Craggy text with new Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dansz, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. dansz macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2007
    #1
    I just received my Mac Pro 2.8 with an 8800GT which I'm currently running through a Dell SP2208WFP 22 inch monitor. It's a great computer and the monitor looks great when viewing pictures, however the first thing I noticed when I set it up was how craggy the text (and for that matter OSX icons) look on it. I've tried tweaking the settings on the mac and display (including pitch etc.) and nothing seems to help (dropping sharpness just leads to blurry, not clean text).

    On the other hand, when I boot up in Windows the text looks absolutely beautiful (ah, I think I threw up a little in my mouth) and everything looks fine on my old 15inch Powerbook G4.

    Has anyone else seen similar problems with other displays, and if you know how to fix it, what should I do?
     
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #2
    Go to System Preferences/Appearance and check your Font Smoothing Style preference.
     
  3. dansz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2007
    #3
    Is that the option where you choose between different settings (don't remember the names but "Best for CRT," "Best for LCD" were in there somewhere)? I tried changing it but didn't notice any difference at all in my text. Just selecting the option from the pull down will change it right? I don't need to reboot or anything?
     
  4. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

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    Orange County, CA
    #4
    You *are* driving the display at its native resolution, right?
     
  5. dansz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2007
  6. dansz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2007
    #6
    Actually, more than craggy I'd say the text looks like badly-printed newspaper text. It's like the anti-aliasing is wonked up (and craggy), and the partially transparent parts of the anti-aliasing looks like it bleeds a little into the real text. For example, the very upper slope of an "S" looks like it's slightly broken or transparent, like you'd get if you didn't punch hard enough on a typewriter.

    And while regular photos look fine, I notice crags on the curves of window edges and icons displayed by the styem (dock, etc). Probably unrelated but photos on the web tend to really show their compression artifacts as well.

    When I boot in Windows I don't have this problem.
     
  7. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #7
    I have the same problem as you but not quite as bad, my pictures and icons display fine.
    This started when I hooked up a new 22" Dell monitor.
     
  8. network23 macrumors 6502

    network23

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    Illinois
    #8
    Long shot here, but check your Universal Access settings to make sure you are not in some slight zoom mode. From my recollection, the zoomed text is pretty smooth visually on my G4, but I'm not at my Mac right now.

    Also, it might help to post a screenshot.
     
  9. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #9
    It's the Monitor.

    If you had access to a Cinema Display... and hooked it up side by side... I promise you'd see that "craginess" that you describe as completely gone.

    I have the same issue with my HP W2207H.
     
  10. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #10
    I had this problem and fixed it. It turned out that my monitor profile was set up all wrong, and that effect of this was to darken the light anti-aliased pixels around text and make the text look craggy.

    I use my machine for photo editing - so I have some monitor profiling hardware. I ran the process and everything fixed itself.

    You may have the same problem - although you say that photos look fine? They looked pretty bad on my machine before I fixed the profile.
     
  11. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #11
    That's strange cause my other dell did not do this.
     
  12. GotPro macrumors 6502

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    Jan 29, 2007
    #12
    I'm assuming that this is what you are talking about? :
     

    Attached Files:

  13. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #13
    Yes that's it.
    Annoying the heck out of me.
     
  14. pfleischman macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #14
    I purchased a Dell SP2208WFP

    And then I sent it back. It's too big for a TN panel, there are so many reviews on Dell's site about that monitor and it's viewing issues. It's pixel density is low for how big it is. I recommend the 2007WFP, which is about $100 more and an S-IPS panel.
     
  15. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #15
    That's the exact same model as I have bought.
    I already have a 20" but wanted to go up a little plus I liked the idea of the build in camera for iChat.
    I think I will send it back and start over.
     
  16. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #16
    I have a similar issue on my system - the text itself is fine, but in the darker shadow areas on-screen, the colors look terribly dithered and blocky.

    I, too, use a colorimeter (eye-one Display 2 from X-Rite) to profile my monitor (Samsung Syncmaster 245BW), all my normal graphics look fine on screen, so I don't think it's the monitor itself (set at native resolution of 1900x1280)

    Please let me know if you can see what I'm talking about in this attachment.

    EDIT: After looking at it through my web browser, I can still kind of see the blocky area, but it's a lot darker...maybe because FIrefox isn't color-managed...


    Thanks!

    -Bryan

    [​IMG]
     
  17. dansz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2007
    #17
    I'm betting that's exactly my problem. Aside from the text, icons on the desktop look pretty craggy. This is particularly prominent with round icons (itunes, safari), however any graphics inside the icon itself (say the blue circle past the rim of the safari icon) look fine. This leads me to believe it's a problem with anti-aliasing more than something core with the monitor. So you recommend I profile my monitor, eh? What hardware do you use and was it expensive?

    Hehe, yeah. It's just annoying enough to be one of the first things you notice, but not annoying enough to send the monitor back.
     
  18. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #18
    I use a Gretag Eye One Display two. It was reasonably expensive

    http://usa.gretagmacbethstore.com/i...talogid=1861&browse=&MenuGroup=__Menu USA New

    The Pantone Huey is a lot cheaper and is supposed to be good:

    http://www.pantone.com/pages/products/product.aspx?pid=79

    But first try the colour calibration in your displays control panel. Select expert - this is a pretty easy way to balance the display response curve.
     
  19. geon macrumors member

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #19
    But first try the colour calibration in your displays control panel. Select expert - this is a pretty easy way to balance the display response curve.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for posting this. I have a new Dell 30" and didn't realize there was an expert section to the apple calibrations. It sure brought out my color I was missing. All's good now. However, since this was my first attempt, I may give it another shot or two, to perfect it. :)
     
  20. Spikeanator6982 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 13, 2007
    #20
    hello, I also bought that dell monitor for my MP, which isnt here yet, cant wait for monday. But I have the monitor and I did notice it came with a "plastic" on the screen saying "Important instructions to set the display resolution to 1680x1050(optimal) are on the CD." Did you do anything with that, not sure what I/You would need to do with the cd. :confused:
     
  21. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #21
    You don't need that CD that's just for windows.
     
  22. geon macrumors member

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #22
    That what I thougth too, so I just kept it in the box. My dell monitor only has brightness control, no contrast, so when I use Apple calibrater, you can't turn the contrast to it's highest level (or any level).
     
  23. dansz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    #23
    Ah! I think I've solved the problem. Dell displays have a built in auto color management setting (accessible via the "color" setting in the displays adjust menu. It defaults to on, but when you turn it off text becomes a lot less craggy.

    Yay for non-craggy text!
     
  24. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #24
    Your right it's better, not perfect but better.
     
  25. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    Green and pleasant land
    #25
    Have you done the 'expert' colour calibration in the display control panel?
     

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