LG 3440x1440 looks blurry with Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by damianmb, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. damianmb macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Hey there,

    Just got an LG 34 UC98 and connecting it to my late 2013 macbook pro with gforce 740m gives me blurry text. I connected it using the provided HDMI cable and also a Thunderbolt with the same result.

    Restarted the computer, installed LG software.. all the same. When I played a Youtube 4K video it plays fine.. it's just that the text is blurry as a whole, like when you have a wrong resolution. My macbook model also is supported up to 4k output so that's not the problem.

    I looked up the web and nothing. Also, checked that the monitor is at full res in the display settings and also in the system info: 3440x1440 60hz.

    It's driving me crazy... any ideas? I even read here in these forums that a Macbook Air 2013 drives it too perfectly fine.

  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    First, do this:
    - Open the "Displays" preference pane
    - Where it says "Resolution", click "Scaled"
    - Question: do you see labels such as "1080p", etc.?

    If so, it looks like the Mac is "seeing" the display "as a TV" and NOT "as a computer display". Common problem with Macs and displays.

    Do you see anything in the Displays pane about "over" or "underscanning"?
    That, too, would indicate "TV" instead of "Display".
    Try adjusting this control, to see if it makes a difference.

    There is a way to FORCE the Mac to see the display AS "a display":
    This takes a little fiddling around, but it does work.

    Another thought:
    Does this display have a DisplayPort connector on it?
    If so, consider connecting via DP rather than HDMI.
    And be sure to buy a QUALITY MiniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable, such as Apple's. There are cheap inferior ones out there that won't work right...
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Sounds like HDMI is the culprit here. You would probably have better luck ditching the HDMI interface and going with DisplayPort instead. HDMI is typically limited to 1080, which would cause your monitor to display at a non-native resolution, resulting in the blurry text.
  4. estabya macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2014
    I have the 34UM95 (same size and resolution) connected to my 2014 13" Macbook Pro, and I don't have this problem. I can use it just fine at 50hz over HDMI or 60hz over Thunderbolt. Like Fishrrman said, I would guess it's a scaling issue that can be fixed in the system preferences.
  5. damianmb, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016

    damianmb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2014
    in HDMI and in Thunderbolt it says Resolution: default for display, if i go to scaled it shows 3440 as it should.., then in Refresh Rate: 60 Hertz (NTSC). At the top it says LG ULTRAWIDE and in Color the profile is LG ULTRAWIDE, I tried others there and it's the same.

    I went to a store now to try an UC97, a Samsung same resolution and a Samsung 4k. The result is the same to my eye as with mine. We then connected a Dell XPS 15 (latest) and in the 4k was very similar to my retina macbook, when connecting the macbook, it's blurrier and if I select full res, then everything is very small.

    I went to Apple Store and tried a 27 thunderbolt monitor and it was displaying the same way as from a mac mini, using the same thunderbolt cable, which in fact was no way near my retina display.

    Now am I maybe expecting too much after using for more than a 2 years only my retina macbook screen, in there I cannot see a single pixelation, 0.

    Attached is an image of 2/3 of the screen, maybe it helps

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wi7uy5jkybordq3/File 14-04-2016, 21 52 16.jpeg?dl=0
  6. estabya macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2014
    Color profile shouldn't affect the clarity of the screen, so that's probably not the issue.

    This is my opinion based on looking in the options on my own system... It looks like the problem probably stems from the fact that if you change the resolution option to one of the Scaled choices in SP, it actually is lowering the resolution of the video output rather than scaling the items on screen like it does for the built in retina screen. Seems odd that it's not a choice for the external screen. I run mine in full 3440x1440 because I don't find the text and other content to be to small at full res. I can do some research and see if there is a way to scale the items on screen like you can for the retina screens, but it looks like your only option for the time being is to deal with it small or deal with it blurry.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2016 ---
    It looks like there is a $1.99 app in the Mac App Store called "ResolutionTab" that will let you do this. I tried to figure out how to do it with terminal commands, but all the things I tried were only applying changes to the built in screen on the laptop.
  7. damianmb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Thanks I will do my research tomorrow hopefully. I do think there is a chance I'm just spoiled by my Retina display, as even a 4k imac is not perfect for me.. only the 5k is. My eyes are getting used to the monitor somehow it seems.. let's see in the coming days. Still sad because windows do look better :/
  8. estabya macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2014
    Windows looks better because it has the scaling options to keep the same native resolution and scale everything. The alternative (which by default is the only option on OS X) is to actually change the resolution, which means that the display has to scale that resolution to fill the entire screen. This results in, for example, the monitor having to make 2560 horizontal pixels stretch to 3440 pixels, and 1080 vertical pixels to stretch to 1440. Because the pixels are set sizes, the image gets distorted because the display has to do weird things to stretch the image.

    The solution is to find a way to force OS X to use HiDPI mode which lets you keep the native resolution but scale the UI to be bigger. The makes the UI a more usable size, while keeping the clarity of the full resolution. OS X has native support for HiDPI mode for built in screens on the retina Macs, so why it's not an included feature for external monitors is beyond me. That's Apple for you.

    There are ways of forcing it to work. Before Mavericks it was as easy as a quick terminal command or two, but those don't seem to work any more. Like I said above, the app "ResolutionTab" should do what you want. There are others as well, but that seems to be the least expensive.

    EDIT: I'm going to buy the app quick and report back to let you know if it works right. I've been wanting a similar functionality for a couple specific applications anyway. It was just never a big enough deal for me to take the time to research it until I saw this thread and had a little bit of time on my hands. :D
  9. estabya macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2014
    Well the app doesn't work. I should have known based on the fact that it hasn't been updated in almost 4 years :(
  10. damianmb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2014
    I tried the SwitchResX, which has a 10 days trial, trying different resolutions didn't do much aside for leaving my screen black when I closed the lid.

    I had to spend hours trying to fix it, so please stay away from those apps. I do think now, that I am used to Retina displays and only a 5K monitor or so will give me the same results. Something to note too is that this display is matte and will make things look a little grainy compared to the retina displays with glossy surface.

    I also tried the RGB trick script, but not much changed. I had problems with the thunderbolt showing some lines on the right side and doing a monitor reset solved the issue.
  11. Fresh Burek macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2012
    Yea you cannot expect a normal display to look as clear and sharp as retina display. I know when I use my retina MBP for a few days while traveling, then I come back home and connect it to my thunderbolt, the difference in sharpness is HUGE. However, the extra real estate on Thunderbolt helps and I get adjusted to it quickly. What you're looking for is a retina or Hi-DPI display, which means it would have be like 5k resolution in order for it to scale it down to something more standard, but then all the icons and stuff will be big and you would lose the real estate advantage. Plus MBP would probably have a problem running such a high resolution.
  12. damianmb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Agree, still not there to buy a 5k monitor and invest so much. This monitor costed me 780 usd which is awesome for what I get. My eyes are getting used to it now and it's better. Besides I have more connectivity. My mac as far as I know, can handle 2 of these without a problem, gaming would be an issue but for work is pretty ok.

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11 April 14, 2016