External screen Quality Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DJF3, May 7, 2012.

  1. DJF3 macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010
    I have a 15" Macbook Pro (2.66Ghz Core2Duo). When connecting an external screen, sometimes, the quality is horrible except for most of the 'Native' OSX applications..


    Sometimes everything looks fine, sometimes it doesn't.
    Tested: multiple monitors, VGA cables and displayport-to-VGA dongles - without luck.

    Attached is an example of the external monitor, with Chrome and the "Desktop & Screensaver" settings..

    Any ideas?

    Attached Files:

  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    What are resolution settings? I assume they are native?
    The screen just looks like the resolution is non native or really low.

    If it is a digital Signal DVI, HDMI, TB it can only be the Display.
    Usually displays have sharpness controls and such, which are only perfect in one setting and usually only worse in any other.
    If analog as it seems you are testing it depends on both the converter in the Mac and the one in the Display. Each one can make the Picture worse. The higher the resolution the worse the picture generally gets. The MBP converter does a fine job until 1080p if you aren't too picky. Displays are sometimes terrible sometimes okay. I would always recommend Digital on anything past 720p. The flicker usually annoys the hell out of me. It only works when you sit further away and attach the notebook to a TV or projector.
    With VGA also the cable is vulnerable if it is not the best. Try removing every electronic device near it. Change its position.
    Usually it is only flickering that you see but not such bad font smoothing. I would try Digital if possible or check out the display OSD if there are any adjustments available.
  3. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    DVI/TB to VGA is always going to be bad compared to a digital signal.
  4. DanoD macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2012
  5. DJF3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010
    Macbook: 1440x900
    External: 1440x900 60Hz
    Cable: mini DisplayPort to VGA
    Monitor: also reports a resolution of 1440x900
    Tested: Different VGA cables, external screens and VGA dongles

    Most native OSX apps display perfectly whereas most other apps look horrible. So it can't be the cable or other devices influencing the signal.

    - Today the screen looked horrible with Chrome on a web-page and when I started scrolling it changed! The web page looked fine but the Chrome GUI itself looked horrible.

    - Attached: Powerpoint on Macbook screen and external screen where in the external screen it only looks bad in the slide-list area ?? ;-))

    The mistery-level goes up ;-)

    Attached Files:

  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I assume if you takte the screen shot and open in preview and move them to either screen nothing changes.
    Only the Apps do.

    Maybe there is some buggy color profile behavior.
    What happens if you change the color profile of the affected monitor. You know in Display pref settings. Just make a strange looking one to see the difference.
    I can only guess that it might have something to do with that. Otherwise it must be a hardware bug or GPU driver problems.
  7. DJF3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010

    Thank you for pointing out the color profiles..
    I had played with the color profiles before but just noticed you have 2 settings windows, one on your primary screen and one on the secondary screen.

    When randomly selecting other color profiles I noticed that with some profiles the problems went away!!

    When I have more time I'll look into what makes some profiles work or fail.


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