Macbook Pro - External Monitor Blurry Text

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SGSeries, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. SGSeries, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    SGSeries macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017
    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???....


    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
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    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.
  3. SGSeries thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017
    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.
  4. SGSeries thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017
  5. joepairman macrumors newbie


    Oct 3, 2017
    London, UK
    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?
  6. Joe Z macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2018
    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.



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