Which should I buy? Apple Thunderbolt Display or 4K@30Hz


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
Hi, all,

Recently, I am thinking about changing an external monitor for my 13" Retina Macbook Pro (8G/256 late 2013) since the previous 27" 1080 LG is really hurting my eyes. I really need some suggestions on the choice of Apple Thunderbolt Display or a 4K LG monitor (27UD68). I purchased both of them, and need to return one of them by this weekend.

For the LG 27UD68, everything is crystal clear like retina display. However, my macbook can only work with a 4K monitor with a 30Hz fps. Is it really bad? I do feel wired with 30Hz fps because of laggy and stuttering , but I don't know if I can get used to it after some time.

For the ATD, I don't know what to say. It has been 5 years since it launched in 2011. Does it worth to buy it right now?

I have no plan to change my macbook until the applecare expires next year. and I am using this laptop just for studying programming.

Thank you very much for your help.


Mar 25, 2016
Why not look into the LG UM95? It's a 34" display, and makes for some amazing workspace for programming and similar.

The Thunderbolt Display is nice, but dated and very expensive for what it is. That being said, it matches perfectly, "just works", and holds resale value. It's also a solid quality panel, even if 1440p over 4k.

And as the others have said, I wouldn't suggest opting for a 30Hz refresh rate, especially since you're coming from a screen that hurt your eyes, and you're seeking relief from that.


macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2014
I use the LG 34UM95, and it is amazing. The extra width is great, and the fact that it doubles as a thunderbolt dock is also great. I have zero complaints.

I picked mine up on an Amazon warehouse deal for less than $600, and they seem to pop up pretty regularly around that price.
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macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
Rather than spending money on an out of date TBD because your 13" rMBP does not do TB2 to support 4K,.....address the root of the problem. Plan on upgrading to a Macbook that does 4K. You can get may different brands and sizes of 4K monitors. Who know maybe this will be the year that Apple bothers to update TBD since most new Macs should have TB2 or TB3 (via USB-C) by the end of the year.
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macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
I bought the Dell P2415q in March thinking Apple would announce new MacBook Pro's and I would upgrade my 2013 MBP so that I could do 4k @ 60. While I was waiting for the announcement I was using the Dell at 30hz and it sucked. In fact, I would get a bit of a headache if I used it for more than a few hours and I would switch back to the laptop screen. I did this for almost 2 weeks and all of a sudden, 30hz no longer bothered me. Don't get me wrong, it still stinks but it's not bothersome like it was at first. The March event came and no new MBP's were announced - my plan was to return the monitor if that was the case but I liked the screen so much I kept it. I am still going to upgrade the laptop asap but it's usable for now. I wouldn't advise anyone to do this but if you are upgrading in the near future, keep the LG.


macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
Hong Kong
For daily use (or use for a prolong period of time), 30Hz is not recommended. You already feel the input lag. It's not a nice way to use computer.

I also has a 1440P monitor and a 4K TV (HDMI 1.4), I use the Apple Cinema display for doing the real computer stuff. And use the TV @ 4K 30Hz for 4K gaming (some game not really need 60FPS, and I play a lot on consoles, I already get used to 30FPS), video editing preview, etc.

From my personal experience, as long as you don't really need to use the mouse pointer on the 30Hz screen for a long period of time. It's actually OK to use that as monitor for something else.
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