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Using the Philips 499P9H with a 13" Macbook Pro and a Blackmagic eGPU pro


Yves Sandfort

Yves Sandfort

Today a non VMware topic... My workplace needed some more screen estate and while colleagues go for multiple screens I personally prefer the one screen solution, which naturally pushed towards one of the new 49" SuperWide screens which you can find from Philips like the 499P9H which I use, or Dell U4919DW has one as well. Be careful that you check the screen resolution, there are models on 49" which are 3840x1080, which would be too low for me, only some have 5120 x 1440 pixel LCDs.While 5120 x 1440 is not a native 5K resolution it is considered by the Apple Macbook a 5K screen, which means it's going to put some heavy load on the internal GPU which especially if you have the 13" apple macbook can be a burden. So as my good friend Matthias Eisner made very good experience with the BlackMagic eGPU I was to settle for the BlackMagic eGPU pro which also supports 5K over display port or thunderbolt (No the vendor does not mention 5K over USB-C which is another different story (wink) ).

So finally screen and eGPU pro made it to my desk, and as a many year apple user I was expecting a more or less: Connect and Ready to go experience. I got totally wrong here, it took me several hours on the Apple support which in this case proofed to be complete waste of time. As they blamed it first on the eGPU and then on the Display, then on cables etc. So I stoped that approach and went to Philips, while they couldn't help me directly (telling me however problem is known), they at least pointed me to a tool called SwitchResX which can solve the issue. Once installed I was able to just switch to the screen resolution and off we go...

So now I can use the eGPU to power the Philips 499P9H as well as the 65" SmartBoard I have in my office while reducing the load on my 2016 model 13 Inch Macbook Pro which makes it actually quite fast again due to the CPU constraint of the small GPU. I can easily use both screens with good speed, which was nearly impossible without an eGPU. As I will travel next week there is not enough time to clean up all the cabling, that has to wait until I get back, but so far I am actually quite happy with the new setup. No I just need my Moom settings adjust to the new screen estate and I am happy again aligning windows...

And in relation to the Smartboard it still looks small. But just to put it in comparison in front of the screen is my iPad and the table is 1.80m in width...