Any Displayport 1.3/1.4 monitors?


Tim Watts

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I am a linux user (mostly) but am going to get a Macbook Pro for shared family use (music, animation (kids) and Lightroom/Photoshop photo workflow for me).

We have other devices Windows laptop, chromebooks, my linux laptop - so I want to get an extra really good colour accurate monitor as my main and move my existing Dell U2412M to a secondary screen (possibly 4k primary screen or something near)

Normally I'd go to Dell as my first port of call as their panels are good and exhibit excellent reliability.

Given the mix of devices and the existing Dell monitor, it makes sense to go for DisplayPort (plus HDMI) as the main interface rather than TB3/USB-C

*However* I would like to be able to chain the monitors using DP/MST which MacOSX can do. However, I believe I am gojng to need DP v1.3 or 1.4 for the head end monitor plus DP out to chain onto my existing Dell.

I'd rather do this than have a TB3 dock (but that remains an option).

I'm having trouble finding a decent DP1.3/1.4 monitor with MST support - I think most of the Dells are DP1.2 still.

Any suggestions?

Or failing that - any suggestions for a solid primarily video TB3 dock? I don't really need ethernet and millions of USB ports and audio like the Caldigits - just honest simple solid dual display (2 x DP or HDMI).


Cheers,

Tim
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

-Which exact model MacBook Pro?
-Which version of OS X/macOS?
-Will you also use the new display with the other devices - PC/Chromebook/etc.?

We'll see if we can figure this out.

C
 

Tim Watts

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Hi Cory,

I very much appreciate your reply :)

OK - Not bought anything yet, except for the existing Dell monitor. Here are my thoughts based on research, but do feel free to correct any bad ideas :)

Macbook

Think it'll have to be the 15" as I think we really need the external GPU[1] to drive the extra monitors well.
16GB RAM
512GB SSD (will be issuing fast external SSD devices to everyone for personal storage - seems to be the most organic way to handle storage which can grow out of control so easily. I also have an NFS server available.
Radeon Pro 560/4GB vRAM - unless the 2GB 555 is OK???

[1] I am open to a really external GPU, but only if it's small - not the monster 2 card width 500W gamer's paradise style. I don't even know if small external GPUs are a thing...

MacOSX version - latest (it's a new acquisition)

Display rig *must* be generic and usable by other DP+HDMI devices (I will allow the new monitor to be missing HDMI as I have HDMI on the old one and my kids' Chromebooks will only drive one monitor anyway).

I'm not super set on resolution, but "in the general direction of 4k" with excellent colour (I have access to a Spyder to calibrate) and high (dynamic) contrast is what I'm after. It will be where I look at my photos. The secondary screen will hold the grid thumbs and toolboxes for Lightroom.

Cost Prosumer bracket (around £600/$600 ish)

Size 24-27"

I suggested DP 1.3/1.4 as I know at 4k, you need 1.3 to be able to drive 2x4k at 60Hz each. My current monitor is 1/4 of that pixelwise, but DP1.2 only has enough bandwidth to do a single 4k display.

But I'm reasonably sure DP1.2 on the monitor-monitor link will be fine.


In an ideal world I'l just jack in with one TB3-DP cable into a daisy chain - but other options including external GPUs and docks are OK, it's just I'd like to avoid peripheral clutter if possible.


Cheers,

Tim
 

Tim Watts

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Hi - Thanks again for your kind reply.

I considered the Dell and that is a very nice monitor (colleague has one at work, I have a different model of Dell) - but it's only DP v1.2 so will not support 4k@60Hz x two monitors. Looking at the Mac display link you supplied which is very interesting, it's unclear whether you can drive 4k at 30Hz (60Hz seems to be mentioned a lot).

For photo work, I agree - refresh rate is irrelevant. But it might show up if watching a film? Not sure how animation work would fair - I expect the "cartoon animation" my kid is interested in would have a pretty low frame rate. He's not going to be attempting 4k CGI any time soon :)

I'm coming to the conclusion, that given a lack of monitors claiming to have DP1.3/1.4 and there being about one monitor that has TB3 + other ports (I forget which, it's a big 34" curved thing IIRC) - it might be better to consider the video dock as a fall back.

In other words, choose the monitor on it's own merits, see if it works with daisy chained DP and if not, accept buying a dock.

I am correct that you cannot simply stick 2 TB3-displayport cables into a MacBook Pro, like you can with the iMac Pro?

Cheers,

Tim
 
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Cory Cooper

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It is my understanding that the higher refresh rate comes into play with live sports and gaming. I think most movies would be fine at 30 Hz, although there may be slight motion blur in heavy action scenes.

The current MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) has 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, and can support: Up to two displays with 5120 by 2880 pixels at 60 Hz or up to four displays with 4096 by 2304 pixels at 60 Hz. You can use 2 adapters, one for each display. That would leave you with two "open" ports for other peripherals, and you don't have to deal with the daisy-chaining issue. You would just have to find a display that supports the 60 Hz refresh rate on Mini DisplayPort and/or HDMI.

Here's another great article that addresses this situation: How to: Run External Displays with your USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 MacBook.

Hope that helps...I am learning too!

C
 
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Tim Watts

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You can use 2 adapters, one for each display.
Ah - that's what I couldn't work out from the tech specs - whether one of the ports was "special and reserved for display purposes". For some reason I *thought* only one port could be used for display driving.

You know, the bloke in the central London Apple store did not point this out - I was in on Friday trying to get to the bottom of this problem and see what the options were - so thanks again for sharing your expertise :)

So can any/all 4 of the ports be used for displays (subject to the max resolution/refresh rates quoted)?

That solves the problem completely - I'm good with 2 adaptor cables - so DP 1.2 will be fine. Excellent - I'll go and choose a monitor on its merits and the Dell is my likely choice.
 

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