The Problem With Using 1440 Screens With a Mac

Screens with 1440p resolution are popular, but they are not an ideal screen to use as a primary or secondary display with a Mac. The 2560x1440 resolution is either too small or too big, depending on how you have it set up. A 4K screen is a better option for most Mac users. But if you are stuck with a 1440 screen, there are a few things you can do to make it look better.

Comments: 19 Responses to “The Problem With Using 1440 Screens With a Mac”

    Joel
    2 years ago

    Gary, awesome video with a super clear (pun intended) explanation. I now understand why the Apple Studio Monitor is 5K (i.e., 5120 x 2880 as the result HiDPI resolution is 2560 x 1440! Thank you!

    Tom Bob
    2 years ago

    Hi Gary. I have the ProXDR display and looked at the resolutions after watching this video. I notice the default resolution for the ProXDR is 2560 X 1440. This ProXDR is driven be an iMac Pro. I don't use the 1440 resolution, but I thought it odd that it was an option (the default) on Apples top end monitor after watching this video. It's a great display and I use the max 3008 X 1692 resolution. Could it be the video card in the iMac Pro (RPV 64-16gb) that dictates the available resolutions?

    2 years ago

    Tom: So the Pro Display XDR has a native resolution of 6016x3384. Using it like that would be way too small. Using it at 3008x1692 is exactly 2x "retina" just like using a 4K display as 1920x1080. The card does play a role in all of this, but in your case you are fine.

    Grant
    2 years ago

    I use a 4K screen with Mac Mini, but all menus and text are too small at native 4K. I found it best scaled to 1440 in the 'Preferences/Display' app. But now I wonder -- since photography is a big passion of mine -- am I doing my photos a disservice? Should I try to stick to choosing between either native or 1080 pixel height?

    This is kind of the 'opposite problem' to the title of your video, Gary. But I hope near enough to warrant an answer. Cheers

    2 years ago

    Grant: Try it at 1080. The photos will look good either way, but you may find the rest of the interface better.

    Tom Bob
    2 years ago

    Gary - Thanks for the response. Can I get 6016 X 3384 out of an iMacPro? If not, what do I need? Thanks!

    2 years ago

    Tom: Not sure. You can try it with something like SwitchResX. But I'm pretty sure the interface elements will be way too small at that resolution to be usable. Remember, you ARE getting use of all of those pixels. It is just the interface that is being drawn at 3008 size. For instance, if you have an image using 1000x1000 out of the 3008x1692 space, it is showing you 2000x2000 pixels inside of that 1000x1000 pixel space.

    Roland van Beurden
    2 years ago

    I'm looking for an affordable 27" monitor for photo editing with my M1 MB-air. I don't want to use a non native resolution because that wil cost GPU processing. 1440p at 27" will be around 109 ppi as recommended at https://bjango.com/articles/macexternaldisplays/. Also my 27" iMac has a standard (Apple standard) emulation of 2560x1440 which comes down to the same size for menus and text as a 1440p 27" monitor.
    So please explain why a 27" 1440p monitor would be a bad choice?

    Justin L. Franks
    2 years ago

    Roland, your iMac has a native 5K resolution of 5120x2880. The UI is scaled to be equivalent to 1/2 that, 2560x1440. But there are still 4 times as many pixels on your iMac's display than a regular 1440P monitor. Everything will look quite blurry compared to your iMac if you go with a 1440P monitor.

    If you are editing a 3200x1600 photo on your iMac, it will display all of those pixels on-screen at once.
    On a 27" 1440P monitor, it will display at the same size, but only show 1600x800 pixels.

    Larce5401
    1 year ago

    Hello, Gary. I have an LG DualUp display (2560 x 2880). Screen looks great but the menu size on the top is way too small. Do you have any recommendations on what to do? Thank you for your input.

    1 year ago

    Larce5401: All you can do is go to System Settings, Display and try different resolutions. Not sure what you are dealing with as I have never heard of a 2560x2880 screen. Almost square?

    Vera Drake
    1 year ago

    Maybe monitor quality is taking a backseat to the resolution wars in this thread? I work on an almost 20-yr-old 30” Cinema Display. The dot pitch keeps it an excellent modern monitor. I also use a HP Pavilion 32 in another location which is 1440 or “QHD” that remains too solid a performer to replace (also, the aesthetics are hard to replicate). I’m not arguing that either of these will beat a good 4k display, but they rival them!

    Avi
    1 year ago

    Hello guys, I am looking at two monitor options, 24'' 1080p and 24'' 1440p (can't go above these as cost and space constraints) for my macbook pro 13'' 2020 intel i5 10th gen model. Wanted to know which will be better to buy and if there is anything i need to keep in mind. Also, I have a usb-c to hdmi converter with me so will that be able to produce 1440p resolution without any issues? (don't want to spend much as i'm still a student)
    Thanks :)

    1 year ago

    Avi: Neither are good choices as both are small with less than 4K resolution, but why would you go with fewer pixels if you had to choose between these? As for HDMI, don't use that at all. Connect your Mac to the screen directly with a simply USB-C to DisplayPort cable.

    Ihor
    12 months ago

    Avi, I just went through both 24" 1080p monitor (AOC 24G2SPU) and 24" 1440p(AOC Q24G2A), and afterwards landed on 4k (DELL S2722QC) and can tell you that Gary's comment is very sound. I am also on MacBook pro 13'' 2020 i5 (Ice Lake model). I had similar concerns to yours both about budget and space, and I can tell you that after seeing 4k quality, I would rather wait some months to save up than settle on 1440p. The quality difference is insane, and no apps helped to make 1440p even close to 4k.

    Mr.Larry
    12 months ago

    Hello Gary, I have Mac Book Air 2023(M2) and Monitor Samsung 34inch! I want to use the better resolution(3440x1440) but on my monitor everything small like: text size, apps, and other items!When I use resolution 1720x720(HiDPI) the size of everything it's okay for me but, quality of resolution is poor!How can I use the resolution 3440x1440 and to increase the size of text, icons,and other items on my Samsung 34 inch monitor? Thank you.

    12 months ago

    Larry: This is exactly the issue that I bring up in this video. It is why 1440 isn't a good resolution for a screen today. 1720x720 would be the best to use if you don't mind the size of the items on the screen. Not sure what you mean by the quality being poor as it should be clear. Any chance you are using an HDMI cable to connect instead of a simple DisplayPort cable?

    David Mark Rathel
    12 months ago

    Thanks for all of this very helpful information! How might a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 work? I'm thinking of this monitor from LG; might this be one of the 4K-types you are recommending? https://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-27ul850-w-4k-uhd-led-monitor

    12 months ago

    David: Not sure what you mean. It would work well. It would be a 4K "retina" display, so 1920x1080 size, using 3840x2160 pixels.

Comments Closed.