Recently I was trying to connect my Macbook Pro M1 laptop to an external monitor via a USB-C hub and connecting a HDMI cable to it. What I did notice was that when i did that, I could only select a refresh rate of only 50Hz. I checked to make sure that the connection was stable and tried other HDMI cables.
After a quick search around the internet, I found that in order for Macs to be able to use a 144Hz refresh rate on the monitor, one would need a monitor that had USB-C support or for the Mac to connect to the monitor using a DisplayPort 1.4 cable.
As the Macbook Pro M1 only had two USB-C ports, that meant that I would need to use one port dedicated for the monitor. Now, finding for a USB-C to DisplayPort 1.4 locally here in Malaysia wasn’t very easy and when I turned to the usual online stores such as Shopee, all sellers were from overseas which meant it would take time.
Thankfully a mate had one in had so after a quick drive to his place, I borrowed his cable and voila, I was able to connect the Macbook Pro to my Xiaomi 34″ ultrawide monitor and use it at the 144Hz it was designed for. Now many have asked me what games would I be playing on it but I went through all of this just to know that Macs could achieve 144Hz on external monitors and I mainly use the monitor for work.
I guess that once you are already used to a high refresh rate monitor, I would try my best to achieve that performance. If you are interested in getting the same cable, you can click on this link here or you can find any USB-C to DisplayPort 1.4 and make sure in the specs that it can support 4K@60Hz. This would enable you to achieve a 2K@144Hz with your Mac M1. If you have a Mac Mini, you are in luck. You can just connect a HDMI 2.0 cable directly from your Mac Mini to your external monitor and achieve 144Hz already.
What about the Xiaomi 34″ Monitor?
So what does one do with a 34″ ultrawide monitor that sports 144Hz refresh rate and have AMD’s Freesync technology on it? Probably not for gaming but I am totally enjoying using it for work. I love having two windows open side by side especially when I need to reference stuff for work as well as refer to certain key documents when in a conference call.
The monitor sports a 3440×1440 resolution, which they deem it as WQHD and it is curved which makes it easier to view everything since it is so wide. It has a 21:9 aspect ration which to me doesn’t really matter except when I watch movies on it and suddenly I get to enjoy the screen a lot more.
The monitor is bright, like really bright so it works well in a brightly lit room. I truly enjoy using it for work and with my laptop closed most of the time, the only downside is that I needed an external camera for video conference calls.
Currently at home, I have two machines connected to the Xiaomi 34″ monitor. During office hours, the monitor is primarily connected to the Macbook Pro M1. This is where I will have multiple windows up and about, from my Reminders app, Notes App, Chrome browsers (for mail, calendar, drive and others) as well as other office productivity software. Having the extra screen real estate makes it worth the purchase.
When it is outside of office hours, the monitor is connected to my home server which is an old Intel Core i7 2nd generation. This server of mine is primarily used as my Plex media server to serve certain TV series and movies to me and family members. Usually I wouldn’t really touch it but thanks to the addition of this monitor, I now use it as well for normal internet browsing and browsing media on my Plex client.
The Xiaomi 34″ monitor has two HDMI ports as well as two DisplayPorts. Currently I am using both DisplayPorts which connects to both the Macbook Pro and my Windows server. There is an audio port as well but I am not really using it. The monitor comes with nicely in-built cable routing so that you can actually keep everything clear but due to me having way too many things about, my desk still looks messy.
Whilst it is still fairly new, I am absolutely loving the monitor, and just a little over a year ago, 34″ WQHD monitors always cost more than RM2500. Now with the introduction of the Xiaomi 34″ curved gaming monitor for less than RM2000, I thought it was a great deal and now I do wish that I could also have one in the office (when the day comes that everyone has to go back to the office).