can't get my new 4K monitor to display correct resolution/scale

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by seenew, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    Hi all,

    I just got a new 27" 4K monitor from NEC when my old Apple Thunderbolt display died. I was wondering if there is a way to have OS X display at the same scale as it did on my old 27" display. Right now, basically the two only real options I can see are "3840x2160 (low resolution)," which makes all text and interface elements seem ridiculously tiny, or "1920x1080" which appears larger on screen than my old monitor (because it was 2560x1440).

    Is there any way to set this monitor to scale the elements to the size they were on a 2560x1440 screen? I have tried holding the option key to get more resolution options, which is where I found the 1080 mode. But is there anything else I can do? It's not the end of the world, but it does make me feel a bit like I have the screen set to some accessibility mode for vision problems.

    It's a 27" 4K screen by NEC (https://www.adorama.com/ncea275uhdb.html) and I am running the latest version of OS X 10.13.

    Thanks for your help!

    Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 9.11.09 PM.png
     
  2. hobowankenobi, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018

    hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #2
    Not sure it will solve the issue, but check out the free app Display Menu in the Mac App Store. Shows every available resolution all the time, without the option key silliness. It can be a real PITA when Apple tries to protect us from choice...

    I have seen a few monitors over the years that don't seem to support the native resolution that is available on a connected Mac....depending on the connection type. Could it be possible the adapter or cable is limiting your resolution options?
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    "the two only real options I can see are "3840x2160 (low resolution)," which makes all text and interface elements seem ridiculously tiny, or "1920x1080" which appears larger on screen than my old monitor (because it was 2560x1440)."

    What you are seeing "is correct" for your display and connection.
    You have the choice of either HiDPI (retina) mode -- 1920x1080
    ...or... "full 4k" (pixel-for-pixel) mode -- 3840x2160.

    The display isn't going to give you 2560x1440 without "interpolation", if you can get it at all.
    But... you're probably not going to like what an interpolated resolution looks like. It may end up being grainy and fuzzy.

    If you REALLY want 2560x1440, I would suggest that you buy a 32" display with that as the "native resolution".
    There are displays out there for this...
     
  4. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #4
    Thanks for the replies!

    I guess what I am confused by is that I also do work on a 27" 5K iMac, and the menus and text are the same size I am used to on my old 27" Thunderbolt display, despite the higher pixel density on the iMac. So why can't I get that on this 4K monitor?

    Additional info-- I am running one of the new MacBook Pros with only USB-C/Thunderbolt-3 ports (ugh) so the cable I'm connecting to the monitor is HDMI on one end and USB-C/Thunderbolt-3 on the other. Would a different connection work better? The monitor came with a display port cable but I currently don't have a way to connect that to my Macbook Pro.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP wrote:
    "I'm connecting to the monitor is HDMI on one end and USB-C/Thunderbolt-3 on the other."

    The cable -might- have something to do with the resolutions you're getting.

    What you need is a "USB3 to HDMI 2.0" adapter (on the Mac end) and a HIGH SPEED HDMI cable (between the adapter and the display).

    Some adapters are not "HDMI 2.0".
    Some cables are not "high speed".

    IMO, a better connection:
    USB-c (at the Mac end) to displayport (display end) connecting cable that is KNOWN GOOD with the 2017 Macs.

    Some USB-c to displayport cables work OK with 2015/16 Macs, but DO NOT WORK with some 2017 Macs. You have to investigate and choose an adapter/cable that is KNOWN TO WORK with the 2017's. Read the user reviews before buying.
     

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4 March 6, 2018