I have a 2020 (Intel) MacBook Pro 13-inch, with the 2GHz i5 and 16GB RAM: About This Mac I've connected it to a Dell U2720Q 4K monitor: Displays I'm using the USB-C to USB-C cable which came with the Dell to power the MacBook and send the video signal. The built-in display is (integer) scaled to 1280x800, while the Dell is set to 'Default for display', which is 1920x1080 logical pixels. The USB-C cable is plugged into the front right Thunderbolt port.

The problem I'm having is that the external display is refreshing at 30Hz (when I power it on, the little Dell interface tells me that). It feels very choppy and unpleasant. The built-in display doesn't have this issue, and is running at 60Hz.

Is there anything I can do to force 60Hz from the external display?

  • try and get another cable: one that is explicitly rated for 4k at 60Hz. Possibly try a Thunderbolt-3 to DisplayPort cable. Another quick troubleshooting method that you can do straightaway is to try a different port. Your computer has four Thunderbolt 3. Perhaps one of them would work better – Matthew Barclay Mar 17 at 13:38
  • Hz & FPS are not at all related, btw. Currently my screens are both connected at 60Hz (refresh rate), but because they're not having to draw anything fast-moving, like video or a game, they're running at just 8 FPS (frames per second). – Tetsujin Mar 17 at 14:04
  • @MatthewBarclay I tried the other ports, no luck. I'll try a Thunderbolt -> DisplayPort cable, thanks – Luke Pothier Mar 17 at 14:53
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    You probably don't. There is absolutely no point in your desktop, a static web page or a spreadsheet spinning its wheels rendering at 60 fps. All you gain is a very slightly warmer room. – Tetsujin Mar 17 at 14:55
  • I think you are hunting some kind of 'gamer holy grail' that actually doesn't apply in real life. Every time you need it, the fps will lift to accommodate. Not to 60fps for something as simple as a cursor move, but it is fully interactive [& also not user-controllable]. btw, your TV picture only ever updates at 25fps [EU] or 30fps [US] or cinema at 24 fps, which really doesn't ever seem to bother anyone. – Tetsujin Mar 17 at 17:06

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