I'd like to advice to help me decide which 27" monitor I should buy for office and entertainment, please. (I bought my NUC in March, 2017 and I love it. To date, it's been connected to the family TV, which was great for entertainment but less than ideal for work, hence the change.)
After reading many monitor reviews online, I like the sound/look of the Dell U2715H; however, I have some queries:
1. Will my NUC, with integrated graphics, be able to power a WQHD 2k 1440p monitor, such as the Dell?
2. Is a 1440p overkill for my needs? (I use MS Office, research online and stream movies and catch up TV; no gaming.) Would I be better off with a 1080 monitor? What do others use? Your recommendations are appreciated.
3. If I buy the Dell (or any other monitor), which is the best way to connect it to my NUC, via a cable from the USB-C (NUC) to DP (monitor), via HDMI (NUC) to DP (monitor), or via HDMI on both? An explanation of the pros and cons of different configurations would be helpful. As the Dell only comes with a miniDP to DP cable I would need to buy a new cable, so I might as well by the best one.
Thanks in advance, I appreciate your consideration and help in solving my monitor dilemma.
Note: I'm opting for a single 27" monitor as a compromise. I'd actually prefer 2 x 24" for work, but I don't have the space for two monitors in my bedroom office. With the 27" I can still open and work on two applications simulatenously, which I can't do with a 24", and a 27" is better (bigger) for Entertainment purposes. I bought a bargain priced 32" Phillips HD monitor (BDM3201F), but I am returning it because it's too big. Colors and print resolution seem fine, but I find myself leaning right back in my chair and typing with my arms outstretched to feel comfortable in front of the screen. Also it blocks the view out my window. It's a shame because it's great for movies and was a bargain here in Oz.
I am (well, was; I am retired) a professional software developer and the larger the block of code that I can see onscreen, the easier it is to review for issues and develop new code. Likely as a result of this, when working on documentation, the more of it that I can see, the better. Thus for me, vertical pixels are the most important commodity. I spent a lot of time with one of both of my monitors rotated sideways so I had more vertical pixels. Today, I solve this issue by using a 40" 4K TV as my monitor. This is a new Samsung TV that I purchased for under $300 during the pre-Christmas sales. Yea, getting used to it is challenging; I certainly understand that tendency to lean way back, especially when playing games. Getting the TV low enough that I am not craning my neck to look at the top of the screen is the bigger issue..
As I read your query, my first response was that, yea, 27" makes perfect sense, but why 2K; why not 4K? From a cost perspective, a big cost jump happens at 2K and the jump from there to 4K isn't that big. Go for the extra vertical pixels! If the text is too small, Windows supports a scaling capability that you can use.
That said, you are not a software developer and your needs are not the same as mine. Still, think about it - and think about the fact that there are a lot of brands that you can get cheaper than you can with Dell's markup.
Hope this gives you some food for thought,
Thanks for your helpful and interesting response. Definitely food for thought. I never considered going 4k rather than 2k. Already I am worried my computer's inbuilt graphics wont be able to run a 2k monitor. I imagine, perhaps ignorantly, that 4k certainly beyond the NUC's capabilities. Also AU$600 was my limit - I suspect that 27" 4K monitors cost a lot more here in Australian. You are very lucky in the US to be able to purchase consumer electronics so cheaply. I don't intend to buy from Dell directly for the reason you state. An Ebay merchant is advertising it new for a fraction of the cost of Dells retail price, ie AU$560 vs Dell's AU$819.
It's good to know that I'll be able to use windows to upscale the print on a 2k/4k monitor if need be.
Can you suggest which is the best cable type I should buy to connect the monitor to the NUC
Dell monitors are very good. They have high quality material for frame and the LCD panels are very good. I personally own one (U2415). My advice is to buy monitor with aspect ratio 16:10 rather than more common monitors with aspect ratio 16:9. The monitors with aspect ratio 16:9 are more suitable for TV screen (this is movie format), while the ratio 16:10 is very convenient in computer work (more horizontal lines, so the screen is taller).
Regardless of what monitor you connect (even one that only requires HDMI 1.4 support), I recommend that you purchase good quality HDMI 2.0 (or, better yet, HDMI 2.0b/HDR10) cables. When HDMI 2.1 cables start appearing, I would choose them.
As you can tell, I hedge my bets towards the future wherever I can...
Hi Leon, thanks for your thoughts, which I agree with. I seriously considered buying the U2415, but measured the width and realised that trying to view and work on two docs/apps simultaneously would be very cramped. The perfect work set up for me would be 2x U2415 side by side, but I don't have the space for two. With room for only one monitor I've decided to go for a 27". I haven't come across 16:10 in a 27". Nevermind, 16:9 will be better for when I'm using the monitor to watch Netflix and catch up TV; 27" 16:9 seems like a good compromise for my space and needs.
That's interesting. I thought USB-C to DP would have been better as HDMI was designed for TVs and DP was designed for monitors. Can you explain, or send a link that explains the differences betweeen and benefits of HDMI2.0 cables versus USB-C/DP cables?
Also, I recall reading on a forum, perhaps here on INTEL or maybe on Kodi website, that INTEL had used a less than effective way of connectiing the motherboard on the NUC to the HDMI port which made it less effective.
Maybe my cable concern is a mute point in my case and I wouldn't actually notice any differences between the two, ie both cables will work equally well doing the things I'll be doing, eg MS Office and streaming Netflix.
Thanks again for your help,
Actually, you've got it backwards. Folks were complaining about the way that they connected the DP to the USB-C/Thunderbolt connector. Because only a single DP 1.4 output from the processor is connected, you can only connect one monitor if you use Thunderbolt. The MST Hub method is the only way that two monitors can be connected via the one connector. If we were talking exclusively about 4K monitors, whether your MST Hub presents two DP connectors or two HDMI connectors doesn't really matter; the two monitors are going to be limited to 4K@30Hz connections. Again, the limitation is in the overall bandwidth of the processor's (single) DP 1.4 output and not anything to do with whether you use DP or HDMI monitors. Still, even with this limitation, the BN NUC, in combination with a MST Hub, can deliver support for three monitors, a HDMI monitor supporting a 4K@60Hz connection and two DP or HDMI monitors supporting 4K@30Hz connections. Alternatively, I believe that this can be three 2K@60Hz monitors.
If you are using 2K (as opposed to 1080p) or 4K monitors, you definitely want HDMI 2.0 or better cables. Do it for two reasons, first because HDMI 1.4 cables do not have the bandwidth necessary, and second to hedge your bets for the future.
Thanks for enlightening me, that's super helpful. How does http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Selby-Premium-HDMI-Cable-v2-0-Ultra-HD-4K-1080p-High-Speed-with-Ethernet-... this http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Selby-Premium-HDMI-Cable-v2-0-Ultra-HD-4K-1080p-High-Speed-with-Ethernet-... cable look?
So, to be clear, you can't use the USB-C port on the NUC to connect one monitor and the NUC's HDMI port to connect another, right?
Looking at images of MST Hubs they appear to have a miniDP/DP plug that goes into a computer, then 3/4HDMI ports that enable connections to multiple monitors. If I buy one of these down the track I'd also need to buy a min/DP to HDMI 2.0 adaptor to connect the hub to my NUC's HDMI port as the NUC doesn't have a miniDP or DP port, right?
Btw, why do you think they connected the NUC's DP to a USB-C and not a mini DP or DP port?
I appreciate the crash course in video electronics Thanks for your patience.
No, no. You can connect a single DP or HDMI monitor to the USB-C connector (and achieve 4K@60Hz), as well as a direct-connect HDMI monitor (again achieving 4K@60Hz).
The complaint being made was that the design of the USB-C connector (and namely the inclusion of only a single DP channel) makes it impossible to have a total of three monitors that all achieve 4K@60Hz. That is, because the bandwidth of only a single DP channel is available, the best you can do is connect two 4K@30Hz monitors (plus the 4K@60Hz HDMI monitor, of course).
You want to look for a MST Hub that has a USB-C input connector and two (your choice) DP or HDMI output connectors.
Why USB-C? Two reasons. It is universal connector for USB 3.1. It is also Thunderbolt 3 port (which uses this connector anyway).
Oops, I didn't answer your original question. Cable looks ok, but you will never catch me purchasing anything through eBay.
Hi Scott, thanks again for clarifying. I received Dell U2715h monitor today and connected it using a regular, bog standard HDMI male/male cable that I borrowed from work. I wouldn't know if it's 2K@60hz, but i watched netflix show and surfed the net and it seems to be working fine. I checked the settings and can see resolution was preset to 2560x1440. Do you I should go ahead and buy an HDMI2.0 cable? Will make it work better? I wonder what better would be?
Re USB-C port on the NUC: When I bought the NUC I read a review complaining that the USB-C port on my model wasn't actually a thunderbolt port. I tried, unsuccessfully, to figure out the difference between the two at the time, and remain ignorant, so please feel free to enlighten me.
The Dell U2715h is a 2K monitor. With it, you can probably get away with using any HDMI cable that is HDMI 1.4-compliant. If you are having to purchase a cable to support this monitor and you want to hedge your bets for the future, I recommend that you purchase HDMI 2.0a-compliant cable. It's up to you...
I was able to output 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz over DisplayPort via USB Type C connector to a single display on NUC7i7BNK. I think it should be the same for NUC7i3BNK as their video output parameters seems to be the same for Display Port.
You can't go wrong with a Dell ultrasharp, very good monitors. I'm also quite happy with HPs z line.
A note about HDMI cables, they don't have version numbers. They are either standard, high or ultra high speed but that's about it. As long as you get one that is high speed, which today should be any cable, you'll be fine. And get the cheapest you can find, price doesn't matter. You can read more about it here https://www.cnet.com/news/still-more-reasons-why-all-hdmi-cable-are-the-same/# ! Still more reasons why all HDMI cable are the same - CNET