ASUS External Monitor Blurry Text with 2014 rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hurley82989, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Hurley82989 macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Hi all,

    I have a 2014 rMBP and recently purchased a budget 1080p 23.6 inch display from ASUS. Now I know that compared to the retina screen, obviously this monitor isn't going to look as nice given the DPI and color accuracy are significantly lower.

    However, when I plug my rMBP to the monitor via HDMI --> HDMI the text looks horrendous. Everything is blurred and it honestly gives me a headache. When I plug a Windows laptop HDMI --> HDMI (same Amazon Basics brand HDMI cable), it looks SIGNIFICANTLY better.

    Now I've read some people have had this problem with Mac Minis and something about the monitor being recognized as a "TV" when using the HDMI output rather than a "monitor". However, on my monitor there's no options to change how the HDMI is recognized. Also, in the display options in the MBP it shows the correct model number of the monitor.

    Basically, it sounds like some people have gotten their monitors to look better when using thunderbolt --> DVI or VGA on their Mac Mini. I was wondering if anyone has had similar success with a rMBP and if so, which brand of adapter they used (Apple vs 3rd-party).

    Also, if anyone is using a budget (<$250) monitor with their rMBP I would love any suggestions on which model is the best for text viewing and the correct way to connect my laptop to the monitor. I don't do any fancy photo-editing or anything like that so color accuracy isn't of the utmost importance. I just want a large (23-24 inch) matte monitor that's great for doing work (Word, PDF, Excel, web browsing) at home.

  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    Check this out:

    (Requires restart of applications to take effect.)

    Attached Files:

  3. Hurley82989 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012

    Thanks for the tip. I should have mentioned that I had already triple-checked to make sure that box was checked in my General settings.

    Any other thoughts?
  4. Dandu macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2009
  5. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - Actually, my intention was that you uncheck it. You're reporting blurry text. Disabling font smoothing will make it sharper.
  6. Hurley82989 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    I gave it a shot and it still doesn't look great. Looks like I'll have to return this for a higher resolution display.

    I noticed you have the Dell U2515H (in your sig). How are you liking that? Do you run it at the native 1440p resolution? If so, how is font size/clarity?
  7. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - Yes, it may just be the rather low resolution that bothers you.

    - I do indeed, and it's fantastic.
    Great colours, really nice design (matching the MBP quite well) and a good selection of ports. I actually like that they have dropped legacy ports like VGA and DVI - they just take up space if you ask me. The 5 port USB hub doesn't hurt, either.
    It comes with a miniDisplayPort to DisplayPort cable, so you can connect it to your MBP straight away, which is nice.

    The brightness is staggering. I've had to turn it down to 20 % to be comfortable in normal use.

    I use it at the native 2560 x 1440, yes. Font sizes are fine to my eyes (I have perfect vision). There's also a 27" U2715H model available, but I'm not sure I'd want that same resolution on a 27" - the PPI would be lower.

    It's perfectly clear, and videos look amazing. But keep in mind that I'm used to an old fashioned 1680 x 1050 15" display (my MacBook Pro) and so haven't been spoiled by the amazing Retina displays on the rMBPs.

    The only thing that annoys me a bit is that after getting this monitor, 1080p on YouTube is the absolute minimum that's tolerable in full screen, and even that looks bad sometimes. :) I've really come to appreciate 4K.
  8. Rhyalus macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2011
    I just went through this and this solution DOES work.

    I am blown away that this old problem is still a problem. I connected a 1080p monitor to my 2014 rMBP and had to go through these steps to fake out the HDMI connection to think that it was not a TV.

    Seriously, are we missing something simple here? WTF is Apple thinking (or not thinking)?

  9. iLukeJoseph macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011
    It's not just Apple. Nvidia's drivers on PC used to do the same exact thing, and involved a registry hack that someone eventually made a tool for to change it. They just added the option to force PC signals over HDMI a few months back.

    Glad you found the fix. I had to do the same exact with with my Dell S2740SL (or whatever the model is lol).

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