dickiedunn

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 7, 2019
46
1
I recently updated my 2012 cMP 5,1 with an RX580 graphics card and updated to High Sierra (Mojave soon, just want to be sure Adobe CS6 will run smoothly).

I'm currently running a 30" Apple Cinema Display. I LOVE the size, aspect ratio and text size. Basically, I'd like the exact same thing, but with crisper retina like text.

I purchased a Samsung U32R59x 32" 4K curved display at my local Costco. The native resolution is 3840x2160.

The problem I'm seeing is that at native resolution, the text is too small. And when I scale the resolution, the text gets blurry. In many ways worse than my existing 30" Cinema Display. Even at the native 3840x2160 resolution, the text looks nothing like a retina display on an iMac. Bottom Line, it looks terrible to my eyes.

Is this just the nature of 4k or am I missing something? Any thoughts or recommendations for a new 4k or 5k display that will wow me with that retina look? (not sure if RX580 can do more than 4k). I'd love to get that crips retina display of the iMac but with my cMP.

Thanks
 

goMac

Contributor
Apr 15, 2004
7,257
1,236
It's the nature of 4k.

The best match for you 30" Cinema Display is still the UltraFine 5k. It's the same resolution doubled/retina. So you'll get exactly what you want. Same work area, sharper text, no blurriness.

Edit: Oh man, the 7,1 Mac Pro threads have gone to my head. I missed that you had a 2012.

There aren't any good options for the 2012. Dell had a 5k a while back that maybe worked with the 2012, but that's about it.
 
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dickiedunn

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 7, 2019
46
1
And an RX580 can drive it? I thought that card can only do a maximum of 4k.
 
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Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
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And an RX580 can drive it? I thought that card can only do a maximum of 4k.

Both the Dell UP2715K and HP Z27q are run from 2 DisplayPort 1.2 inputs, so they would work. They also sport a real 10-bit panel as opposed to the LG 5K monitors.
 
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h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
15,233
7,532
Hong Kong
Try 2560x1440 HiDPI.

Retina is just the Apple term of HiDPI.

And you may need to manually select those "2x" resolutions via ResXtreme (free apps).

http://resxtreme.com/

If you do it right, the Resolution will be 2x the UI Looks like resolution.
3840x1080 HiDPI.png


In your case, that will be 5120x2880 and 2560x1440. Correct, none of that match 3840x2160, but it's the correct way to do it.

And after you enabled HiDPI, the text should be much clearer.
HiDPI Comparason.jpg
 
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Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,268
494
Denmark
Try 2560x1440 HiDPI.

Retina is just the Apple term of HiDPI.

And you may need to manually select those "2x" resolutions via ResXtreme (free apps).

http://resxtreme.com/

If you do it right, the Resolution will be 2x the UI Looks like resolution.
View attachment 882687

In your case, that will be 5120x2880 and 2560x1440. Correct, none of that match 3840x2160, but it's the correct way to do it.

And after you enabled HiDPI, the text should be much clearer.
View attachment 882688
Shouldn’t it only be 1920x1080 HiDPI for pixel perfect scaling? He only has a UHD display.
 
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h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
15,233
7,532
Hong Kong
Shouldn’t it only be 1920x1080 HiDPI for pixel perfect scaling? He only has a UHD display.

That's assume everything is pixel base. However, actually, text are vector base. So, doesn't really matter.

For photo, video, etc, macOS can display them at native resolution but no unnecessary scaling. So, no distortion as well.

For any system UI that may be in difference size (e.g. dock icons) are in dynamic scaling anyway. So, they rarely do pixel perfect scaling anyway.

For the rest, unless the user has super eye vision. He shouldn't able to tell the UI quality difference.

So, for normal size 4K display, 2560x1440 usually the most balanced option to have good picture quality, UI size, and desktop space.
 
Last edited:
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fiatlux

macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2007
313
75
I share the pain as I am in exactly the same boat (MP 5,1 and RX580 and wishing to upgrade from a 30” 2560x1600 monitor). To get the same retina effect as on an iMac 27 there are not that many options:
  • Ilyama’s 27 inch 5k monitor is readily available new and can be driven by a single cable (DP1.4) but has a 6-bit per color panel, and is apparently not terribly accurate.
  • HP, Philips, Dell all had 27 inch 5k monitors which needed two cables to run at full resolution. Mixed user feedback and they were all seemingly quickly discontinued. I’d be hesitant to buy one used.
  • Dell’s 8k 32 inch monitor, pretty expensive.
note that there seems to be ways to connect a TB3 screen to a MacPro with a TB3 add-on card but, last I checked, there seemed to be a lot of limitations like needing to be booted to Windows first or not waking up from sleep. Could be worth investigating if this has evolved.
 
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dickiedunn

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 7, 2019
46
1
So how would I connect an LG UltraFine 27" 5k monitor to the RX580? Is it even possible? The RX580 has DVI, Display Port and HDMI connectors. The LG UltraFine looks like it is Thunderbolt 3 only.
 
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dickiedunn

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 7, 2019
46
1
Bummer. So no 5k possible on cMP or just not the LG UltraFine that Apple sells?
 
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Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,268
494
Denmark
It’s also possible to buy the panel (LM270QQ2) and a 5K capable driver board. It will require two DP1.2 cables though.
 
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dickiedunn

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 7, 2019
46
1
Sorry, but i’m confused. How then would one connect a Thunderbolt 3 monitor to an RX580 grwpics card on a cMP 5,1 without some kind of adapter. The RX580 has dpi, display port, or hdmi outputs only.
 
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fiatlux

macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2007
313
75
It’s also possible to buy the panel (LM270QQ2) and a 5K capable driver board. It will require two DP1.2 cables though.

Now you got me intrigued. It looks like you can buy the panel and driver board for little over 300€... if it is the legit part it looks interesting... never considered building a DIY monitor but maybe I should?
 
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fiatlux

macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2007
313
75
with a thunderbolt card in between

As far as I understand the TB3 card trick requires a cold boot into Windows to properly initialise the TB chain and then a warm reboot into MacOS. And sleep/wake may not work. More trouble that I want to go through...
 
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