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I have a Dell S2316H monitor which I connect to my MacBook Pro (early 2015) using the built in HDMI port. The fonts are looking very blurry on the external monitor.

I own the MacBook for about a week. Previously I used my monitor with my Dell laptop which had Ubuntu installed on it. When I plug the monitor with my Ubuntu machine, the fonts are smooth and looks good. But when I plug it with the MacBook, the fonts are very blurry.

I know this is a common issue but I'm unable to find a solution. I do not have any DVI port on my monitor so I can't use the solution from External display has blurry fonts on Dell U2312hm- MacBook Pro Retina. Also tried this script Force RGB mode in Mac OS X to fix the picture quality of an external monitor, but no changes. I tried with different font smoothing level too. Is there really any solution for this problem?

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  • Have you tried different resolutions on the monitor? It could look better on a different resolution
    – NoahL
    Dec 21 '16 at 17:33
  • @NoahL I have tried different resolution, it's a full HD monitor, other resolutions doesn't looks well. Dec 22 '16 at 7:09
  • Did you find a solution in the end?
    – Demiurg
    Aug 14 '20 at 21:05
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Unfortunately, that's normal. MacOS cannot display sharp UI when connected to a 23 Inch HD monitor. You have a built-in retina display which is 220 ppi. On the other hand, the monitor you are using is only 95 ppi.

I had a similar experience with a HP ZR 24W, which is a 24 inch 1920x1200 display. I have tried this monitor using both HDMI and DisplayPort (thunderbolt), results were the same. Therefore, I don't believe your problem is related to the interface, since macbook pro 2015 can easily do 60hz 1920x1080 from its HDMI port.

There are some ways to make text sharpness somewhat better by playing with text smoothing parameters (see this article), however you can only go so far with it.

The real solution for you is to switch to a display which has more pixel density. One that will let MacOS to use the HiDPI retina resolutions. For that, a 24 inch or 27 inch 4K display will be an affordable choice.

You can read my answer to a related question for more details.

Hope that helps.

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