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Monitor help! Please help.

Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:39 am

I have a Late 2011 Macbook Pro 17" (native resolution of 1920X1200). I purchased, based on review, the Dell U2415 which gives me the same experience I was trying to overcome - which is pixelated text, images and graphics, but more importantly (due to my aging eyes), I have zoom every webpage, document - everything in it's native resolution - or make it 1280x720 (think those are the numbers).

So, I have been researching for 3 days straight now and I need some understanding. My logic thinking was - "get a 4K monitor and downscale it to 1080p" so everything on the screen will be larger with more screen fill and because it's a 4K screen and all the those pixels, the texts will be sharp and smooth. Then I found a YouTube video that showed that side by side and apparently native resolution is what to shoot for. The monitor I was eyeing was the Dell P2715Q. My graphics card is the 6770 1GB that I believe supports 2560X1440 (again, guessing those numbers), but basically 2K in the 16:10 ratio.

The best 2K monitor according to my research (not a gamer) is the Dell 2716D (I hope I'm getting all these numbers correct). That's a 2K in the 16:9 aspect ratio.

My question is - if I downsample that monitor to 1080p (which I think is equivalent to zooming in a litle bit and it won't give me the screen fill I need) - I'm concerned if that downscaling - not being a matched relationship - will actually make things look pixelated, unsmooth.

My goal is first, I don't want to zoom in everything. The second is I want very sharp text that is smooth and unpixelated, and I want the videos on YouTube or whatever and images at least to look as good as my Plasma HD screen (back from the day) at 1080p from a distance - it looks beautiful. The monitor is just an arm's reach away from me.

The 1920X1200 native is too small for me to read, so I either have to go to 1280X720 or click the option button and hit the + sign 4 times so things like Facebook will fill the screen nicely and I can see the left content, the right chat box and the middle stuff. At native there's space everywhere and text is too small.

I hope I didn't put anybody sleep and I really pray someone will have knowledge of this issue I'm having and tell me what's the best direction to accomplish my goal. There is a Dell 30" monitor at 16:10 ratio but it's 1000. dollars and doesn't make economic sense and doesn't have the best reviews - but still, I think I'm going to have the same issue with all the blank space and I'm going to have to zoom in.

Thank you for your help.
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Re: Monitor help! Please help.

Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:22 am

To be honest, just pick up a $200 32" 1080p tv. They're cheap, and you can get whatever size you need with the same resolution.
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Re: Monitor help! Please help.

Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:48 am

I'm not very familiar at all with MacOS, but isn't there any DPI scaling options? Like Eizo have in their faq: ... index.html
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Re: Monitor help! Please help.

Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:47 am

Hi, OPUS your screen is ~86.4 PPI at 1280x720.

Specs say you can output 2560 by 1600 pixels to an external display, via mini Display Port (mDP). A 27" 2K screen is ~109 PPI- for me this is about my ideal PPI, but it sounds like it's too small for your preferences.

Since it sounds like you'd enjoy bigger scaling, getting a 1080p TV might be better for you, since it'll be blown up bigger, but using a TV as a monitor carries some caveats: make sure it can display 4:4:4 chroma on the input you'll be using, and set the input type as "PC," otherwise text will be blurry, and it will feel less crisp than a monitor. See details here and here. If you need to output to an HDMI port on the TV, you need to make sure you buy a mDP to HDMI adapter that can output 1080p at 60 Hz. If you get one that can only handle 30 Hz, you'll see the lag when dragging windows- it's annoying. Short summary is only buy a TV off a list of monitors rated to work well as a monitor. Of course, you don't have to worry about this junk if you buy a 2K monitor with a DP input. :D

I have used that Dell 4K monitor at work- it looks fantastic. Scaling shenanigans are more of a problem in Windows than on MacOS, but I've found that I prefer using a 2K monitor at native scaling over 125% scaling (sounds like you'd need more) on a 4K- I actually stopped using the 4K and went back to my old 27" 2K IPS. In my experience, scaling is a bit of a crapshoot, and certain output/monitor combos work better than others, so my personal preference is to use native scaling when I can.

I'd suggest looking at a 32" 2K screen as an alternative. I've got a Phillips BDM3270QP2 - a 32" 2560x1440 monitor, making it 92 PPI. There's a couple other ones to choose from on amazon. I'm connected to it via a cheap Amazon-brand mDP to DP cable, outputting at 2560x1440 from a (newer) macbook pro. Looks great, has a nice adjustable stand with an integrated USB hub. $350.
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Re: Monitor help! Please help.

Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:56 am

Low quality videos like youtube are always going to look better on a TV. Partly because the image is simply smaller - it fills less of your field of vision - and partly because TVs are designed to flatter the image. Nobody's going to be using a TV for video editing so it can try and hide compression artefacts and other picture issues that monitor users may need to see.

You've basically got two choices:

See if you can find a combination of resolution and size that gives you text you're happy with but without pixels that are too large.

Go for a screen that is double that resolution and use the HiDPI/Retina scaling function. That'll get rid of the jaggyness on programs that support it while leaving programs that don't looking the same as option 1, but the contrast between programs may be more noticable and it'll typically be more expensive. On Windows there's also a risk of programs not scaling at all, but Apple has been shipping Mac OS PCs with Retina displays as standard for a while so they should be mostly extinct there.

It's hard to recommend specific sizing without knowing how much you zoom (what does one + on safari equate to?) or what resolution options your Macbook offers on your current monitor. 1366x768 on your current 24.1" would be equivalent in size terms to a 32" 1920x1080 or 3840x2160@2x scaling.

Was the youtube video on the scaling using a round number (2x/3x etc.)? Non-round numbers will introduce some fuzzyness and unlike on Windows that happens even on programs that support HiDPI (unless Apple have changed things in the last couple of years).

I'm not sure how the mac ecosystem handles 1440 pixel high screens at native resolution. I wouldn't recommend them on a windows setup as they scale to 1280x720 effective and 768 has been the minimum height historically for programs, so you get stuff that doesn't fit on the screen. It may be that a 25" 2560x1440@2x scaling would work for you though, which would give you the same sizing as your current screen at 1280x720 but better picture quality.
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Re: Monitor help! Please help.

Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:43 pm

I need glasses when I read text on my 38” 3840x1600 display (visible pixels). I need glasses to read text 12.9” tablet with a 2732x2048 quad pixel display (no visible pixels). The bottom line is I need glasses to read. I zoom if I am not wearing glasses. The difference between the two displays is that the text on the tablet is perfectly smooth while the text on the large display is not. Not a dealbreaker for me by a long shot.

The u2415 makes the visible pixel problem worse for you because it has the same resolution as your MBP but it is a larger display. The 2716D will make the issue even worse if you change its resolution to a lower than native 1920x1080.

A 27”-32” 4K display at 200% scaling (or whatever gives you 1920x1080 - quad pixel pixels) sounds like what you want. Unfortunately your MBP has a max external resolution of 2560x1600 so there is no ideal solution for you with that MBP.

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