Officially giving up on the Mac Mini 2018 + 4K monitor dream

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Tigerman82, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Tigerman82 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #1
    I'm getting the i5 Mac Mini and will probably stay at 8 gigs of RAM for a while. I buying this computer as a desktop replacement for media consumption and word processing for the next 6-8 years. I was dreaming of getting something like the LG 27UK850 4K monitor and scale it at 1440p so that everything is just the right size and the text is crispier that that of lower-res monitors (yup, you could drive the monitor at 4K and zoom the text but not every app is optimized for this).

    Then I started hearing about folks noticing UI lag with Mac Minis connected to LG UltraFine 5Ks. I then start reading and it seems that even Macs (or MacBooks) with better GPUs than the Mac Mini's lackluster Intel 630 have trouble working smoothly when you use a scaled-down res (unless you scale it down to 1080P which then makes things a bit too big). It just may be the case the Mac Mini isn't meant for 4K unless you run it in native res (a problem for me who works with apps like MS Word and who reads a lot of PDFs).

    As I'm in this for the long haul, I dare not risk getting issues with lag with a 4K monitor (a big investment, I might add) connected to the Mac Mini. I'm probably going to go for something like the brand new Dell U2719DC as it seems to have all the boxes ticked: USB-C connectivity, height adjustment and 27" at 1440P native res (I'm told the sweet spot for WQHD is the 27-incher). This should at least guarantee that GPU bottleneck that the Mac Mini doesn't come too apparent.

    Anyone else have similar thoughts?
     
  2. thirdsun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #2
    I'm in the same camp. See my posts over in this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...-mini-with-multiple-4k-60hz-monitors.2155184/

    On macOS you want 2x scaling, which will look sharp and crisp, won't tax the GPU but sacrifices screen real estate due to that god awful 4K at 27" combination that is ubiquitous.

    Considering waiting for a refreshed iMac right now, or going with classic WQHD temporarily until we see affordable 5K options. However that may be risky as it seems many customers don't see the benefit of 5k aka WQHD at 220 PPI.
     
  3. Matfarsan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #3
    I know its not a 4K monitor but how world a AOC Q3279VWFD8 work with the mini. Its IPS and 2560x1440 so I assuming theres no need for scaling.
     
  4. thirdsun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #4
    Any 2560x1440 display will be fine. There’s no scaling at all since the resolution is too low. Of course that also means the image won’t be anywhere near as crisp as a 4k, let alone a 5k display.
     
  5. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    I'm using a 34" Dell ultrawide at 3440x1440 and it works great!
     
  6. F-Train macrumors 65816

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    Apr 22, 2015
    Location:
    NYC & Newfoundland
    #6
  7. ElectronGuru, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018

    ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #7
    We are still in the early adopter period. Reports from last weekend showed stutter at scaled Rez. Reports from this weekend seem to be showing that this can be countered with more ram (creating more vram).

    Mac mini is great at many things but needs certain configurations to do certain jobs. Waiting a few weeks to ensure a remorse free experience, is the way to go for certainty.
     
  8. andy2141 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I’ll let you know in the next couple of weeks!

    I have that very monitor right now hooked up to a surface book 2 via USB C. I’m hoping it plays nice with my new Mac Mini - I’m planning on connecting the Mini via HDMI.

    l
     
  9. Gherkin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    #9
    Anyone try the 24" LG 4K? Model 24UD58-B.

    if per two posts above RAM can help, I should be good as I'm installing 32 GB when I get my Mini next week.
     
  10. Matfarsan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #10
    So if I get a 4k display and scale it 200% to resolution 1920x1080 i will get a more crisp monitor with less resolution?
    When will that be more useful?
     
  11. ikaka macrumors regular

    ikaka

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #11
    Don't give up! Actually native 4k resolution requires the least processing.
    More memory definitely helps!
     
  12. dmsea1 macrumors member

    dmsea1

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    #12
    I have an LG 34" Curved wide screen 3440 and a 4k 60" plugged into my new i7 MM with 16GB Ram, works flawlessly. Don't give up, these machines will handle it, just get the faster chip and at least 16GB and you will be fine.
     
  13. thirdsun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #13
    Well...all the time? The point of 4k or 5k displays is not to use their resolution 1:1 - that would be way to small on a 27 inch display and unreadable. No, those pixels are used achieve a very high pixel per inch value providing a very sharp, crisp image. This particularly useful for text and UI elements.

    Take the iMac 27 at 5k and non-5k for example - both show an effective resolution of 2560x1440, but the 5k does so with four times as many pixels. The difference is immediately visible.

    Of course, as mentioned before 4k at 27” is a bad combination since at 2x scaling elements are rendered a bit too large. 27” needs 5k.
     
  14. Matfarsan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #14
    Thanks for explaining
     
  15. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #15
    It isn't limited to increments of 100%. e.g. the "2x" (or 200%) scaling for my 24" 4K would be 1920x1080, as you referenced, but instead I run it at a scaled 2x 2560x1440 to give usable workspace and decent sized UI/fonts, but still have the rendering smoother (i.e. crisper text/etc) than a 'native' 2560x1440 24" display would give.

    You will need reasonable memory to run a scaled display on the Mac mini though, as system memory is used for the integrated GPU too.
     
  16. thirdsun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #16
    That's right, but I wouldn't recommend using anything but 2x scaling (or none at all). To me it looks noticeably blurry and is, as you mentioned, taxing to the system. However, yes, it is an option if you are fine with the trade offs.
     
  17. wdwpsu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Location:
    Orlando
    #17
    Thanks for the explanation! Since 5k 27" displays are far and few between, would you recommend 4k 24" display(s) as the sweeter spot?
     
  18. thirdsun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    #18
    Definitely better better as they have a higher pixel density than 4K at 27" and the effective resolution of 1920x1080 is a natural fit for 24" displays - UI elements will have the right size. It's a good option. However even 4k at 24" is very rare. Dell's P2415Q is one display that comes to mind - it's very affordable, but its HDMI port is outdated. Doesn't support HDMI 2.0 (which is required for 4k at 60 Hz) as far as I know - so expect to be limited to the display's Display Port input (which supports 4k at 60 Hz).

    To me personally, 1920x1080 isn't enough screen real estate though - even if it's sharp. I want 5k aka 2560x1440 at 2x scaling and I guess I'm willing to wait for the next iMac.
     
  19. wdwpsu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Location:
    Orlando
    #19
    My MacMini arrives Monday and I'm starting to think it's going back to Apple and I buy a 2017 iMac 27". It's too good of a value.
     
  20. Gherkin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    #20
    I bought this 24" 4K:
    https://www.frys.com/product/8989223?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    $100 off through tomorrow.
     
  21. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #21
    They really don't. "Normal" sized elements would be 4k @ 21" (hence the 21" 4K iMac and 21" 4k Ultrafine). It's better than 4k@27" but it's not usable IMO at plain 2x.

    I don't really see why using DisplayPort would be considered a problem. I have this exact display and it works well (currently paired with a 2018 MBP15, will be paired with the 2018 MM once its here).
     
  22. kaibob macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona
    #22


    I think the current P2415Q does support HDMI 2.0.


    https://www.dell.com/support/articl...ith-hdmi-20-that-support-4k-x-2k-60hz?lang=en
     
  23. Tigerman82 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #23
    That's it! I think I will give up the whole Mac Mini dream altogether. The fact that a $1k computer causes you either have a laggy UI because of a high-res monitor (4K + 1440p scaling) or restricts you to a lower-res monitor (1440p) isn't a good thing. It's bad enough that you cannot do any gaming (an acceptable trade-off for being able to use OS X instead of Windows) but I don't need a computer that presents bottlenecks even at the basic stuff.

    It's decided... I'm sticking with my Mid-2010 iMac and continue to wait for the inevitable space grey iMac with 5K screen, proper GPU and a SSD drive as standard. Yup, those iMacs are expensive. However... If you think of the cost of a i5 Mac Mini + 16 gigs of RAM (to help the GPU) + a good 27" mixed-use display... Well you are not far off from what the base iMac 27" 5K (2019) will cost. Oh yeah, you get an expensive keyboard with the iMac plus a mouse you can sell to those who don't like Logitech stuff.
     
  24. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #24
    This already exists, it's called the iMac Pro. It starts at USD $5K.
     
  25. Tigerman82 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #25
    Yes it does, but it's too rich for my blood. I'll take one amateur iMac 2019, then. :D
     

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229 November 15, 2018