Monitor advice for 2015 rMB

realhiphop

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
45
2
My wife and I are ready to finally get an external monitor for our rMB. My wife is starting to get into photo editing in Lightroom, and the 12" screen has run its course for those purposes.

I've read a number of threads on monitors, and I'm hoping for some specific advice.

For our purposes, we have roughly 36" for a desk. Given that, we are leaning towards mounting the monitor on a wall to free up desk real estate. I love the idea of USB-C, but the monitor also needs to have HDMI inputs for my work computer (Dell) which I think most do.

Torn with whether we should go 4K on the monitor. I love the resolution on the rMB and want the highest resolution possible, but I'm concerned with whether the rMB will even allow for full resolution on a 27"

Few questions:

1. Should we go with 24" or 27"? Read mixed reviews on how well the 2015 rMB works on a 27"
2. Any suggestions on a wall mount, and does wall mounting sound like a good solution?
3. Monitor suggestions? Looked into Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and the HP Envy
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,698
362
England, UK
From personal experience;

1. Do not buy a 4K monitor if you're stuck with a 2015 rMB for the foreseeable
2. The rMB will run 27" at a native resolution of 1440p (2560x1440) without issue
 

Dunbar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2010
556
113
Los Angeles, CA
I have no problems with my 2015 rMB and the LG 27UD88. That 5K LG monitor would be tempting @ $1k if I were buying now. Monitors are not something I upgrade very often so the higher resolution may come in handy in the future. Just FYI I have to run mini displayport on my work Thinkpad in order to drive the LG 27UD88 @ 4k resolution.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
I use a HP Envy 27" 4K USB-C screen with my 2015 rMB and it works very well, especially after the 10.12.4 update. I run it scaled at 1440p. I think it's the cheapest among the 4K USB-C screens, but the quality and design is very good. It also has HDMI and displayport input. The only downside is that it does not have any USB output ports, so once you connect the screen you cannot connect anything else to the rMB.
 

realhiphop

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
45
2
I have no problems with my 2015 rMB and the LG 27UD88. That 5K LG monitor would be tempting @ $1k if I were buying now. Monitors are not something I upgrade very often so the higher resolution may come in handy in the future. Just FYI I have to run mini displayport on my work Thinkpad in order to drive the LG 27UD88 @ 4k resolution.
Does the LG still run the rMB at near retina?

Would it work on a wall mount?
 

Dunbar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2010
556
113
Los Angeles, CA
Does the LG still run the rMB at near retina?

Would it work on a wall mount?
The rMB runs the 27UD88 at full 4k resolution over USB-C although it's not very usable due to the tiny text. You can run it at pixel doubled 1080P. I tend to run it at 2560x1440 for more screen real estate. Google says the 27UD88 uses a standard mount interface that can be wall mounted.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,698
362
England, UK
My complaint is that the UI isn't silky smooth on the 27UD88, especially when running it scaled to 2560x1440 (in high-res mode). There's quite obvious animation lag, and the rMB runs extremely hot. iMovie becomes unusable for me due to throttling - this happens very quickly.

That's with the 1.1GHz 2015 rMB. In fairness, I haven't yet tried with 10.12.4.
 

realhiphop

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
45
2
My complaint is that the UI isn't silky smooth on the 27UD88, especially when running it scaled to 2560x1440 (in high-res mode). There's quite obvious animation lag, and the rMB runs extremely hot. iMovie becomes unusable for me due to throttling - this happens very quickly.

That's with the 1.1GHz 2015 rMB. In fairness, I haven't yet tried with 10.12.4.
Any other monitor suggestions?
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,792
22,643
Behind the Lens, UK
Any other monitor suggestions?
For photo editing I'd worry less about resolution and be more concerned with colour gamut and uniformity.
Eizo CG range with built in calibration would be the best.
Other alternatives are NEC Spectraview range .
BenQ have recently got into the photo market with the SW2700 and PV2700. Both great monitors for the price. Just consider a calibration device like an i1 Display Pro as well.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Am I better off just going with something like the Dell Ultrasharp U2715H?
I don't think so. I have both a 4K screen and a non-4K screen. The 4K screen is just so much nicer to look at. And there is UI lag on both. The UI is only smooth when I use the built-in screen.
[doublepost=1491762107][/doublepost]The Dell screen just has so low resolution at 27" that I think you will be quite unsatisfied with it. Very far from retina.
 

realhiphop

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
45
2
Is this due to the fact that it can only drive the monitor at 30Hz? Are the lag issues better on a 24" monitor?
 

realpras

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2013
164
38
Am I better off just going with something like the Dell Ultrasharp U2715H?
I would recommend U2515H instead (much cheaper than U2715H), and run at a lower resolution in HiDPI since native 1440p is just too small for my eye. I run mine in 1080p HiDPI and it looks great. I'm on 2016 MacBook.
 

stgall

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2013
11
1
Re 4K: I use the 1.2 Ghz 2015 MacBook with the LG Ultrafine 4k display through USB-C and it works without an issue (though I generally close the lid/laptop display when it's connected).

And by without issue, I mean the sluggishness is basically what I've come to expect from this machine whether it has a monitor connected or not...
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Is this due to the fact that it can only drive the monitor at 30Hz? Are the lag issues better on a 24" monitor?
No, it runs 4K at 60 Hz. The size of the monitor doesn't matter, only resolution. As I said, in my experience, the lag is there with pretty much any external monitor, not just 4K.
 

realhiphop

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
45
2
A lot of what I've read has users using 27" monitors at 2560x1440 (since they said that's the best looking usable text). If that's the case, what would be the benefit of the 27UD88 vs the Dell?

Obviously, the LG has the benefit of being a 4K, but is the benefit utilized if you can't comfortably use the 4K text since it's so small?

I'm a monitor newbie, and 24" or 27" will ultimately be an upgrade for me. Having a hard time deciding given the many options out there.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,698
362
England, UK
A lot of what I've read has users using 27" monitors at 2560x1440 (since they said that's the best looking usable text). If that's the case, what would be the benefit of the 27UD88 vs the Dell?

Obviously, the LG has the benefit of being a 4K, but is the benefit utilized if you can't comfortably use the 4K text since it's so small?

I'm a monitor newbie, and 24" or 27" will ultimately be an upgrade for me. Having a hard time deciding given the many options out there.
I understand - it's confusing for consumers so you're not alone.

When you buy a 4K screen, you will always run all 4K (3840x2160) worth of pixels. You will likely run the monitor at 1920x1080 @2x, or 2560x1440 @1.5x.

If you do the math, you can see:

1920x1080 @2x:
1920x2 = 3840
1080x2 = 2160

2560x1440 @1.5x:
2560x1.5 = 3840
1440x1.5 = 2160

What this means is the screen will look to you like it's running at 1080p or 1440p respectively. But in actual fact it's using all 4K worth of pixels to simulate this, and therefore the resulting image is sharper than a native 1080p or 1440p screen.

It's always best to have exactly whole numbers for scaling (@2x or @3x, etc) since this allows for perfect pixel mapping (1:2 or 1:3, etc). As such, running 1080p @2x on a 4K screen is super sharp. Running 1440p @1.5x is very slightly blurred, but still better than a native 1440p screen.

I hope that helps, I also made this terrible quality video to help explain to others a while ago. The video is my own 2015 rMB connected to my own 27UD88 via USB-C.

Apologies for the shaky video, I hadn't realised how unsteady an old Amazon box was!

 
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realhiphop

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
45
2
I would recommend U2515H instead (much cheaper than U2715H), and run at a lower resolution in HiDPI since native 1440p is just too small for my eye. I run mine in 1080p HiDPI and it looks great. I'm on 2016 MacBook.
I ended up going with the U2515H. How do I run it in 1080P in HiDPI? The 1440 text is too small, it's hurting my eyes (and the other resolutions look terrible).
 

realpras

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2013
164
38
I ended up going with the U2515H. How do I run it in 1080P in HiDPI? The 1440 text is too small, it's hurting my eyes (and the other resolutions look terrible).
You can use paid software such as QuickRes https://www.thnkdev.com/QuickRes/ or SwitchResX http://www.madrau.com/ if you want to make it easy (I recommend QuickRes).

However, if you're not willing to pay and feel adventurous, we can actually set it up ourselves but it needs a bit of tinkering around.

Take a look at this post that I made https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/does-scaling-lower-crispness-typically.2038485/#post-24430979 feel free to ask me if you're not sure about something!

At the moment I'm actually running it 1600x900 HiDPI. I feel more comfortable in that resolution and 1600x900 looks more proper compared to 1920x1080 when scaled from 1440p, but sometimes I change it to 1080p if I want more workspace. I like both, but prefer 1600x900 (a bit crispier, too) :)
 
Last edited:

realhiphop

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
45
2
You can use paid software such as QuickRes https://www.thnkdev.com/QuickRes/ or SwitchResX http://www.madrau.com/ if you want to make it easy (I recommend QuickRes).

However, if you're not willing to pay and feel adventurous, we can actually set it up ourselves but it needs a bit of tinkering around.

Take a look at this post that I made https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/does-scaling-lower-crispness-typically.2038485/#post-24430979 feel free to ask me if you're not sure about something!

At the moment I'm actually running it 1600x900 HiDPI. I feel more comfortable in that resolution and 1600x900 looks more proper compared to 1920x1080 when scaled from 1440p, but sometimes I change it to 1080p if I want more workspace. I like both, but prefer 1600x900 (a bit crispier, too) :)
Thanks realpras! Worked like a charm. New resolution is so much better. I like 1920x1080 personally. What do you do for sound on yours? Did you buy the soundbar?
 

realpras

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2013
164
38
Thanks realpras! Worked like a charm. New resolution is so much better. I like 1920x1080 personally. What do you do for sound on yours? Did you buy the soundbar?
Glad it worked for you!

Did you use one of those software or did you do it yourself? I forgot to tell you that RDM is not needed to make it work, you can simply choose the custom resolutions from SysPref, but I guess you've figured it out already.

No, I didn't buy the Sound Bar. I think it looks ugly and isn't widely available in NZ either. I'm just using some cheap 2.1 Logitech speakers but I think they serve just fine for my needs :)