millers

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 4, 2017
2
0
Hi

I have a late 2013 MBP, still works as great today as the day I bought it despite being used every day for 4 and half years. The specs are

Processor 2.4GHz i5
Memory 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics Intel Iris 1536 MB

I'm finding that I'm struggling with the work I am doing on it now and will benefit from an additional screen, but I have no idea what I'm looking for.

21 - 24" should suffice, I have read that my MBP can support 4k monitors but not sure what make to go for, what screen resolution I should be after or what connection to look for. Amazon has hundreds with almost 5* reviews starting at £70 going upwards of £300. They all say 4k, high contrast etc.

I am a software developer so will mostly have it in code view or running email in one screen with the other split between code and output views.

Is anyone willing to lend a hand to someone who tech specs left behind 10 years ago?

Thanks
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,989
530
You don't need 60Hz, especially for programming.

I think a lot of consumer thinking is still stuck in the CRT era. With a CRT, lower frame rates are very annoying. The phosphor brightness starts fading immediately after excitation, and has to be refreshed at a rate high enough to avoid visible flicker. They can use a phosphor with longer persistence, but that limits the ability to clearly depict motion. So, you need to carefully match refresh rate to the phosphor characteristics, and design for the fastest action that will be viewed.

LCDs (and oLed) just don't work that way. The image persists at full brightness until the next refresh. There is no "phosphor fade". The only concern is motion artifacts. Few programmers will have any concern about motion artifacts in their day to day work! You're looking at static content.

I have a Samsung 4K (SE790C) on my Mac Mini late 2012. You can push it to 60Hz with a third-party patch, but the patch is a pain and has to be re-applied with every OS update. But, frankly, I don't see the difference between 60Hz and 50Hz or even 30Hz. So, I long ago stopped bothering with the patch.

(My Mac Mini supports 50Hz without the patch.)

Maybe if you do gaming it would make a difference. For programming (which is what I use it for) there is nothing wrong with it.

My setup gives me similar screen space to what you are going for. The 4K 790C on the Thunderbolt/Mini-DP (the monitor has a regular DP connector, needs an adapter cable) and a 1080p on the HDMI port. I use the latter for documentation and Github issues. I split the big screen between editor on one side and Git (Tower GUI) and command-line (iTerm2) on left.

BTW, I highly recommend Moom for conveniently positioning applications on a big screen. It modifies the "green" button in upper left of each app with a drop down to select screen position. It has defaults, but you can define any split matrix you'd like.
 
Last edited:

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,240
627
USA
You don't need 60Hz, especially for programming.

I think a lot of consumer thinking is still stuck in the CRT era. With a CRT, lower frame rates are very annoying.
30hz is very annoying
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,423
729
I have a Dell P2715Q connected to my late 2013 15-MBP with GT750M, using the Dell supplied-in-the-box DP cable. It seems fine when using FCPX. Certainly for other uses, such as browsing, wp, slides, and so on. I rarely use it set to 4K. Usually set to 1440p. Note that ymmv may vary, because everyone has different vision. I've always had my monitors beyond arm's length. I work with others who can't get close enough to the screen.
But, my work system is a 2014 15 MBP, with integrated graphics only. The issue I see with this set up is dragging windows, especially MS Office 2016 PPT, creates a ghosting effect. There are no issues in typing, viewing or editing video, and so on.
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,989
530
OP is using it for programming. What "motion" are we talking about?

Anyway, they should see if their MBP model will support 4K at 50Hz. I suspect it will.

On static text, there is no different between 120Hz and 60Hz and 50Hz and 30Hz .... or 10 Hz. (OK, 10 Hz would be annoying on scroll!)

I would much rather than 4K at 50Hz for programming than 1080p at 60Hz!

I watch video on my 50" plasma. (they will have to rip it from my cold, dead fingers!) If I want to watch some video that's on my Mac, I AirPlay it. That said, I will watch some tutorial or whatnot on the 4K monitor, and it is fine at 50Hz - at least for me.
 

buran-energia

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2017
284
104
The text with many fonts on a 1080p 24' screen on macOS looks too blurry for my taste. Too low dpi. 1440p @ 25' might be enough, but I haven't seen it in person. Ideally, I'd want something like a retina screen found on mbp or imac for the sharp text.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,423
729
My 2715Q is right next to my Dell 2415. In its day, the latter was awesome. But tight next to each other, it's a little soft. As well, with a sharp retina screen right next to it. But it still beast no extra screen space at all!
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,989
530
The text with many fonts on a 1080p 24' screen on macOS looks too blurry for my taste. Too low dpi. 1440p @ 25' might be enough, but I haven't seen it in person. Ideally, I'd want something like a retina screen found on mbp or imac for the sharp text.

I agree!

I recently replaced a 15-year-old 1600x1200 4:3 Samsung IPS with a new Asus. I am limited to 1080p since it is on my Mac Mini HDMI port. It really felt fuzzy at first next to my 4K curved Samsung ultra-wide. I got used to it... But would much rather have higher resolution. Could not tolerate it for a main screen.
 

millers

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 4, 2017
2
0
Wow thanks for all of the replies folks. As you say, I'm using it for programming so agree with the refresh rates (unless I'm scrolling up and down through thousands of lines of code) but just don't want it to look blurry / not crisp next to the MBP.

I intend to have the MBP directly infront of me (I use the keyboard as I love the feel of the keys and can type pretty quickly on it) with the second screen behind it at arms length.

I don't want to go cheap and get something I won't be happy with, but also don't want to over spend on something I'll never use.

Do you think this will be ok https://www.amazon.co.uk/BenQ-BL242...&qid=1512468377&sr=8-2&keywords=24+inch+1440p

or https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-Ultra...F8&qid=1512468491&sr=8-5&keywords=Dell+P2715Q

Thanks again
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,989
530
I prefer an ultra-wide (21:9) for programming. They are wide enough to split the screen in two and copy-paste between two bits of code, or use one side for reference, etc. The only application that I use full-screen on mine is Araxas Merge (3-way merge). Usually I have Sublime or iOS or Android simulator on the right, and iTerm2 on the left (doing builds or watching logs).

My SE790C is 3440 x 1440. Should run on your Macbook at 50Hz. There is a similar LG model.
 

hipnetic

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2010
1,232
513
I recently purchased a Dell U2518D (25", 2560x1440, IPS). I got mine at Best Buy while it was on sale. Not sure if the price is the same as when I bought it, but it looks like it's on sale there now for $300. I'm very happy with mine. I confirmed that it worked fine with my late 2013 rMBP 13", though I primarily use it connected to my work-supplied 2016 rMBP 15".
 
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