Appropriate monitor for Cubase 13 and Mac Studio

Hi, I’m planning to run Cubase 13 on a Mac Studio.
I need a monitor that works well with Mac Studio and a Windows laptop, I’ve been told that Apple Studio Display won’t work with Windows computers, so I need a third party monitor (Dell, LG…)

Which monitors are you using with Cubase 13 and Mac Studio? The screen resolution must be correct to avoid problems with the GUI and texts displayed on screen.

Just about ANY monitor that works with your Windows laptop will work fine with your Mac Studio. I use MANY kinds of monitors here, of all sizes and resolutions, with Macs, PCs, Linux machines, no problem, except for some scaling issues, depending on the apps and plugins. But in general, of the ones I own or have tested (which are many), they ALL work fine. I’ve tested tons of screens, from ancient 19 inch monitors to 65 inch screens and everything in between, and I’ve had no problems with any machine in recent memory. I do not waste money on Apple Studio displays, though, so I haven’t tested those, I just stick with typical brands like LG, Samsung, Asus, Dell, Acer, HP, etc. One of my favorite brands is BenQ too.

My personal preference for Macs is actually dual 32 inch 4K screens, which work perfectly for me. For Windows and Linux, though, I still prefer dual 1440p screens due to occasional scaling issues with plugins. YMMV. Everyone has their preferences and different studio configurations. I have some Macs connected to 4K and some connected to 1440p, and they’re both fine. But the 4K screen is obviously much more crisp, and MacOS looks much nicer on 4K and up. But my eyes don’t mind the lower pixel density of 1440p though. Again, YMMV.

If you go with 4K, the main issue for your Windows laptop will be if you want to run dual screen with your laptop IF your laptop only has a 1080p screen, for example. I’ve had several headaches with that over the years. Again, another reason why I still stick with something like 27 inch 1440p monitors for Windows or Linux, which typically has roughly similar pixel density to 15 inch 1080p laptop screens. But if your laptop has a higher pixel density screen, it may not be an issue for you to pair it with a 4k screen. Macs behave much better in that regard.

But in general, just pick the SIZE of screen and RESOLUTION you want (taking into account potential issues you may face with density/scaling on your laptop), make sure your laptop has appropriate connectors (you may need to buy HDMI or DP adapters depending on what ports you’re using on your machines) and you’ll most likely be fine. And of course, before you buy, just double check reviews that there are no issues with Macs and Windows. The chances are very very low, but you should still check and be 100% sure. Also make sure to buy very good quality cables rated for high bandwidth if you’re running 4K+ screens, for example, more than about 6 feet, since you’ll want to make sure the cables can handle the refresh rate of at least 60Hz over the distances you need. I have found cable quality can make a difference. And lastly, make sure you buy from a place with an easy return policy in case you’re not happy.

Good luck!

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BTW, in terms of brands, don’t assume that just because you are paying more money, you are getting a monitor that will last longer. I’ve had top notch models with great “expensive” panels from higher-level HP and Dell product lines that have broken down on me over time, while old beat-up cheap, crappy Acer and Asus monitors are still doing just fine! And while one of my old Samsungs has taken a huge beating for years and is still doing great, another Samsung (more expensive) is actually having some strange issues every once in a while. It’s very weird and surprising some times. So I wouldn’t obsess over the brand too much other than just checking the basic overall reviews from Amazon, since even the “best” ones can go bad. Just get the one with the features you want, and as long as it has good reviews on Amazon, you’ll probably be fine. It’s just all hit and miss over time anyway. Save some money over Apple Studio displays, and buy yourself a new microphone or take a vacation.

I have this one as central monitor:
LG 32UN500-W Monitor 32

And 2 of these on the side:
SAMSUNG UE57 Series 28-Inch 4K UHD

All of them are 4k and set to 1920x1080.

Just as a side note, I’d say 90/95% of plugins among all developer are 4k, while some will look blurry on this configuration.

Hope this helps.

Thank you both.

And why do you set them to FullHD being 4K monitors?. Do you mean they look blurry with the FullHD configuration?

My actual monitor with a Windows PC is a HP 1080p.

I set them at that resolution because everything looks like a normal size, in 4k everything looks soo tiny.

In FullHD everything looks sharp and crystal clear, but not all plugin developers have ported their products to 4k, so those specific ones will look blurry. Definitely a minority of software nowadays on Mac (off the top of my head soundtoys, Mcdsp, acustica audio, but there are others).

Ok, so really there’s no benefit in buying a 4K monitor if it´s needed to set it to FullHD to see everything correctly.

I’m not an expert, but even with the same scaled resolution, a 4k set to a fullHD has a sharper image.

Buying a 4K these days seems the norm.

At this link there is a very good technical explanation of pixel density.

It’s a long read, but in the summary it states “super high pixel density displays basically require magnification with scaling for use, so high resolution (high pixel count) does not equal a large work space”.

My 2c is that the sweet spot for Cubase is QHD (2560x1440), no scaling, in a 27" format, or larger if you’re going to be able place them further away.

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depends on your sight and room dimensions but get a big 4k monitor, you wont regret it,

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I don´t agree, in my 4k monitor I see more han 30 tracks on screen in project view or more than 40 in the mixer, so cool,

A pair of 27" is even better!

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I have a 42-inch 4K LG monitor at 80 cm. Works well if you’r eyesight is more or less OK.

I think 43" or so is about where 4K starts to be ‘ok’. I started off with a 28" Samsung 4K (painful to look at) scaled to 2K, but on an Intel Mac mini, that scaling killed the CPU in my audio apps hah. Spent $500 ish on an eGPU and watched my CPU meter in Cubase, Logic and Live drop like 20% to almost nothing. When I got my M2 Pro Mini last year it wasn’t as bad (I couldn’t use the eGPU anymore) but I bought a 32" 4K thinking that would be ‘it’ and 32" is still painfully too small. Running that at 2K on the monitor stand at my desk made me move my head around way too much on the desktop so I ended up getting a pair of 27" 2Ks and it’s been great. I wish I had more room I’d just buy a 55" or 65" display from work and use that but where my desk is, I’m too close to the wall already to make that work.

My actual PC monitor is a HP 27’’ FullHD.
I’ll try to start with this one and decide later on if I need to change it…

There is soooo much more than just the endless resolution debate when choosing a monitor!

Yes, resolution is an important factor, but the size, the viewing distance, the contrast ratio, and surface reflectiveness (wrt ambient light) are all equally important.
Not to forget your personal eye-comfort distance and resolution.

A cheap glossy monitor will be hard to read whatever its resolution or distance.
A quality hi-res monitor will be more forgiving, but still will be comfortable only in a given range of distance depending on its size AND your eyesight.

Check this link for an idea of the amount of info various resolutions will get you: 16" laptop for Cubase 12 (or 13) - is 1920x1200 or 3840x2400 resolution better? - #14 by Y-D

For me the nirvana is a 32inch 4k on an ergo ajustable stand, so I can quickly vary its distance easily depending on what I do.
YMMV.