4k/5k monitor vs multi monitor

For those who have transitioned from multiple monitors to single, large 4k or 5k monitors, what are your experiences like?

I’ve been running dual 27" monitors for years, and 2+ smaller monitors long before that. But toying with the idea of a single 4k monitor (perhaps 43"?), and then setting up various Better Touch Tool shortcuts to swap around window sizes and placements. I don’t mean a 27" 5k using HiDPI; I mean having 3860x2160 or more as the effective resolution size. At 27", I don’t think my eyes could handle that as a native resolution.

What do you like / dislike about a large monitor vs multi monitor setup? Any particular software utilities you like to use with it? (I use Better Touch Tool and SwitchResX now.)

Please move this to off-topic

I used to run 3 1900x1200 24" monitors a few years ago and I’ve now transitioned to a 32" 4k and a 32" 2k which I run at 100% scaling. I tend to mainly run on the 4k and only occasionally slide a window onto the 2k as I find it too far to the side to comfortably turn my head due to the sizes of the screens so I mainly keep my IP based cctv on there. I used to use the side monitors more on the smaller screens and as I can get more on the 4k screens I tend to keep windows there. If I were to use scaling then I might use the side monitor more as the effective real estate would be less. As for apps, I just use Sizer and windows shortcuts to move/snap windows.

I could not find something by this name. Some similar names were for image file resizing. And there is a SizeUp but can you confirm what you use? I currently use shortcuts in Better Touch Tool to move windows between monitors, resize to various locations on a monitor, etc. It works well; but if there is another good utility I’m aways game to try something else too.

http://www.brianapps.net/sizer4/ windows only though

That explains it. Who uses Windows anymore? :slight_smile:

A while back I switched from two displays to a single 28" 4K display. I run it at 2x (or 1.5x) to get larger and sharper text. The main benefit for me was reduced neck pain since I no longer was moving my head left/right all the time to look at different displays. For when I really needed a 2nd display I was using AirDisplay to my MacBook Air, but I have not used that in a while and I believe it no longer works with the latest versions of macOS High Sierra.

Before this I had tried using an Apple 30" Cinema Display but I found it was just a bit too big and it also gave me neck pain.

I am using 2x regular (non-4k/non-5k) monitors at work
I am using 2x regular (non-4k/non-5k) monitors on my gaming rig.
but 95% of the time, I am using the single screen on the MBP as I am traveling/mobile.

I run one 4k 27" monitor at 175% scale, and a second regular 27" monitor at 100% scale. It really reveals which apps don’t handle multiple scales and hdpi correctly. In fact it’s about 50-50.

Multi-monitor for me is the fastest way to get headaches. So I use multi-monitor very very rarely.

On macOS I run two Dell UP2414Q 24-inch displays, one at 1080p(100% scale) and one at 4K(200%) on a Radeon RX 580 via DisplayPort.
On Windows I run two Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch displays, one at 1080p(100-175% depending on testing) and one at 4K(200%) on a Radeon 970m via Mini DisplayPort and HDMI.

This allows me to easily test HiDPI in both operating systems.

I have tried, in the past, running a single display and could never get the feel. I’ve tried with a 32", a 48" and a 55". None felt right to me.

I’m still running a 2012 retina MacBook pro and a 27" Apple Thunderbolt monitor.

I’ve decided to upgrade soonish (maybe if/when apple releases new monitors?)

I think my ideal situation would be 2 x 27" monitors at retina resolution (5k) powered by a MacBook (pro?) in clamshell mode.

Are there any MacBook (pro?) which can do this?

[quote=402620:@Michael Diehr]I think my ideal situation would be 2 x 27" monitors at retina resolution (5k) powered by a MacBook (pro?) in clamshell mode.

Are there any MacBook (pro?) which can do this?[/quote]

I think the 2018 MBP’s can do dual external 4k or single external 5k, but not dual external 5k. AFAIK.

Apple’s website says that the 2018 MBPs can drive two 5K displays.


Look for the Thinderbolt 3 section.

Oops, yes, the 15" can. It is the 13" models that can only drive one external 5k (but two external 4k).

I stand corrected. I’ve paid closer attention to the 13" specs and didn’t notice this difference previously.

Apparently this also applies to the 2017 models.

It should be noted that this requires the upgraded video Card, the Radeon 560.

@Paul Lefebvre - I would advice hiring a massage lady to fight neck pain. :slight_smile:

HI, using a 3840X2160 monitor for the IDE. I always have to position it the IDE manually, scalling set to 125%
I’m using a surface pro, with a dell D6000 doc station with additional two monitors. One in portrait for XOJO forum use. Surface screen for emails.
I have learnt to save my work every 15mins as the IDE crashes but I believe the SURFACE Pro is running out of memory, so XOJO IDE is not at fault.
The IDE just doesnt like going full screen for the 4K monitor automatically.

I tried switching to a single 32" 4K monitor, but just couldn’t get comfortable without having a second isolated monitor that can contain full screened apps. Some monitors, like LG monitors, do have built-in software that can do window management that can make them work as if it were multiple displays.

I ended up going back to two 25" 4K monitors that I mostly run scaled to 1440p size, and I have been very happy making the change back.

For developing software I find a 27" iMac with 5k Retina display plus a 72-90 dpi low res display is the best functional set up because it allows me to test high and low res graphics just by moving the target window to the second display.