I have a MacBook Pro Retina mid 2012 and have bought a couple of BenQ 4K EL2870U monitors. I've connected the two monitors up to the MacBook through a couple of Mini Display Port to Display Port cables that support 4K resolution, but I'm unable to get the monitors to display anything above 1280 x 720 resolution.

MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)

Note that the number of pixels pushed from my MacBook Pro is actually 2560 x 1440 since the chosen resolution is not "low resolution". However, I would rather have 2560 x 1440 "low resolution" than the current 1280 x 720 "high resolution" I currently have, since that gives me less screen real estate than I had on my previous non-4K monitors. If I choose any other resolution ("low resolution" or not), the BenQ just goes blank.

Display Settings

I should at least get it to display all low-resolution modes up to 2560 x 1440, isn't that right? In this related question it seems like even the 3840 x 2160 resolution should be available at 30Hz, but alas it doesn't work for me. Ideas?

  • 1
    Generally, it is a good practise to obfuscate the serial number of your Mac/iOS device when sharing the device details publicly.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 9:19
  • 1
    What related question? The link you provided is the same as the first image.
    – Allan
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 10:08
  • @NimeshNeema, thanks for the tip, it's now blurred, but I doubt I'll ever get rid of the previously uploaded image from Imgur. :-/ Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 14:09
  • @Allan, sorry, I've now fixed the link. Thanks for pointing it out. Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 14:09
  • 1
    From the Apple article on that Mac"...and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays, at millions of colors." support.apple.com/kb/SP653?locale=en_US, so it should work. I have heard that sometimes lower quality cables can be problematic. Is it possible to try another cable brand or model? Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


By installing SwitchResX I was able to choose 2560 x 1440 (60 Hz) which now gives me the screen real estate I need.

SwitchResX 2560 x 1440, 60 Hz

A really neat choice that doesn't give me as much screen real estate, but makes the screen into a retina 1080p monitor is the 1080p30 option. Everything now looks super crisp and I have the same screen real estate as on a full HD monitor.

SwitchResX 1080p30

A bit annoying that I need a $16,- third party application to fix this problem, but it's better than no solution at all.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .