I have Mac Mini M1 and using LU28R550UQEXXP Samsung Monitor it is advertised as 4k (3840x2160) monitor. But on my Mac, the only way get 4k is to use the Scaled display to make it look 4k. Otherwise the "Default for Display" is only 1920x1080.

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When it is on the Default for Display, the screen is really crisp, which I really like. But then again it's just 1920x1080, there's not much space for productivity.

My ideal resolution is that I wish to have the same crisp but on 2560x1440. Does that mean that I need to buy 5k monitor so that it's default for display is 2560?

Can Mac Mini M1 16GB even support two 5k display? I'm looking for the most practical/cheapest way to achieve this. Hope somebody can help. Thanks!

  • 2
    2x scaling is default for any hi-res display. Have you tried "More space"? Text won't be quite as crisp, but will be a better size.
    – Gilby
    Oct 19, 2022 at 2:22
  • How your Mac is connected to monitor? If through HDMI then it's worth checking whether cable supports 4K at 60 Hertz. For example HDMI 1.4: 4K Ultra HD compatible (3840 x 2160 pixels) at 24, 25 and 30 fps. Oct 19, 2022 at 4:40
  • @Gilby sorry for the confusion, what I meant to ask is what monitor should I buy so that the "Default for Display" resolution will give me 2560x1440? I do not want to use the Scaled resolution as it says it affects performance
    – arvil
    Oct 19, 2022 at 5:01
  • 2
    Default scaling is 2x. So for 'looks like' 2560x1440 you need a 5120x2880 (5K) screen. But don't rush into that until you have used your 4K at 'looks like' 2560x1440. You will be hard pressed to perceive (or even to measure) any performance degradation with a 16GB RAM M1 Mac. Text will not be quite as clear - that may or may not bother you - try it. If you are going to use it for photo or video, I would be asking about colour gamut and whether it is 8 or 10 bit per colour channel - the link you gave does not mention that.
    – Gilby
    Oct 19, 2022 at 6:09

1 Answer 1


MacOS is giving you a 2x SCALED resolution of 1920 x 1080. It is actually using all 3840 x 2160 pixels, but just making everything look twice the size.

Why? Because at 1:1 scaling, everything will be tiny. Your Samsung display has a pixel density of 157 pixels per inch, so you'll need to zoom in to 218% to get objects at 'actual size' (e.g. an A4 page).

All macOS is doing is adding the 'zoom factor' in for you. (Well, OK, you'll need to go to 109% to get Actual Size).

I'd agree with the comments that you're not going to see much (or any) performance reduction on a M1 Mac, when using non-integer scaling. So you could try some of the "More Space" settings.

If you really want 2x scaled 2560 x 1400, then you'll need a 5K display. Bear in mind that if you get a 5K display that's massively wide, then the pixel density will be quite low, and so you'll lose the crispness that you're after.

Your Mini can support 2 displays: Up to 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60Hz (HDMI); up to 6016 x 3384 pixels at 60 Hz (Thunderbolt).

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