MBP to HP ZR2440W external: too vivid?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chaseychasem, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. chaseychasem macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #1
    So I've now got my mid-2012 MBP connected via Mini DisplayPort to an HP ZR2440W 24" 1900x1200 IPS monitor. Beautiful results, but I have to admit that I'm taken aback by how "wet" or "electric" the reproduced image is. Nothing's wrong with the colors, and taking down the brightness/contrast helps, but coming from the world of PCs attached to external displays (once owned a white MacBook but never a desktop Mac), I feel like the screen is going to eat my face off or something. It seems aggressive somehow. My eyes don't feel strained per se, just a little flummoxed.

    Is this simply an OS X thing? Different font smoothing may have something to do with it, as the text looks more gelatinous than I'm used to, if that makes sense. On the other hand, the picture on the MBP's internal HR AG display does seem "drier" and less aggressive. At any rate, if there's tweaking to be done, I haven't the foggiest where to start.
     

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  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    PC to Mac transition always has this effect due to OS X higher alpha settings. That is what I concluded back in 2008 when I made the switch. Also, alpha settings were raised a bit in the Leopard to Snow Leopard transition.
     
  3. chaseychasem thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Hmm—what does this mean, exactly? I'm familiar with gamma but not alpha.
     
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #4
    Ok, it I was wrong (naming wise). I wasn't sure which name. I knew there was one with the same name as a radioactive decay, didn't know which one.
     
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #5
    Both PC and Mac gamma is 2.2 now. It has nothing to do with color being wet or electric. Bad color is bad color in 1.8 (old Mac) or 2.2 gamma (PC standard).
    The biggest issue is the lack of correct color profiles for all the PC displays out there. This is why users buy colorimeters and calibrate them. If you are doing it manually you're results will be off either by a little bit or by a lot. I don't know anyone who can calibrate a display using Apples supplied SW calibrator. SuperCal if it still is being updated could help if you want to go it by sight. 1st off reduce your brightness and the "melt" will subside.
     
  6. chaseychasem thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    So even though the colors look all right to my untrained eye, they really are responsible for the melt? Great way to describe what I'm seeing, by the way, thank you.
     
  7. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    Jun 27, 2009
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    Pennsylvania
    #7
    Is that HP a wide gamut display? That would make all the colors seem too vivid
     
  8. chaseychasem thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #8
    Quick browse of the web suggests it is not.
     
  9. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #9
    They both default to 2.2 since Snow Leopard. It's silly that it took that long. A couple of the notebook displays have weird profiles attached with the "colorlcd" tag. My macbook pro showed it taking a red gamma curve of 2.5 and much lower gamma values for green and blue where the output was mostly adjusted to match green and blue to red. I profiled it to a gamma 2.2 target instead at native color temperature, and it looks better to me. Trying to get closer to D65 in i1 profiler created a lot of weird problems, which is why it's left to native. I suspect the regular macbook pros are using heavily dithered 6 bit panels, so trying to mess with them too much via frame buffer adjustments isn't such a great idea. I just went for as visually pleasing as possible and left it at that.

    I'm not sure what you mean melt.

    It's an sRGB display with LED backlighting. When people say wide gamut, they typically mean wider than sRGB, and typically a close match to Adobe 1998.
     
  10. chaseychasem thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #10
    Out-of-the-box color/brightness/contrast settings were much too intense, whatever the exact combination at play. I've now run SuperCal (plan to purchase a license for even better calibration) and have brightness set at 70, contrast at 80—does that sound outlandish?

    Incidentally, was the font-smoothing bug with Snow Leopard/Lion resolved in ML? All OS X checkboxes/TinkerTool say font smoothing is enabled on the external LCD, but who knows.
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #11
    I usually don't dial down contrast as it typically produces less than ideal results, but if it works well on that one, it's not a bad option. Contrast ratios keep increasing, yet we're still dealing with a maximum of 8b/c color. I don't know of any display that I've run at full brightness. A typical LCD display can be 300-400 cd/m^2 in terms of whites at full brightness. That is really quite bright.
     
  12. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #12
    Yeah, I would calibrate with the screen at 50% brightness (or closest equivalent to 200 nits).

    I've never understood people who has brightness set to higher than 50%. It feels like they are trying to burn their eyes off.
     
  13. chaseychasem thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #13
    Great, thanks for all the wonderful tips so far. My only remaining question has to do with external font smoothing in ML, as remarked above. Has that bug been corrected? Various checkboxes in OS X and TinkerTool say it's enabled with the HP monitor attached, but I'd like to be certain. Haven't been using the machine long enough to tell on my own.
     
  14. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #14
    OSX Gamma was switched from 1.8 to 2.2 when Leopard was released...so there should be no difference.
     
  15. chaseychasem thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #15
    There's something about font rendering on the external display that seems—fuzzy isn't the word. Will I get used to this? Nothing seems wrong, but it's so different from my experience with a PC connected to an antiglare LCD display. I can't tell if my eyes are straining or what, but it's a surprise.
     

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