Users Report Loss of HiDPI Scaling on External Displays in macOS Sierra

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
48,651
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Some Mac owners are reporting problems with external monitors and the use of scaled resolutions since installing macOS Sierra earlier this week.

Several MacRumors readers using 4K displays have described the disappearance of scaled HiDPI resolutions beyond 1920x1080 since updating from OS X El Capitan, leaving their options reduced to 1080p or a non-scaled native resolution of 3840x2160. Monitors with native 1440p resolutions also seem to have had HiDPI scaling options removed.

Scaled options in Sierra (left) and OS X El Capitan (right) when holding the Option key.

Owners of larger displays often use Apple's scaled HiDPI resolutions offered in Display preferences to enjoy increased desktop space without reducing the legibility of text. MacRumors forum member Sheza warned:
If you're like me and you have a 1440p monitor that you like to run in 1080p HiDPI mode using a custom plist or SwitchResX, DO NOT UPGRADE TO SIERRA.

Likewise if you have a 4K display and you like a bit more space while maintaining that sweet retina look and so you run it in 1440p HiDPI, DO NOT UPGRADE TO SIERRA.

Apple seems to have inexplicably removed this ability. You're now forced to destroy your eyesight by running... at native resolution.
Some readers have reported unsuccessfully trying alternative monitor cable connections - switching over from DisplayPort to HDMI and vice versa. Others have tried using third-party resolution utilities like SwitchResX, with mixed results.

A separate report posted on StackExchange, viewed 1,259 times, details the same issue:
I just upgraded to macOS Sierra. In El Capitan, I could have my 4k monitor (Dell P2715Q) scale so it was the equivalent of a 2560x1440 monitor, but in Sierra it only lets me do 2k/4k resolutions now.
MacRumors can also confirm that the issue appears to be software-related, since the scaled resolutions reappear when affected Macs are rolled back to OS X El Capitan. The issue does not seem to be limited to a particular monitor brand and the latest Public Beta (10.12.1) of Sierra released on Thursday does not reinstate the missing resolutions.

It's unclear if the change is intentional or whether Apple will re-introduce the scaling options in a forthcoming update. Sierra Beta users are advised to submit feedback to Apple using the Feedback Assistant app located in /Applications/Utilities.

Article Link: Users Report Loss of HiDPI Scaling on External Displays in macOS Sierra
 

StrangeNoises

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2011
87
313
Works for me...
Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 13.15.55.png

[doublepost=1474633341][/doublepost]I should add, actually, as I just remembered: the first time I plugged this machine (Macbook Pro 13" early 2015) into this monitor was during the public beta phase, and at that time I found the same thing: I could only select up to "looks like 1080p" in HiDPI modes.

But I'm now on the final release version and it's working just fine. I kinda assumed maybe it was a limitation that they tried in testing but removed for release having got negative feedback about it. But that's just an assumption, I know nothing

I'm not aware of having *done* anything specific to fix it myself, I'm afraid.
 

Telos101

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2016
219
886
Ireland
I'm having the same issue. MacBook 13-inch early 2015 running in clamshell mode. I've tried leaving the laptop open but it makes no difference. Seems I have two options: live with massive icons and windows, or go native and use a magnifying glass to read.
 
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Gudi

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2013
2,723
1,381
Berlin, Berlin
Most users:
"Sierra has been super stable and mostly bug-free, even as a beta for many weeks."

Couple of dolts on Macrumors:
"Sierra breaks EVERYTHING as usual! Apple is doomed!"
As long as a new OS version breaks everything, I get the warm feeling that the Mac is still under development, at least software-wise. :cool:
 

err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
2,515
616
I don't care if it now the gold release. Anybody who upgrades their main machine's OS in the first week it is available, is offering to be the final set of QA users before I install. I'm sure this will be addressed either by Apple or a third party tool within the month.
I thank you for testing before I make the jump.
 
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Mac47

macrumors member
May 25, 2016
39
73
I'm running a NMP D300, Uptab dongle, SwitchResX, and a 40" SAMSUNG UHD TV. Upgrading to Sierra not only preserved my 1080P60 HiDPI mode and the full 3840x2160 UHD mode, but also enabled "looks like Quad-HD (2560x1440)" HiDPI mode.

So no complaints here.
 

ChrisStayte

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2015
5
2
Ohio



Some Mac owners are reporting problems with external monitors and the use of scaled resolutions since installing macOS Sierra earlier this week.

Several MacRumors readers using 4K displays have described the disappearance of scaled HiDPI resolutions beyond 1920x1080 since updating from OS X El Capitan, leaving their options reduced to 1080p or a non-scaled native resolution of 3840x2160. Monitors with native 1440p resolutions also seem to have had HiDPI scaling options removed.


Scaled options in Sierra (left) and OS X El Capitan (right) when holding the Option key.

Owners of larger displays often use Apple's scaled HiDPI resolutions offered in Display preferences to enjoy increased desktop space without reducing the legibility of text. MacRumors forum member Sheza warned:
Some readers have reported unsuccessfully trying alternative monitor cable connections - switching over from DisplayPort to HDMI and vice versa. Others have tried using third-party resolution utilities like SwitchResX, with mixed results.

A separate report posted on StackExchange, viewed 1,259 times, details the same issue:
MacRumors can also confirm that the issue appears to be software-related, since the scaled resolutions reappear when affected Macs are rolled back to OS X El Capitan. The issue does not seem to be limited to a particular monitor brand and the latest Public Beta (10.12.1) of Sierra released on Thursday does not reinstate the missing resolutions.

It's unclear if the change is intentional or whether Apple will re-introduce the scaling options in a forthcoming update. Sierra Beta users are advised to submit feedback to Apple using the Feedback Assistant app located in /Applications/Utilities.

Article Link: Users Report Loss of HiDPI Scaling on External Displays in macOS Sierra
I have the p2715q and it works find on Sierra
 
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titokane

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2016
1
1
Throwing my hat in with the "1440p monitor doesn't run at native resolution over hdmi on MBP" crowd. I'm forced to use SwitchResX to run the monitor at 40hz, otherwise it will only push 1080p -- not scaled HDPI 1080, just gross fuzzy 1080. mDP has no problems running my second 1440p monitor.
 
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milliman

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2016
1
0
Boulder, CO
This problem showed up yesterday after a reboot. My screen arrangement was flipped and my resolution on both monitors was 1080p. System Preference accurately identified my monitors but only offered me a resolution to 1080 on the Dell P2415Q. I didn't think much of it so I rebooted and opened the Display preferences. Fortunately my resolution was back to 3840x2160 and I had the option to scale the display like I had in the past. I reset the scaling to where is was before and I haven't had a problem since.

I don't think it is Apple's intention to change how our external monitors work so I'd chalk it up to an intermittent bug. I'm sure that they will fix it in an upcoming release. I'll install the first public beta today of which still has this issue. Maybe they will fix it here but most likely it will come in the next bug fix release.
 

inhalexhale1

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2011
1,037
685
PA
Lol No it doesn't.
Even on el capitan, you have to use switchresx to get the correct resolution/refresh rate on Mac OS. I personally went through this. I tried it on my bootcamp partition, and it worked without any hassle. The physical ports are capable of sending 4K/60Hz but something in MacOS hinders it. Go to switchresx's website and read about it.
 
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