Enable HiDPI for 1080p External Display with MBP

HiDPI is basically like the MBP internal “Retina” screen, using higher 4x resolution to render, then projecting and showing with lower resolution on physical display, which will display much sharper text and image. So for 1080p HiDPI, it actually renders at 4320p, requiring a 4K screen to work.

Theoretically, there is no benefit to enable HiDPI on 1080p monitor, because physical screen pixels remains 1080p and the 4K rendered resolution should be projected to the same pixels as original 1080p rendering. However, there’s still a visible improvement, especially in rendering text. Here’s my screenshot comparison.

Without HiDPI, more fuzzy bold rendering of text:

With HiDPI, much sharper and slim rendering:

Since it’s a 1080p monitor, the default device profile won’t list HiDPI resolution options in the display settings. There’s a Mac shareware SwitchResX and disabling SPI to install custom resolution profile. But this can also be done by the free RDM app and this online profile generation tool. After following the steps to install custom made 1080p HiDPI display profile, you could then select the lightning HiDPI for a 1080p external display with the RDM app.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.