Which display?

iJohnnyG

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 7, 2011
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34
Newcastle
Just picked up a Mac mini, now need to decide on the display. I’ve been looking at the LG 27UK600. The only real difference between this and the other two models seem to be adjustable height/usb-c.

I think I’ll just be using hdmi to connect so should I save the extra £80 or spend it just for usb-c?

Thanks
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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5,646
I don't care for LG myself -- they LOOK GREAT when new, but problem is 1-year warranty and trying to get one fixed if something goes wrong.

I would recommend a USB-c (Mac end) to displayport (display end) as being the better way to go, cable-wise.

Here's a web site that has a list of IPS-style displays of various sizes, might be of use:
IPS Monitor List: Best AHVA, PLS & IPS LCD Displays
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
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Honolulu HI
I have a 4K UHD monitor and I've tried USB-C -> DisplayPort and USB-C -> HDMI. I presume that the non-USB-C monitor comes with HDMI. So this is my observation - I have not done the research to back this up (you can do that if you care to do so). It appears that the HDMI conversion requires electronics on the HDMI side - the connector on the cable I have is larger than usual and it is a little warm when in use which to me is a clue that there is active electronics there. On the other hand on the DisplayPort cable, the DisplayPort connector is a typical size and it is not warm at all. I don't recall a regular HDMI cable connector to the monitor being warm. For computers (a lot of Macs) that had the Mini-DisplayPort port, in order to drive an HDMI monitor at higher (>1920x1200) resolutions, there had to be active electronics in the DisplayPort->HDMI cable for it to work. So that's probably also the case with computers with the USB-C DisplayPort connector. Again, I haven't done the research on this but that's probably the case. All of this doesn't mean it isn't worth it for the £80 savings - you should just research the cables before buying and consider buying a spare (of a different brand) so you won't be inconvenienced should the cable fail (due to the electronics, which I'm presuming is in there).

Picture-quality wise, I didn't notice a difference between the two.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
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It appears that the HDMI conversion requires electronics on the HDMI side - the connector on the cable I have is larger than usual and it is a little warm when in use which to me is a clue that there is active electronics there. On the other hand on the DisplayPort cable, the DisplayPort connector is a typical size and it is not warm at all.
The Mini has an actual HDMI 2.0 port with 4k@60Hz support so that's a non-issue. In theory, it should "just work" with the cable that comes with the display.

For the sake of pedantry (hey, this is the internet, right?):

AFAIK all current USB-C to HDMI cables/adapters are actually active DisplayPort-to-HDMI converters using USB-C DisplayPort alt mode - which basically routes DisplayPort-format signals from the GPU out of the USB-C port. There's a "USB-C HDMI alt mode" in the pipeline that won't need the converter but I have no idea if current Macs support it or if there are any adapters (The 'C' in USB-C stands for 'confusion').

The USB-C to DisplayPort adapters don't need to convert the signal but do have some circuitry to deal with (I think) complying with USB-C power supply specs. My USB-C to DisplayPort adapter gets warm at the DisplayPort end.

The old MiniDisplayPort/TB2 ports supported something called "DisplayPort++" which meant they could also output VGA and single-link DVI (which is basically the same as HDMI 1.0) with simple passive adapters. That didn't make it into USB-C. Also, single-link DVI and HDMI 1.0 both top out at 1920x1200 so you needed an active adapter even to drive a 1440p display (the dual-link DVI was extra fugly and needed USB power).
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
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Sorry ... I thought the Mini didn't have the HDMI port (even though I have the 2012 and 2014 Mini, the 2018 version was meh for me so I forgot about the exact port configuration). With a HDMI port, it's a no-brainer - you don't need the DisplayPort version.

The USB-C to DisplayPort adapters don't need to convert the signal but do have some circuitry to deal with (I think) complying with USB-C power supply specs. My USB-C to DisplayPort adapter gets warm at the DisplayPort end.
That's interesting because for me there's hardly any temperature difference at all. I'll have to try it with my 2018 MBP and see if that makes a difference.
 

iJohnnyG

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 7, 2011
128
34
Newcastle
I’ve ordered the LG27UK600 so will see what it’s like when it arrives. Can always swap to the 850 if I discover I need usb-c.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,146
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I’ve ordered the LG27UK600 so will see what it’s like when it arrives. Can always swap to the 850 if I discover I need usb-c.
Just realised that all of us contributing to this thread have totally failed to answer your basic question!

The only real reason to bother with USB-C on the display is if you have, or are thinking of getting, a laptop. Connecting via a USB-C to USB-C cable gives you 60W charging (irrelevant to the Mini) two USB-A ports (but only at USB 2 speed - not useless, but the Mini already has a ton of ports) and a slightly smaller/easer-to-connect cable for docking/undocking trailing on your desk (you're presumably not planning on docking/undocking the mini every day).

If you buy a second one, maybe get the USB-C version so you don't need an adapter :)
 

kerplunknet

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2006
312
511
OP, the best connection will be DisplayPort from the monitor to Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) on your Mac mini. Don't use HDMI. :)
 

kerplunknet

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2006
312
511
Display has arrived and it's currently hooked up via HDMI. Thanks for info, what's the difference?
Google can give you that info, but based on the versions of DisplayPort and HDMI for that monitor and computer, DisplayPort is the better technology. You probably won't notice any difference in every day use.