Macbook Pro - External Monitor Blurry Text

SGSeries

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 13, 2017
3
1
Hey i thought it would be worth posting incase anyone is having the same issue.

I was trying to run an external monitor out of my MacBook pro retina into a 2K display (via HDMI) and getting horrible fuzzy text....tried everything under the sun with the font smoothing, screen calibration etc etc , bar the (most likely) obvious solution of setting the monitor to optimise for the Macbook Pro rather than the display i am using.

Is this obvious or am i dummy?

Either way, the text 90% better however now everything else is not quite as sharp....its a double edged sword.

If anyone has any more/different solutions let me know

The monitor also has a display port and i've read this can improve the quality notch more???....

****update

Thunderbolt to display port fixed it.
Alright so the display port 100% fixed it - wow haha. Colour accuracy, clarity, text - everything...i got a gold plated one from macfixit, search:
Mini DisplayPort / Thunderbolt to DisplayPort Cable - 0.9m
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,540
6,278
Try this:

Open the "displays" preference pane. I'm going to -guess- that two displays are shown (internal & external), is this correct?

If so, click on the external.
On the right click the "scaled" radio button.
Now look at the resolutions available.

Do you see things like "1080p", etc.?
Or do you see resolution numbers, such as "1920 × 1080"?

If you are seeing resolutions such as 1080p, it sounds like the Mac is "seeing" the attached display "as if it were a connected tv", rather than a connected "computer display".

Do you also see a control to adjust "underscan"?
Have you tried using it?

Final thoughts:
If the display is 1920x1080 (which I believe is 2k, right?), don't expect the text to be as sharply defined as text on the retina display.
By comparison, it may be somewhat "lacking".

You might also try using a minidisplayport (mac) to display port (display) cable. Don't scrimp -- buy a good one.
 

SGSeries

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 13, 2017
3
1
Thanks for taking the time to reply!

The "best for display" resolution is 2560 x 1440 (BenQ GW2765) and it lists only 2560x1440, 2048x1152, 1600x900 & 720p.

At 2560 x 1440 the wallpaper/images look amazing, but the text looks icky, jagged, somewhat fuzzy - like if it were plugged into a TV.

At "best for retina display" on the external monitor, the UI looks smoother (if not a tad blurry), however so does the wallpaper, and i'm missing an inch either side of real estate.

Just now i'm finding that if i increase the text size the font becomes way smoother and clearer, as the font goes smaller something is happening to the font and it starts to turn blurry again. This applies for both best for display screen settings.

I've increased the monitors sharpness to about 80% to compensate.

I don't see an underscan control.

I've ordered one of those cables so i'm keen to see if it changes things haha.
 

joepairman

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2017
1
1
London, UK
The "best for display" resolution is 2560 x 1440 (BenQ GW2765) and it lists only 2560x1440, 2048x1152, 1600x900 & 720p.

At 2560 x 1440 the wallpaper/images look amazing, but the text looks icky, jagged, somewhat fuzzy - like if it were plugged into a TV.
I had the same monitor (BenQ GW2765), a 2015 Macbook Pro, and exactly the same problem. I switched the monitor to sRGB mode (Menu > Picture Advanced > Picture Mode) and the fonts became very smooth. This is with System Preferences > General > Use LCD font smoothing when available selected.

I wonder whether in your case, going through the DisplayPort on the monitor somehow forced sRGB mode?
 
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Joe Z

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2018
1
0
Hi, I saw your post about mDP to DP cable to output the max resolution (2560x1440) on external monitors. It worked for me too. Thanks !

However, do you experience a tiny text and system font issues on the external monitors at the native 2K resolutions? I have dual 24' 2K monitors hooked up with my late 2012 rMBP. The tiny fonts on external monitors are killing me. I have googled and so that no apparent solutions other than choose lower resolutions which made everything looks blurry.

Thanks.



Alright so the display port 100% fixed it - wow haha. Colour accuracy, clarity, text - everything...

Mini DisplayPort / Thunderbolt to DisplayPort Cable - 0.9m
https://www.macfixit.com.au/high-speed-mini-displayport-thunderbolt-to-displayport-cable-3ft/
 

freebirdjess

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2019
2
0
Hi everyone,

I am really struggling with this problem. I have tried everything. I've even bought and returned monitors and I am just at my wits end with this! The text is EXTREMELY blurry, like makes me get a headache blurry, and I cannot seem to resolve it. I was using an HDMI cord so I bought a DP cord. This one to be exact:
  • Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) to HDMI Cable, 4K Ready, 6 Feet (link on Amazon)
Here are my computer specs:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB

I have it updated to Mojave version 10.14.2

I recently purchased the Samsung 32" CF391 Curved LED Monitor (link)

I bought this monitor (and before I had tried a Sceptre which gave same results) so that I could have a lot of windows open at one time, read, design, and work on my side business. This is holding me back! HELP!
[doublepost=1548973439][/doublepost]
Hi everyone,

I am really struggling with this problem. I have tried everything. I've even bought and returned monitors and I am just at my wits end with this! The text is EXTREMELY blurry, like makes me get a headache blurry, and I cannot seem to resolve it. I was using an HDMI cord so I bought a DP cord. This one to be exact:
  • Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) to HDMI Cable, 4K Ready, 6 Feet (link on Amazon)
Here are my computer specs:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB

I have it updated to Mojave version 10.14.2

I recently purchased the Samsung 32" CF391 Curved LED Monitor (link)

I bought this monitor (and before I had tried a Sceptre which gave same results) so that I could have a lot of windows open at one time, read, design, and work on my side business. This is holding me back! HELP!
Can you tell the difference from image 1 (my mac) and image 2 (the monitor) it is blurry and pixelated on 2.

Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 5.22.29 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 5.22.37 PM.png
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,088
770
Austin, TX
Hi everyone,

I am really struggling with this problem. I have tried everything. I've even bought and returned monitors and I am just at my wits end with this! The text is EXTREMELY blurry, like makes me get a headache blurry, and I cannot seem to resolve it. I was using an HDMI cord so I bought a DP cord. This one to be exact:
  • Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) to HDMI Cable, 4K Ready, 6 Feet (link on Amazon)
Here are my computer specs:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB

I have it updated to Mojave version 10.14.2

I recently purchased the Samsung 32" CF391 Curved LED Monitor (link)

I bought this monitor (and before I had tried a Sceptre which gave same results) so that I could have a lot of windows open at one time, read, design, and work on my side business. This is holding me back! HELP!
[doublepost=1548973439][/doublepost]

Can you tell the difference from image 1 (my mac) and image 2 (the monitor) it is blurry and pixelated on 2.

View attachment 819331 View attachment 819332
I know this may sound small, and you may have already done this, but have you tried a different cable? Perhaps HDMI to HDMI, or a different Mini DP-HDMI cable? Cables are commonly the issue, especially the cheaper ones off Amazon and what not.

Also, do you experience the issue across the board or only on certain app(s)?
 

freebirdjess

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2019
2
0
I have tried HDMI and HDMI, a mini DP to HDMI, Ive used cheap and really expensive ones and experiencing the same thing. I did not buy the mini DP to HDMI that was recommended on here because it was in Australia.

My boyfriend just changed the picture mode to dynamic contrast and that seemed to help .
We changed the response time to fastest. Right now I am using the $50 Sony HDMI gold plated high speed. It's older though and I don't think it's 4k. It does look much better though, but not perfect.

I opened Illustrator and it is blurry. The lines and fonts are not crisp like they are on my mac screen.

Thank you so much for your suggestion. Any more? lol
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,586
2,794
SF Bay Area
Hi everyone,

I am really struggling with this problem. I have tried everything. I've even bought and returned monitors and I am just at my wits end with this! The text is EXTREMELY blurry, like makes me get a headache blurry, and I cannot seem to resolve it.
No solution, but I have similar issues when I connect my 2018 MBP to my Dell U2715 monitor, which is a 2 K monitor. So if anyone has a solution let me know.

FWIW, this monitor is perfect under Windows 10.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,088
770
Austin, TX
No solution, but I have similar issues when I connect my 2018 MBP to my Dell U2715 monitor, which is a 2 K monitor. So if anyone has a solution let me know.

FWIW, this monitor is perfect under Windows 10.
I run 2 Dell U2515 monitors (2k) off my 2017 MBP wTB with no issues at all, the text is crystal clear.

Are you scaling the resolution? It's possible that's causing the issue, or a new cable might fix the issue.

BTW, these Dell Ultrafine monitors are the best! They aren't the top specced by the sure look great with accurate color. I use them on my Mac and my Windows machines.
 

bobbie424242

macrumors regular
May 16, 2015
155
179
macOS is always going to look like **** on a 2K monitor (assuming 2K = 1080p).
It really wants high res displays to look good.
My advice is to buy a 4K monitor.
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
1,351
313
Michigan
I purchased a Dell 38" 4k last week. My first hook up was with the USB-C (cable included with monitor) only and the UI lag was bad. Then I hooked up the HDMI cable(cable included with monitor) with a Belkin USB-C to HDMI 4k dongle. It worked great. Very pleased. Then I got a hair brain idea yesterday to see how my 13" MBP would drive the monitor. I had it on there for a short bit but decided this was not the setup I wanted and put it back to the 15" MBP. Well then the ghosting and UI lag was on both cables or drivers. I spent hours trying to get it back to the way it was, even did a restore to when it was great. No luck. Then I thought maybe its the monitor, so I hit in the Dell menu "Factory Reset". Whalaa it was perfect and it was perfect on both cable drivers now.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,908
2,528
Delaware
Hi everyone,

I am really struggling with this problem. I have tried everything. I've even bought and returned monitors and I am just at my wits end with this! The text is EXTREMELY blurry, like makes me get a headache blurry, and I cannot seem to resolve it. I was using an HDMI cord so I bought a DP cord. This one to be exact:
  • Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) to HDMI Cable, 4K Ready, 6 Feet (link on Amazon)
Here are my computer specs:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB
...
I recently purchased the Samsung 32" CF391 Curved LED Monitor (link)

I bought this monitor (and before I had tried a Sceptre which gave same results) so that I could have a lot of windows open at one time, read, design, and work on my side business. This is holding me back! HELP!
...
Your post makes it sound like you expect that 32-inch display to somehow be as sharp as your internal retina display.
It's not a 4k display - it is a full HD display, 1920 x 1080, which will be much less sharp than the internal display.
If you want 4K display resolution, then purchase a 4K display (a 4K cable doesn't change anything :cool: )
 

Plett

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2016
296
216
I run 2 Dell U2515 monitors (2k) off my 2017 MBP wTB with no issues at all, the text is crystal clear.

Are you scaling the resolution? It's possible that's causing the issue, or a new cable might fix the issue.

BTW, these Dell Ultrafine monitors are the best! They aren't the top specced by the sure look great with accurate color. I use them on my Mac and my Windows machines.
With Dell Ultrafines you need to use the display port on the monitor. Don't ask me why but I suspect the OP has a Dell based on the issue. Very frustrating if you don't know any better, and I didn't when it happened to me. Went mad like many here. Tripped to it on accident, but happy I did, before i bought a 5k LG monitor that I didn't really want.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,088
770
Austin, TX
With Dell Ultrafines you need to use the display port on the monitor. Don't ask me why but I suspect the OP has a Dell based on the issue. Very frustrating if you don't know any better, and I didn't when it happened to me. Went mad like many here. Tripped to it on accident, but happy I did, before i bought a 5k LG monitor that I didn't really want.
That is interesting to know, and does seem to make sense... I do use the Displayport on my displays for the MacBook and the HDMIs for the Windows machine, so perhaps this is why I have never seen the issue. I just might have to test it out to see if I get the same issue too. Rather a peculiar quirk if you ask me...
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,908
2,528
Delaware
I feel like I fell into a rabbit hole.:confused:
Your link to "another" thread links to this thread

But, you are correct. There are several other threads that are very similar to this one. Just look at the "similar Threads" at the bottom of this page.
 

Plett

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2016
296
216
I feel like I fell into a rabbit hole.:confused:
Your link to "another" thread links to this thread

But, you are correct. There are several other threads that are very similar to this one. Just look at the "similar Threads" at the bottom of this page.
I am sorry I did a search because I remembered this topic! Sorry about that my bad.
 

MecPro

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2009
395
64
London
Had to re-up this thread as I have the same issue.

Tried the fox suggested by others and it doesn't work on my U2719D Dell monitor. I see a lot of others are having this issue to with other monitors and TBH instead of trying to find a monitor that works - I think I am going to give my Mrs the MBP 16 TB and get a Windows based laptop.

I've had to make a few sacrifices to stay on OSX but this display situation absolutely sucks. No idea why this just doesn't work
 

flummoxer

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2016
5
4
san frantastico
Apple suggests https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201177 . which I haven't seen linked here, it's much like joepairman's solution above. It's very likely all that needs doing, the mac is seeing a monitor as a TV, setting the monitor into rgb mode fixes that.
What worked for me ( and is probably just more complicated and dangerous but that's me ) on a rMBP 2017 via hdmi to dell was
https://www.mathewinkson.com/2013/0...ix-the-picture-quality-of-an-external-monitor
and the 'improved patch-edid.rb' script linked there.
 

raymor

macrumors newbie
Apr 5, 2019
1
2
There is some misinformation in this thread.

Twenty years ago, we had analog cables, VGA. With VGA, the brightness of a pixel was represented by the voltage level on the cable. The brightness of a particular pixel could range from 0.0 volts to 0.7 volts. A really low quality cable could have some resistance, which could turn 0.7 volts into 0.65 volts. Low quality cables could make the image worse.

Nineteen years ago, DVI (Digital Visual Interface) was introduced. Everything since then has been digital. The allowable digits are "1" and "0". The voltage in the cable is either on or off. There is no "quality" of on and off. A cable cannot cause a "blurry" signal. An HDMI, Thunderbolt, etc cable is either connected and passing signal or it is not. Replacing a digital cable will help *only* if the cable is broken, causing the screen to go black. It is absolutely 100% completely impossible for a digital cable to ever cause a fuzzy picture. If you have a picture, if the cable isn't loose and falling out, you would be 100% wasting your money to replace the cable.

That said, HDMI is different from DisplayPort, which is different from DVI. Switching from DVI to DisplayPort can make sense. But it would always be a waste of money to replace one HDMI cable with another HDMI cable, unless the cable is falling out of the jack or otherwise causing you to completely lose picture. An HDMI cable cannot possibly be blurry. There is no such thing as a blurry DisplayPort cable. Any digital cable either works or doesn't; 1 or 0, on or off.
 
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Macgyver1984

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2019
1
0
FIXED:
Changed out HDMI cable for a DISPLAYPORT TO USB-C.
This one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EXKDRAC/

For whatever reason HDMI and the adapters to Macbook > 4K external monitor do not play nice together for scaling text.

Then, in System Preferences > Displays > manually control scaling (I like 2nd size).

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 5.39.50 PM.jpg
 
Last edited:

maurmillss

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2010
2
0
Well I have looked at all these posts and tried things and nothing helps; I am very frustrated. I have a MacBook Pro 2017 and a Benq 27" monitor, 2560x1440 GW2765HT. The text and overall quality of the picture on the Benq is not good; the text is bitmappy and/or blurry. Can anyone help? I've tried changing the profile to SRGB. My monitor is connected Display Port -> USB C. Anyone?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,908
2,528
Delaware
What resolution is your BenQ display using? Look in your System Information, Graphics/Displays tab.
That should report that your display is set to show 2560x1440 - and not something lower.
 
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