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macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2008
Hi All,

I am thinking of purchasing a 4k monitor to use with my 2015 MacBook Pro Retina.

Currently, I am using a HP Pavilion 25xw, which is a 25" 1080p monitor. This is OK, but I think I am ready for a true upgrade. I don't really do any photo editing or such but I'd like a clearer screen for study.

I have a few questions regarding this. I am by NO MEANS a monitor expert so I apologize if any of the questions are nooby.

What size monitor should I get? Initially I was thinking of springing for the 27". I think I would like the larger screen size, however from reading online it says that at larges sizes it kind of defeats the purpose of 4k?

What is a good monitor at a good price? I think I am in love with LG's 27UD88, but the price is too much for me (i'm looking to spend <$500). The HP Envy 27" has a nice aesthetic but ratings so far have been poor. Dell P2715Qs are largely sold out most places.

Can I dual monitor with my current 1080p monitor? Would it lead to some weird scaling issues? How would I have to connect it to each other? Right now I plug straight into the monitor using HDMI from my macbook.

Thanks alot for the help in advance. I really appreciate it


macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2013
In terms of retina experience, 21" would be the ideal. This is limited to iMac 4k and the LG 4k Ultrafine. Unfortunately those of us without USB-C cannot use the Ultrafine 4k.

The next best option would be one of the many 24" (23.8) panels. This will give a nice 1080p retina experience. The issue with going to 27" 4k is that 1080p retina everything looks oversized. The compromise here is to go for 1440p which has a number of drawbacks - text isn't as crisp, additional work for your GPU to scale.

I've spent along time researching the best 4k monitor outside of the 4k Ultrafine to work with non-USB-C laptops.

My conclusion is that the best 2 are:
Dell P2415Q $307 -
LG 24UD58 $279

The LG is better if you plan to hook up a games console as it supports 60Hz (fps) over HDMI. The dell looks better and is generally a better build and has more height adjustments.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
I just picked up the LG 27UD68 and I'm LOVING it. I don't edit pictures or video much...mainly text for study & writing. I have the 15 MBP TB 2016...and I connect it with a USB-c to Display Port to get 4K @ 60hz. $350 at. Eat Buy as an open box. It's last year's model so you may be able to find some deals. I came from an HP 27es, 1080p...great monitor...just wanted consistency between my retina MBP and my office monitor.


macrumors 68020
Sep 19, 2010
For "retina" you'll want 4K @ 21". This will give you 1080p retina.

You can get a 27" and run it at 1.5X scaling, which will give you 1440p. It won't be as sharp, but it'll be quite a bit sharper than traditional 1440p monitors.

The 3rd option is to get an ultra wide and don't do scaling at all. It won't be sharp, but you'll get huge screen real estate.

IMO, you should get a 21", 27", or 34" ultra wide.


macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2013
4k @ 21" isn't an option for a non-USB-C MBP.

4k @ 24" is still a viable option, not as good as 21" but the only alternative for a decent 1080p retina experience.


Sep 13, 2014
I have the Lenovo X1 and love it. It's a great monitor. Super thin, built in speakers, webcam and microphone, plus USB-C connectivity. I use it with the retina MacBook and can confirm that the USB-C cable supplied with the monitor works fine.
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