Monitor Options in the UK

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Asthmatic Kitty, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Asthmatic Kitty, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017

    Asthmatic Kitty macrumors member

    Asthmatic Kitty

    Sep 29, 2014
    So I have a base model 2015 MacBook, and am looking at monitors 27-inch and larger to replace my ageing iMac. I'll mainly be using it for watching films/tv (through an Apple TV), connecting a Nintendo Switch to, and occasionally connecting my MacBook to. (As an aside: if I'm only rarely going to connect the MacBook, are TVs better than monitors for watching films on from across the room?).

    I'm not actually sure that I need 4k, as the Apple TV/Switch only output at 1080p, and I'll only occasionally be connecting the MacBook. Guess it'll be nice to have in case the next Apple TV supports 4k though - but I'm not ruling out 1080p monitors. I guess, for my use cases, black levels and colour gamut might be more important than resolution.

    Also, don't mind waiting a couple of months before buying it, if there are any good options on the horizon?


    Haven't done much research so far, but this one seems to be a decent option:

    Samsung U28E590D (28-inch, 4k) - £350

    Only uses a TN panel - is this something to stay away from? Apparently Samsung do some software shenanigans to make it look better than a regular TN panel, though.

    Confirmed to run at 4k/60Hz "using a V7 brand usb-c displayport adapter" (4K at 60Hz on 12" rMB Hack: Monitors, Cables & Adapters That Work) - would I be able to connect this with the official Apple multiport (HDMI) adaptor? or does it need to be USB-C <-> Displayport?

    also, anyone know why the John Lewis one is called "U28E590DS", with an extra S on the end?)
  2. T-Bob75 macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2016
    London UK
    I'm interested also in knowing what monitors people are using. Is the LG ultrafine 4k the best option to go to for the rMB? Could I connect an older Apple Cinema display to a rMB? Would I be able to use the built in webscam?

    Just curious as to what people are using.
  3. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    You absolutely do not want 1080p resolution at 27". That would be absolutely horrific to look at close up. Minimum 1440p, better yet 4K/5K.

    I avoided the U28E590D due to the TN panel. After seeing how bad TN can be (MacBook Air), I avoid it at all costs now. And I'm not a graphics guy either, it's a night and day difference. You also need all kinds of connectors/adapters to get it to run at 60Hz with the rMB.

    A lot of people are going for the LG 27UD88-W. It's 27", 4K, USB-C (so it does charge/sound/video/USB hub all through one cable to your Mac) and physically looks far better than the LG UltraFine models launched sort-of-by Apple. It costs <£500.

    Also, ignore all those hacks online for 60Hz - your MacBook will run 4K @ 60Hz so long as you're on 10.12.2 or later and using USB-C. I'm using the exact same MacBook as you and it works at 60Hz. I wouldn't suggest a 4K screen for it though - it's not powerful enough. I'm swapping my rMB for a 13" TB MBP.
  4. Asthmatic Kitty thread starter macrumors member

    Asthmatic Kitty

    Sep 29, 2014
    Nice post, Andy.

    I'd read a bit about the LG 27UD88-W, but it doesn't look like it's widely available in the UK? Did you find somewhere that sells it?

    Shame that you think the 2015 MacBook isn't powerful enough for a 4k/60Hz screen, I was hoping it'd be OK :-/

    Thought this looked like a decent option - AOC 27" 1440p monitor for £215.
  5. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    I bought my 27UD88 from Overclockers UK a few months ago, but yes supply is short. I just got lucky and happened to be looking at a time that they had stock. I think the overwhelming disappointment with the LG UltraFine range has led many people to look at other options, the 27UD88 being one of the best value currently 'available'.

    The rMB was never intended to power a 4K monitor, so I'm not too upset about it. It's just not smooth enough for me and you can tell it's really struggling. Clicking full-screen on a Facebook video, for example, freezes the entire Mac for about a second, then it runs the full screen animation at, honestly, about 2 FPS. Running iMovie on it was horrendous - it was hot and constantly throttling because it just doesn't have the juice. YouTube 4K videos do work beautifully, though.

    It's fair enough, I think. The rMB is still my favourite Mac I've ever bought and I will continue to use it. It is still the closest thing to a useful, productive tablet that Apple have ever created.

    As for your setup, you could get a reasonable 1440p monitor AND a pretty huge 1080p TV (for consoles/films) for the same price as a single 27UD88.

    I'm no expert on monitors so couldn't really comment on the AOC. All I know is that I bought a 43" LG 4K Smart TV and the 27" LG 4K 27UD88-W and have been nothing but impressed with both of them - especially given the prices I got them for. I trust LG, and I trust Samsung. I'm sure there are better brands out there.

    If you're going for 1080p or 1440p, you don't need to worry too much about compatibility as HDMI will work from your rMB with the appropriate USB-C adapter.
  6. Asthmatic Kitty thread starter macrumors member

    Asthmatic Kitty

    Sep 29, 2014
    Yeah, from what you're saying, it does sound like the best bet for me would be to go with a 1440p monitor. Like I say, I'll mainly be using it for watching TV shows/films, and playing games on the Nintendo Switch (both 1080p at best); and if the macbook struggles to push a 4k monitor then it seems daft to get one really. I'll probably move to a 4k/5k monitor in a few years, when either the macbook of the day can handle it, or i could switch to a pro.

    Other than size and price (and maybe HDMI ports), is there any reason that a TV is better than a monitor for watching TV shows/films, and gaming? just wondering if i should reconsider this option.
  7. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    A large TV is obviously more immersive for gaming/films when you sit at the appropriate distance...but 1080p TVs are almost always unusable with a computer. The pixels are simply too large - that's why monitors exist.

    That said, if you're just connecting your MacBook to load up a film, then I'd go for a nice, big TV for a better film/game experience. 1080p TVs are also dead cheap these days.
  8. Rapp macrumors member


    Apr 1, 2011
    I got mine from in November. At the moment it looks to be out of stock, might be worth contacting them to see if/when it may be back in stock.

    Love the monitor, use it for both Mac and gaming PC.
  9. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    If you go down the monitor route, I recommend a look at the Dell U2515H or Dell U2715H, both of which run at QHD 2560 x 1440, plus they're non-glossy. The image is excellent. I've had the U2515H for over a year and my one regret is that I didn't get two. The base is pretty sturdy - tilt, swivel, height etc & comes with a mini-DP to DP cable in the box so you can plug it straight in to one of your TB ports.
  10. BMcCoy macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    I have a twin setup of Dell U2715H 27 inch monitors, and they're perfect.
    (16:9, 2M:1, 350 cd/m2, 2560 x 1440, 8ms, HDMI)
    Were £395 each 2 years ago.
  11. Asthmatic Kitty thread starter macrumors member

    Asthmatic Kitty

    Sep 29, 2014
    In terms of picture quality, do TVs best monitors in any way? Like black levels, colour gamut, response times etc.?

    I'm thinking one HDMI port isn't going to be enough - ideally it'd have at least two (Apple TV & Switch), and i could just change one of them when i want to connect the macbook (which presumably connects through HDMI? or would I want to use something else?).

    Those Dell ones look pretty good, though a bit on the pricy side (the price doesn't seem to have changed from two years ago, BMcCoy!). also not sure if a matte display is better for films/gaming, black levels are a bit worse on matte than glossy, right? Like I say, I'll only rarely be using this close up, so more interested in the right choice for distance viewing.

    All the AOC ones on amazon seem to get really great reviews, and they have about 32498 different permutations for different finish/res/aspect ratio etc. This one seems a decent option for £325, interesting design too.

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