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kasakka

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 25, 2008
2,361
1,060
So I received a Macbook Pro 16" M2 Max some days ago. I have been using a 2019 Intel machine for several years and struggling with external display support - on my Samsung G70A 4K 144 Hz display I was running into issues like getting a blank screen over Displayport and only image over HDMI if the display OSD is limited to HDMI 2.0 capabilities, even then only running at 4K 60 Hz.

When I got the M2, I was really hoping my display issues were finally resolved and I'll be able to use all the capabilities of any external display I might want to use. Sure enough, I was getting 4K 144 Hz over HDMI port, yay!

Except mysteriously HDR support toggle was completely absent. Now, this display is kinda garbage for HDR anyway so it's not a huge deal, but something I did not expect.


Well, turns out scaling affects if HDR support is available! This is such an utterly ridiculous premise to me! If I set the display to 1:1 scaling (1080p) or native 4K resolution, HDR toggle magically appears. If I set the display to scale to 2560x1440, HDR toggle is no longer available. The only way to get HDR is to reduce the refresh rate all the way down to 60 Hz.

Even plugging in my LG OLED TV I ran into the exact same problem - use scaling, lose HDR.

This is just plain insane. On Windows 11 the experience with this same monitor, using same cables (or adapters) over both DP and HDMI is that any scaling level allows toggling HDR support on and off and the display runs at 4K 144 Hz 10-bit color just fine.

Meanwhile the built-in display does not have any such issue. Why does it get preferential treatment? In system information it shows my external monitor rendering at 5120x2880 for "looks like 2560x1440", but the built-in display is reported as its native resolution no matter the scaling and also has instant scaling changes without blanking the display.
 

shakopeemn

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2014
206
128
I believe most would here say, you should be using an Apple monitor ;)

Not HDR, but I find that my DELL USB-C monitor (my only connection to Macbook Air M1 for power/display) looks great 90% of the time. Safari browser can introduce refreshing issues with certain websites where the screen looks terrible.

I would think Apple would prevent any app or much less their browser to prevent refresh issues with external displays.

PS. Refresh never an issue with my work Windows 10 Thinkpad on this display.
 

kasakka

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 25, 2008
2,361
1,060
I believe most would here say, you should be using an Apple monitor ;)
Ah yes, overpriced displays that have already been surpassed by Apple's own products, like the Macbook Pro display has more dimming zones than the 6K XDR and mainly loses out in resolution/size.

There is something deeply wrong with how Apple handles external displays if there's two such disparate experiences.
 

lancemcv1

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2010
150
56
So I received a Macbook Pro 16" M2 Max some days ago. I have been using a 2019 Intel machine for several years and struggling with external display support - on my Samsung G70A 4K 144 Hz display I was running into issues like getting a blank screen over Displayport and only image over HDMI if the display OSD is limited to HDMI 2.0 capabilities, even then only running at 4K 60 Hz.

When I got the M2, I was really hoping my display issues were finally resolved and I'll be able to use all the capabilities of any external display I might want to use. Sure enough, I was getting 4K 144 Hz over HDMI port, yay!

Except mysteriously HDR support toggle was completely absent. Now, this display is kinda garbage for HDR anyway so it's not a huge deal, but something I did not expect.


Well, turns out scaling affects if HDR support is available! This is such an utterly ridiculous premise to me! If I set the display to 1:1 scaling (1080p) or native 4K resolution, HDR toggle magically appears. If I set the display to scale to 2560x1440, HDR toggle is no longer available. The only way to get HDR is to reduce the refresh rate all the way down to 60 Hz.

Even plugging in my LG OLED TV I ran into the exact same problem - use scaling, lose HDR.

This is just plain insane. On Windows 11 the experience with this same monitor, using same cables (or adapters) over both DP and HDMI is that any scaling level allows toggling HDR support on and off and the display runs at 4K 144 Hz 10-bit color just fine.

Meanwhile the built-in display does not have any such issue. Why does it get preferential treatment? In system information it shows my external monitor rendering at 5120x2880 for "looks like 2560x1440", but the built-in display is reported as its native resolution no matter the scaling and also has instant scaling changes without blanking the display.

I have pretty much the same issue but using a Mac Pro 5,1 with rx6800xt and Aorus 4K OLED. But via display port hdr is always clickable at any scale setting the same issue you report via hdmi 2.1. But I think and could be wrong that HDR still plays when not selected, as the monitor auto detects hdr and switches to it. Sometimes I think when Apple’s hdr is selected you get over saturation like a doubled up HDR effect. Safari does not show hdr via YouTube videos ever for me, but it does with firefox and chrome. I have yet to really figure this out. Some tvs auto switch to hdr when they detect the signal. So if I have apples hdr off Firefox still shows hdr in the video settings and when I go full screen it looks like hdr to me, and the codec is hdr. Apple hdr implementation is weird and I have yet to quite figure out what’s going on and each web browser seems to behave differently.
 

Delarock

macrumors regular
Dec 25, 2016
156
80
what i dont like most is smoothnes of animation scrolling etc. is much more fluid on wimdows pc
 

genexx

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2022
160
82
There is a Reason for Apple using a 5K 27Inch Display, the GUI they made for that partikular PPI which is either 110 or 220 something.

Yes they made the GUI this way and it can be PIA but since i have Mac´s for Decades i just go either for Cheap with 27" 2K 110 PPI or 27" 5K 220PPI or 20" 4k 220PPI or 40" 4K 110PPI and i am good.

In the old Times there where also most Mac or SGI not compatible with all Monitors so for me this is no big Deal @ all.
On some Monitors you have to Disable DDC/CI if possible + NVME from Samsung with Phoenix Controller are incompatible with APFS and the USB / TB Story is also special in itself.

That does not get me off Apple but hey i was using a Hacky for some Years with the same limitations.
I am used to it and do my research before buying.

And does it made me go Windows ? Guess what i use Win11 Arm as a VM with UTM on the MBA M2 + Ubuntu VM´s via UTM for Server etc.

Everybody is free to choose.

The MBA M2 is by far the most capable Laptop with no Noise and i love it.
 
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