jdarcy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2019
1
0
Hi all - please take a look at the attached picture. Maybe I am just so used to my MacBook screen that this just seems too blurry. What do you think? I am using a 2017 MacBook Pro connected to an LG 29" UltraWide monitor (2560x1080) via a Belkin USB-C cable. Pictures look ok, but the text just looks blurry/fuzzy to me. I have tried the following:

- font smoothing in system preferences
- turning off automatic graphics switching in system preferences
- forced RGB
- terminal command to adjust font smoothing: defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

Any other suggestions? Or am I just nitpicking here, and this is what a 1080 screen should look like.

Thanks!
Screen Shot 2019-03-22 at 8.27.33 AM.png
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
944
1,066
It's just that the monitor is non-Retina (and actually sub-100 PPI, so less than the typical 110 PPI of non-Retina Mac displays).

Only thing you can do to get better fidelity is to increase font sizes so that more pixels go into representing each glyph.
 
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PeterJP

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2012
753
500
Leuven, Belgium
It's the way macOS renders fonts. They do it so that it looks exactly the same as when you print it. If you're coming from windows, it may look fuzzy. But that's because Windows renders fonts differently on screen as on paper, optimizing for sharpness on screen but for accuracy on paper.

I bought an 11” MacBook Air in 2013, but I immediately returned it for a retina MacBook Pro because the 11 did the same on the built-in screen.

If you really hate it, get yourself a 4K screen. You can put that into “looks like 1920x1080” resolution and it will be retina.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
5,210
4,266
Any other suggestions? Or am I just nitpicking here, and this is what a 1080 screen should look like.

Hang on, that's a "screen capture" taken by MacOS - the clue is the file name "screen-shot-2019-03-22-at-8-27-33-am-png" which is how MacOS names screen captures. So it is a perfect rendition of what your computer is "sending" to the screen and won't include many possible problems with what you actually see on the screen.

Edit: deleted my previous brainfart about resolution being wrong. Sorry.
 
Last edited:
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frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
944
1,066
Also, the version I've grabbed from the MacRumors website is only 1704x843 pixels - I've never heard of that as a screen resolution so my first guess is that its simply got re-sized during the process of uploading/downloading - which makes it useless for diagnosing your problem.
That's a window grab, not the entire macOS screen. The image also has the semi-transparent drop-shadow effect, so both dimensions are padded out a bit by an arbitrary amount.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
5,210
4,266
That's a window grab, not the entire macOS screen. The image also has the semi-transparent drop-shadow effect, so both dimensions are padded out a bit by an arbitrary amount.

Good point.

Still, its a 'digital (for want of a better world) screen shot so it can't really be used to diagnose display problems.
 
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xhavrosh

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2019
1
0
Hi all - please take a look at the attached picture. Maybe I am just so used to my MacBook screen that this just seems too blurry. What do you think? I am using a 2017 MacBook Pro connected to an LG 29" UltraWide monitor (2560x1080) via a Belkin USB-C cable. Pictures look ok, but the text just looks blurry/fuzzy to me. I have tried the following:

- font smoothing in system preferences
- turning off automatic graphics switching in system preferences
- forced RGB
- terminal command to adjust font smoothing: defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

Any other suggestions? Or am I just nitpicking here, and this is what a 1080 screen should look like.

Thanks! View attachment 827673


I'm experiencing exactly the same issue as you. I tried everything as you tried but nothing helped...

I changed the monitor (WQHD (Philips) -> FHD (HP)), dock station, cables (HDMI, DP).
 
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moc99

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2020
5
1
It seems the best solution is not to buy a DELL monitor - but this worked for me on my DELL P2418D QHD monitor.

Connected via HDMI the monitor was recognised as a TV and was in YPbPr mode.

Connected via DisplayPort the monitor was properly recognised and was in RGB mode. The text was still blurry.

The Mathew Inkson fix (@seb101) only ensured the monitor was in RBG mode when connected via HDMI.

I tried many of the various resolutions available via the RMD app ... but these made little difference. Text remained annoyingly fuzzy around the edges.

I finally hit on the solution by accident.

The trick is to leave the lid up.

I had the MacBook Pros' lids down, so the monitor was the main display.

So this works for my Early 2015 13" Retina MacBook Pro and a Mid-2017 15″ MacBook Pro, connected to the display via TB2-DP and TB3-DP adapters respectively and with the displays mirrored. Both running Mojave 10.14.6.

1) Leave the MBPro screen up (but you can dim it to black)
2) In System Preferences | Displays, select the DELL P2418D (or your monitor) Panel, and choose Optimise for built-in Retina display
3) If you wish, then click Scaled. You can then choose one of 5 scaling options.

If you close the lid the external display will again become the main display, the “Optimise for built-in Retina display” option vanishes, and even if you then change the resolution to exactly match those in the scaling options seen in 3 above (e.g. by using the RMD app from https://github.com/avibrazil/RDM) the text still looks fuzzy.

I can't say the result is perfect, but it is a huge improvement.

BTW my LG 27UK850 4K monitor works perfectly with the above MacBook Pros and also a 2018 6-core Mac mini.

Hoping that helps!
 
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MacGizmo

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2003
1,928
1,221
Arizona
It seems the best solution is not to buy a DELL monitor...
Dell actually makes very good monitors, as long as you buy an ULTRASHARP model.

I am using a 2017 MacBook Pro connected to an LG 29" UltraWide monitor (2560x1080) via a Belkin USB-C cable.
You have a very low-quality LCD. The native resolution & PPI is low, and there's nothing that's going to help that. As moc99 stated in his post, connecting via Display Port is going to yield better results than using HDMI - this is true of ANY LCD panel. Running with the lid open, as moc99 demonstrates, may help as well (I've never heard of this trick, so I can't say how much better it looks).

In the end, nothing is going to give you the quality of Apple's Retina displays (other than the two LG Ultrafine LCDs they sell on their site). It's simply a matter of native resolution/PPI of the panel. Those types of displays are always expensive in comparison, so it comes down to what's important to you.
 
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moc99

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2020
5
1
The issue has nothing to do with the display resolution or PPI value. If you run Windows 10 on your Mac, the text will be crisp on Windows, fuzzy on macOS.

It’s clearly a software issue that Apple has zero interest in fixing.

I just struck the same issue on a BenQ PD2500Q monitor which claims to be “Mac compatible“ and even has an “M-book” setting for connecting to MacBook Pro. Doesn’t make an ounce of difference.

Again, best results were with displays mirrored and “Optimise for Retina Display” selected ... of course you lose screen real estate but at least the text is reasonably crisp.
 
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