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mehulparmariitr

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Jan 13, 2022
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I have a Dell U2720Q(4K monitor) with 163 PPI and the text looks clear. Earlier I had Acer XV272U (2K monitor) display with 109 PPI and the text looked so fuzzy. Now I want to get a 32/34UW/38UW display. What should be the ideal PPI for them? Very confused since people are saying 110 PPI is good for text but it was not for me with Acer. But when I used my DellU2720 in 2560x1440 scaling the text is looking good. I don't understand if both are running on 109 PPI (1440/13.2406) then why the text clarity is so different?

In my current list, I am thinking of getting 32" LG 32UN880 which has 140 PPI. But markets also have 3440x1440 monitors. I would mostly run at 2560x1440 scaling (in 4K 32") because I don't want the text to look small. What should be my criteria to choose? Should I go with ultrawide monitors as I am very particular about text clarity?
 

joevt

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Jun 21, 2012
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On the Dell, 2560x1440 is actually 5120x2880 scaled down to 4K. macOS says "Looks like 2560x1440". macOS draws everything twice as wide and twice as tall into a 5120x2880 framebuffer which the GPU scales down to 3840x2160. macOS is using 4 times as many pixels to draw each text character. This is called a retina mode or HiDPI mode.

On the Acer, 2560x1440 is just 2560x1440. The pixels on the Acer are like twice as chunky as the pixels on the Dell.

Doesn't matter what display you get, the one with the most pixels is going to look better (when comparing two displays with the same aspect ratio). A bigger display will probably be positioned further away so you can comfortably see the entire display. That will effectively increase the apparent DPI of the display.

Ultrawide monitors usually have low DPI - they have a lot of pixels, but they will just look like two Dell displays side by side.
https://pixensity.com/list/desktop/

Get a 30+ inch display with at least 4K.
 

mehulparmariitr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2022
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On the Dell, 2560x1440 is actually 5120x2880 scaled down to 4K. macOS says "Looks like 2560x1440". macOS draws everything twice as wide and twice as tall into a 5120x2880 framebuffer which the GPU scales down to 3840x2160. macOS is using 4 times as many pixels to draw each text character. This is called a retina mode or HiDPI mode.

On the Acer, 2560x1440 is just 2560x1440. The pixels on the Acer are like twice as chunky as the pixels on the Dell.

Doesn't matter what display you get, the one with the most pixels is going to look better (when comparing two displays with the same aspect ratio). A bigger display will probably be positioned further away so you can comfortably see the entire display. That will effectively increase the apparent DPI of the display.

Ultrawide monitors usually have low DPI - they have a lot of pixels, but they will just look like two Dell displays side by side.
https://pixensity.com/list/desktop/

Get a 30+ inch display with at least 4K.
Okay so are saying choosing an ultrawide with 3440*1440(https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B097RVPVPM/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza) will just look like Acer 2k which I had. I see most of the ultrawide have this options only.
There are some with QHD+ resolution monitors(https://www.displayspecifications.com/en/model/d3641f29) which are very costly and ~110 ppi. Will they also output blurry text? Am I reaching to correct conclusion?
 

joevt

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Jun 21, 2012
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Okay so are saying choosing an ultrawide with 3440*1440(https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B097RVPVPM/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza) will just look like Acer 2k which I had. I see most of the ultrawide have this options only.
There are some with QHD+ resolution monitors(https://www.displayspecifications.com/en/model/d3641f29) which are very costly and ~110 ppi. Will they also output blurry text? Am I reaching to correct conclusion?
1600 is just a taller version of 1440.

There aren't any ultrawides with the DPI of 4K.
 

Amethyst1

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2015
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My budget allows 3440*1440 only, so will that blur the text just like acer 2k i had.
Yes. The reason the text is blurry is macOS does not enable the HiDPI modes on any ultrawide... except for those few with a 5120×2160 resolution. And these aren't exactly cheap.

Or should i ditch ultrawide and simply go with lg 32un880 with 4k and 140ppi?
Yes. "4K" (3840×2160) is high enough a resolution for macOS to automatically enable the HiDPI modes with their vastly improved text rendering.

There aren't any ultrawides with the DPI of 4K.
5120×2160 on 34" is the same 163 PPI as 27" 3840×2160 or 28.2" 3840×2560.
 

mehulparmariitr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2022
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Yes. The reason the text is blurry is macOS does not enable the HiDPI modes on any ultrawide... except for those few with a 5120×2160 resolution. And these aren't exactly cheap.


Yes. "4K" (3840×2160) is high enough a resolution for macOS to automatically enable the HiDPI modes with their vastly improved text rendering.


5120×2160 on 34" is the same 163 PPI as 27" 3840×2160 or 28.2" 3840×2560.
okay will ditch ultrawide monitors. I am thinking of getting lg 32un880 with 4k .So that is 140ppi I hope it provides as much clearity as dell 4k. I scale down to 2560*1440 resolution to see text big. Is that a good decision? I was not able to find 32 inch 5k except apple pro xdr which is like yikes!!
 

mehulparmariitr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2022
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If you like it, then yep. What matters is that text is big enough for you.
Scaling will be upto 2560*1440 for me to see comfortably . Or it can be more for 32 inch? What I am concerned is that 140 ppi of lg vs 163 ppi of dell. Will I see much difference?
 

zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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Ultrawide at 3440x1440 does not produce sharp text, as you'd expect from the low ppi. If you can't afford something with 5k resolution, 32" at 4k would be the next best option, but honestly, I wouldn't bother if you already have a decent 27" 4k monitor. Text is going to look better on that than a larger screen with the same resolution.
 

mehulparmariitr

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Jan 13, 2022
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Text is going to look better on that than a larger screen with the same resolution.
yes I agree, moving from 27 to 32 same resolution will take a hit. But being a software developer i need to see more code on screen, open a lot of tabs on chrome and work multi windows. That's why was thinking of having a primary 32 4k and secondary 27 4k monitor. Ultrawide are not out of picture because of low ppi :/ How much hit I will have to take from 163 to 140 ppi that i think I will have to check physically. Couldn't find resources on net.
 
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zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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yes I agree, moving from 27 to 32 same resolution will take a hit. But being a software developer i need to see more code on screen, open a lot of tabs on chrome and work multi windows. That's why was thinking of having a primary 32 4k and secondary 27 4k monitor. Ultrawide are not out of picture because of low ppi :/ How much hit I will have to take from 163 to 140 ppi that i think I will have to check physically. Couldn't find resources on net.
If you are adding a second monitor, I would stick with the same size and resolution. Mixing different scaling factors on side-by-side displays is less than optimal.
 

fgengineer

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Oct 19, 2018
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joevt

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Jun 21, 2012
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5120×2160 on 34" is the same 163 PPI as 27" 3840×2160 or 28.2" 3840×2560.
Actually, there is at least one: https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/sho...1qw/apd/210-aykx/monitors-monitor-accessories. I think some other ones are scheduled to come out as well.
Ok, these 5K2K displays are wider than 16:9 but I wouldn't say they were ultra wide. They have aspect ratio 21:9 so they are at least over twice as wide as they are tall so they are at least wider. But I suppose if you call 16:9 wide screen (compared to 4:3) then 21:9 is extra wide but still not ultra wide :) but LG groups 21:9 into their UltraWide™ category so....

In terms of DPI, the options in order from highest are 8K, 6K/5K, 5K2K/4K/3840x2560, everything else including 5Kx1440p/1440p but that's an over simplification. Always check the specs - divide a physical viewable dimension (width/height/diagonal) by the corresponding number of pixels for that dimension.
 

mehulparmariitr

macrumors newbie
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Jan 13, 2022
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Ok, these 5K2K displays are wider than 16:9 but I wouldn't say they were ultra wide. They have aspect ratio 21:9 so they are at least over twice as wide as they are tall so they are at least wider. But I suppose if you call 16:9 wide screen (compared to 4:3) then 21:9 is extra wide but still not ultra wide :) but LG groups 21:9 into their UltraWide™ category so....

In terms of DPI, the options in order from highest are 8K, 6K/5K, 5K2K/4K/3840x2560, everything else including 5Kx1440p/1440p but that's an over simplification. Always check the specs - divide a physical viewable dimension (width/height/diagonal) by the corresponding number of pixels for that dimension.
Yes I agree. I think in my case having lg 32 4k and dell 27 4k side by side will not be an issue. Because both of them will run at 2560*1440 scaling. Clarity wise I think i will see difference because lf different ppi. But i hope just because of 32 inch the text on 27 does not take a hit.

Actually, there is at least one: https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/sho...1qw/apd/210-aykx/monitors-monitor-accessories. I think some other ones are scheduled to come out as well.

I noticed that even the best ultrawides have max ppi of 140. So i guess i can also go ahead with lg 32 4k 140ppi instead of getting an ultrawide. Seems like companies just don't care about clarity on macos and ultrawide.
 

joevt

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Jun 21, 2012
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Yes I agree. I think in my case having lg 32 4k and dell 27 4k side by side will not be an issue. Because both of them will run at 2560*1440 scaling. Clarity wise I think i will see difference because lf different ppi. But i hope just because of 32 inch the text on 27 does not take a hit.
With 32 inches you might consider higher scaling modes such as 3008x1692 - the default for the 32 inch Apple Pro Display XDR. It will be like having a 6K display but much less expensive (and much fewer pixels but it should still look clearer than a non-Retina display).
 
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mehulparmariitr

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Jan 13, 2022
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With 32 inches you might consider higher scaling modes such as 3008x1692 - the default for the 32 inch Apple Pro Display XDR. It will be like having a 6K display but much less expensive (and much fewer pixels but it should still look clearer than a non-Retina display).
yeah nice idea. But a 32 inch on 3008*1692 and dell 27 4k on 2560*1440. I guess that shouldn't be a problem.
 

zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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Yes I agree. I think in my case having lg 32 4k and dell 27 4k side by side will not be an issue. Because both of them will run at 2560*1440 scaling. Clarity wise I think i will see difference because lf different ppi. But i hope just because of 32 inch the text on 27 does not take a hit.



I noticed that even the best ultrawides have max ppi of 140. So i guess i can also go ahead with lg 32 4k 140ppi instead of getting an ultrawide. Seems like companies just don't care about clarity on macos and ultrawide.
As per my earlier comment, if you will be running them both at the same scaled resolution, what is the point of going to 32" rather than 27"? You won't gain any additional workspace and you'll just lose clarity. I suppose if elements are too small at that scaled resolution at 27", that'd be a reason. If you put them at different scaled resolutions, that's where things get less than ideal as window sizes need adjusting when switching between monitors.

I have the LG 34WK95U-W which is a bit above your budget (and hard to find) but has the same 163ppi as a 27" 4k monitor, yet I can scale the UI to easily place three working windows side by side without dealing with multiple displays.
 

Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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If you put them at different scaled resolutions, that's where things get less than ideal as window sizes need adjusting when switching between monitors.
If both monitors are running at the same "simulated" PPI, window sizes are the same.
 

zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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If both monitors are running at the same "simulated" PPI, window sizes are the same.
Yes, I guess I said it in reverse above, but if he has one 4k monitor at 32” and another at 27” and runs them at the same scaled resolution as he is suggesting earlier in the thread, window sizes will not be the same.
 
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mehulparmariitr

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Jan 13, 2022
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Yes, I guess I said it in reverse above, but if he has one 4k monitor at 32” and another at 27” and runs them at the same scaled resolution as he is suggesting earlier in the thread, window sizes will not be the same.
Yes to attain the same simulated ppi i will have run my 32 inch on 3008*1692 and dell 27 4k on 2560*1440.
So in my 32 inch will macos double the resolution to 6016*3384 and then downscale to 4k? Same like 27 inch 2650*1440? If that's the case then gpu will have to do a lot of work everytime.

Or It only happens if there is not any integer between scaled resolution and native resolution. Can someone explain the theory behind this.
 
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