monitor selection drives me nuts
Some background, I have a MacBook Pro 13" from late 2013 and since long I wanted a 5k hidpi monitor, but my current laptop isn't able to drive one. I want to wait until WWDC to see if more infos about an ARM MacBook come out, before I buy my next MacBook Pro 13". I'm a web developer and do mostly coding the whole day, but also a bit of photo editing.
So I thought I buy a performant eGPU, that also will speed up my next MacBook Pro, and allows me to connect higher res monitor to my old MacBook Pro now. I went with a Sonnet 550 and a Sapphire 5700 XT nitro (got a good price on both). I always wanted to have one of this ridiculous looking gamer cards :-). I needed to remove the fan in the Sonnet enclosure to get the beast in there. Almost thought it wouldn't be possible, very tight fit.
Now I'm trying to find the right hidpi monitor, but thats a lot harder than I thought. I have currently an old 23" Alu Apple Cinema HD Display ( 1920 × 1200, from 2004). A very nice looking Monitor, too bad Apple doesn't already released a smaller more affordable Pro Display.
My long term plan is to get an Apple monitor, if a reasonable priced one comes out (<$2000). I hope this will happen in the next 1-2 years. So I want to buy a monitor now that fills the gap until then.
My dream monitor would have:
- sharp text for a plesant coding experience, like on my retina MacBook Pro, 200+ppi
- HDR capabilities
- true blacks like my OLED TV
- one cable connection
- a super wide 21:9 monitor would be also nice, but not my highest priority
- small bezels
- Display Port 2.0 (could come out end of 2020)
- Thunderbolt 3 (4)
It will take some time until more miniLED or later microLED screens will come out, which could have this capacities.
Iiyama PROLITE XB2779QQS-S1
+ 5k 27"
+ one cable
+ 218 ppi
+ DisplayPort 1.4
- only 8bit
- thick bezels
- is it to glossy for an office with windows and some lights?
- does somebody here has this display? Happy with it?
LG Ultrafine 5k
+ 5k 27"
+ 218 ppi
-+ a bit pricey
+ smaller bezels
+ 10 bit
- needs two cables, with extra titan/alpine ridge card, extra costs, complicated, one box more
- does it work stable with the 2 display ports -> 1 Thunderbolt with titan/alpine ridge external card, montitor sleep working?
- seems like a lot of hassle, tinkering to get it working for a DisplayPort GPU, worth it?
+ HDR 600
+ thunderbolt 3 AND DisplayPort 1.4
- 163 ppi
- is the text sharp enough?
- 163 ppi enough? or do you miss 200+ ppi?
The easiest solution would be to get the Iiyama, but this thick bezels not very 2020... and glossy.
Thanks for any experience reports with one of this monitor. I'm espacially interested what do you think about 163 ppi vs 200+ ppi monitors for a "retina" screen experience...
Didn't realized before that 1x DisplayPort 1.2/1.4 couldn't drive a 5k 60hz 10bit screen! And the most obvious choice the LG Ultrafine 5k is not plugandplay.
I think when DisplayPort 2.0 comes out, the Mac/PC monitor ecosystem will unite again.... But until than a PC GPU for a Mac will always be a "bastard" of both worlds 🙁 Can't escape the apple tax... (Blackmagic eGPU).
A finished $100 box which does the 2 Displayport -> 1 Thunderbolt 3 would be great for the meantime!
thanks for any comments/suggestions
@alexpixel As soon as I finished reading your wish list, the LG 34WK95U-W came to mind. I got one from Christmas and it would definitely get my vote. Pixel density is not as high compared to the other two choices but text looks nice and sharp in macOS, Windows, and Linux for me. The only issue I have with it is the Thunderbolt 3 input. It doesn’t work in native resolutions with all hosts and operating systems.
It doesn’t work in native resolutions with all hosts and operating systems.
May need to change the DisplayPort setting in the on screen display from DisplayPort 1.2 to DisplayPort 1.4 or vice versa? DisplayPort 1.2 requires dual link SST over Thunderbolt. It was weird.
Read the epic tale up to page 1160 maybe.
Since then, we have AGDCDiagnose to get DisplayPort and EDID info (for both tiles of the display) and edid-decode to decode the EDID info (which has been updated recently to decode mostly everything - would be nice if AMD freesync or Nvidia gsync EDID stuff was documented somewhere).
I ordered now the Iiyama, I have a 30 days return policy. I would return it when it's to glossy for the room. To setup also an extra alpine/titan ridge converter box would be a lot of work, and also not so easy to get all the special parts, this ruled out the LG Ultrafine 5k. Perhaps I will try to see also a LG 34WK95U-W just to be sure I made the right decision for me.
Does anybody looked at the LG 34WK95U-W and Iiyama PROLITE XB2779QQS-S1 side by side? And has an opinion about them.
I have the LG UltraFine 5k and if you have any questions about it feel free. It is an absolutely stunning monitor by far the best I have ever seen. I know you mentioned that you consider glossy finish to be a con, but in my experience in the coating used on the UltraFine 5k it is fantastic and puts any standard "anti-glare" coating to shame, the contrast sharpness and overall definition of the monitor are clearly augmented by the glossy finish.
Please do, if you can, post pictures and a detailed review when you receive the liyama, as there is almost no information on the web about it and I would love to hear what you think! I may also try the titan-ridge box route as I am also using a rx 5700 xt in a Razer core x.
I have now used the iiyama 5k for around 2 days, it's a mixed bag...
The good things: 5k resolution on 27" is awesome. Especially on the Mac the UI is optimized to be viewed at 2x around 220 ppi. So you have a really nice looking UI with scaling factor of 2x. Not something like a fraction like 1.7 where every edge gets antialiased, everything is super sharp and I can't see individual Pixel even when I lean a bit forward to the monitor. High Quality Videos look awesome!.
This is the reason I want a 220+ ppi screen and not sure the LG 5k2k UltraWide with 163 ppi would satisfy me. I think I would use the LG 5k2k UltraWide screen with fractional scaling. I you need to use fractional scaling then you should have more not less ppi.
The bad things: Glossy.... One the first day I thought I can handle it, on the second day where it was a bit brighter it annoyed me. I code in dark mode, so big parts of my screen a dark which makes the mirror effect worse. I think I have a bit of eye fatigue because of this. When the thing is turned off it's almost a mirror! In my office I have windows from two sides, so not so easy. In a dark room I think it would be ok, but who wants to turn there office into a dark room!
How on earth can people code / program on iMacs? I thought everybody has this glossy iMacs it can be that bad, but for me the glossy screen is not working.
The funny things: I have read on the internet that the panel is the "old" version of the iMac panel. I can second that, because you see the place for the webcam, but the screen doesn't has a webcam. This also explains the thick borders they just placed the whole iMac Panel in a custom case. Similar what this guy has done DIY next level :-).
I can post some pics before I return it. So I think LG Ultrafine 5k 27" is the way to go, although I'm don't looking forward to build the 2xDP->1TB3 converter box , wanted to avoid this 😕 . The old Version LG Ultrafine 5k would be perfect, should be a bit cheaper.
Does anybody has an LG Ultrafine 5k 27" and a 5k iMac how do they compare glossy wise. Do you see reflections with the LG Ultrafine 5k 27" while coding in dark mode?
Coding in dark mode is so 1980s. Remember monochrome CRTs with green on black text? Didn't they use green to be easier on the eyes (but that may have been because it reduced flicker by being a longer lasting phosphor)? Isn't having your eyes focus on bright text with dark background more straining than focusing on dark text on white background?
I like the 80' 🙂 . I use the ayu mirage theme for all my editors, this is not totally black. I don't like the ayu dark theme thats to dark for me. I also tried the dark mode on my iPhone and iPad, but I don't liked it.
For content like websites or mails I prefer a light theme.
@joevt Thanks for quora.com link, interesting read.
I tried to set up my 5k with the add in cards and a riser and had no luck. With the add in card in a node lite it was better but defo not rock solid. I didn’t do loads of testing though.
@zpro or any other LG Ultrafine 5k user
How is the quality of the LG Ultrafine 5k at 2560 x 1440px?
Almost like a normal 27" 2560 x 1440px monitor?
Just to have a more or less ok fallback until I would built a 2xDP->TB box.
It's actually very nice even at 1440p. Although note that is the lowest resolution it can display. I play games in 1440p and it is fantastic, the colour and quality are breathtaking. 1440p seems very sharp and pleasant.
Second that. I’m using mine at 4K in windows atm and gaming at 1440, looks sharp at both resolutions.
Here are some image of the Iiyama XB2779QQS-S1 in use, under bad lighting conditions. For comparison I added some pictures of my oooold cinema display.
I returned it, it was to glossy for my taste. I think if a iMac 5k Screen works for you then this screen will work also for you.
I went to an apple store and looked at the 6k Pro Display XDR with nano coating, that looked nice. The version without nano coating was already a bit to glossy for me. But the XDR is totally out of my price range, and also with thunderbolt connection.
At the moment I'm leaning towards a "cheap" two monitor setup a 27" 2560 x 1440 "non retina" and a 23" 4k retina like screen in portrait orientation. When nicer 27" screens (hopefully from apple) come out, I can replace the 27" screen and keep 23" 4k screen. So I get a bit desktop retina and more important a productivity boost from more screen real estate.