I made a huge mistake...need help..

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Sander25, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. Sander25 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2015
    I feel like I have made a huge mistake. I sold my MacBook Air and Thunderbolt Display in exchange for rMB and a Dell P2715Q monitor. This does not work well.

    As for rMB, I do not like the keyboard or usability overall, but I am stuck with this iPad kind of computer.

    When trying to use the Dell Display the 2560x1440 60hz resolution looks like crap. It is blurry and fonts are bleeding. I have tried every possible thing I can think of including forcing RGB mode, a number of different resolutions using SwitchRexX etc.

    The only thing that seems half way decent is 1080p with HiDP but fonts etc are way too big - wasting real estate on the screen. Even here the fonts are grainy and nothing close to what the TB display was.

    If I could somehow get HiDP to work in 2560x1440 maybe that would work, but no idea how to get that. Does not seem possible.

    Anyone have any experience using the rMB with a 4K display at 2560x1440 that looks ok ? Would the issue be resolved if using Hub+ for instance where a Minidisplay port is made available ?

  2. sangalang, Jun 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015

    sangalang macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2015
    Sorry to hear your predicament. rMB is a fine piece of machine, but by no means perfect for everyone. I don't have any personal experiences with 4k displays, but the new rMB is certainly not ideal for it.

    Just curious: how are you connecting the monitor to your laptop? Because only the HDMI will support 4k resolution, albeit at maximum refresh rate of only 30Hz. 60Hz is not supported by the rMB at all I'm afraid.
    See official  site: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202856

    Hub+ will support 4k with the same limitation, but once again only if you output it via mini DP --> HDMI. See their official report: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nonda/get-your-macbook-ports-back/posts/1229691
    It's the same story for other Kickstarter projects like the KADi port (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/714748206/the-kadi-port-a-macbook-essential/description).
    Same for 's own Digital AV Adapter. Overpriced for what it does, but at least it's available now if you haven't got one already.

    Given the way LCD displays work there is no way to escape the blurriness if you're not going to run it at its native resolution. 4k display at 2560x1440 will look suboptimal no matter what cable or devices you use.

    In summary, I'm afraid your options are quite limited. Either:
    a) persevere with rMB + 4k Dell: running either 4k @ 30Hz, or 2k @ 60Hz
    b) ditch rMB and get MBA / MBP to get the most out of the 4k monitor

    Hope that helps...
  3. squirrrl macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    seems like if you're already resigned to calling it an "iPad like computer" then this isn't the computer for you, whether or not you can hook it up to your monitor.

    How long has it been since you bought it? Why don't you return it instead? You never mention that you need portability which is what this macbook is really built for. Otherwise, if it's going to spend most of the time docked at your desk, i would have gone for a MBP which isn't that much more. Can you return your macbook and get the MBP or is it after the 2 week return period?
  4. MyopicPaideia, Jun 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015

    MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Agreed. The nasty monitor experience is due to the monitor. If you want to do 4k, return the MB immediately and swap it for the 13" MBP.

    I haven't once in 4 years docked my old 2011 11" MBA to an external monitor - that's not why I bought it. I did that with the Mac mini. That is what it is for.

    EDIT: Now I realise that this was a harsh post. But @squirrrl is right. If the primary use of the machine is at a desk docked to an external monitor, then portability is not a primary priority, and one would probably be better served choosing the 13" MBP...as a long time MBA owner I can't recommend it because of the screen...unless you aren't ever going to be looking at it because it will be docked to an external montior 90% of the time... ;)
  5. nc11 macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2013
    Looks like classic buyer's remorse. Just return the rMB, and possibly the screen as well. Then back to the "research" board. If you've enjoyed the MBA + TB combo, the suggestion from others to go for a rMBP makes perfect sense.
  6. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    It is possible on every other Mac that supports 4K monitors. I am not sure if it's possible with the rMB though.
  7. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    Here is something I noted from another post somewhere, don't know if it helps but :

    Check System Preferences->Displays->Profiles->Color LCD->Open profile->Line 17

    The only thing we care about here is the 610 and the a027 though your numbers may be different.

    We will want to navigate to /System/Library/Displays/Overrides/ in finder and choose the folder that corresponds with your first number, mine being 610. The folder I want is called DisplayVendorID-610.

    Inside you want to find the corresponding files with your second number, mine being a027. The file I want is called DisplayProductID-a027.

    To avoid dealing with getting rights to the file, we will just make a copy on the desktop and modify that. After that, open the copy you just made on the Desktop in TextEdit. Within the <array> portion you will want to make a new line and paste in <data>AAANIAAACDQAAAAB</data>. This is the data for the 1680x1050 HiDPI resolution. Save this file.

    Then you want to delete the original DisplayProductID-a027 (or whatever file yours is) and paste in yours from the desktop. Make sure the name matches exactly or it will not work.

    Reboot your machine and switch the resolution in RDM when you boot up.

    most of this is borrowed from http://www.reddit.com/r/apple/commen...the_13/cl0c87l and modified to fit within context of rMB
  8. Sander25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2015
    Thanks for input. Travel A LOT so appreciate the portability but I am disappointed with the rMB as a computer. Unfortunately TB Display is gone and I am passed return date (my silly mistake). That being said, I would love to get it to work in 2560x1440 not 4K. I would assume that the rMB should be able to drive 2560x1440 with a decent image. Thanks for constructive input christophermdia. I will try that.
  9. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2008
    Washington, DC
  10. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Yeah the Retina Macbook in it`s current form is very much an ultraportable, and frankly not an all purpose system. Skylake & TB-3 will fix the 4K issues, equally that does not help your situation. I think your options are clear; you could try a different display, however for what your describing I would move to a 13" rMBP for a year or two, then revisit the Retina MacBook. You can try QuickRes, however I doubt it will help as you have already tried SwitchResX which is a more comprehensive App.

    FWIW I own 15", 13" & 12" Retina`s, so have some understanding of each systems performance envelope. The Retina MacBook is definitely a secondary system in my hardware portfolio, and I will be very surprised if it holds up the same loads as my 13" Retina.

  11. palmwangja macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2015
    Thanks for the post, OP. We at least realize that rMB is not for 4K experience.
    Actually, rMB is getting somewhat hot by just connecting a 1080p monitor.
  12. Billcat macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2015
    Have you tried HDMI=>DVI and use DVI to link to the dell monitor?
  13. burgman macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2013
    No Mac laptop other than a 15 inch MBP prior to 2015 models can do 4K at 60FPS in SST or MST what is your point? My rMB using HDMI looks fine on my monitor, a Samsung D590. I read the specs so I didn't expect 4K@60. I don't know if purchasing the Google USB-C to display port adapter would make a difference. I use mine all day connected to my monitor no heat issues.
  14. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2008
    Washington, DC
    So are you set on 4k60, or would 4k30 be acceptable? It looks like the USB-C to DisplayPort adapter only gets you 30Hz (at least at the moment - I'd be curious to see if that is a driver issue).

    If you are committed to 2560@60, you really are going to need a different monitor.
  15. thadoggfather macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2007
    maybe you made a mistake for your uses, but not a big one, and rMB is still very much wanted and you could easily flip it and return to an Air if that's your plan.

    I think you'll be (eye) sorely disappointed in non-retina TN panels at this point though. Once you've tasted the nectar. Would be better off with rMBP if getting off the MB is your plan
  16. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    You bought a computer that doesn't fully support that display... Also macbook pros can barely handle 4k monitors at 60hz. You instead chose the slowest computer apple sells...

    Your best bet is to return it or run it at 4k at 30hz.
  17. max90034 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    2560x1440 is not 4k. I use mbr with lg 3440x1440 (that is also not 4k ) at 60hz and it works great over Google display port adaptor.
  18. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    We've all been through similar so don't feel anxious.

    Remember, you can always sell something and cut your losses if need be worst case.

    I don't think there's a work around for this. Consider just getting a 1440p monitor. Those look pretty good.

    You can always try calling Apple though. They are very helpful.

    EDIT: Hmm I just read it is 1440. That's not 4k OP. Sometimes the monitor can be defective. I wouldn't call apple. Try dell though. They are helpful. And don't stop if the 1st guy isn't friendly. They will work with you.
  19. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    This was exactly the point of my earlier post here. The monitor is actually the problem. OP, if you get a monitor that is 1440p max, it will look great with the rMB.

    Still hold to my point with the rMB meant to be a portable move-about-a-lot, take-with-you-on-your-travels machine, and not docked and hooked to an external display 90% of the time. There are better, nore cost effective Apple laptops/computers for that sort of application :)
  20. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The monitor he has is 4k. He can run it at 2560x1440, which he is doing, but just setting his resolution like that results in an image that is not sharp, which is exactly what he is complaining of. In order to run it in hiDPI mode, the MacBook must first render the image at full resolution, then downscale it to the size he chooses, which is what he'd like to do, but is having trouble accomplishing.

    4k monitors are a bit of a crapshoot on almost any portable device right now. The MacBook especially is a poor choice for driving them, as the tech is just not quite ready. Can you return or sell the monitor and buy one with a native resolution closer to what you'd like?
  21. Sander25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2015
    Thanks for continued help. I appreciate all of you providing constructive input on how to solve this. I will return the P2715Q which is fairly pricy and try a 2560x1440 native monitor instead. I was expecting the 4K monitor to work well with rMB in 2560x1440 and then also be "future proof" (4K). That is not the case. This new Dell monitor does not have DVI I guess that is being phased out....boggles my mind that Apple did not launch some kind of adapter allowing the rMB to be used with Thunderbolt.
  22. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    HiDPI large screen - it's better to get a retina iMac for that purpose.

    I'm actually doubtful if a rMB can even drive 4k @ 60Hz properly. I'd stick with a rMBP if I wanted to do that, preferably the 15" with dedicated graphics. Note that running 1440p HiDPI on a 4k monitor is actually more difficult than running it at native 4k since it is 5k down scaled to 4k.

    Definitely ditch the 4k monitor and go with a standard 1440p monitor, preferably with HDMI inputs for less grief in general.
  23. Nueve macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Wait what what's wrong with the monitor? I currently own a mid 2014 Retina Macbook Pro with the integrated Nvidia 750m GPU, I just ordered the same exact monitor, I thought it was possible to run the full native 4k resolution at 60hz through a mini displayport to Displayport cable?
  24. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Displayport itself is capable of carrying the signal. The question is whether everything else in the chain is. Apple has a fairly comprehensive document here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202856

    From that, it's not clear to me that your model laptop will be able to do 60hz. However, specifics of compatibility with 4k monitors is a bit of a crapshoot at the moment, so it's probably at least worth giving it a try.

    It's also not clear to me what kind of performance you can expect if you want to run any kind of scaled resolution on a 4k monitor, as you'll be asking your GPU to render content at greater than 4k in order to extract your chosen scaled workspace.
  25. Nueve macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Thanks a lot for the response. There's people reporting that it works, then there's people saying it doesn't lol. I am just going to refuse the package when it arrives. Thanks again

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