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#1 Matt Diamond

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 10:45 AM

I am toying with the idea of getting a new monitor.

My old 27" Dell U2713HM :
* doesn't support HDMI beyond 1080p
* only gets to 2560x1440 using DisplayPort. This means I have to swap DisplayPort cables whenever I switch computers
* doesn't autodetect inputs, and switching between inputs requires navigating an annoying menu using 4 tiny black buttons, and the order you press them can change depending on whether the monitor second-guesses what you are trying to do
* No speakers - not a dealbreaker but it would make XBox gaming easier

I can probably live with the Dell for another year or 3, but if anyone is very fond of their current monitor I'd be interested in hearing about it.

I will not be getting an Apple Pro XDR at this time though.
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#2 Tetsuya

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 11:25 PM

Depends on what you're going to be using it for, your budget, and what resolution you want to stick with.

#3 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 12:50 AM

I've been following monitor development for a while, since I want to do a major setup upgrade within the next year. Currently I am looking at the LG 34GK950F screen. It fell ~60% in price during last black friday, so I am hoping the offer is repeated this year, or that LG send outs a replacement sometime soon, as it is now two years old, but still in the top.

But if you give us some requirements, it will be much easier for us to help you out rather than just shooting out blanks. The Apple II monitor was fine for its time!
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#4 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 01:59 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 24 June 2020 - 10:45 AM, said:

My old 27" Dell U2713HM :
* only gets to 2560x1440 using DisplayPort. This means I have to swap DisplayPort cables whenever I switch computers
* doesn't autodetect inputs, and switching between inputs requires navigating an annoying menu using 4 tiny black buttons, and the order you press them can change depending on whether the monitor second-guesses what you are trying to do

Your DP point is Incorrect: I've used the same monitor for years using DVI (dual link) at native resolution.
To make switching inputs faster, you can set up Input Source as a shortcut key.

I'm now using a HP OMEN X 35, which is a very good monitor, both for work and games (and movies if I did that), and I could get a very good price from Amazon Spain at the time (€570 including international shipping, last September).
Thain's suggestion is probably cheaper, but has three drawbacks for me:
- a huuuuuge stand. Actually most 35" displays have these giant legs, and you'd better have a large desk (I don't). The HP stand is a small square, and still the display is very stable, so I don't know what other manufacturers are thinking; maybe they find that looks cool or something.
- IPS display. After years of blacks being greyish, I just say no to IPS. VA panels have true black. IPS is perfect for most work activities, but for gaming, movies and anything with often very dark shades or blacks, VA is superior.
- Freesync rather than Gsync: obviously mostly a point for Windows gaming with an NVIDIA card. And yes I know NVIDIA is now compatible with most Freesync monitors, but still I prefer the real thing.

#5 Cougar

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 06:50 AM

IMO it’s an awkward time to buy a monitor. If you’re going to use it with next gen video cards or consoles,  there aren’t any HDMI 2.1 or DP2.0 monitors quite yet. LG has a 2.1 HDMI coming this summer.

Personally, I’m not sure what I’m going to do once they are released. I want a 24” 4K gaming monitor (I have a Dell P2415Q now) for the PPI but the market has apparently decided that 24” 4K should not be a thing.

#6 Matt Diamond

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 09:50 AM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 25 June 2020 - 01:59 AM, said:

Your DP point is Incorrect: I've used the same monitor for years using DVI (dual link) at native resolution.To make switching inputs faster, you can set up Input Source as a shortcut key.
Sorry, my wording wasn't clear - DP and DVI give me native resolution, but not HDMI.

Good tip about the personalizing the 2 shortcut buttons, but Dell's implementation is infuriating.
If I'm in DP and I use the shortcut to go to HDMI, it works the way its supposed to: 2 clicks of the button.
But it seems that if there's currently no signal, the shortcut button pulls up the standard menu instead?!
Perhaps later Dell models work better, but I don't particularly want to give them any more money.

More details about what I "need":
  • I mostly would like more real estate for work: computer programming with lots of windows open.
  • I play mostly Mac games, demanding ones at 1920. If the game is a pig I'm willing to go lower *cough*bordelrands3*cough*
  • I will occasionally watch a DVD or stream a series.
  • Sound: I already have 2.1 speakers which I use for everything except the XBox 360 S, which wants to send its sound to the monitor over HDMI. So speakers on the monitor are low priority- as long as it has a headphone jack I can get by.
  • Desk: 27" fits well. Up to 32" should be okay.
  • Doesn't need a particularly wide viewing angle - at most two people are looking at this thing at once. But even at 27" the far edges are a little washed out on this Dell. So maybe it matters a bit.
  • I also don't care about ultrahigh refresh rates, but could be convinced if it matters.
  • I am unlikely to use it with a next-gen console, but with this ARM change coming who knows :-)
I don't have a price range yet; this is partly for me to see what a decent option would cost.I will look up the models mentioned so far, and I didn't know anything about VA vs IPS so I am learning about that too. So this thread has already been helpful. Thanks!
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#7 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 03:03 PM

Playing in FHD on a 35" is butt ugly unless you're far away. Of course if your hardware can't do higher res at a good enough frame rate, you're SOL. IMHO a GTX 1070 is the minimum for fairly recent games in 3440x1440, with the RTX 2070 a better choice (or more powerful if you can afford and want to). Or equivalents from AMD but I'm not very familiar with them.

As for viewing angles: anything not TN based should be good enough. Especially with these curved screens, which really helps!

View PostCougar, on 25 June 2020 - 06:50 AM, said:

but the market has apparently decided that 24" 4K should not be a thing.

Because the sweet spot for gaming is QHD. 4K is too demanding and doesn't bring such a big visual improvement over QHD.

#8 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 03:24 PM

The Acer VG280K might check a lot of boxes. It is a 28" 4K 60Hz screen with an IPS panel and excellent colour quality (90% DCI-P3) and is very affordable. Only downside is that you won't be able to game at 4K so you'd want to drop the resolution to 1080p while gaming. However, if you do end up picking up a PS4 Pro/XboxOneX or one of the newer consoles then they look really nice on a 4K monitor.

The 28" 4K screen would be really nice for your coding work. Just has the trade off of being not so good for gaming.

For purely gaming you probably want to stick with a 1080p IPS display.
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#9 Tetsuya

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 09:50 PM

View PostCougar, on 25 June 2020 - 06:50 AM, said:

Personally, I'm not sure what I'm going to do once they are released. I want a 24" 4K gaming monitor (I have a Dell P2415Q now) for the PPI but the market has apparently decided that 24" 4K should not be a thing.

Because at that size, even QHD (1440p) the pixel density is so high you cant see the pixels sitting at anything resembling an appropriate distance.  

The gain in fidelity sub-30" going from QHD to UHD isn't visible enough to warrant the extra GPU muscle required to push that many pixels.  

View PostMatt Diamond, on 25 June 2020 - 09:50 AM, said:

Sorry, my wording wasn't clear - DP and DVI give me native resolution, but not HDMI.Good tip about the personalizing the 2 shortcut buttons, but Dell's implementation is infuriating.If I'm in DP and I use the shortcut to go to HDMI, it works the way its supposed to: 2 clicks of the button.But it seems that if there's currently no signal, the shortcut button pulls up the standard menu instead?!Perhaps later Dell models work better, but I don't particularly want to give them any more money.More details about what I "need":
  • I mostly would like more real estate for work: computer programming with lots of windows open.
  • I play mostly Mac games, demanding ones at 1920.

Ergh... what are you using to play "demanding Mac games"?  NVM, i see your sig there.  

A Vega 56 probably isn't gonna push much more than 1440p, and i dont know how the bandwidth limitations of TB3 limit going to high resolutions/impact performance at higher resolutions.  

You could, of course upgrade to a Radeon 5700XT or the upcoming Big Navi, but i think those would be even more starved on the TB3 connection.  

I'd... recommend against going 4K unless you're going to go 32" or bigger - because it doesn't actually give you more usable real estate at smaller sizes - because you have to blow up the scale of whatever you're working on if you want to be able to read it.  

If you're looking for more real estate, i'd suggest UW-QHD (3440x1440).  Its an actual wider aspect ratio, so you actually get more real-estate.  And 1440p is very pixel dense and pleasant to look at.  

Again, though, performance is likely going to suffer in games because of the external GPU.  Though you can probably answer by how much better than i can since you actually use one.  

But for productivity, theyre great.  Or you can go multi-monitor.  My own setup:

https://photos.app.g...bnK91BBRhpsj8r9

The two monitors on the right are the Mac; the one on the left is my gaming rig.  All three are 1440p (traditional 16:9).  Ive found having the second screen (far right) in portrait gives a TON of real-estate.  

I considered going with a 3440x1440, and i still might, but ive grown to like having that second monitor - i put a Youtube video in the top 1/3 or half, put my Google Calendar, Gmail, and Keep on tabs in a window in the second 1/3, and have my fan controller software (the 2014 MBP i picked up on the cheap has fan issues, part of how i got it so cheap) in the bottom 1/5th or so, leaving my main screen for whatever im currently working on.  (And iTunes ("Music")i s full-screen on a second desktop on the second monitor so with one 3-finger swipe i can access all my music)

The two plugged into the Mac are IPS (main screen is a 25" Acer that is really nice that they no longer make (unfortunately), secondary screen is some off-brand i picked up used on FB market for 70$ and for that price is doing exactly what i want from it) and the screen plugged into the PC is a Dell S2719DG - 27", 1440p, 144hz, G-sync.  For a TN, the colors are very good - way better than the average TN (at least as good as the off-brand second IPS on the Mac).  Dell sells the exact same screen - called the S2719DGF (F on the end) that is Freesync instead of G-sync, but is otherwise identical and it is often available for ~300$ on sale.  I really like my G-sync version, and while i could get a more expensive VA or IPS panel, i haven't noticed the color difference enough to care and for what  i paid for it (350$ for the G-sync model on sale at Micro Center) or what you can get the Freesync version for, its really hard to beat.  

AOC has also been putting out some very good monitors considering their budget origins, and have several good TN, VA, and IPS Freesync panels in 1440p and UW-1440p.  

LG's UW-QHD hat Thain mentioned is super nice, but it may be a bit pricy for you and it has features you may not care about (nearly 100% accurate color, picture in picture or side-by-side inputs, lots of other stuff).  

This Samsung UW is pretty solid, especially for that price.  
https://pcpartpicker...<br /> <br /> In a lot of cases, you can set the games to run in 16:9 to save GPU horsepower, itll just put black bars on the sides.

#10 Tetsuya

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 09:57 PM

As for space requirements on the desk, if thats an issue, you can grab a 35$ desk-edge monitor mount on Amazon that will hold ~40lbs.  

My two main monitors (PC and Mac) are mounted to the wall with 20$ TV mounts from Menards, and the aforementioned monitor arm mount holds the right-hand Mac display to the Ikea Kallax unit behind it (cant see it there in the dark).  No monitor wiggle, ever, from bumping the desk.

Better view:

https://photos.app.g...FbnSjUp9gRWmeSA

#11 ozzy

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 06:28 AM

I agree that a Vega56 isn't going to push more than 1440p (and with some newer games that will be a stretch). There is very little on the AMD side right now that will. The good news, is that the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth becomes less and less of a bottleneck at higher resolution, where it is more the graphics card that is challenged rather than the CPU and bandwidth of getting data to the graphics card. So you will see a much bigger spread (usually 20-25%) between internal graphics card and eGPU with the same card at lower resolutions, and a might tighter range (5-10% difference maybe) at higher resolutions.

If you want any more proof of that or to check out what a Vega 56 can do on Mac in an eGPU at 1080p and 1440p check out these benchmarks I posted about a year ago: https://egpu.io/foru...tabase-results/

I also posted them on IMG I thought but I can't find them. My 2012 Thunderbolt 1 Mac can almost keep up with the 2018 Thunderbolt 3 Mac in many games with the same eGPU.

#12 Cougar

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 08:55 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 25 June 2020 - 09:50 PM, said:



Because at that size, even QHD (1440p) the pixel density is so high you cant see the pixels sitting at anything resembling an appropriate distance.  

The gain in fidelity sub-30" going from QHD to UHD isn't visible enough to warrant the extra GPU muscle required to push that many pixels.


I respectfully disagree. There is certainly a difference to me at a normal desk viewing distance. And Apple seems to agree: there’s a reason their 24” is 4K, and their 27” is 5K. Those sizes also let you do pixel-perfect pixel doubling without awkward scaling. If you want true “retina” resolution, there’s no comparison.

I concede that for gaming it doesn’t make sense unless buying a really expensive video card is something you want to do. (Unless you want to use integer scaling to play games at 1080p without blur, which is unfortunately not supported on macOS.) But for staring at text all day, I wouldn’t have anything else.

#13 Matt Diamond

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 10:12 AM

Great stuff. I am going to reread all the replies more slowly this weekend, look at some of the models mentioned. Some quick reactions:

For gaming, I agree that 4k has no value to me.
I do have some flexibility to how close I sit to the monitor, thanks to a sliding keyboard shelf. So in theory I could sit close to a 4k monitor to read a lot of small text, and then move back (and lower the resolution) for gaming. I could also add an arm to get a little desk space back, but the monitor isn't currently using much desk space. (The real culprit is my work laptop, which I currently perch in front of the monitor to get a 2nd screen below the main monitor.)
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#14 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 12:02 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 25 June 2020 - 09:50 PM, said:

I'd... recommend against going 4K unless you're going to go 32" or bigger - because it doesn't actually give you more usable real estate at smaller sizes - because you have to blow up the scale of whatever you're working on if you want to be able to read it.
I've been scared reading about the removal of subpixel anti-aliasing in recent macOS releases. People say that text isn't very sharp, which is scaring me towards saving up for a 4k/5k panel instead. I haven't actually used a lower resolution screen, such as a 1440p one, so I don't know how bad it is.

I've only decided I want a 21:9 30-34" screen for sure.
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#15 Tetsuya

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 03:21 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 26 June 2020 - 12:02 PM, said:

I've been scared reading about the removal of subpixel anti-aliasing in recent macOS releases. People say that text isn't very sharp, which is scaring me towards saving up for a 4k/5k panel instead. I haven't actually used a lower resolution screen, such as a 1440p one, so I don't know how bad it is.

I've only decided I want a 21:9 30-34" screen for sure.

I haven't noticed anything.  Text looks plenty crisp on both monitors plugged into the Mac, and both are 1440p - edit:  particularly in comparison to the muddy mess that is Windows text scaling on the monitor right next to it.

#16 Matt Diamond

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:01 PM

After more thought I think a curved ultrawide will be the best way to give myself more real estate for work.

Question about UW monitors in general. Let's say a game doesn't have good UW support. Does the monitor come with letterbox modes that will give me a ratio like 16:9 and prevent stretching? Or is it totally up to each game? (Granted, I could run games a window instead of full screen, possibly lowering my framerate.)
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#17 Tetsuya

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:27 PM

Most games will letterbox 16:9 with black bars on the sides.

#18 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:15 AM

You should also know that macOS doesn't appear to fully support UW screens. It has gotten a tad better with Big Sur, but we are still not there yet. They are useable though.
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#19 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:57 AM

Also know that many Unity based games will support UW, but very badly: they scale up a 16:9 image and you end missing upper and lower parts of the image (especially annoying in menus when there's an OK button you can't see and click, for instance). So I always choose 2560x1440 in this case, you end up with black bars on the side but can see the whole content.

#20 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 01:39 AM

Speaking of doing that - Is a GPU then only doing the 2560x1440 calculations, or is it doing processing based on the full 3440x1440 resolution, and thus running worse than it should?

I guess what I am asking, would my games run equally good on a native 2560x1440 monitor, as it would on a 3440x1440 UW monitor where you are gaming with black bars? Because I expect to do abou ~40% gaming, but would love an UW monitor for regular work.
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