Anthony and I have been thinking about getting new monitors for our new WFH reality. While we have 2x 4K monitors (a 24" Dell and a 21" LG Ultrafine) in a shipping container on the way to Lisbon, we have both independently concluded that we wanted ultra wide 21:9 aspect ratio monitors. This has led into several weeks of research into what’s available out there and the rabbit-hole of specs and stats. Buying a computer monitor isn’t so straightforward anymore. There are many more brands out there (though most of them use the same panels from either Samsung or LG) and different product lines optimised for gaming, colour accuracy, or basic office work. Good luck in finding a monitor that can do more than one thing well!

Then there’s the absolute mess of connectivity standards. That’s something we’re still trying to wrap our heads around. Apparently not all monitors can do all resolutions, refresh rates, colour bit rates on all their supported ports. It all depends on your computer (or GPU) and cable, be it HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, USB-C and various versions thereof.

IMG 1550

Last night I found this post on Startech’s blog (they sell cables, adapters and docks) on various display technologies, which is a few years old now but it still helps clear some of the confusion on the connectivity types, and more specific detail on Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode. USB-C has really muddied the waters as to what signal it’s actually carrying and what works and what doesn’t when you plug things in.

We both use Macs but I’d also like to plug in the new monitor to my PC for a bit of occasional gaming, so we want to make sure the monitors (and cables) we buy will work properly.