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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Looking for a good 4K display

Looking for a good 4K display
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And.reg
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Jun 15, 2017, 04:49 PM
 
Did someone just hack Amazon.com? It's been giving me this error for the last 10 minutes and just started while I was browsing external monitors:

ERROR

The request could not be satisfied.

Bad request.
Generated by cloudfront (CloudFront)
Request ID: [a long alphanumeric string]


On that note, any recommendations for a 4K 60Hz external monitor, circa 30 inch?
This one time, at Boot Camp, I stuck a flute up my PC.
     
subego
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Jun 15, 2017, 04:59 PM
 
Works for me on mobile.

No 4K suggestions.
     
reader50
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Jun 15, 2017, 05:58 PM
 
No trouble with Amazon. I got a BenQ BL3201PH and am pleased with the picture quality and ports.
     
And.reg  (op)
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Jun 15, 2017, 06:01 PM
 
It came back online in the last hour. But it was not loading for a solid 20 minutes, on any of their webpages.

My concern with external monitors is spending $500 to end up with a dud after a few months/one year of use. Issues such as dead pixels, backlight bleeding, flickering, turning itself off, speaker squealing, etc. have me hesitating to buy any of them.
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P
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Jun 16, 2017, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
On that note, any recommendations for a 4K 60Hz external monitor, circa 30 inch?
LG 27MU67, or it s successor 27UD68. Fantastic monitor, I'm very happy with mine.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
And.reg  (op)
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Jun 16, 2017, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
LG 27MU67, or it s successor 27UD68. Fantastic monitor, I'm very happy with mine.
Currently test-driving LG 27UD69P, 4K at 60Hz with 2:1 blocks and mirroring, so it's like using a gigantic Retina display. Need to get a separate Displayport to mini-DP cable to do that.
Do you have any recommended calibration settings? The greens seem strong compared to the legacy MBP display.
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reader50
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Jun 16, 2017, 04:46 PM
 
I thought you were looking for a 30-32"-class. The 26-27 class is visibly smaller. Though sharper with 4K.

My 32" BenQ does double duty as a TV/Movie display, so I wanted the larger size. For actual computer use, I retina it down to 2304x1296, slightly above a 2:1 ratio. It's still nice and sharp in my opinion.
     
P
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Jun 16, 2017, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
Currently test-driving LG 27UD69P, 4K at 60Hz with 2:1 blocks and mirroring, so it's like using a gigantic Retina display. Need to get a separate Displayport to mini-DP cable to do that.
Do you have any recommended calibration settings? The greens seem strong compared to the legacy MBP display.
That is my setup as well, except it is USB-C to DisplayPort in my case.

Calibration? I just set it to the sRGB default and set the right color profile in System Preferences. I think it just downloaded it for me, but it may have been included in one of the LG software packages I installed to try out.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
P
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Jun 16, 2017, 06:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I thought you were looking for a 30-32"-class. The 26-27 class is visibly smaller. Though sharper with 4K.

My 32" BenQ does double duty as a TV/Movie display, so I wanted the larger size. For actual computer use, I retina it down to 2304x1296, slightly above a 2:1 ratio. It's still nice and sharp in my opinion.
I think 27"/4K is perfect. The size of the UI elements is as if the display was 80ppi, close to the 72ppi of the first Macs and similar to what desktops generally had until ten years ago or so. 30"/4K is pretty good too, then the size is like 72ppi, like the first Mac. Any bigger and you need to increase the resolution, IME, and that becomes so finicky right now. 4K is just "make sure you use DisplayPort" - 5K is "and check that everything is made 2016 or later, or uses MST, or dual cables, and that the cables are good quality, and that all the parts of your setup are compatible," etc. Too much hassle.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
And.reg  (op)
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Jun 16, 2017, 08:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I just set it to the sRGB default and set the right color profile in System Preferences.
But changing the profile on my MacBook does not change it on the LG display.

Not sure what you mean by the downloading software part. I mean, the monitor has its own button and settings to adjust for red, green, blue, gamma modes, etc.
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reader50
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Jun 16, 2017, 11:56 PM
 
If you have another display plugged in, go to Sys Prefs -> Displays. There will be a new tab called "Arrangement" where you can tell macOS where the displays are in relation to each other. Also, a Displays window will open on each monitor. You can adjust the color profile on each monitor via the Display window which appears on that monitor.

Often, a default color profile for that display model will be pre-selected. Presumably macOS sees the new display, and downloads the profile from Apple (if one is available). That is the download 'P' is referring to.
     
P
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Jun 17, 2017, 05:52 AM
 
There is also software from LG to download for a few tricks (basically dividing the display not fixed slices), which are downloaded to try out.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
And.reg  (op)
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Jun 17, 2017, 04:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
If you have another display plugged in, go to Sys Prefs -> Displays. There will be a new tab called "Arrangement" where you can tell macOS where the displays are in relation to each other. Also, a Displays window will open on each monitor. You can adjust the color profile on each monitor via the Display window which appears on that monitor.
It wasn't doing anything before when I tried that over HDMI. Then I switched to DisplayPort and didn't bother testing again. But for whatever reason, fiddling with the display options got it to work this time.

Even then, I found that just using the default with Mode 2, Brightness 100, Contrast 70, Sharpness 50, SuperRes Off, Gamma Mode 2, Red 45, Green 35, Blue 50 (note: still tinkering the colors) seems to work well.

Also, is the DFC actually supposed to adjust the brightness automatically? It doesn't seem to do that when the room gets darker.
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Jun 18, 2017, 09:24 AM
 
No, there is no ambient light sensor. DFC analyzes the entire frame and adjusts the various parameters to enhance contrast. It is more or less the same as the dynamic contrast features that Samsung and Sharp and everyone else have been pushing for TVs the last decade or so.

After having experimented with both DisplayPort and HDMI wth the display, my well-reasoned opinion is that HDMI sucks and should b avoided. Not sure if this is a macOS thing, but everything just work d better once I got the DisplayPort cable.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
And.reg  (op)
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Jul 24, 2017, 11:32 AM
 
Suppose that I wanted to connect that display to a 12 MacBook (2016 or 2017). Could I buy a Displayport to USB-C cable for the purpose of both (i) outputting 1080p retina res and (ii) charging the MacBook? Or would I need to get a separate adapter with a mini-DP port (and DP to mini-DP cable) and a charging port through USB-C?

Also, how is it possible to stream 60 Hz through the 5 Gbps port anyway? Would 2160p RGB resolution require 11.9 Gbps to run at 60 Hz?
( Last edited by And.reg; Jul 24, 2017 at 12:44 PM. )
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And.reg  (op)
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Jul 25, 2017, 12:20 PM
 
Additional question:

If I was to get a 2017 15" Pro Macbook, and I connected it to the display, would the dGPU be forced on, and would that make the laptop too hot and fans blasting a lot?

Anyone?
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reader50
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Jul 25, 2017, 03:03 PM
 
If you want to charge and convert USB-C to DP, you probably want a mini dock. One of those boxes with multiple ports and a good power brick.

According to the MB 12" specs, it can output max external resolution of 3840x2160@30Hz, or 4096x2160@24Hz. There's no mention of 60Hz, you probably have to drop down to 2560x1440 before that would come within reach.

The graphics load isn't dependent so much on the resolution as how much 3D load you put on it. For normal display use (Dock animations, moving windows around, playing video) the embedded GPU should be fine. And the dGPU shouldn't ramp the fans. Try playing a 3D game at native resolution, and things will get hot fast.
     
P
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Jul 25, 2017, 03:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
Suppose that I wanted to connect that display to a 12 MacBook (2016 or 2017). Could I buy a Displayport to USB-C cable for the purpose of both (i) outputting 1080p retina res and (ii) charging the MacBook? Or would I need to get a separate adapter with a mini-DP port (and DP to mini-DP cable) and a charging port through USB-C?

Also, how is it possible to stream 60 Hz through the 5 Gbps port anyway? Would 2160p RGB resolution require 11.9 Gbps to run at 60 Hz?
1080p Retina is 4K. The only way to do what you ask that I am aware of is this adapter:

https://www.hypershop.com/products/h...ni-displayport

I have been on a notification list for that one for a while now, and I just got an email notification that it is available. If you don't need to charge and have USB 2.0 ports, any old DisplayPort to USB-C cable will work.

As for how it works: USB-C has two sets of high-speed pairs + a USB 2.0 pair + a sideband for configurations + power in each port. Each of the high speed sets is effectively a USB 3.0 port (5 Gbps). USB 3.1 gen 2, 10 Gbps speed, is just using all of these pairs together. The MacBook 12" doesn't support this, but it still has all of those pins.

Alternate mode in USB 3.1 means that you can redirect those highspeed pairs to something else. If you use DisplayPort alternate mode, you can use one or both pairs to create 2 or 4 so-called DisplayPort lanes. This means that you can either get 2 DisplayPort lanes and 1 USB 3.0 port, or 4 DisplayPort lanes and no USB 3.0. You can read all about how many lanes you need for each resolution here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disp...or_DisplayPort

but let me save you some time and say that you need 4 lanes for 4K. But how can that work, if you need 12.6 Gbps and you only have 10 Gbps? Easy - you have 10 Gbps in each direction. DisplayPort will simply use the receive pins to send, so it has 20 Gbps to play with.

Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
Additional question:

If I was to get a 2017 15" Pro Macbook, and I connected it to the display, would the dGPU be forced on, and would that make the laptop too hot and fans blasting a lot?

Anyone?
The dGPU will be forced on but in either 2D power mode or low power 3D power mode. Neither will make the fans scream.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
P
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Jul 25, 2017, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
If you want to charge and convert USB-C to DP, you probably want a mini dock. One of those boxes with multiple ports and a good power brick.
The one I linked is the only one that will do it, I think. Trust me - I have been investigating this for some time. If there is another, it is recently launched.

According to the MB 12" specs, it can output max external resolution of 3840x2160@30Hz, or 4096x2160@24Hz. There's no mention of 60Hz, you probably have to drop down to 2560x1440 before that would come within reach.
True for previous versions, but the 2017 version supports 4K@60Hz over DisplayPort.

The graphics load isn't dependent so much on the resolution as how much 3D load you put on it. For normal display use (Dock animations, moving windows around, playing video) the embedded GPU should be fine. And the dGPU shouldn't ramp the fans. Try playing a 3D game at native resolution, and things will get hot fast.
Connecting an external display will lock the dGPU on, because the integrated graphics is limited in the number of display streams it can support (3x 4K on the latest MBPs, and one is used by the internal display) while the discrete can support more (5x 4K in this case). This has been the case since Apple begun using switchable graphics.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
And.reg  (op)
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Jul 25, 2017, 04:16 PM
 
This is helpful. I also saw an option for a Caldigit Dock for $150.
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P
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Jul 25, 2017, 04:41 PM
 
CalDigit has both Thunderbolt 3 docks and a USB-C dock. The TB3 dock will work with an MBP, but not with the 12" MB. The USB-C dock does not support 4K@60Hz if you read between the lines in the spec:

http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock

I should have mentioned that there is one more option: to forget about Alternate mode completely and use the 5Gbps USB 3 with DisplayLink tunneling. That means installing an extra driver on the Mac that will compress the video signal (and disable the GPU, it all happens on the CPU). It mostly works for office work, but performance in high performance applications will suffer. It is cheap, though - you can get any USB 3.0 dock with a USB-C to USB-B cable - but I think the option I linked is better.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
P
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Jul 25, 2017, 04:47 PM
 
To be clear: if you get a Thunderbolt 3 dock with an MBP, you can forget about bandwidth requirements and what you can fit into the cable. TB3 is 40 Gbps each way, which means that you can fit a 5K display and have bandwidth left over for USB 3.0, Ethernet, FireWire, whatever. It will not work with a 12" MB, though.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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