Suggestions on buying a LCD monitor

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, May 21, 2016.

  1. hajime, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 21, 2016

    hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, I am planning to buy a new LCD monitor within the next few weeks. I use both Mac and Windows (via Bootcamp). I have us
    Hello, I am planning to buy a new LCD monitor within the next few weeks. I use both Mac and Windows (via Bootcamp). I have used three HP w2448hc LCD monitor both at school and at home. I like it because of the 1200 vertical resolution (screen resolution is 1920x1200). The letters in 24 inches and such resolution are easy to read. I am using a MBP 2010 17" for the time being but when a new MBP comes out this year, I will buy it to replace my heavy 17" laptop. Not sure what connector it will use. As I did not bring the screen with me during relocation, I need to buy a new monitor. The HPw2448yc is old and not in production, I am looking for a replacement. What suggestion do you have?

    I am a programmer and I do CAD. The letters need to be easy to read. I plan to buy a large desk so a larger monitor is OK. I also use iPhone 6s+ and I have taken 4k videos. Is it a good idea to buy a 4K or 5K monitor? I recall that 2.5 years ago, I saw some 4K monitors in Japan. Although images were good, the letters were difficult to read because they were too small. About a year ago, I saw an eizo 4K monitor. The letters were easy to read. Perhaps the technology has improved over the years.

    Here are the specs of the HP w2448 monitor

  2. jf1450 macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2012
    I got a Dell P2715Q 4K monitor a couple weeks ago and love it. Using it with my rMBP mid 2015 with dedicated GPU.
  3. campyguy, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 21, 2016

    campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    I own/run a small engineering company, and also perform some production work. I've been using AutoCAD since v 10 (for DOS), and Graphisoft and Nemetschek CAD apps as well. That written...

    Consider the app(s) you're using. CAD and 4k are not dependent on each other for display devices, for either the Windows or Mac platforms. My reservation with CAD apps relative to the OS X platform is setting up a display with a suitable "profile" to ensure your linetypes plot/print properly - depending upon, of course, whether you're printing or plotting...

    As to the Dell P2715Q display - pass on it for CAD work. I own two, and am using one for this response; there's maybe 20 more in my office, but they're used for word processing and spreadsheet/database work - they're nice displays, but not so much for CAD/CAM work.

    Opt for a display that is more suitable and optimized for CAD work; we use Eizo and BenQ displays for our CAD work - there are multiple displays offered by both companies that are much better suited for CAD/CAM work than any Dell displays. The recommendation I can offer to you is the BenQ BL2711U or BL3201PH - the Eizo displays we use are significantly more expensive. I don't have a different/better option for CAD/CAM work at this price point. BenQ's dedicated CAD mode is pretty much spot on. I like my Dells but will swap out for BenQ displays soon - I already passed my two work P2715Q displays to a new employee who is not working on CAD/CAM/BIM apps and am using two BL2711U displays at the office now with my rMBP.

    All of our displays are mounted on arms for workspace flexibility, but the BenQ stands are pretty nice FWIW.

    And, absofrickinlutely spend $15-20 more on an Accell DP 1.2 cable so you'll get the appropriate EDID information synching between a PC/Mac and the display; anyone trying to dissuade you on this point has no idea of what they're writing about.

    EDIT: added a missing word in the 3rd paragraph upon a re-read...
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    What is the difference between normal LCD screens and those "optimized for CAD work"?
  6. nekonokami macrumors member


    Jan 20, 2011

    Once you tried it, you will never go back, just don't go below 34"
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    The gist of optimized displays is the appropriate display of data - appearance, layout, scaling, palettes, and display uniformity.

    For instance, Autodesk lists hundreds of knowledge network "articles" about layout issues specifically related to displays, here's one related to text:

    Simply put, I could offer a bunch of links offering pros and cons. The BenQ and Eizo displays show CAD/GIS work accurately, while the Dell displays we use do not. The BenQ and Eizo displays have color/brightness that is uniform across the screens while the Dells we use do not. The BenQ and Eizo displays that I'm referring to are specifically made to address a CAD/CAM environment - and what we see on the screen (for our calibrated hardware, and I'm alluding to plot files, palettes, and CAD/CAM-specific setups here) - is shown in our plots and printouts as we'd expect. I like Dells, and we have a bunch around, but the output is generally less accurate IMHO. The P2715Q was meant to be a lower-price-point 4k display, and it's an excellent option for anyone looking for a display.

    Also, as an entry-level 4k display, the P2715Q is missing many OSD menu options that allow for granular control of a workspace - you'd spend hundreds more of $$$ to get a pro-level Dell that provides more OSD options that the two BenQs include at a lower price point, including a built-in-hardware CAD workspace setup that IMO offers a great visual interface for CAD work with just a couple of clicks on the excellent OSD. BenQ offers displays for office work as well - those that compare to the intent of the P2715Q but without 4k capability, at a much lower price point. And, the BL2711U is more "future-proofed" than the P2715Q (and other current Dells) in that HDMI 2.0 is built into the newer BenQ - these BenQ's displayed work looks fantastic when coupled with a Mac or PC that has an active DP-to-HDMI 2.0 adapter (real 10-bit color) without the need for drivers (a sore point for us Mac users...).

    We put a few P2715Q displays next to the BL2711U and the BenQs just look much better for CAD/CAM work. As to the Dell P2416D, you're considering a display that pretty much blows chunks for detail work - quoting from PC Monitors: "This model features a 23.8” AHVA (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle) panel from AUO. Although true 8-bit colour reproduction was initially suspected, our testing reveals 6-bit + AFRC dithering." - UGH, and read up on the True Color requirements for CAD apps on the Windows side of things and you'll see that this display doesn't really come close to meeting CAD work requirements. Hey, I've written enough here - if you want cheap, then you won't get a display that's suitable for CAD work and you'll be spending money on some new glasses since you'll wonder why everything on your display is "all fuzzy...". The BL2711U has come down in price significantly in the past few months - that's my pick, and I'm sticking with it... Good luck.
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
  9. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I have an older Dell 2415 - 1920x1280, and like you appreciated the extra vertical pixels. When I got it it was awesomely sharp.I am sure it's still the same, but since then I have rMBP, and now when looking back and forth between the laptop's screen and Dell, it's noticeably fuzzier by comparison.
  10. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    No offense, but you're in a Mac-related forum. Solidworks on Macs sucks bigtime in VMs and Boot Camp (of course, you know that Solidworks is Windows-only and writing this for those who don't know this tidbit...) when compared to PCs running recommended hardware.

    There's a few licenses of SW in my office, and we're running 8/12-core Xeons with gobs of RAM and fast drives, thus a $1k display is nothing when compared to the cost of our workstations. Good luck, over and out here...
  11. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    When I use SolidWorks, I use Bootcamp.

    Actually, is this the time to buy 4K monitor or shall we wait for 1-2 years later? Just found out my MBP 2010 17" is not able to run any 4K monitor. I will buy a new MBP when it comes out later this year.
  12. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    OSX handles scaling much better than windows, so you might find a 4K screen is not going to give you what you need if your in bootcamp most of the time.
  13. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    I forgot to mention I use Windows 7 Professional.

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