Just bought a new iMac and I’m looking for a second screen
September 17, 2017 7:54 AM   Subscribe

I just bought a new iMac with Thunderbolt C connections. I’m looking for a great second green for creative work, editing, etc. Something new in the $1000 range. Any suggestions?
posted by captainscared to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My standard for this is to recommend something in the Dell Ultrasharp line. I have (and love) the 27" version (U2715H or a 4K version: U2718Q), but for your price, you could get a 34" (U3417W) or 38" curved (U3818DW) version.

I wouldn't worry too much about getting monitors specifically with USB-C ports. Cables that connect USB-C to HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, etc. are easy to come by.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:13 AM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

You'll probably want a 4k screen for sure, so you don't feel like you're staring at two different universes between the iMac display and the second display.

The Dell screens are great. I also love this screen: Viewsonic VP2780 4K.

When you get a USB-C to HDMI cable or adapter, make very sure it supports 4K @ 60hz. A lot of adapters out there (including apple's own usb-c to hdmi multiport av adapter!) only support 4K output at 30hz. I've had a good experience with Anker's USB-C to HDMI adapter.
posted by dis_integration at 8:26 AM on September 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

2nding Dell Ultrasharp 4Ks but just as a head's up: the 38" model requires a mental adjustment as straight horizontal lines will look distorted. If you're doing a lot of precise graphics work, it will drive you batty until you adjust.

I had this monitor at work for several months before switching to an non-curved display as I could not get comfortable with it.
posted by jamaro at 12:45 PM on September 17, 2017

Response by poster: So the Dell 34inch has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 Resolution and the Mac has 5120‑by‑2880 how is that going to work together?

Also is the curve hard to adjust to if the monitor is not the center of your focus?
posted by captainscared at 12:55 PM on September 17, 2017

I used it as a solo monitor so I can't speak to how it would be if it wasn't. Another irritating nit: I like to have my dock on the right edge of the screen and am a heavy user of notifications. On a screen that size, it meant glancing at dock badges or to read notifications (for outlook, slack, skype etc) required breaking focus from my work, something that doesn't happen on a less-wide monitor. Aside from that, I found myself only really using the middle 2/3rds of the screen (based on Finder and app window placement) and when I finally gave up on it and switched to a 27", found the lost screen space was not missed at all.

The entire time I had it, I kept thinking it would be great for gaming but not so much for task work but suspect it depends on the type of task work you're into as the front end dev I traded monitors with is absolutely delighted with it because he can keep two full screens worth up side by side.
posted by jamaro at 1:19 PM on September 17, 2017

So the Dell 34inch has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 Resolution and the Mac has 5120‑by‑2880 how is that going to work together?

You've got the 5K iMac? So the 4K display won't look quite as magically sharp, although it will still be very sharp. You can alternatively splurge and get the 5K LG Ultrafine that apple sells on their own store (over your budget by about $300). macOS uses display scaling to seamlessly scale your apps (fonts, images and all) to look good on these very-high resolutions. If you set both displays to scale to the same resolution (press alt/option (⌥) when clicking on the "scaled" option in Display Preferences to see the resolutions) then when you move an app between the 4k and 5k display you will hardly notice the difference.
posted by dis_integration at 1:43 PM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just get an LG27UD58 ($350) and a mount ($150). Don't bother with USB-C.
posted by wolfr at 2:20 PM on September 17, 2017

I'm not sure I would want an ultrawide monitor (like that Dell 34") as my second screen, I feel like I would waste the real estate... Too wide to easily glance anywhere on the screen when it's secondary, but ymmv. (I have one as my primary with a 24" as my secondary - note: they're about the same height)
posted by czytm at 11:53 PM on September 17, 2017

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