Monitor upgrade / emulate Retina

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dannyx, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. dannyx macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2014
    I want to upgrade my monitor, with 32" 2560 x 1600 / 32" 2560 x 1440 / or 4k 28 inches 3840 x 2160

    One of those should be :

    The monitor i have now, is BenQ GW2760HS / res. 1920 x 1080

    Do you think, the fonts, generally speaking, would look better / sharper / crisper, on 2560 x 1600 / 2560 x 1440, or 4K 28 inches,than 1920 x 1080 ?

    I tried everything possible, on my 1080p monitor, but i don't really like the way the fonts look like. They look blurry. I googled a lot of forums, about. But still no result. I tried with the commands "defaults write -g AppleFontSmoothing -int 1" 2 /3 / 4 / as well, but the fonts still looks blurry.

    Could you advice me, please ? What monitor would you recommend, to have a close / same / quality, like Retina Display - 15 inch ?

    What about the 28 inches / 4k displays ?

    I wonder how the fonts look on 4k display. I don't mean the font size, but the quality. Are they getting close to MBP Retina Display ?

    How are the fonts looking on iMac 27 inches / 2560 x 1440 / ??
    Are they looking better than 1920 x 1080 monitor / Hackintosh ?
    If i would have a monitor with 2560 x 1440, would the fonts looks same like iMac 27 ?

    As you can see in the attached image, there are 3 displays / comparisons
    1. 15 inches / 16:9 / 2880 x 1800 resolution ( MacBookPro Retina )

    2. 28 inches / 16:9 / 3840 x 2160 resolution ( 4 k monitor / 28 inches )

    3. 27 inches / 16:9 / 1920 x 1080 ( specs for the monitor i have now )

    For the 15 inches, there is 53.921 pixels / square inch
    For the 28 inches / 4k / there is 24.784 pixels / square inch
    Less than the half

    That's why i asked you if the 28 inches 4k monitor is getting close to the Retina quality

    All i want is to improve the fonts quality. Whatever i'm doing, OS X fonts looks blurry, compared to Windows fonts.

    Thanks in advance, i hope someone can give me some advices about

    Attached Files:

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  2. dannyx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2014
  3. NYhoosier macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2012
    Clarity and sharpness are slightly subjective and a function of the viewing distance but you can compare ppi of the 3 monitors to other references you might have.

    27" retina iMac: 217ppi
    TBD/2013 27" iMac: - 109ppi
    15" MBP: 232ppi
    28" 3840x2160:157ppi
    27" 1920X1080: 82ppi

    Unfortunately your setup is at the bottom when it comes to pixel density, so it's not surprising to be blurry. However, that's a great place to be...anything you choose will look better. The 28" will be a big improvement but it's difficult to answer your question of retina quality because that is a function of distance and pixel count. The smaller the viewing distance, the more detail that can be detected. Therefore a higher pixels per inch is desirable.

    I have a retina iMac and sit about 26" away - it looks simply awesome. Before that I had a 23" 1920x1080 (96ppi) monitor and could easily see the pixels that made up each character.
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    The short answer is you need more pixels and more PPI to get sharper fonts and graphics. A 4K display is as close as you can get to a stand-alone retina display... And if you have a 27" 1920x1080 display today and are happy with the size of text and UI chrome, and just want incredible sharpness, then a 4K display at the same size (27") would be ideal as it will give you retina sharpness at that effective resolution.

    You may find you can even scale a 27-28" 4K to a slightly higher effective resolution like 2560x1440, thus getting more real-estate, with slightly smaller text and UI, but with very similar retina like sharpness.

    Have a look at my response here for a lengthy post on how panel size impacts things...
  5. BeamWalker macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2009
    The Asus PB279Q would give you UHD@27" therefore would quadruple your current pixel count by doubling vertical and horizontal resolution. This is the closest thing to being retina right now. The Dell UP2414Q is smaller (23,8") so the dpi is higher, I'm not sure that getting a smaller Display is the best option though.
  6. pietrov macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2011
    Why don't you look at an old cinema display 30''?
    I've bought one and I'm really happy with that...
  7. NMK03 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2014
    Hi BeamWalker,

    I have the MBP15R Late'13 and I use it with a 22" Samsung and it is killing me, having to look at the Retina and then the Samsung screen.... totally disturbing....

    I am in the market now for the Asus PB279Q, do you have experience with this IPS monitor? Is it MBP15 Retina compatible?

    I also read that on 4k - 27" screens, the writing becomes tiny and difficult to read. My main usage is work related, e-mails, web, spreadsheets. Gaming is nice but not critical. Accurate color is important for my LightRoom & Video work.

    My friend recommended a 34" AOC monitor but I think that will be too big....

    Thanks for any advice! I really need a monitor that comes close to the Retina. Do I have to wait for the iMac 5k screen to become a stand alone screen?
  8. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Monitor upgrade / emulate Retina

    An external display that comes close to Retina would be a 24" 4K like the Dell P2415Q. It would offer a 1920x1080 desktop at retina sharpness. It could also offer a number of scaled resolutions between that and native res that are also very sharp thanks to Apples scaling algorithm.

    In general, Any HiDPI display suitable as a retina display will not be usable at native resolution... That's the whole point though... You really want high pixel density to render things sharper... Not to run them natively with tiny text.
  9. NMK03 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2014
    Thank you, but sorry, I am not too good with this stuff. When I run the MBP15R together with the DellP2415Q, I would set the Dell to 1920x1080 and the Dell will look similar as to my Retina screen?

    I won't need the Asus 27" 4k? I heard it is better to have IPS vs TN. Wouldn't the Asus outperform the Dell and it is bigger and higher resolution?

    My friend is still urging me to go with the AOC 34" IPS screen because he said what is also very important is the size of the pixels...:confused:

    Totally... :confused::confused:

    Thank you.
  10. VirtualRain, Dec 4, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    You need to think in terms of Pixels Per Inch. Most people are comfortable with a desktop that renders at around 90-110PPI (just like a traditional 1080p-1440p monitor in the 22-27" range). As a result, Apple's retina displays offer double this pixel density so everything can be rendered with twice the number of pixels making it ultra sharp. Thus your 15" rMBP has a display that's 2880x1800 (226PPI) that is used to render an effective desktop of 1440x900 (113PPI) that's very sharp.

    There are no external displays that offer 220PPI. The closest is a 4K 24" screen which offers 185PPI. Its 3840x2160 pixels will render a desktop at "Best for Retina" of 1920x1080 that's ultra sharp at an effective size of 93PPI. Icons and text will look slightly larger than your rMBP display but with the same sharpness.

    A 31" 4K display offers 143PPI. That's not enough pixel density to use as a retina display. At "Best for Retina" that display would look ridiculous. Most people would use a 31" 4K display at native resolution which offers none of the benefits of retina sharpness, but it provides an amazingly large desktop to work on. However, UI and text at 143PPI will be about 30-40% smaller than usual.

    So you really have to decide what you want... if you want maximum desktop real-estate then get the largest 4K monitor you can so you can run it at native resolution and not have to squint. However, if you want retina display sharpness, then you want maximum pixel density, which the 24" 4K display offers.

    EDIT: and IPS will offer better color and viewing angle performance vs. TN. However TN panels are great for gaming as they offer low latency.

    Oh, and you're not limited to "Best for Retina" on a 24" 4K display (which would give you a 1920x1080 desktop). Apple offers great scaling to allow you to run any resolution so you can find the ultimate trade-off in sharpness, UI size, and desktop realestate. You can play around with this on your rMBP by adjusting the resolution to one of the scaled settings under Display Preferences. But since you have less pixel density on a larger screen (e.g. 31"), you have less choices before things are too large than you do with a higher pixel density (like 24").
  11. NMK03 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2014
    VirtualRain, thank you very much for the great explanation! My primary goal is the sharpness and clarity as I get from my rMBP and as the 22" is doing me justice for space, then the 24" will do fine. And the MBP + 24" side by side will fit on my desk better as well. And I will look for an IPS for the color accuracy.
    Thank you!
  12. NMK03 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2014
    VirtualRain, I will wait for the Dell P2415Q but not yet released where I live. In the meantime, I have read some threads that people run the DellP2414Q with MacPro. Is my rMBP15's graphics card powerful enough to push the DellP2415Q + the rMBP15 at the same time? Via HDMI, I suppose?
  13. NMK03 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2014
    Thanks for the great information over this matter. I just received my Dell U2414Q (2415Q not available) and it is just an awesome monitor!!!

    Thanks again!
  14. dannyx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2014
    I went last week to an Apple store, and i saw the iMac 27" 5K.

    Amazing, but too expensive.

    Do you think that Dell UP2715K monitor ( same inch / rezolution - 5.120 x 2.880 ) would look the same on hackintosh ?

    @NMK03, how is your Dell 4K monitor, on hackintosh ?
  15. NMK03 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2014
    dannyx, love the Dell 24" 4k! Great colors, great resolution, can't see the pixels, looking pretty damn close to my Retina! When set to Scaled, it is really easy to change resolution. For me, my usage, and my table size, the 24" was the right choice.
  16. dannyx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2014
    With 24" 4K you have 183 DPi, with 27" 5K there is 217 DPi
    So, i guess the Dell 27" 5K would be the better choice, of course the price is higher for the 5K

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