Which monitor should I go with - LG Ultrafine 5k (at 4k) or Dell P2715Q?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zooby, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. zooby macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #1
    I am looking into getting a monitor for my rMBP 15 inch (early 2015). I am leaning towards the Dell P2715Q and the LG Ultrafine 5k. The Dell seems like a great choice overall as it is the screen size I am looking for and it is at a great price. The only downside is that I prefer glossy screens, but I don't mind a matte screen.

    Overall, I really like the LG Ultrafine after seeing them in person at the Apple Store *but* my rMBP does not support 5k so I will only be seeing it at 4k. But would this still be a better choice to the Dell? I have a very comparable price (around $700) so it is not a bad deal.
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    That 5k will be a nightmare if you set it to 4K it will have to scale that so it will be slow and laggy. Your machine can run a 5k screen but you will need dual cables and use both thunderbolt ports and performance will be a bit rubbish as it still has to deal with all those pixels from a mobile graphics solution that’s 3years old. I would go with a 4K tops or even a nice 1440p screen at 24 inch.
     
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #3
    No. If your computer can't support 5k don't consider a 5k display unless you're planning to upgrade the computer very soon (and I'd be in no rush to upgrade from a 2015 rMBP).

    I'm sure that 4k on a 5k display will be perfectly usable (it works with the TB2 to TB3 adapter according to https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT207448), but it won't be great, because the monitor is upsampling the 4k image to 5k.

    With a 4k monitor, you'll probably want to work in scaled HiDPI "looks like 2560x1440" mode (if your Mac supports this*) in which case the computer effectively generates a 5k image and downsamples it to 4k - the results of which are excellent and actually contain more detail than you'd get on a 1440p display (although obviously not as good as a proper 5k display working at 5k).

    * NB:
    you might want to check that your rMBP model supports this mode of operation (and without too much lag) - might depend on which GPU option you have. Anybody know? If not, you'll have to work in "looks like 1920x1080" mode which makes the icons, system font etc. rather big (but nice and sharp) on a 27" screen. Older macs only support "low resolution" 2560x1440 which just sends a 1440p signal that is upsampled by the display which, again, is usable but not brilliant and worse than you'd get on a 1440p display.
     
  4. zooby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #4
    Apple says on their website that 5k is not supported only rMBP 15 inch. 4k does seem to be supported. I have the discreet GPU in mine - hope it will help but not sure.

    I saw the 21 Ultrafine and it was too small.

    Thanks for the suggestions. So the image will not look great on the 5k? I do like the size of the 27 inch. That being said, I have heard good things about the Dell monitor too. I just wish it was glossy. I even considered the old Mac Thunderbolt display for the glossy screen.

    My rMBP has the discreet graphics so I don't know if this will help.

    Sounds like a 4k monitor is a better choice overall. Is 27 inches a good option then? I am guessing I have to go into settings to make it "look like _____ mode". To confirm - with 4k, 1440 mode works best, right?

    Thanks to both for the tips, by the way.
     
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #5
    What's your thought on the LG 27UD68-W?
    (good grief if LG doesn't use unnecessarily long product designations)
     
  6. zooby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #6
    Considering it too. Seems similar to the Dell, no? 4k, matte, etc.
     
  7. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #7
    It might not be eye-bleedingly bad, but a 4k output upsampled to 5k by the display is going to look... sub-optimal compared to the same 4k image on a decent 4k monitor which costs a lot less money.

    Provided its the HIDPI version, and your Mac can handle the scaling without getting slow, yes - but I'd get confirmation from other users with the same Mac model that it's OK and not too laggy.

    "looks like 2560x1440" is the iMac 5k default and is about the sweet spot for 27" provided your GPU can handle the heavy lifting of rendering to 5k and then downsampling to 4k. The "low resolution" version of 2560x1440 (which is just 1440p upsampled by the monitor) is a bit pants on a 4k display.

    The alternatives are "native" 3840x2160 mode - which makes the system font etc. very small (might be OK at 27" if you've got good eyesight) and would be better on a large 32" display (if you want lots of "real estate") and "HiDPI" "Looks like 1920x1080" mode (basically 3840x2160 but with everything twice the size) which is a bit big at 27" and is more suited to a 21-24" screen - of course, the actual content displayed by many apps can be freely zoomed - so its only menus, buttons etc. that are too small at native 4k and too big at "looks like 1080p".

    ...or, just get a nice 2560x1440 display which gives you a nice lot of screen estate and a resolution that everybody thought was the bees kness until this 4k malarkey came along.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
  9. daveak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #9
    As you can't drive 5K then the LG 27UD68-W is far superior to the 5K ultra fine. I have both attached to my 2016 rMBP. 5k has horrible ghosting, 27UD68-W has none and still looks great as "looks like 2560x1440"
     
  10. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #10
    What is your intended use case for the monitor?

    I currently use a Samsung 49" 4K Curved TV (UN49MU7500) as a monitor and I LOVE IT.
    • 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 subsampling
    • Curved
    • 40"+
    For media consumption (HTPC) it's perfect. Large screen means it's immersive and 4K keeps the clarity up. This allows seeing every little detail in a scene or imagine. Curved aspect is necessary to keep the colors from shifting on a large display. 4:4:4 subsampling allows crystal clear text.

    The Dell would be good for photo editing because of the 99% sRGB profile. But I personally would not buy it because 4K on a 27" screen doesn't provide extra screen real estate and it's hard to see fine detail on a small display. For me the PPI increase isn't worth it. I would prefer a curved 3440x1440 34" over that display for general purpose usage. (word, web, gaming). It all depends on your usage.
     
  11. zooby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #11
    Thank you guys for your replies! Much appreciated. I think I am going to go with the LG monitor but will try hooking up my MBP to an Ultrafine just to compare. How is the matte screen? I tend to prefer screens glossy which is why I was leaning towards the Ultrafine.

    Also, I am guessing the best way to drive this would be with a Mini Display Port to DisPlay Port?
     
  12. mj_ macrumors 6502

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #12
    You do realize that the LG Ultrafine only supports USB-C, right? There is no HDMI or DisplayPort on that particular display as it was made to match Apple's latest MacBook Pro lineup. What you'll need is a MiniDisplayPort to USB-C cable and I don't know if these even exist.

    In addition, I agree with what has been said before: 4K resolution upscaled by the monitor to a 5k picture will look horrible. Absolutely abominable. If you're not planning to replace your current 2015 MBP in the very very very near future forget about the Ultrafine. You'll be miserable. The Dell or LG 27UG68-W will work perfectly fine. I run my LG 27UG68-W in "looks like 3008x1692" mode on my 2015 MBP (also dGPU model) and it's absolutely perfect. No stuttering, no lag, and 4K@60 Hz using a MiniDisplayPort to DisplayPort cable.
     
  13. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #13
    The 5k Ultrafine supports Thunderbolt 3 (via a USB-C connector). You can connect it to a 2015 model Retina MacBook Pro using the Apple TB1/2 to TB3 adapter (see https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT207448) but only at 4k resolution. Useful if you have both a 2016/2017 Mac and occasionally connect an older rMBP, or are planning to upgrade your 2015 Mac in the very near future, but doesn't make sense as your main Mac/monitor combo.

    The 4k Ultrafine model uses USB-C/DisplayPort alt mode, not TB3 (so maybe it will work with a MiniDisplayPort-to-USB-C dongle, but that's off-topic).
     
  14. anticipate macrumors 6502

    anticipate

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #14
    FWIW on a late 2016 MBP I ran a Dell 5K display via two USB-C to DP cables. It runs in 5K just fine, though it did use some GPU and crank the fans a bit. I do the same with the same screen on my iMac Pro (with no heavy lifting).
     
  15. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #15
    The issue is not the 2015 GPU's ability to drive a 5k screen, it seems to be Thunderbolt 2's inability to support 5k over a single cable. Dell and HP seem to have discontinued their dual-cable 5k display.
     
  16. anticipate macrumors 6502

    anticipate

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #17
    Yes they have. Great screens though if you can find one. I did use two TB2 mini DP to DP cables on the old "new" Mac Pro on the Dell at 5K for a long time and that worked as well.
     
  17. zooby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #18
    They can be used but I might be better off using a regular 4k. The only issue is the matte screen as I tend to prefer glossy. Hope it doesn't take too long to get used to.
     
  18. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #19
    Well just buy a glossy 4K screen then there are literally 100’s to choose from.
     
  19. zooby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #20
    You'd be surprised - there really aren't too many 4k 27 inch glossy monitors out there. But I'll wait and see if anyone has any further specific suggestions.
     
  20. planetf1 macrumors 6502

    planetf1

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    #21
    Not glossy, but I can recommend the LG 27UD88 . I did look at the 68 but at the time I was planning to get a MBP 2016 with USB-C, which I then did, so wanted to go for the USB-C connectivity. You don't need that, so if no upgrade plans soon save money and go 68..
     
  21. zooby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #22
    They don't appear to sell the LG 27UD68-W anymore but they do sell the LG 27UD68-P. This appears to be the best option overall for my Mac model. I do wish it was glossy but I will go look at it in person if I can before buying. Sounds like matte is a better option for monitors anyway. How does it compare to the crispness of the Retina Display?
     
  22. Honza1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #23
    I suggest you think about size hard - I have few 4k monitors and TVs from 27 inch to 46 inch at work. After trying them all - and trying out with many colleagues - I cannot figure out why sizes smaller than 37-43 inch are even made in 4k resolution. Everyone (not just me with my old eyes) has set the resolution of those smaller (27 - 33 inch) displays to much less than 4k at which point the value for common use of having the 4k resolution is simply not there. Clearly there are expert applications where this is worth. Typical user - not.
    NOW, I have 43inch 4k LG display running at 4k resolution and 60Hz refresh and it is a blast! Its lovely and extremely useful = worth every penny... I sit down to 27inch 4k display and have to dumb it down to slightly above HD resolution or I simply cannot read anything, its too small for real use. And my 15inch MBP 4k display??? Why, just why???
     
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #24
    "I cannot figure out why sizes smaller than 37-43 inch are even made in 4k resolution."

    Smaller 4k displays seem to have been made with the expectation that they would be run in "HiDPI mode".

    I wouldn't use one "at full 4k" -- wouldn't be able to see the text!
     

Share This Page