LincolnsiPod

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Nov 20, 2009
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I currently have a 27 inch monitor paired with my docked MacBook that I use for work. (2560 x 1440 resolution). I use a spreadsheet that's just a little too long to make split screens viable, so I'm considering using this opportunity to make the leap to 4K. (otherwise I'd consider a dual monitor setup, but I'd really prefer using just one for simplicity).

If I upgrade to a 4K display with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, will I have to resort to scaling to increase text size, or will I'd be able to use the default display setting? Wondering if text is going to be so ridiculously small that scaling would be unavoidable.
 

bruinsrme

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Oct 26, 2008
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I currently have a 27 inch monitor paired with my docked MacBook that I use for work. (2560 x 1440 resolution). I use a spreadsheet that's just a little too long to make split screens viable, so I'm considering using this opportunity to make the leap to 4K. (otherwise I'd consider a dual monitor setup, but I'd really prefer using just one for simplicity).

If I upgrade to a 4K display with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, will I have to resort to scaling to increase text size, or will I'd be able to use the default display setting? Wondering if text is going to be so ridiculously small that scaling would be unavoidable.

It will be ridiculously small. I recently picked up a dell u2718P and it is nice both on the windows side and mac side.
I am scaled at 150% as windows 10 recommended and the text is crisp as can be.

Mac side everything is just as crisp
 
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theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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If I upgrade to a 4K display with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, will I have to resort to scaling to increase text size, or will I'd be able to use the default display setting?

I reckon that someone with young, healthy eyesight could work at 3840 x 2160 if they desperately needed the screen real-estate. You could consider getting a larger screen such as 32" if you wanted to work that way.

Also, if you've got a recent MacBook Pro with a reasonable GPU, and are using retina-compatible software, then don't knock scaled mode until you've tried it - the quality is good and on a 4k display you can get "looks like" 2560x1440 or 3008x1692 modes that give you more "real estate" that the optimised (but rather chunky) pixel-doubled looks-like-1080p mode.
 

LincolnsiPod

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Original poster
Nov 20, 2009
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It will be ridiculously small. I recently picked up a dell u2718P and it is nice both on the windows side and mac side.
I am scaled at 150% as windows 10 recommended and the text is crisp as can be.

Mac side everything is just as crisp

Thanks, I'm trying to find the best supported monitor for Apple, just discovered the buying guide on MacRumors for that which has been helpful.
[doublepost=1512343962][/doublepost]
I reckon that someone with young, healthy eyesight could work at 3840 x 2160 if they desperately needed the screen real-estate. You could consider getting a larger screen such as 32" if you wanted to work that way.

Also, if you've got a recent MacBook Pro with a reasonable GPU, and are using retina-compatible software, then don't knock scaled mode until you've tried it - the quality is good and on a 4k display you can get "looks like" 2560x1440 or 3008x1692 modes that give you more "real estate" that the optimised (but rather chunky) pixel-doubled looks-like-1080p mode.

For some reason I don't have that option on my current setup so I'm assuming you have to have the right monitor that officially supports scaling. Getting a larger one would be nice, but if the resolution is the same I'll continue to have the same problem. Basically I need a larger resolution for more real estate but where the text remains the same size as it currently is now on my display, and without anything else getting distorted.
 

theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
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For some reason I don't have that option on my current setup so I'm assuming you have to have the right monitor that officially supports scaling.

You said you have a 2560x1440 display - you won't see the HiDPI scaled modes with that connected.

As I understand it, the HiDPI scaled modes are actually driving the display at 4k native resolution while using GPU to render at twice the "looks like" resolution and then downsample to 4k.
 

LincolnsiPod

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Original poster
Nov 20, 2009
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You said you have a 2560x1440 display - you won't see the HiDPI scaled modes with that connected.

As I understand it, the HiDPI scaled modes are actually driving the display at 4k native resolution while using GPU to render at twice the "looks like" resolution and then downsample to 4k.

Ok I have to make sure whatever monitor I opt for supports HiDPI scaled modes on MacOS, as I'm assuming not all of them do.
 

mcpryon2

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Dec 12, 2008
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I have a 2016 15" 1TB/460 GPU (with a replacement 2017 top case) and I use an LG 27UD69P-W as an external and I really like it. I picked up a cable so it can do 4k@60Hz (well, technically "nearly 4K"), which makes a world of difference over HDMI though the Apple adapter. After all of my keyboard problems I use my MBP almost all of the time in clamshell mode in a studio environment. I also use a 49" 4K TV for showing videos once in a while.

I should sell it and get an iMac, but I'm a firm believer in the sunken cost fallacy.
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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If I upgrade to a 4K display with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, will I have to resort to scaling to increase text size, or will I'd be able to use the default display setting? Wondering if text is going to be so ridiculously small that scaling would be unavoidable.

You can use a 4K monitor in its native resolution, but the text will be extremely small, and of course, you'd e sacrificing legibility and image quality. The main point of HDPI resolutions is to increase quality via supersampling. The highest HDPI resolution my display can do though is HIDPI 1920x1080 (which translates to 3840x2160 native resolution)
 

tojason

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2017
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0
It will be ridiculously small. I recently picked up a dell u2718P and it is nice both on the windows side and mac side.
I am scaled at 150% as windows 10 recommended and the text is crisp as can be.

Mac side everything is just as crisp
Did you connect through mini-display port to display port. I was not able to hook the connection. I also have a Dell U2817Q monitor.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
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Did you connect through mini-display port to display port. I was not able to hook the connection. I also have a Dell U2817Q monitor.

Having 2017 MBP and too cheap to buy a true dock so i am using an inexpensive hub with HDMI only.
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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OP:

You WON'T want to look at 4k "pixel-for-pixel" (non HiDPI mode) on a 27" display.
You're not going to like it. You'll need a magnifying glass.

Either "tighten up" your spreadsheet or... just scroll when necessary.
 

LincolnsiPod

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Original poster
Nov 20, 2009
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I have a 2016 15" 1TB/460 GPU (with a replacement 2017 top case) and I use an LG 27UD69P-W as an external and I really like it. I picked up a cable so it can do 4k@60Hz (well, technically "nearly 4K"), which makes a world of difference over HDMI though the Apple adapter. After all of my keyboard problems I use my MBP almost all of the time in clamshell mode in a studio environment. I also use a 49" 4K TV for showing videos once in a while.

I should sell it and get an iMac, but I'm a firm believer in the sunken cost fallacy.

What scaling option do you use? That particular monitor is available at Best Buy here, so i may try that along with the Dell alternative to see which one I like better.
[doublepost=1512410205][/doublepost]
OP:

You WON'T want to look at 4k "pixel-for-pixel" (non HiDPI mode) on a 27" display.
You're not going to like it. You'll need a magnifying glass.

Either "tighten up" your spreadsheet or... just scroll when necessary.

It's a company spreadsheet, so I have no control over adjusting it unfortunately. Since I work row by row, avoiding scrolling and switching screens could probably save me an hour of time a day. Whatever helps my workflow!
[doublepost=1512410270][/doublepost]
You can use a 4K monitor in its native resolution, but the text will be extremely small, and of course, you'd e sacrificing legibility and image quality. The main point of HDPI resolutions is to increase quality via supersampling. The highest HDPI resolution my display can do though is HIDPI 1920x1080 (which translates to 3840x2160 native resolution)

That's what I figure, I'm probably going to check out both LG and Dell monitors that have a good reputation paired with MBPs and see which one suits me.
 

mcpryon2

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2008
505
88
What scaling option do you use? That particular monitor is available at Best Buy here, so i may try that along with the Dell alternative to see which one I like better.
[doublepost=1512410205][/doublepost]

I usually use the "looks like 1440" option, then sometimes use the native one when I need more real estate. I usually have six spaces in use and flip between those.

I got my LG 27UD69P-W at Best Buy since I could pick it up.
 
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treekram

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Nov 9, 2015
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Honolulu HI
At some point, the Mac OS's stopped doing optimal scaling at non-whole-numbers. I think El Capitan was OK, but not Sierra or High Sierra (not sure exactly which OS it was where this happened). If you search on the various forums here, there are multiple people who are tearing their hair out because they bought a 27" 4K UHD monitor and who find UHD native resolution too small and 1920x1080 (HiDPI) too big and then want to use scaling only to find that it doesn't work too well. One poster found out that it works well if you rotate the monitor 90 degrees and use the monitor in portrait mode.

It's best if you can try it out with your computer and intended monitor although that may be difficult at a retail store.
 

LincolnsiPod

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2009
654
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At some point, the Mac OS's stopped doing optimal scaling at non-whole-numbers. I think El Capitan was OK, but not Sierra or High Sierra (not sure exactly which OS it was where this happened). If you search on the various forums here, there are multiple people who are tearing their hair out because they bought a 27" 4K UHD monitor and who find UHD native resolution too small and 1920x1080 (HiDPI) too big and then want to use scaling only to find that it doesn't work too well. One poster found out that it works well if you rotate the monitor 90 degrees and use the monitor in portrait mode.

It's best if you can try it out with your computer and intended monitor although that may be difficult at a retail store.


Yeah, I'll try taking my MBP with me to connect to an LG monitor and see. Thanks for the heads up!
 

daveak

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2009
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Durham, UK
I have a 2016 15" 1TB/460 GPU (with a replacement 2017 top case) and I use an LG 27UD69P-W as an external and I really like it. I picked up a cable so it can do 4k@60Hz (well, technically "nearly 4K"), which makes a world of difference over HDMI though the Apple adapter. After all of my keyboard problems I use my MBP almost all of the time in clamshell mode in a studio environment. I also use a 49" 4K TV for showing videos once in a while.

I should sell it and get an iMac, but I'm a firm believer in the sunken cost fallacy.

Just got one of these screens myself, using a USB-C to DisplayPort to drive it. Initially thought it wasn't doing HIDPI but then noticed I'd turned on one of the picture sharpening options, turned that off and it looks great, running as if 1440p rather than native. Really pleased with it, no ghosting which I had expected with it being LG. Apple TV 4K plugged into one of the HDMI ports.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
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Just got one of these screens myself, using a USB-C to DisplayPort to drive it. Initially thought it wasn't doing HIDPI but then noticed I'd turned on one of the picture sharpening options, turned that off and it looks great, running as if 1440p rather than native. Really pleased with it, no ghosting which I had expected with it being LG. Apple TV 4K plugged into one of the HDMI ports.

Have you tried to dual monitor USB-C to DP in to monitor 1 the DP out monitor 1 to DP in monitor 2?
 

LincolnsiPod

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2009
654
95
Just got one of these screens myself, using a USB-C to DisplayPort to drive it. Initially thought it wasn't doing HIDPI but then noticed I'd turned on one of the picture sharpening options, turned that off and it looks great, running as if 1440p rather than native. Really pleased with it, no ghosting which I had expected with it being LG. Apple TV 4K plugged into one of the HDMI ports.

Just to confirm, you'll know you have access to HIDPI when it shows this rather than different resolution sizes?

iur.jpeg
 

shansoft

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2011
426
253
Having used 4K and 5K, I decided to keep the 5K in the end because of HiDPI.

Regardless of scaling beside 1080P, it looks quite blurry in my opinion...
 

Boneheadxan

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2009
143
28
I've been running an LG UD88 via USB-C. At 4K text is a bit tiny for me, so I have it scaled to 3008x1692. Everything is still very crisp and screen estate is nice as well.
 

dblissmn

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2002
268
32
When I first went to 2560x1440 27" for a desktop monitor I used a third-party application to scale it down by about 15 percent (something like 2200x1200 equivalent) for a few months until I'd gotten used to the smaller text size and started using the monitor natively. SwitchResX as I recall. Hardly HiDPI but still a very nice improvement for back when I was still used to monitors that rendered text that by 2017 standards would seem kind of large. This was on a 2011 15 inch MacBook Pro. The current models should have absolutely no trouble with this kind of thing at all.
 
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