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MacBook Pro with Retina, issues with External monitor quality

 
Liutauras Vilda
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Hi folks,

I recently bought an external monitor (Dell U2414H) to use along with my mac. This is where my issues started.

Fonts/text looks very poor quality on external monitor. Text is very fuzzy/blurry. Images/Video looks as expected, sharp and nice though.

Something must be particularly wrong with reproducing (rendering) fonts on non-Retina external display, while machine i'm running is designed for Retina display.
Currently I connected Mac and monitor via Mini Display Port (Mac) and DisplayPort (external monitor). Tried connect via HDMI, same issues.

What is interesting, when I connect to my work machine via Microsoft Remote Desktop where Windows 7 is running, everything looks sharp, text and other graphics. I presume because system settings comes from Windows machine and font rendering is designed as for non-Retina display.

For the past 3 days I was researching a lot on Internet, that seems a common MacBook's issue with 3rd party monitors (mainly the ones with Retina, and might some influence from OS X version its running on).
One of the most suggested solution I found on Internet is to run Ruby script (written by one guy).

So what this script basically does, it is basically identifying monitor details and creates an xml file to override so called EDID settings. Those settings suppose to force external monitor to use RGB mode and change the way how fonts suppose to be rendered.
What I read, mainly that is because OS X identifies monitor as a TV (and moreover non-Retina TV), even tho exact correct monitor model is shown in the system report.

Back to created xml. This created xml file after the script outputs it, according to the advises found on Internet needs to be placed in a location (after some security features disabling from recovery mode during the os start):
For quite many people this solution did the job well and solved the issues, at the same time for quite many this didn't work - I'm one of those for whom it didn't work.

As an extra option found a way to amend fonts rendering option with commands:
orThis makes some kind of changes in how font looks like depending on the number you pass as an argument, but it doesn't solve text sharpness issues.

If for instance I open terminal on mac's screen and one terminal keep opened on external screen, it is clear, that both fonts are rendered somehow differently, because fonts look as totally different.

Basically I'm stuck with it and have no idea what else I coud do.

Specs what i'm using:
MacBook Pro 13" with Retina (2560 x 1600)
Dell U2414H external monitor (1920 x 1080)
OS X El Capitan 10.11.4
Connected via: MiniDP/Thunderbolt (Mac side) - DisplayPort (external monitor side)


If anyone of you have an idea what else I could try, or had same/similar issues, and know the solution please let me know. Thank you.

And thanks for the spent time reading this very long post, just wanted to provide as many details as I can.
 
Liutauras Vilda
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Clear, just letting everyone know, that issues stated above cannot be solved with that monitor on MacBook Pro with Retina display. Simply because monitor do not support 4K resolution.

Apple in their website and other their friendly website states which monitors are supported with MacBooks with Retina displays and those monitors all support 4K resolution.

Here you can find MacBook compatible monitors:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202856
http://www.macrumors.com/guide/4k-5k-displays-buyers-guide-mac/

So, in case you decide to go for an external monitor, MAKE sure it is compatible with your particular MacBook model.

I just registered my DELL U2414H to be collected as a return and will get new one (which is on the supported list).

Case closed
 
eth ubkanayte
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Hello! I was wondering what monitor you got in result? And did it solve your problem?
(I am on u2414h and having the same problem with slightly blurry fonts)
 
Liutauras Vilda
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eth ubkanayte wrote:Hello! I was wondering what monitor you got in result? And did it solve your problem?
(I am on u2414h and having the same problem with slightly blurry fonts)

I ended up buying Dell "P2715Q 27-Inch Ultra HD 4K LCD Monitor" and it works perfectly as expected.

If your notebook is with Retina screen, U2414h wouldn't work as it can't cope with 4K resolution.

Check 2 links I provided in my earlier post.
 
eth ubkanayte
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Is it true that it looks like almost like a retina screen?
Also, how do you feel moving from 24'' to 27''? Any problems with reading the screen or having windows being too large?
 
Liutauras Vilda
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eth ubkanayte wrote:Is it true that it looks like almost like a retina screen?
Also, how do you feel moving from 24'' to 27''? Any problems with reading the screen or having windows being too large?

Not sure I understand your first question.

No problems to me. However, I need to have set 1920x1080 on my external monitor for the things to be readable, if I put max resolution, it is very tiny. Having said that, it is recommended with Retina screen to have 5K monitor, which would support higher resolution than 1920x1080 at double pixeling.

In general - i'm happy with my monitor, text is very sharp and all is readable. 5K comparing to 4K price goes up significantly.
 
Andersame Eriksson
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Liutauras Vilda wrote:
eth ubkanayte wrote:Is it true that it looks like almost like a retina screen?
Also, how do you feel moving from 24'' to 27''? Any problems with reading the screen or having windows being too large?

Not sure I understand your first question.

No problems to me. However, I need to have set 1920x1080 on my external monitor for the things to be readable, if I put max resolution, it is very tiny. Having said that, it is recommended with Retina screen to have 5K monitor, which would support higher resolution than 1920x1080 at double pixeling.

In general - i'm happy with my monitor, text is very sharp and all is readable. 5K comparing to 4K price goes up significantly.


It sounds exactly like the issues I have. I have now tried with another display (Acer U277) which is said to be as close to a Thunderbolt display as possible, but I would say not. Text is still very un-sharp.

So I am glad to hear that you are happy with your monitor. But you say you sun it in 1920x1080. Isn't the text extremely big? Can't it be run in 2560x1440?

BR
-A
 
Liutauras Vilda
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Andersame Eriksson wrote:So I am glad to hear that you are happy with your monitor. But you say you sun it in 1920x1080. Isn't the text extremely big? Can't it be run in 2560x1440?
No, it isn't in general (I might would prefer to have higher resolution at double pixelling, so I could fit more on the screen). Now, that I have very good eyes, I can use at max resolution, but then I think it is too tiny.

I could really recommend Dell I wrote earlier, it is very sharp.
 
Andersame Eriksson
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Liutauras Vilda wrote:
Andersame Eriksson wrote:So I am glad to hear that you are happy with your monitor. But you say you sun it in 1920x1080. Isn't the text extremely big? Can't it be run in 2560x1440?
No, it isn't in general (I might would prefer to have higher resolution at double pixelling, so I could fit more on the screen). Now, that I have very good eyes, I can use at max resolution, but then I think it is too tiny.

I could really recommend Dell I wrote earlier, it is very sharp.


Thanks for you respons!
So is it possible to run it in 2560x1440 then? I am running this resolution today on my acer U277 (which is also the maximum) and think it is a good size for my eyes, but as said, the text is blurry. So my thinking is to run same resolution on a 4K monitor, but hopefully get alot better sharpness. Do you believe this reasoning is correct or not?

If you compare the sharpness on the text on your monitor with the built in Retina, how close would you say it is?

 
Liutauras Vilda
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So is it possible to run it in 2560x1440 then?
Yes, it is native res of this monitor.

If you compare the sharpness on the text on your monitor with the built in Retina, how close would you say it is?
Retina screen still a bit better in coloring, but in general, I'd say you get > 90% quality of retina
 
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