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

    Joel
    4 weeks 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
    4 weeks 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?

    4 weeks 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
    4 weeks 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

    4 weeks 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
    4 weeks ago

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

    4 weeks 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
    3 weeks 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 weeks 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.

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