MBPr don't lose much sharpness when scaled - maybe 4k scaled to 2560x1440 is enough??

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by telling, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. telling macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2014
    I just wondering if a 4k 28" will be almost as good as the new 5k imac when it comes to working with Text. I know that a MBPr 13" at 1400x900 or 1680x1050 looks almost as sharp as the "retina" resolution at 1280x800.

    So, when you use a 4k 28" display and use the "scaled" 2560x1440 resolution it might look also way more sharp than on an "old" 27" imac with 2560x1440.

    Does someone have experience with this?

    In other words, when a lot of us will not be able to use a 5k display due to the lack of thunderbold 1.3 in the future, maybe it's not a problem and a 4k will almost as good?
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I agree with you. I use my 13" rMBP which has a 2560x1600 (226PPI) display at a scaled resolution which is effectively 1680x1050 (or a scaling factor of about 1.5:1) and it looks unbelievably sharp. Of course, it's not going to be as sharp as 2:1 (best for display), but it will be sharper than an equivalent native res screen at that size thanks to Apple's scaling algorithm.

    Note that 1680x1050 is about 150PPI when considering the size of text and UI elements.

    Now a 4K 28" display is only 157PPI to start with so text and UI elements are going to look very similar to the 13" retina running at 1680x1050. Thus, you could probably use it at native resolution and enjoy it if you're comfortable with a 13" rMBP at 1:5:1.

    If you scale a 4K 28" display to 1.5:1 you're going to end up with an effective resolution of about 2560x1440 as you pointed out. This will render text and UI elements very similar to a 27" Apple Thunderbolt display (105-110PPI), but it will be sharper due to the added pixels available along with Apple's great scaling.

    It won't be as sharp as the 2:1 scaling on the 5K display, but it will probably be so close, you won't be able to tell unless you get your nose to the screen.

    Elements will also be larger on the scaled 4K display than on the scaled 13" rMBP display (105PPI vs 150PPI) but that might be perfect if your desktop display is a bit further away than you might otherwise work on a laptop.

    Dell has a new P2715Q 27" 4K display coming out soon that uses an IPS panel that should be fairly reasonably priced. It should be the ideal alternative to the retina iMac display.
  3. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    +1 on this one. I think this is a good alternative if you want the same retina experience at your desk as you are used to on your rMBP.

    I'm not sure about how much more graphics power you'll need when running a scaled resolution vs. best for retina resolution though.

    Also, the Dell P2815Q is actually cheaper than it's counterpart, the Dell U2713HM. Although it's not an IPS screen.
  4. telling, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

    telling thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2014
    Thanks for your answers guys.

    Yep, that was what I was hopping for. Since my distance to an external display is bigger than to my laptop screen it should also be a plus to get the "retina" experience on a external display too.

    I'm considering getting a mbpr 15" as a desktop replacement. As I'm working 95% on my work desk I will use an external display with mouse most of the time.

    As the mbpr 15" didn't support 5k (no display port 1.3) I'm not so sure if I want to pay so much money on this with the knowledge I will never be able to use a 5k on this. Since I'm not a video editor (programming, light graphic design, writing) I just ask myself if a 4k is not as good as a 5k monitor for this kind of work.

    The graphics power question is a good one. Does anyone have an additional opinion about it? With a 13" mbpr I didn't notice any problems until now(I always use a scaled resolution). But I do all the real intensive work with my desktop at the moment.

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