Setting up 2013 Mac Pro with (2) Sony X720E works, but...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dlpro, May 17, 2018.

  1. dlpro macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    Hi, here's the scoop.

    I have a 2013 Mac Pro (Black) running High Sierra 10.13.4.

    I purchase (2) Sony X720E displays. One is a 43 inch, the other 49. In order to get every thing to work, I purchased:

    (2) Vantec VLINK Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to HDNO 2.0 Active adapter. I provided the link below.

    For the 43 inch display, I'm running a 20 foot (HOSS Active High Speed HDMI Cable - 4K @ 60Hz, HDR, 18Gbps, 24AWG, YUV 4:4:4, CL3, 20ft, Black) Link provided below.

    For the 49 inch display, I'm running a 9 foot (Siig Premium Braided High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet 4Kx2K - 3M - Red). Link also provided below.

    I'm running both displays at: 3840 x 2160 @60Hrz. I can also run them using HiDPI as well. There's no mouse lag whatsoever, so I'm pretty impressed about this setup.

    So here's my question. When I turn on the Mac Pro, usually in the morning, I can see a slight degradation in the macOS, web and email text. Usually, this subsides after an hour or so. If I change the resolution using (SwitchResX) and then return to the usual 3840 x 2160, the text degradation sometimes returns. Sometimes it doesn't.

    I find it strange that this is even occurring. Is there anything I can do about this and are there any tests I can run or app's to buy to run specific tests?

    When everything is working great, the displays are amazingly clear and the colors are awesome. I'm just wondering if there's anything to do about the text issue.

    Any help would be truly appreciated.

  2. andy89 macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2005
    Folkestone, England
    It could be that those are televisions and not up to monitor spec, or more likely your GPU (like mine) is toast. I've had similar issues on 2 different displays so I know in my case it's the Mac Pro. I'll be taking it into the nearest Apple Store when I get a chance.
  3. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    I don't think the D500 is toast, and the Sony's were rated best on the site for PC. I know these are not labeled as PC monitors, but when they work, they're just as clear if not clearer than my LG Curved computer monitor. I was wondering if there's anything I could get to run tests, etc...
  4. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
  5. mikeboss macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2009
    try if you can find something called enable game mode or similar on the displays. this way, all the so-called image-enhancers usually will be turned off.
  6. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    I have it set to Graphics, which is Sony's PC mode. The text is 70% there. Just trying to finesse it. Thanks!
  7. hipnetic, Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019

    hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Bumping this thread because I just bought an open-box Sony XBR-43X800E. My understanding is that this is a newer version of the 720E. RTINGS.COM apparently still likes the 720E slightly better than the 800E (I forget the specifics), but they're pretty close to identical. I had recently purchased a 2nd Dell U2518D (25" 2560x1440) monitor, and was using the two Dells plus my 2016 MacBook Pro 15's display, but have gotten a little crazy lately with remodeling my office and thought it might be nice to minimize the clutter on my desk, stow away the MacBook, and use a Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and one really big monitor (the 43" Sony) or possibly go really crazy and use the 43" Sony in conjunction with the two Dells.

    My first impression with the 800E resulted in some text that didn't look right, but then I found out about changing the color setting to Graphics (or Game) and that made a huge improvement. At this point, though, I'm worried that it just feels way too big close to my face (the Dell setup didn't really give me that feeling, even though they were just as wide - though not as tall), but I'm going to give it a few days and see how I feel. I want to make sure that I have the settings dialed in optimally so that I don't give up on it for reasons which were due to me not configuring it correctly, so I'm hoping to get some advice from other 720E/800E owners there.

    Other than the color mode set to "Graphics", I know that I have to use either the HDMI 2 or 3 connectors to get the full resolution. Right now, if I hit the display button on the remote, it tells me that I'm getting 3840x2160, but the manual suggests that this TV can do 4096x2160 if my input signal supports that and I press the "wide" button to set it to "Full 1" or "Full 2". But when I try to do that, I get the message "Feature currently unavailable". Is this an indication that my HDMI cable isn't good enough or something else?
  8. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014

    First things first, make sure you have a great HDMI cable. Makes all the difference.

    I have both the 43 and 49 Sony's set to: Graphics > Wide Mode: Full

    I'm sitting about 36" from the 43" display. That works for me.

    I'm also using the SwitchResX application which adds HiDPI and is capable of getting 4096 x 2160 resolutions. I find it a bit tiny, so I leave it at 3840 x 2160.

    I don't know what kind of graphics card is in your 2017 MacBook Pro, but I'm using the Sony's with a 2017 iMac Pro (Radeon Pro Vega 56).

    This should help a little.
  9. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    I'm guessing/hoping my HDMI cable is the issue. I think I'm using the cable that came with my PS4 Pro, and I figured that should cover the full range, but the cable doesn't seem to be labeled, so I'm not sure. It looks like my local Best Buy has a 3' Dynex cable rated for this resolution for only $6, so I'll probably run out and grab that later today.

    So I'm guessing you're talking about Picture adjustments > Advanced settings > Video options > HDMI video range
    I set that to Full (it was set to Auto) but that didn't make a difference.

    I'm about 2' away (if that).

    I was hoping to find a desktop clamp-style monitor mount that would allow me to pull it closer or push it farther back, but I'm having trouble finding anything that can support the 100mm x 200mm VESA spacing on this TV. Those clamp-style mounts seem to be geared towards smaller monitors. I can't wall-mount because I've got an electric standing desk, that I also recently bought/constructed (IKEA countertop).

    My worry is that 3840x2160 is scaling, and would result in some things looking a bit off, though I'll say that it looks pretty smooth. Still, I'd like to see it at the full 4096 resolution to compare. I'll also look into SwitchResX.

    It looks like I've got a Radeon Pro 455 2GB (as well as Intel HD Graphics 530 1.5GB, which I don't think it's doing anything with).

    Even if I end up feeling like this TV is a bit too big for my seating distance, I may still keep it as I bought a boat last year which my wife and I work off of somewhat, and I was thinking of upgrading the TV to something we could use as a monitor. As it stands right now, I've created some trouble for myself by buying this TV because I already had the two Dells that are great, and I don't think I can use the two Dells plus this TV, as it looks like that will be too overwhelming, and if I keep the TV , then what do I do with my Dells (one of which I just bought a month ago, before I had the idea of buying this TV). First-world problems, I guess.
  10. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    I know a few people have had issue's with certain type cables. I'm sure BB will have what you need.

    On your laptop, System Pref's > Displays > Color, I have mine set to Rec. ITU-R BT.709-5. I tried all the other ones, even the Sony profile, and liked this one better.

    2 feet is pretty close for a 43" display, but I guess it if doesn't hurt your eyes. Regarding the mount, you should be able to get one for the Sony.

    Something like this.

    and this

    The Sony is 20.5 pounds. There are other mounts that are less expensive.

    I've had my Sony for nearly a year and love it. Sure, it takes a bit of messing around with the buttons to get what you want, but I'm happy with it. Two other friends like it so much, they bought the 720 as well.

    Not getting what you want out of the Sony might be due to your graphics card.
  11. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Interestingly enough, that color profile isn't listed as one of the supported ones, but I tried it and it worked. Seemed to darken the image very slightly. I'll have to do more comparisons later.

    Ah, thanks. That looks like what I'll need.

    I don't think that's my issue. I was wrong about the year of my's actually a 2016. But according to Apple's spec page I dug up, it should still be able to handle resolutions in excess of 4096x2160. Hopefully it's just the cable (or maybe needing SwitchResX?).
  12. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    Regarding the profile, these are things you'll have to try and see which one fits best. I took a couple weeks to get it to look like my LG curved monitor. As a matter of fact, comparing both the LG and Sony, I/we preferred the Sony.

    Regarding the mount, you're welcome. That "should" work.

    I don't think you'll be able to get 4096 resolution without SwitchResX. I couldn't. I know it's one of the best applications on the market to alter resolutions.
  13. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Yeah, so I just downloaded the trial of SwitchResX. I saw an option for 4096x2160 @24Hz and tried that out, and it *seemed* to work. Hitting the TV's "display" button now confirmed that I was getting 4096. I noticed that the top-right corner of my menu bar was off the screen, but that's when I remembered the "wide" button on the remote, and that now worked for me. Selecting "Full 2" seemed to fill the screen properly.

    I'm still a little confused, though...via SwitchResX I'm only seeing 24Hz as an option for 4096x2160 and, even more surprisingly, for 3840x2160, the max Hz I'm seeing is 30Hz, whereas according to, I should be able to do 60Hz.
  14. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    You should be able to get 4096 @ 60 Hz. Here's a pic. You'll see all the options I can get.

    If you're only getting 30Hz @ 3840, it might be your cable, or card. I'm betting on your cable. Buy a good 4K cable. With any of these cables, YMMV.

    Attached Files:

  15. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Yes, I agree. I'm definitely not seeing those options, and I'm betting it's the cable. I'm wondering if it being set to 30Hz all day might also explain why it was more fatiguing to use (I'm a software developer).
  16. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    I could never work at 30Hz. Too much mouse lag. I would start with the 4K cable. There is a huge difference between 30 and 60Hz.
  17. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Welp, I went I to Best Buy and bought a 4' rocketfish HDMI cable. It states on the box that it has 4K/60FPS support and one reviewer on Amazon even states specifically that it supports 60Hz. Unfortunately, I have had no luck with it. I tried rebooting the laptop, rebooting the TV (which seems a bit odd that that's a thing), unplugged it, plugged it back in, toggled the enhanced video settings, switched to 1080p, etc. Nothing worked. Well, there was one weird thing...

    For one brief moment early on in my experimentation, the built-in display settings screen showed multiple display options, including 3840x2160 and 4096x2160, including 60Hz. I selected it, the TV blinked and displayed things, and the "wide" button on the remote worked. But when I checked SwitchResX it was indicating that I was at 24Hz. Sure enough, when I went back to the built-in display settings, I was now showing that I was at 24Hz and the 60Hz option that was there (briefly) before was no longer there.

    Another thought I had was that the Insignia USB-C dock's HDMI out might not support 60Hz. So I tried plugging into my older 2013 MacBook Pro 13's built-in HDMI port, but I'm having the same problem there. According to the tech specs for my older MacBook Pro, it too should support these higher resolutions.

    Edit: I just did some more Googling, and it sounds like while my older MacBook Pro should support it, the HDMI port does not and I'd need a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI cable to get it. So that left open the possibility that my Insignia USB-C dock's HDMI out wasn't good enough. I then remembered that I had another USB-C-to-HDMI dongle, so I grabbed that and tried it out and, sure enough, it works. I then tried plugging my older HDMI cable in, and that works, too.

    So prior to running out to Best Buy I bought a few new HDMI cables from Amazon...I guess I might not even need those.

    Well, that sucks about my Insignia USB-C box. BTW, this is the model:

    It claims 4K support, but doesn't mention 60Hz and none of the reviews mention it, either. And the kicker is that the 15-day return policy expired today. By the time I realized this, it was already after 8pm and I hadn't made dinner yet, so I guess I'm stuck with it.
  18. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    As I was reading your post, first thing I thought about was, hub. If a company doesn't include 60Hz in their sells pitch, generally means it's not included. You might still have time to return it.

    The Rocketfish cable is a good one. The shielding alone will prevent issues. Which Amazon cables did you get? I bought a few for my home theater system and they're solid.

    So are you up and running at 60Hz, 4096?
  19. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Yeah, I may try to make a stink about it and see if anyone cares. I bought the open-box 43" X800E from them yesterday (not a great deal, IMO, it was marked down from the non-sales prices of $650 to about $560, but I got the sales guy told me they could take another $70 off if I signed up for a Best Buy credit card and that if I planned to pay it off in full in 30 days that I could choose the option to get extra rewards points, so I'd get another 10% in rewards dollars for whatever I bought - still not a great deal for an open-box unit, but I had been eyeing this particular set, so I couldn't resist).

    To be honest, I fully intended to return the Rocketfish cable to Best Buy after my Amazon cables came in (which I now know that I didn't even need, as the cable I already owned works fine). The Amazon cables I bought were these:
    It's a 2-pack of 3' cables for $4.99. I bought two of the 2-packs, just to have some extras on-hand, and maybe I'll throw away some of the older HDMI cables I have.

    Yes, using the other USB-C-to-HDMI dongle I had, it works fine. It was late and I needed to make dinner, so I didn't have much time to do a lot of watching with it, to see if it would feel easier on my eyes. I'll find that out tomorrow during my workday.

    FWIW, the 2016 MacBook Pro 15 is company-supplied, as is the HDMI dongle that worked (I work remotely from home). The 2013 MacBook Pro 13 is my own. I recently got inspired to get into doing some videography, which led me to watching a bunch of YouTube videos about that, which then led me to watching a lot of YouTube videos about these peoples' office environments (most of which are Apple-focused and with a "minimalist" bend), which then led me to go on a spending spree and buying monitors, "making" a new desk, and buying other gadgets.

    So I also placed an order through Amazon for a desktop clamp monitor mount (and a mounting plate adapter to get it to fit my VESA config). It was one of the very inexpensive ones, but the specs and reviews looked good, so we'll see. Here's what I ordered:

    That mount is 17" high and I'm hoping that I can eek every bit out of it just to see what it would be like to have my two Dell U2518D monitors sit below it. Considering that today felt a little ridiculous sitting 2' from this 43" Sony, I'm pretty sure it will be a little *too* ridiculous.
  20. dlpro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2014
    Well, I'm not sure if that mount will handle the Sony. The Sony is 20.5 pounds. The mount "can" handle 22 pounds, but you'll see. The other mount is expensive, but it handles 33 pounds. The Sony is a pretty large monitor.

    If you plan on returning the Rocketfish, I would definitely get a "good" 4k cable. I can't tell you how many times people have contacted me regarding cables. I have a recording studio...very expensive gear, computers, displays, etc... My cables are all top notch. Even the 4k cables. They prevent issue's and give you optimum visual. Why pay $560 for a display and run it with a subpar cable? Good cables are wired and sheilded correctly. Makes all the difference.

    Let me know how that mount works out for you.
  21. TobiasT macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2019
  22. hipnetic, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019

    hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Well, the hits keep coming. This morning I started working with my new setup and was starting to warm up to the idea of keeping it, but now the TV is rebooting by itself every few minutes. I tried plugging in the Rocketfish cable again...that didn't help. I tried using my USB-C hub HDMI (the one that doesn't support 60Hz)...that didn't help. I made sure the power connector's connections were secure everywhere. Based on some things I found online, I tried unplugging the TV from my surge protector and plugging it directly into the wall...that didn't help. Still thinking it might be related to my laptop connection, I tried unplugging that altogether and just letting the TV "sit idly" on the Android TV home still rebooted.

    Lastly, something I saw mentioned online was to restore to factory settings. I wasn't sure if that meant:
    Settings > Storage & reset > Factory data reset
    Settings > Picture & Display > Picture adjustments > Advanced settings > Reset

    Since the former would likely require me to have to reconnect to my home WiFi, etc., I started with the latter. When selecting it, the TV rebooted. I wasn't sure if that was normal or if I was once again experiencing a random reboot. But since doing that I've had it on the Android Home screen for about 10 mins and it hasn't rebooted yet. I was just looking through the picture settings options and it doesn't look like it actually reset anything (I still see some non-out-of-the-box options set), which makes me think that last reboot was one of my random reboots. Ugh. So now I'm not sure if I'm better or worse off since it seems to have stopped rebooting (at least for now), but without me having done anything to fix it. So it may just be a matter of time before it starts having the issue again. I guess I'll try hooking my laptop back up and see how long it stays up this time. :(

    Update: So I hooked up the laptop and it seemed to be working OK, but then it started happening again. I think I'll try doing a full Factory data reset now. :(

    I do have another theory of it being static related. The house is pretty dry and one of my Dell monitors would occasionally flash off and on again (it was instantaneously back up, as opposed to this Sony TV that has to go through a lengthy reboot process). I hadn't gotten around to diagnosing the Dell issue, so I don't know if it could have just been a loose connection or perhaps even a real defect with the Dell, or if it was indeed static related. Ugh.

    Another Update: I did the Factory data reset and reconfigured everything. It's been up for several minutes now without a reboot. I'll report back later on how the rest of the day goes. I'm thinking I may buy some better quality surge protectors (e.g., with line conditioning) regardless. Here's an inexpensive one I found on Amazon:

    If anyone has any particular recommendation, let me know. I'll have at least 8 devices I need to plug in, so it looks like I'll need to have two.

    Tobias, if you're asking for pictures of my setup, I can try to remember to do that a little later when I clean up the wire management.
  23. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Well, the old girl "stayed awake" for almost 3 hours, but now the random rebooting is back. In fact, it can't seem to stay up for more than about 2 minutes without rebooting now. I've once again confirmed that the power connections are all firmly connected, the TV is connected directly to a wall outlet (no surge protector), and none of the other things plugged into electricity are experiencing any issues. No odd movements/static appear to be a factor, either.

    I then tried moving my HDMI cord from the HDMI 2 to the HDMI 3 input, and still get the reboots. Then tried disconnecting HDMI altogether and just letting the TV sit on the Android TV home screen, and still got a reboot within a minute.

    I'm calling this one a lemon. And now I'm also going to call Best Buy's repackaging of this as "Excellent/Certified" condition BS. It seems a bit too much of a coincidence that the prior owner returned it because they wanted to upgrade to a larger TV or whatever. I'm sure they returned it as defective, Best Buy plugged it in and confirmed that it worked fine (for a while) and then just re-boxed it.

    It's worth noting perhaps that neither the external power supply nor the back of the TV felt particularly warm, so I don't think anything was overheating. I suppose it could still be a defective power supply of some sort (I wonder if a swap of the external brick could be an easy fix?). I also wonder if the Android TV OS could be to blame (is it doing stuff when I'm not actively using the Android TV UI?).

    I'm not sure what my next move will be. Unless Best Buy plans on giving me a brand new X800E as an exchange (which I doubt they'll do), I'll probably mull things over for a little while. :(
  24. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    dlpro, sorry again for hijacking your thread.

    So towards the end of the day I got my package from Amazon, with the desktop/clamp monitor mount and the new HDMI cables. I fired up the TV again (using one of the Amazon cables), and confirmed that it was offering the higher resolution 60Hz options. I didn't make use of the TV for work-purposes, but left the pretty background image up for the last 1.5-2 hours of my workday, and the TV didn't reboot. It still so frustrating that I don't know what's causing it. I'd hate to return it if it's some sort of weird Android TV-related issue that can be dealt with.

    I called up Best Buy to track down the salesperson who sold it to me (not to chew him out, but to talk about options, as he seemed pretty cool), but he wasn't working today, and whoever I was stuck with on the phone basically told me to bring it back and they'd try to help me get something comparable, which I interpret to mean that they'll try to find me another TV (open box or new) that happens to have a similar price tag as my out-the-door price on this one. No thanks. Plus, I'm interesting in seeing if I can get them to let me swap out my external power supply with the one that they have plugged into their display-model 43" X800E, in case that's the culprit. My current plan is to try using it again for a full day tomorrow and see how that goes. Then I'll check in with Best Buy to see if the sales guy I originally bought it from might be working sometime over the next couple of days.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 13, 2019 ---
    TobiasT, I didn't want to hijack this thread further regarding off-topic discussions, so I created a new post which has links to some photos of my office here:
  25. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    More frequent reboots this morning. Likely unrelated but...

    I was also having problems getting my Apple Watch to work nicely with the iPhone SE I recently bought from Apple online (experimenting with switching back to an SE from my iPhone XS - I love the smaller size of the SE and prefer Touch ID but I'm not sure if I'll be able to live without the XS's better cameras). Yesterday I was having problems with WiFi Calling and determined that it was due to a longstanding issue with Google WiFi, which was yet another new toy I recently bought (as a replacement for my Apple Airport hub). I found a workaround online about the WiFi Calling issue, but there were mixed comments regarding whether it permanently fixed the issue or if it would pop up again, and it looked like it popped up again today. Then when I was having my Apple Watch issues (e.g., my phone had paired to the watch ok, but today it couldn't connect and allow me to use the phone to unlock the watch). At that point I decided (right or wrong) that the problem was likely due to Google WiFi and decided to unplug it and switch back to my Apple Airport. Apple Watch and iPhone now working harmoniously again.

    I mention all of that, because I now have another crazy theory about whether Google WiFi could have also been causing my Sony TV (Android TV OS) to reboot randomly. It seems like a ridiculous idea, but the fact that the TV reboots randomly (and sometimes frequently) is ridiculous as well, so who knows.

    As I sit here typing this, the TV has been up for an hour without a reboot (around the time I swapped out my WiFi routers). I'll report back on how the rest of the day goes.

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