How I got UHD (~4k) working on a MAC Mini

Started Mar 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP bronxbombers4 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,387
Re: How I got UHD (~4k) working on a MAC Mini

Tom_N wrote:

bronxbombers4 wrote:

Dell UP2414Q UHD monitor

OK, wow, actually got my MAC Mini to be able to support 3840x2160 or 1920x1080p HiDPI modes. It took a lot of searching and some hacking and some serious scares along the way though! And most google searches only lead you to partial solutions or talk that it's impossible. But 2 hours later it works.

I have no clue what Apple fans go on about how MS has no clue compared to Apple when getting UHD running on a regular MAC is so tricky and not directly supported in the OS.

The Mac Mini is not advertised as supporting UHD resolution on its HDMI port. All that you can count on is 1920x1200 pixels or 1080p.

So I feared. But thankfully that is not the case at all. I have it driving my 24" UHD display as a retina display and it's totally awesome and works perfectly (on DisplayPort where it was also advertised as only going up to 1920x1200).

The Retina MacBook Pros and iOS devices (iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads) that have Retina screens ARE advertised as supporting high resolution on their internal screens. People who have used those Macs and iOS devices know that Apple handles backwards compatibility very well.

The latest Retina MacBook Pros and Mac Pros support HDMI connections to UltraHD TVs; the Mac Pro also has the option of driving multiple 4K displays via its Thunderbolt 2 ports.

yes, but I was trying to get it to work on a regular MAC

you don't need to buy a special new retina windows box to get UHD, your old card and the OS quite possible support it and if not, just pop in a new gfx card and good to go, no need to buy a whole new machine

I do not know if Mac OS X has an option to treat physically small external UHD/4K screens as Retina screens.

The steps I post above to get to HiDPI 1080p provides UHD screens being driven as retina screens.

But in any case, Apple never advertised that your Mini supported Retina displays, UHD/4K displays, or a combination. So the difficulty of hacking your Mini has little to do with how well the features work on the models that support them.

But the point is that with windows boxes are you free to stick whatever you want in them and also that many of the MACs that require all these tricks actually DO support UHD just fine in their HW it's locked away and obscured and I've heard that even people with retina books and new mac pros sometimes need to do at least one of the hack steps to get it to scale nicely, at least with some UHD displays.

Anyway whatever, the main point is not a Windows/Apple war (IMO both stink to some extent and the really good OS and companies were driven out of business years ago sadly), but that it is possible to get many non-retina MACs to drive UHD displays as retinas displays and it's awesome, once you follow the steps it works and it works really well (potentially better than Windows, not sure yet) so I was really surprised and thankful! I feared I would be stuck with 1920x1080 being interpolated by the monitor to UHD since I didn't think the mini supported UHD and AFAIK there is no way to change a graphics card in a MAC, but I'm not and it looks beautiful, it works so great, awesome.

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