external monitor with 2019 mbp 2560 or 3840 res?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
mattspace Regular Member • Posts: 487
Re: external monitor with 2019 mbp 2560 or 3840 res?

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

can't decide between eizo CS 2731 and CS 2740...

am currently using 2008 Lacie 320 and the screen, after days of trying various connections and troubleshooting, and scrolling through endless pages of forum commentary, is much blurrier than it was with my old 2012 macbook pro.

Viewing photos is fine, it's mainly the text fonts when web browsing or using menus that seems horrendous. The problem is compounded by how sharp the laptops retina screen is and comparing everything to that. Has anyone recently hooked up a 2731 to a 2019 mbp and could comment on the sharpness compared to native laptop retina screen of 3072 x 1920?

Your laptop's screen defaults to a 1440x900 screen scale, with a 2x scaling factor - that's the sharpest possible (readable) display option for that screen - everything is at its pixel-perfect correct scale, there's just 4 physical pixels being used to render each virtual one, which means that any curve or diagonal has finder-grained stepping, but horizontals and verticals still snap to solid or empty full pixels.

The CS 2731 is a 2560x1440 display with a 1x scaling factor - all your verticals and horizontals will be perfectly crisp, but your diagonals and curves will have more visible stepping. Net result is UI elements and text can look a little blurrier, due to the anti-aliasing used to blur any diagonal line, to make things less jaggy.

The CS 2740 is a 3840x2160 (4k) display. At 1x scaling factor, everything in the UI will be smaller on screen, than they physically are on the Macbook - small enough that you might have trouble reading labels on palette tabs etc. Your verticals and horizontals will all be sharp, and the pixels are probably small enough that you won't notice the stepping or anti-aliasing blur on diagonals.

You can set the CS 2740 to be a 2x scaling factor, which will mean your horizontals & verticals will be nice & sharp, your curves will be smooth without apparent stepping, BUT the UI will be physically large, as it's effectively a 1920x1080 2x screen.

The midpoint is to set the CS 2740 as a 1.5x scaling factor, scaling to look like 2560x1440 display. That will give your UI elements the same physical size as the CS 2731. BUT, because there's no longer a perfect scale from one pixel to 4 pixels, this results in horizontals and verticals that can appear to jiggle as they move, and look blurry when still as they get partially antialiased - a 1 pixel wide black line in the UI at 1x scaling, becomes a 1.5 pixel line, so appears as a line of black, next to a line of 50% grey.

Don't forget, driving the 4k display is going to be more work on your laptop's elderly graphics card, and you photography software is probably going to have to generate larger previews, which will eat up your storage. There's a fair population of people who are making the argument now that 2560x1440 1x displays have advantages for photography-specific workflows, especially in the 27" size, where 1920x1080 2x looks too chunky, but 3840x2160 1x looks too small.

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