Quite a few excellent alternatives to Apple’s pricey Pro Display XDR and Studio Display exist for those in need a good external monitor to go with their Mac. Today’s featured Mac mini setup brings up another one — the 34-inch Samsung Odyssey G8 series curved gaming display.
If you like curves and especially if you like gaming, read on the see if the display might be a good choice for you.
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Mac mini setup adds 34-inch Samsung Odyssey G8 series display
Redditor joe13r showcased the monitor-rich setup in a post entitled, “My new monitor.” He uses an M1 Mac mini with 16GB of integrated memory to drive his prized new external display.
The slim new screen drew plenty of questions from curious commenters who may be looking for a great alternative to Apple’s $1,600 Studio Display or $5,000 Pro Display XDR. You can see the questions and answers below. And by the way, as of Friday, the G8 below was 35% off at Amazon.
“I just got the [Samsung] Odyssey OLED G8 for my Mac mini and it might be the best looking display next to Apple’s own offerings,” Joe said at the top of his post. “IT’S SO THIN.”
The first question or comment was not about the monitor itself, surprisingly.
“Omg what is that adorable clock you have below the monitor?” asked a commenter.
“It’s a LaMetric Time [Wi-Fi Clock],” Joe replied. “Bit too expensive for what it is.”
And that led someone else to recommend the Ulanzi TC001. “It‘s a lot cheaper than the LaMetric,” they said.
Quirks of the new 34-inch Samsung Odyssey G8 curved gaming display
Joe noted some “some quirks” he found in his new monitor:
175Hz only works with the DP and HDMI ports not USB-C (still runs at a respectable 120Hz).
175Hz only works in game mode (which reduces the brightness of the display).
Game mode turns on by default as far as I can tell. Which can get annoying if you want to use full brightness.
Tizen OS is surprisingly smooth on this but streaming services don’t use the full ultrawide very well.
So a possible factor in Mac users’ choice of external display concerns refresh rate. The G8 features a 175Hz refresh rate. But 60Hz is typically considered the most Mac-friendly refresh rate, while M1 and M2 Macs with ProMotion displays are good to 120Hz, which is working for Joe.
Redditors ask relevant questions that may help you choose
With good alternatives Apple displays already out there, like 5K2K displays by the likes of LG and Dell, is the Samsung a good choice? Maybe especially for gamers? Commenters asked good questions, below, that may help you if you’re curious about Samsung’s monitor.
Q: How is the text rendering? Are you seeing any fringing?
A: It’s not bad but not the best. My 4K monitor looked better even with text scaling but that probably down to it being double the PPI. Fringing isn’t bad if you sit far enough back. It really only occurs with hard edges. So for instance all of windows 10. macOS seems to not have too much issue but I’m new to this.
Q: Does the blurriness of text bother you? macOS doesn’t work well with 3440×1440. I am currently using an ultra wide with the exact resolution and every time I plug in my MacBook it bothers it. No such issues using the same monitor with my PC gaming rig.
A: It’s not so much that it’s blurry but more that you can see every pixel in the characters. If the text is big enough and you’re far enough away it’s fine.
Q: How’s the scaling? You running it at 4k I assume, just curious how annoying it hit a problem the smaller text and icons are?
A: It’s only 3440 x 1440 and the pixels are visible, but it’s running at native scaling and fringing really isn’t an issue for me (MacOS Sonoma beta).
Q: Mac noob here. How do I get my widgets onto my desktop? I googled it and for some reason it does not work. I am on the latest version of MacOS.
OP There might not be an official guide on the Apple website as macOS Sonoma is still in Beta. Honestly I forgot how I got them there but I believe there’s something in settings that lets you drag them onto the screen. And they can be lined up symmetrically or wherever you want them. [The commenter, still on macOS Ventura, then realized Joe had widgets because he’s a beta tester.]
Q: Is the Odessey OLED G8 screen is matte or glossy?
A: Glossy and I love it!
Q: Wait. What size is this? It looks huge but when I search online it says 32 [inches]? It looks bigger than that. Can you share a link?
A: It’s 34 [inches]. You might be looking at the Odyssey G8 or Neo G8 which are both 32-inch LCD monitors. That’s down to Samsung’s poor naming scheme.
Q: Can you do Picture in Picture with this monitor? I currently have two dual monitors and I’d love to have one ultra wide but I want to keep it as two separate entities so I can use it as two different work spaces.
A: As far as I know it doesn’t, but input switching with the remote isn’t half bad as whatever they’re running TizenOS with keeps the interface smooth.
Q: Aluminum or plastic?
A: The back is silver painted metal and could very well be aluminum but not sure. Feels really premium.
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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches, challenges and plans for new additions.
This QD-OLED ultra-wide WQHD curved gaming monitor features a 175Hz refresh rate, 0.03ms response time, DisplayHDR True Black 400 and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro technology and more (LS34BG850SNXZA, 2023).