezels and the huge chin. So although the two have the same screen size, sitting side by side the Philips looks much smaller. So I think a 32" might have actually been a great size. But having both running same time (I can't believe how easy it is to set up second monitor. plugged it in and turned it on), I absolutely love having two monitors going. So I think I may get another. I'm curious if anyone has a lot of experience using two monitors if they think its better that they are identical sized, or if having one 27 and one 32 works okay. Aesthetically I think identical size would perhaps be better.
My next confusion is about monitor resolution. Some googling suggests that my old 2010 iMac cannot support a UHD monitor. I'm assuming that this means it just can't do its higher resolution...? Because its definitely plugged into it and working. The Philips does look sharper... the same photos look a bit sharper. So am I correct to assume that once plugged into a newer 2018 Mac mini I'll get higher resolution? I also saw that the new Mini will support 60Hz.... older computer is only doing 30Hz.
Any clarification or suggestions would be very welcome..





272P7VUBNB
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
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You assume most things right, you can check in the system profiler at which actual resolution your philips is now running.

I'm using two displays, 9.7" 2048x1536 and main 21.5" 4096*2304. These two are radically different tho. :)

Two identical displays side by side will probably look better, but other than that it should be fine.
 

gavroche

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 25, 2007
1,407
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Left Coast
You assume most things right, you can check in the system profiler at which actual resolution your philips is now running.

I'm using two displays, 9.7" 2048x1536 and main 21.5" 4096*2304. These two are radically different tho. :)

Two identical displays side by side will probably look better, but other than that it should be fine.

So its a bit confusing. When I go to About This Mac... and click on displays... it lists it as PHL 272P7VU. Below that it says its a 30.5 Inch (1920x1080) Monitor. But its not 30.5". Its only 27". And it appears to be defaulting it to 1920x1080, although the monitor resolution is 3840x2160.
Attached is a screenshot of when I open the settings and choose display. It shows it default to that 1920x1080. If I click on Scaled, you see the options in the photo. Why does the highest resolution 3840x2160 say (low resolution)... when its the highest option. When I click this, everything gets much smaller, as I'd expect. Is this why the default it to 1920x1080... so all the menus and text isn't so tiny? Got any recommendations on what to go with?
 

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Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,162
1,440
So its a bit confusing. When I go to About This Mac... and click on displays... it lists it as PHL 272P7VU. Below that it says its a 30.5 Inch (1920x1080) Monitor. But its not 30.5". Its only 27". And it appears to be defaulting it to 1920x1080, although the monitor resolution is 3840x2160.
Attached is a screenshot of when I open the settings and choose display. It shows it default to that 1920x1080. If I click on Scaled, you see the options in the photo. Why does the highest resolution 3840x2160 say (low resolution)... when its the highest option. When I click this, everything gets much smaller, as I'd expect. Is this why the default it to 1920x1080... so all the menus and text isn't so tiny? Got any recommendations on what to go with?

1920x1080 is likely HiDPI mode! (so, running everything at 2x or "retina" mode).
Low resolution mode means it doesn't do the 2x/double pixel mode.

everything looks fine - except that its running at 30Hz - as far as i can tell monitor is capable of 60Hz refresh rate. Can you hold option while clicking on "scale"?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,640
8,518
Wait until you get the 2018 Mini, then... plug it in... and see what your options are.

If you don't get 60hz, you're probably using a connecting cable that won't support it.
 

gavroche

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 25, 2007
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Left Coast
1920x1080 is likely HiDPI mode! (so, running everything at 2x or "retina" mode).
Low resolution mode means it doesn't do the 2x/double pixel mode.

everything looks fine - except that its running at 30Hz - as far as i can tell monitor is capable of 60Hz refresh rate. Can you hold option while clicking on "scale"?

This image is with the monitor attached to the new Mini. The left box of this attached image shows it with the USB-C cable connecting the monitor. The right is with it switched to HDMI cable. With HDMI cable it does not even show whether its running at 30hz or 60hz... and instead of showing actual resolution options, shows these example text sizes. Weird.
 

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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
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RE post 8 above:

The following applies on a Mac that is capable of 4k video output (such as a 2018 Mini):
1920x1080 -- "looks like" 1080p -- is the "default" resolution for a 4k display connected to the Mac that is running in "HiDPI" mode. That's what it's "supposed to look like".

In HiDPI mode, each "pixel" is actually represented by FOUR pixels, making the image sharper (even though the resolution is lower).

If you hold down the option key while clicking the "scaled" button in the displays pref pane, you will have the option to display "higher" resolutions. You can even choose the 4k "native" resolution, but text will become very small and hard to read.
 
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gavroche

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 25, 2007
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Interesting stuff. I've not had any reason to pay attention to this stuff... as im just coming off a 2010 iMac... and prior to that been using laptops for years. So monitors and resolution options has not been an issue. Thanks for the info, I'm going to read up on HiDPI....
 

gavroche

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 25, 2007
1,407
1,474
Left Coast
That's what it's supposed to do.

Here's the System Profiler for my Mac mini 2018 driving a 27" 4K LG monitor (Model 27UL850-W) via Thunderbolt3/USB-C cable.

Note the line "UI Looks like:"

View attachment 874752

This ensures the UI is readable. I believe high-resolution photos and videos are displayed at the native resolution (4K UHD).

The UI isn't intended to be displayed at the full 4K UHD resolution. The primary benefit of 4K displays is clearer text, particularly in languages with logographic alphabets (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.) as well as alphabets such as Arabic. Antialiasing is crisper.

I liked the look of the resolution at 2560x2440... which interestingly is only offered when connected via HDMI cable (as is 60hz). I don't have that as an option when connected via USB-C. But I ran into a problem. I realized that whenever I rebooted the machine, it would not reload... the screen went black, and a box appeared that said the display could not handle the current video settings, and said to set it back to 3840x2160. Oddly, this didn't happen when I shut down and powered up. Luckily, when it happened while rebooting.... if I waited a little while, it went into sleep mode and powered down, and when I clicked the back button to power back up it loaded.
So out of curiosity, I switched back to the usb-c cable, and set the display resolution to the default for monitor (1920x1080). After that I tried rebooting, and had no issue. So I'll leave it at that.
Also... Geekbench had been giving a multi-core score of between 5200-5800. After having it back to the USB-C cable and default resolution, I re-ran the test and it gave a score of 5966. I would not have thought the display/resolution would affect the score. But could be coincidence... as I was getting a lot of variation anyway.
 
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