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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Connection Options for the LG 43UD79-B

Over the last 6 months, I still have not found a monitor as good as the LG 43UD79-B.  It's huge and does not require font scaling at 4K, and performs well for writing, photography, and video editing. I feel like I'm going blind every time I have to use anything smaller.

The monitor, however, comes with 4 HDMI ports and only 1 display port as well as a single USB C port. 2 of the HDMI ports are special, allowing for 4K60fps. While the display port is reliable and has always worked, as soon as I acquired the XPS 13, I wanted to be able to connect it with the monitor. This demonstrated that several of the cabling standards are anything but standard or reliable, so I'm documenting everything I tried.

The first thing I tried was a Keychron 10 in 1 USB Hub adapter.  This one was very appealing, because it was cheap (about $40 if you find a coupon), had 4K output, charge the laptop, as well as providing 3 USB hubs and an ethernet jack as well as a VGA port. (nowadays, monitors don't even come with a VGA port, but you might have a legacy monitor sitting around) The problem? No 4K60fps. 4K30fps max. Back it went to Amazon.

Then I tried the Cable Matters USB C with DHMI, DisplayPort, VGA, and Ethernet adapter.  No HDMI 4K60fps either, even though the very same adapter's Display Port would give you 4K60fps. But the DP port was already spoken for by the desktop machine, and seriously, if I was going to do that, why not get the Amazon Basics adapter, which is way cheaper?

Finally, the uni USB C to HDMI 4K60fps cable worked. I went for the short 3 foot cable, and this one was reliable, and gave me 60fps. At $19, it's not the cheapest cable in the world, but as I've already discovered not all HDMI cables are made equal, so if you need one of these, this is the one to get.

I'd tried several USB-C cables that claim to be alt-mode compatible. This has great appeal, since the cable has the potential to provide USB, display output, as well as charge the laptop, simplifying your setup to only one cable. To my surprise after the previous years of trying one cable after another and failing, the cheap ($12) Nekteck USB C 3.1 Gen 2 cable worked, delivering me 60fps.  To my disappointment, the XPS 13 wouldn't charge from the monitor, as the monitor only delivered 7 watts of power!

So there you go, I've got 2 cables that'll work with 4K60fps, and 2 that wouldn't! Compared to last year, the situation is definitely improving!


DWallach said...

Possibly relevant new contender for a great 43" monitor: the Phillips Momentum 43" Gaming Monitor

Notably, claims to support several of the HDR gamuts, and puts out twice as much light as many earlier-generation 4K desktop computer monitors.

Piaw Na said...

Looks nice, but much more expensive than the LG. Does it charge laptops with the USB C port?