USB C vs HDMI Performance for new monitor

I’m noodling over issues relating to which newer matte monitor to replace my aging 20 inch Apple Cinema Display and to pair with my new Mac mini.

Pros and Cons of…
24 inch vs 27 inch?
USB C equipped monitor vs HDMI?

What other factors should I consider?

I’m leaning towards more screen real estate - than my 20 inch - and a 24 inch. I am hearing that future proofing is important, so looking to include USB C. However, my research has not surfaced a 24 inch USB C equipped monitor. I’m curious why that is.

And I’m wondering how performance compares between USB C and HDMI.

On top of regular mail/safari/OmniFocus usage, I build with Wordpress and use conference calling applications daily. I’m hoping to get 10+ years out of new monitor purchase.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and getting advice.

I don’t know if this is the kind of screen you want, but for a couple years I have used the Dell UltraSharp 4ks and run from its MiniDisplayPort to USB-C on the MBP or the iPad Pro. It’s been reliable and performant.

Currently using this LG with my iMac Pro via a usb-c to DisplayPort adapter (links below). HDMI is limited to 30Hz refresh rate, so I use the DisplayPort on the monitor for full 60 Hz refresh rate.

A consideration for me was whether the monitor can be used for more than one device. I was using a Dell 24" touch monitor with VGA and HDMI, so I could have my work PC and iMac both plugged in and switch between them. I now have a new LG ultrawide which has among others, Thunderbolt and HDMI. Again I can keep a Mac and PC plugged in simultaneously and switch between them.
I did not consider the Apple / LG 5K display because it has a single input. Also moved from an iMac because it takes up a lot of space and Apple somehow disabled the box that allowed a PC to be plugged in and use it as a display. If I’m going to have something taking up space on my desk it has to be maximally useful.

I have been searching for an Ultrawide monitor that have USB-C and boy, it’s not easy to find. I want USB-C so that I could connect to my MacBook Pro directly and charges the MBP. I also want HDMI for my gaming PC. I finally found it in a LG 38” Ultrawide. I don’t fancy such a wide screen (38”) and much rather go for 34”, but the USB-C requirement limits my choices.

I wouldn’t think there’s any performance decrease from USB-C compared to HDMI. USB-C display use Thunderbolt 3 and that’s really powered by the DisplayPort. So, if I’m using my USB-C, I can’t use DisplayPort concurrently. But I could use both USB-C and HDMI together.

I’ve put my reviews in my blog, if you don’t mind some self promotion

While I would never replace the iMac because it’s such a great machine. Apple removing targeted display mode did ruin my workflow as that’s what I used for connecting my work MacBook Pro.

It’s why I am also in the market for a 27in 4K monitor that I can connect to both my iMac, work MacBook Pro, and my wife’s pc laptop from work.

Thank you. Am I understanding correctly that those monitors have a mini display port on them? Would you be willing to send me the model numbers?

Thank you John. I’ve appreciated previous comments you’ve made in other thread’s and found these comments/references once again insightful.

Would you be willing to identify the type of 24 inch monitors you used to have?

Could you also in straightforward language explain refresh rate?

Sounds like it’s within my reach and probably beneficial for me to aim for that feature. I’m just not sure quite yet which monitor to choose to get that feature.

Do you per chance have a recommendation for a 24 inch Matte monitor which I can use with my 2018 Mac Mini and which does have a input Which would provide this 60hz refresh’s rate?

Hoping to keep purchase below $500


Glad to have helped!

Note that this monitor doesn’t have a VESA mount, if that’s a factor. You can work around it, but it’s more expensive in total than buying a VESA monitor.

Refresh rate is the number of times per second that the screen is repainted. Think about flip books, if the pages flip by fast enough, the images look continuous. If this rate is fast enough, we (humans) aren’t aware of the flicker. This can vary from person to person. Some people are bothered by 30Hz, or even the flicker of fluorescent lights. I prefer 60Hz.

As far as I know, HDMI only supports 30Hz, so I opt to use the DisplayPort and a usb-c to displayport adapter, as outlined in the post I linked above.

With a max budget of $500, I would go for a 4K display. I find the higher number of dots to be less fatiguing for my eyes, displaying smoother text and images. It also gives you flexibility in changing the scaling, so you can opt for more space or a larger text.

This thread and others here on the forum may be helpful.

The newer HDMI standard supports more than 30Hz. Mine runs at 75Hz currently.

This is what I’m using:

But I apologize; I am actually using one of the DisplayPorts, not the mini. Here’s a photo of my connection. The other end is USB-C.