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kseras001

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 20, 2024
3
1
Hello, I recently purchased a new MacBook Pro with an M3 chip, and I connected it to my 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 2560x1440 using a USB-C to DisplayPort cable. However, the image appears very blurry. I've tried different resolutions labeled as HiDPI, but I couldn't achieve the sharp and clear image quality that Windows provides. I've experimented with solutions like BetterDisplay and terminal commands, but the issue persists. Is there a solution to this problem? If not, what are the minimum specifications for a new monitor that I should consider purchasing? This situation is quite frustrating.
 

Sheepish-Lord

macrumors 68020
Oct 13, 2021
2,170
4,411
You sure it’s not just a retina issue? Anything other than Apples displays will have issues with PPI.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,144
12,304
The info below is from my archives.
You'll note that it dates from 'way back in Mojave -- it may not even be relevant any longer (others please comment if that's the case).

But... it MIGHT help you.
I suggest you try ALL FOUR settings, to see if they make any difference. You MUST log out and then log in after each change to see the results:
=====================
Mojave:

RE-enable subpixel antialiasing for non-retina displays:
defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO

Then log out and log back in.

Enable subpixel antialiasing smoothing:

Light font smoothing:
defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 1

Medium font smoothing:
defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

Heavy font smoothing:
defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 3

NO font smoothing:
defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 0


Source article:
=====================

If the above doesn't help...
You might try a DIFFERENT display cable, or a different "connection scheme".

By "different connection scheme" I mean use the MacBook Pro's HDMI port instead of USBc.
Does the display offer other inputs than displayport -- such as HDMI?
If so, try them.

If NOTHING you try helps, then my suggestion is to replace the 1440p display with a 27" 4k display. This will show up "in default mode" on the Mac as "looks like 1080p" -- HiDPI mode.
 

MikeDr206

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2021
405
257
There are a lot of threads about this. As a general rule, newer versions of MacOS don’t handle lower resolution monitors well (I.e., they‘re worse than Windows). Some people think the text is fine, others hate it.

The most certain way to resolve this is to get a 4K or a 5K display.
 

picpicmac

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2023
919
1,208
However, the image appears very blurry.
A screen shot is probably a better way of illustrating what you mean by "blurry".

What one person considers "blurry" another may find acceptable.

Your monitor is right around a physical 100ppi (exact number depends on the exact display measurements), and while that was the old Macintosh standard years ago, and in general what many people use today on "FHD" (i.e., 1080p) 20" monitors, with larger monitors (such as your 27") you will likely find you will want more physical pixels per inch to look the best with a Mac.

Additionally, there is a wide range of quality among LCD monitors.
 
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iStorm

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2012
1,658
2,055
A 27" 1440p display is not a HiDPI display, so you don't want to be using that setting. Are you using the default 2560x1440 resolution/scaling, or did you change it to something else? Screenshots of your settings might be helpful.

Lots of people use 27" 1440p displays with no issue. Sure, it's not as sharp as a 5K display, but it shouldn't be blurry unless you're trying to make it look like 1080p or something.
 

Altis

macrumors 68040
Sep 10, 2013
3,149
4,869
A 27" 1440p display is not a HiDPI display, so you don't want to be using that setting. Are you using the default 2560x1440 resolution/scaling, or did you change it to something else? Screenshots of your settings might be helpful.

Lots of people use 27" 1440p displays with no issue. Sure, it's not as sharp as a 5K display, but it shouldn't be blurry unless you're trying to make it look like 1080p or something.
It's blurry because macOS no longer has sub-pixel rendering, so text looks very blurry. That's why OP is having no problems with it in Windows since that still has it.

OP, I don't know of any solution but that's what's causing it to look blurry. macOS just doesn't look good on non-highDPI displays anymore, sadly. There may be a way to sneak it back in but I haven't found one that works.
 

kseras001

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 20, 2024
3
1
A screen shot is probably a better way of illustrating what you mean by "blurry".

What one person considers "blurry" another may find acceptable.

Your monitor is right around a physical 100ppi (exact number depends on the exact display measurements), and while that was the old Macintosh standard years ago, and in general what many people use today on "FHD" (i.e., 1080p) 20" monitors, with larger monitors (such as your 27") you will likely find you will want more physical pixels per inch to look the best with a Mac.

Additionally, there is a wide range of quality among LCD monitors.

A 27" 1440p display is not a HiDPI display, so you don't want to be using that setting. Are you using the default 2560x1440 resolution/scaling, or did you change it to something else? Screenshots of your settings might be helpful.

Lots of people use 27" 1440p displays with no issue. Sure, it's not as sharp as a 5K display, but it shouldn't be blurry unless you're trying to make it look like 1080p or something.
Hello again to everyone, I was quite happy with my monitor on the Windows system because everything looked perfect, sharp, and clear. As you can see in the screenshot, especially the SMS part with the number 61 is very blurry. My monitor is the Lenovo Legion Y27q-20 model, which has an IPS screen and is quite good.
 

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picpicmac

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2023
919
1,208
As you can see in the screenshot, especially the SMS part with the number 61 is very blurry.
Yes it is.

And using text colors that are pure R or G or B will be most blurry, because of the triplet at each physical pixel, only one LCD color filter will be open. This is why black text on a white background can still look decent (as the white background has all three filters open and the black text has none.)

At this point I think we have to accept that Apple determined several years ago that its computing devices would be designed around high density displays technology.

That is why for my new Mac I'm going to have to buy a display with at close to a physical 218ppi as possible, if I do not buy an actual Apple display (or iMac.)

Many people use 4K 27" displays (~183ppi physical) and like them.
 

picpicmac

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2023
919
1,208
My monitor is the Lenovo Legion Y27q-20 model
Here is the text image from RTINGS for your monitor:

Screen Shot 2024-01-22 at 5.15.37 AM.png


Notice their note on Windows ClearType improving the text. The snapshot I embedded above is from my own display - you need to go to the link to see their original.

Now compare that to their test of the highly regarded (for business) Dell Ultrasharp 2723QE, which is a 4K monitor:

Screen Shot 2024-01-22 at 5.18.48 AM.png


Again notice their note on ClearType making the font thicker, which on the U2723QE will make the text very clear indeed.

Notice how much the "N" is better on the 4K monitor. On macOS you can expect a similar improvement.

Finally, here is their entry for the Apple Studio Display:

Screen Shot 2024-01-22 at 5.24.43 AM.png


Notice the bottom row of text, without Windows ClearType (top row), is just as easy to read.
 
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