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I'm running Samsung S49A950U from my M1 Air at the native resolution via USB-C cable. No issues with the resolution itself (5120x1440) or the frequency (60Hz). Using USB-C to DisplayPort gives me 120Hz. So far so good.

The only thing is text clarity. I can only get crisp, sharp, well defined text in HDR modes. Switch the HDR off and the text is jagged and rough.

And it's not because of M1, or because of my M1 (I tested that with an identical but brand new machine). It's the same thing with an Intel-based MacBook Pro. Also, I did not experience such behavior on Samsung G9 or a Philips ultrawide.

For example, two identical characters are rendered differently in a single word. In 'off' first f is rendered as f, the second as f. The middle line in E is jagged, lowercase l might have the 'italics' quality to it.

Turn HDR back on, and the text looks just fine.

Any ideas why that might be happening?


Update: Well, I returned the monitor within the 14-day grace period.

Just didn't have the stamina to fight it every day and getting my eyes burned by HDR.

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  • Can you define "turn on HDR"? Do you mean a macOS scaled resolution (Retina / HiDPI), or something else?
    – benwiggy
    May 4, 2022 at 10:50
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    When you connect the monitor to a Mac, you see the option to enable HDR right in the MacOS monitor preferences window. The tick-off box is right below the Colour Profile dropdown if the display supports the HDR mode. Then, in the monitor's menu, you can choose to enable 'Dynamic HDR' (as opposed to the default HDR).
    – Kris
    May 5, 2022 at 11:13

1 Answer 1

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This is old but you have to adjust it in both macOS and in the monitor's menu together or you're going to get either greyed-out colors or what you're experiencing. If you only do one or the other, you're going to get a bad experience due to the mismatch. This isn't clear with new HDR functionality that you need to do this so this is just bad design for an end-user to understand what's going on and in this case, caused a return of a completely functional monitor.

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  • Define "adjust it"?
    – benwiggy
    Dec 28, 2023 at 8:03

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