I just connected a Dell U2410 external monitor to my rMBP (OS X 10.8.2), via a "Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter". As noted frequently on the web, the display is horrible.

I've read a bunch of links about using:
defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2 or
defaults write -g NSFontDefaultScreenFontSubstitutionEnabled -bool true and even about how to set up an optimized icc profile and how to tune the screen.

None of the above seems to have any really significant effect on the display - especially not on the fonts.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but has anyone managed to get the crisp and clear font display on these monitors (as they are on Windows)? If so how?

An interesting phenomena I noticed that if I move a window towards the external screen on the primary Retina-display screen, when I get close to the primary screen edge (about 25% closer) the fonts suddenly blur:

Normal rendering on Retina display:
Normal font rendering on Retina display

...and slightly moving the window to the right towards the external screen:
enter image description here

These screen captures are both 100% cropped from the Retina display, not the external monitor.
It looks like the rendering resolution is suddenly decreased.

Does anyone know whats going on?

  • I wouldn't put much stock in those rendering images. The external monitor is 1920x1200 pixels, the 15" MBP is 2880x 1800. So when part of the window overlaps the external, it's likely rendering the pixels for your external monitor.
    – ghoppe
    Mar 19, 2013 at 23:32
  • Could it be you have become so accustomed to the silky-smooth rendering of the retina display, "normal" displays now just look chunky?
    – ghoppe
    Mar 19, 2013 at 23:34
  • The external monitor standing right besides an identical one connected to a Windows machine. The difference is huge. The fonts on the windows monitor are nice and crisp.
    – Adi Shavit
    Mar 20, 2013 at 5:58
  • Did you see this question? Is it worse compared to using other non-HiDPI displays with OS X, using that display with a non-retina Mac, or compared to Windows?
    – Lri
    Mar 20, 2013 at 11:49
  • @Lauri Ranta: I can only compare it to Windows. I don't have another non-Retina mac.
    – Adi Shavit
    Mar 20, 2013 at 12:12


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