Which monitor do you have?

over 4 years ago from David Bograd, Product Designer

  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 4 years ago

    If you have a Thunderbolt 3 Mac, and you want a Retina 27-inch display, pretty much your only option is the LG UltraFine. CES 2019 may introduce some new 5K Thunderbolt 3 displays though. Apple will introduce a new pro display alongside the 2019 Mac Pro. It’s highly likely the display will be the same panel as the iMac and iMac Pro’s displays (5K, 27-inch, using an LG panel).

    If you don’t have Thunderbolt 3, you probably can’t run a 5K display at 60hz.

    I’d avoid 4K 27-inch displays, especially if you’re using them with a Mac. The sweet spots for display pixel density are around 110PPI (pixels per inch) for non-Retina and 220PPI for Retina. Displays in the 160PPI to 180PPI range (typically 4K, 27-inch displays) are a very bad idea — you’ll need to run the system display scaling to be able to read text and use macOS’ UI. Display scaling means worse performance, worse battery life for laptops, and there’s some nasty unavoidable artefacts that make design work a challenge.

    My current picks:

    • Retina: LG 5K UltraFine.
    • Non-Retina: A 110PPI IPS display from LG or Dell (Dell often use LG panels for their IPS displays).
    • An iMac or iMac Pro. That sounds like a silly option, but it is an easy (and expensive) way to get the best Retina display available right now.

    Future pick:

    • Apple’s 2019 pro display, if you can wait and can afford it.
    10 points
    • Omer BalyaliOmer Balyali, over 4 years ago

      (Came here to post your article on the topic)

      It's a must read if you are picky about your display: https://bjango.com/articles/macexternaldisplays/

      Also, I'm using Dell P2715Q and P2415Q (While it conradicts Marc's recommendation, I find these displays to be really good, especially for color reproduction)

      3 points
    • Jon .Jon ., over 4 years ago

      Wish I knew this earlier.. Work just bought 15 new "BenQ 32"LED SW320" monitors for design. They are horrible on macs, even with the newest models. Great picture, but very laggy.

      0 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 4 years ago

        Are you running it scaled? It seems like a great display, apart from the pixel density (31.5-Inch 3840×2160, so 140PPI).

        1 point
        • Jon .Jon ., over 4 years ago

          I am running scaled actually. Should I not maybe?

          0 points
          • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 4 years ago

            I don’t know if you’ll really have a choice. At 140PPI, turning off scaling will make the macOS UI and text too big or too small.

            1 point