Retina like screen

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sparkie1984, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. sparkie1984 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    hi all

    Is there a way to have a retina like screen with the classic Mac Pro? Or is it in the iMac firmware to have the retina effect?
     
  2. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Apple marketing at it's best. :D

    Those 'retina' screens are just usual 4K/5K displays which work on every computer, presuming your GPU can drive them. I think support for 4K@60Hz@SST started with Nvidia GTX 6xx generation and AMD HD 7xxx (mid- to highend models).
     
  3. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Ah I thought it scaled the screen a certain way to achieve the high density rather than running the screen at its native resolution?

    Or am I being an idiot?
     
  4. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    #4
    I have a 4k client preview TV. By holding option when clicking "scaled" I can see all the HiDPI (retina) modes. I must say the clarity even on a TV is incredible.
     

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  5. scott.n macrumors 6502

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    #5
    No, you're correct. But that scaling ability is built into OS X. Here's the Displays system preferences that I see with a Dell P2715Q 4K display:

    Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 8.44.34 AM.png
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #6
    10.11.1 bring that HiDPI option back for my 7950 + 4k TV setup. It was there since 10.9.x and was taken out by Apple, and now it's back.
     
  7. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    So a 4K display would be able to achieve a retina image?
     
  8. edanuff macrumors 6502

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    #8
    It depends on the size of the display and the number of pixels. Ideally a 4K 24" display or a 5K 27" display if you want it to be very similar to what Apple does, but any 4K display will get you close to retina.
     
  9. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Thanks for this. I've been eying up either a 24" or 27" dell 4K monitor so it'd be great to have something close to retina
     
  10. hockeyamd macrumors member

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    #10
    I use the LG 31MU97. With switch res x I can do HIDPI at 2048 x 1080 or 2560 x 1350. Just looks incredible.
     
  11. netkas macrumors 65816

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    #11
    on samsung 28ud590 with 3840x2160 screen.

    2560 hidpi mode looks the best from available modes list, looks almost like 27 inch 5k, 44 percent of pixels getting lost (downscaling from 5k to 4k) but it's not noticable and looks great.
     
  12. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    What gpu are you guys using to power them?

    I only have a stock gpu at the moment with 512mb of ram so I know that'll need upgrading
     
  13. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

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    #13
    Yeah I don't think that GPU will do it.

    GTX 680s are a good choice, they can be flashed to work as a true Mac graphics card, are relatively powerful even today and can do 4K.
    There's two versions, a 2gb and a 4gb, there's ROMs available for both so if you can I'd spring for the 4gb one.
     
  14. leadfeet macrumors newbie

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    Aug 30, 2010
    #14
    I've played quite a bit with the iMac 5K in the local Apple store, and decided I wanted a display that good for my cMP 2010. The iMac 5K display is amazing.

    I purchased a flashed 7970 from MVC, and replaced the stock HD 5770 graphics card.

    [I have no interest in fiddling with Nvidia drivers for Mac OS. The HD 7970 was more than enough for my goal, which is simply 4K UHD on a decent monitor with the 2010 cMP. I ran the new 7970 with my old (non 4K) monitor for a few weeks, never a glitch, everything ran completely normal]

    Anyway, I paired the 7970 with a Dell P2715Q 4K display, and am blown away by the display quality. It is the equivalent of nearly any Apple Retina display - the pixels are not visible with your naked eye. I get the full resolution at 60Hz using a mini-displayport to displayport cable.

    Not all is peaches and cream though. With the 7970 card flashed from MVC, and Dell P2715Q pair: (Yosemite 10.10.5, 6 core 3.33Ghz classic MP 2010, 24G)

    1) As far as I can tell, you will never, ever see a boot screen with the Dell 4K monitor attached. If you have a "normal" monitor attached (2560x1600 or less), you will see a boot screen, the Apple logo, etc. This is what a "flashed" card gets you - the boot screen with a normal monitor.

    2) To power up or restart the cMP with 4K monitor attached, the monitor must be initially off. When you hear the startup chime, then turn the monitor on. Everything is fine after that, the 4K display comes up, etc.

    3) If you restart the cMP, or power up the cMP, with the Dell 4K powered up, all you get is the start up chime every second or two forever. The Dell 4K must be off when the cMP is restarted or powered up. Otherwise, it just sits there, chiming away every second or two...

    4) Sleep works fine. If the display sleeps, hit a key and everything is fine. If the cMP is asleep, hit a key, the cMP fully powers up, and everything is fine.

    I didn't test anything with two monitors attached (like the Dell 4K and a normal monitor...) Your mileage will vary with display, display card, etc.

    It's worth the hassle though. The Dell P2715Q display on the cMP is amazing. The 7970 might even be able to drive two of them..
     
  15. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Thanks for that really informative reply!

    How disappointing that you have to have the display off when starting from cold. However I could sleep it and live with it like that.

    I will look into a flashed card the only downside is the import fee and shipping costs from MVC, not his fault may I add!!

    Shame there's no uk distributer
     
  16. scott.n macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Neither of these is true for me, using an unflashed GTX 970 and Dell P2715Q. The Mac Pro boots just fine with the display turned on.
     
  17. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #17
    I'm currently using a GTX 980 with my Dell P2515Q, but I have to agree with Lucas Godfrey. From a compatibility point of view, the GTX 680 is easy to flash and works well.

    However, keep in mind that if you use a GTX 680 with 4K or higher, you will only get a boot screen when using HDMI. It doesn't give a boot screen when using DisplayPort or mini DisplayPort.
     
  18. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Will future OS X updates stop the cards working?

    I'm wondering whether to just get a card and plug it in? I don't use boot camp and could always keep the old GT120 to use in case of emergency? Or is it not that simple?

    Basically I'm after the least maintainence solution as I don't really understand the whole flashing malarkey
     
  19. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #19
    No one other than Apple themselves can guarantee which cards will continue to work and which they will drop support for. That being said, since a Kepler video card appeared in some of their products, it can be fairly safe to assume that the GTX 680 will continue to work for the the foreseeable future.

    Read the sticky on top of this forum about using Nvidia cards. In essence, you can just buy an off the shelf GTX 680 and plug it in and it will work. All you'll lose is boot screen.
     
  20. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    For a 4K screen it's actually better to leave the card unflashed, this will avoid issues mentioned above (boot loop/freeze in early boot stage).
    From what I know only MVC Maxwell cards can reliably show 4K boot screen. Some AMD cards flashed with the stock 7950 EFI will also do this but it seems to depend on the card and/or attached display.
     
  21. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Really appreciate everyone's help here (and patience)

    Do any of the newer amd cards "just work"? It's hard to find the older cards and the gtx 680 is expensive!

    I won't be gaming etc, just want a retina effect screen
     
  22. Twimfy, Oct 27, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015

    Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

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    #22
    A GTX 650, 650Ti or a 660 will also do fine with 4K if you aren't gaming but VRAM is key so you'll need a card with at least 2GB of RAM, 4 is ideal but as far as I know there aren't any cards below the 680 which pack 4GB of RAM but one 4K display will be fine on 2GB of Ram.

    As long as you're running one display only something like this would be fine http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Zotac-GeF...973163?hash=item3ab4b6aa2b:g:ZbcAAOSw5VFWK7JU
     
  23. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Thanks for that I'll have a look at the link later
     
  24. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

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    #24
    No problem. Sad thing is, 99% of the online advice for 4K is driven by either gamers or performance chasers and can therefore be ignored.

    4K doesn't really take a great deal of power to get working in none GPU intensive apps, it only becomes an issue if you're running multiple monitors and taxing the VRAM with gaming or CUDA processing etc.

    That said, be wary of buying the bare minimum just to get a 4K setup, just in case in future your requirements change (e.g. you start using your MP for high end work) in which case you'll only ended up paying twice.
     

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