Doodles and crap. Oh, new blog on Tuesday!
Sounds SAUCY, doesn’t it?
Okay, this is more of an unorthodox post for me, but I want to help some folks out there that are probably having the same problem as I am, and now I’ve actually resolved it.
Maybe it’ll get soaked up on Google. Maybe I’ll win a Pulitzer. Hmm.
Let’s say you buy a fancy new non-Apple display (which most of you probably are). I just got this one (29” Acer Ultrawidescreen) because the 2011 Macbook Pro will NOT, under any circumstances, allow dual external monitors that AREN’T their own Thunderbolt Displays. (Thanks, Apple. You guys are, indeed, a double edged sword. Great products, but with a catch)
The ultrawidescreen setup is like having two 4:3 displays in one. It’s AWESOME.
I’m digressing, sorry.
The Problem, for real this time
Once I hooked up that sweet, sweet Ultrawidescreen Monitor to my Thunderbolt to DVI adapter, it didn’t support the 2560 x 1080 resolution that I so badly wanted. SO, I snagged a Thunderbolt to Displayport adapter and it didn’t work at first.
Fun fact: Did you know that first generation Thunderbolt supports Displayport 1.1 and NOT Displayport 1.2, which is what this monitor was defaulted to? Luckily, there was a setting in the menu of the monitor where I was able to set it to Displayport 1.1 - whew.
THEN it worked!
However, something wasn’t quite right.
The font smoothing was gone. Many of the images/icons/graphics in the OS were jagged and just kinda painful to look at. It was like a weird JPG compression tearing.
A good example (source) is how it looks with font smoothing:
And without font smoothing (what I was seeing)
You might be thinking, “Oh Rawrb, you’re stupid. Just get over it and be a MAN. DEAL WITH IT.”
In any other case, I’d agree with you. I’d go lift some weights and stroke muh beard with manly gruffs, but the font issue was more than just a small thing.
The “tearing” was affecting everything on my display. Images, icons - everything. It would hurt my eyes after a while. Eyeballs can’t be manly, right?
And before you fanboys get all huffy, YES, I hooked it up to a Windows 7 machine and it worked flawlessly.
So what do to?
Whelp, if you look at the source link I posted about this, they mentioned some terminal command where you could manipulate the font smoothing. Didn’t work for me. Worked for others though, and GOOD FOR THEM.
I kept finding that command line as the fix and almost gave up until I found THIS thread.
As it turns out, my particular model of Macbook Pro (late 2011) doesn’t play well with HDMI or DisplayPort! Seriously. It likes Thunderbolt AND DVI only.
If you recall, I already tried the DVI cable and it wouldn’t support that crazy resolution. It would work, but it didn’t support the 2560 x 1080 and would stretch another resolution that REALLY hurt my manly eyeballs.
The thread, however, pointed something out that should totally work.
My 2011 Macbook loves DVI. Like, prefers it. Hardcore. The adapter I was using was a SINGLE LINK DVI adapter that only went up to a certain resolution (don’t recall what it was), but a fancy DUAL LINK adapter with a DUAL LINK cable should fix the issue.
And it did. My fonts are so smooth. Buttery, even. And they’re still manly. I think.
I literally saved about $1500 by NOT buying two Thunderbolt Displays and going this route. I’ll take a headache, troubleshooting, and a little frustration over dropping that kind of cash.
Quick summary before I wrap this up:
- First generation thunderbolt will NOT support non-thunderbolt dual external displays. You either get one external display with an adaptor, or you get two Thunderbolt displays. There is no effective and elegant solution. (note: there is a USB display option that’ll allow a second external monitor, but it runs horribly and causes tearing and all that. Avoid.)
- First generation thunderbolt will NOT support DisplayPort 1.2, which allows external monitor DisplayPort daisy chaining (works a LOT like thunderbolt, but isn’t thunderbolt, which I’m cool with. Thunderbolt has been useless to me and only Apple seems to care about it)
- With my Macbook Pro (late 2011), using HDMI or DisplayPort will cause font/icon/image jpeg-ish distortion. I haven’t tried it on newer macs, but from what I read others are having the SAME PROBLEM.
- DisplayPort, high speed HDMI, and dual-link DVI at super high resolutions will look great with Windows 7 or 8 right away.
- Single link DVI cables and adapters should be avoided if you’re running something currently unorthodox (like an Ultrawidescreen or 4K)
- Dual Link DVI cables and adapters support 4K.
- First gen thunderbolt does NOT support 4k though. I haven’t tested this, but this was the conclusion I’ve read through searching around.
- Ultrawidescreen monitors are AMAZING. Great for productivity. Probably awesome for gaming, though I have’t tried it yet.
- I love/hate Apple.
- My eyeballs are still manly.
Thanks for readin’. I hope this helps someone out there.
I know it’s been a stupid amount of time since I’ve posted a comic. Or a blog. Or anything.
Had to step back and take care of ol’ Rawrb here for a bit. I’ve started a little bit of a web development “name” to get some bills all paid ‘n stuff. Here’s the FANTASTIC design I’ve released for RobGeek Web Development.
Also, Psychostick is currently creating EVERYTHING. Seems that way. Shirts, hoodies, videos, music, tours - it’s insane. So there’s THAT.
If you SAW my Gantt chart, you’d ‘splode.
However, I’m making severe progress in many ways. The results, or FRUITS, will become obvious as this year progresses.
Can’t wait for you to see/hear all the goodies. Maybe even touch.
Woke up New Year’s day in one of these moods. Made for a funny comic. So funny in fact that I laughed, CACKLED if you will, while lightning struck behind me.