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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Art & Graphic Design > 4K Display Monitor in 2K Mode

4K Display Monitor in 2K Mode
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Anto39x
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Apr 10, 2019, 10:53 AM
 
Hi all...

I recently purchased a BenQ PD3200U 4K Designer Monitor.... I love the monitor and the image quality is just unreal... watching full 4K video on YouTube is just a beautiful thing... but I find that at full 4K resolution I could barely see the UI of many of the most popular workflow apps that I use on a daily basis, so I dropped to 3200px x 1800px and that still was very impressive.... but some apps have slow refresh rates and aren't as snappy as they used to be while working on my Apple 27" Cinema Display monitor... so now I have dropped the resolution to 2560px x 1440px and the UI is perfect on all apps.. and performance seems excellent now also.... I'm using the Option/Scaled 2560px x 1440px and not the 2560px x 1440px (low resolution) version.... can anyone tell me if 4K video content is now also being scaled down... and really if my purchase was a bit of a waste of time as I'm no longer having the full 4K experience ?

I'm running a MacPro 12Core (Mid 2010) 2 x 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon with 64GB RAM and a Sapphire PULSE RX580 with 8GB.

Any comments most welcome...
     
subego
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:11 PM
 
IIUC, what you want is to use a “HiDPI” setting for the display resolution. This will render everything in 4K, but scale the UI properly.

The problem is, those settings are hidden on a bunch of Macs. I got to mine on my 2014 Mini by diddling around with system files. The app SwitchResX can supposedly do it, but I know nothing about it other than it exists.

Give “mac hidpi” a Google. If you feel like you know what you’re doing, that should be all you need. If not, we’ll be glad to help further.
     
Anto39x  (op)
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:25 PM
 
Hi there Subego... and thank you for taking the time out to reply to my cry for help

I think the "HiDPI" is the option I have... if I hold Option and then click on the scaled option I get to see multiple options... low-resolution versions and then other resolutions with no low resolution displayed after them... so I think I'm on the best options... so do you think if I watch a 4K video on YouTube... even if I'm in 2560 x 1440 I will get to experience the full 4K resolution... how does that work... or will it work..?

My UI is crisp and sharp now and larger to view which is a blessing for my ageing eyes... Just worried my 4K purchase has been a bit of a waste of money... Now that I'm in 2K mode.....?
     
subego
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:32 PM
 
My pleasure!

I’m flying a little blind here, but I think the HiDPI setting actually says “HiDPI” in parentheses after the pixel count.
     
Anto39x  (op)
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:32 PM
 
Hello again Subego

And you are right tooo.... SwitchResX... does allow you easily access all settings easily... I have it and it gave the same result as when I did the alt/option Scaling button... so I know I have the correct HiDPI version selected...

BTW... Greeting from Ireland... nice to meet you and thank you again for your comments...
     
Anto39x  (op)
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:34 PM
 
It says that when you use SwitchResX... but when just using the official Apple System Preferences Display cheat..... there are just a bunch of resolution with low resolution in brackets after them and then a short list of resolutions with nothing after them... they are the versions that I have been selecting from... and I get the same visual solution to them when I have used SwitcherResX...
     
Anto39x  (op)
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:36 PM
 
Hi again Subego...

So does that mean my 4K monitor is still giving me 4K visual benefits...? If I watch a 4K movie on it... will it display that movie in true, full native 4K ?
     
subego
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:36 PM
 
Good deal!

I’m glad it’s all set! Sorry for the bad information.
     
reader50
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Apr 10, 2019, 12:48 PM
 
Auto39x, you are indeed using the Retina versions, and getting the full benefit of a 4K monitor. Everything local will be using the full res behind the scenes. Exception: some old software may render at low res, which would be clearly visible.

On YouTube, they use your screen res vs your network speed to decide what stream res to serve. It may give you 4K, or you may have to adjust their preference settings.
     
subego
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Apr 10, 2019, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anto39x View Post
Hi again Subego...

So does that mean my 4K monitor is still giving me 4K visual benefits...? If I watch a 4K movie on it... will it display that movie in true, full native 4K ?
If the HiDPI setting is really enabled, then you’ll get 4K from a 4K movie.

Try putting it into 1080, and you should be able to tell if it’s working from how clean the rendering is in the menus.



This is in 4K, but the house is being rendered in 2K. You can tell the rest of the menulets are using every line of LEDs, but the house is doubling up.
     
Anto39x  (op)
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Apr 10, 2019, 01:23 PM
 
Thank you reader50.... this is great... with the 2K resolution I'm having a much better overall UI experience across all my work and basic utility apps... plus entertainment content is still as pin sharp as ever in 4K.... amazing.... never knew the operating system was cable of delivering this dual experience.... I thought as I dropped the resolution I was losing out on the 4K experience.

Thank you all for all your contributions, comments and suggestions. This is a great community which great, generous and helpful people at its core.

Thank you all again.
     
   
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