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Question: external monitor on MacBook Pro 2017, 15 inch

I have a MacBook Pro 2017, 15 inch, fully optioned, which won't support my NEC Multisync PA272W professional monitor. My MacBook Pro contains the I7 CPU, Radeon Pro 560 4096 MB option in addition to the Intel graphics, 16Gb of RAM, and a 2Tb SSD. I am running macOS High Sierra, Version 10.13.4, and the machine seems to operate perfectly in every other respect.


I cannot get greater than 1920x1280 resolution from the MacBook Pro. I am using the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter connecting to the monitor through an HDMI cable.

The same cable into the same monitor generates the full 2560x1440 resolution when plugged into my Mac Mini mid-2011, or a Dell desktop, so I feel confident that there are no problems with the monitor or the cable.

The NEC PA272W monitor is a 27" professional unit designed to support detailed color calibration and a native resolution of 2560 x1440 for photographic and video applications. Using it with this MacBook Pro is important to me. I have found posts describing difficulty obtaining 4k monitor support from this MacBook Pro, but 2560x1440?

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks!

MacBook Pro TouchBar and Touch ID, macOS High Sierra (10.13.4), 16Gb RAM, 2Tb SSD

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Apr 22, 2018 9:32 AM in response to William Mcclatchey1 In response to William Mcclatchey1

Connectors:


DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D Dual Link, USB hub (2 up/ 3 down) with DisplaySync Pro


Professional displays are at their best when connected with DisplayPort family. Buy a "4K rated" third-party USB-C to either DisplayPort or Mini Displayport adapter, and connect with DisplayPort family.


Use caution when shopping online, as some Vendors are shipping direct from the Far East, with an actual transit time of Three Weeks.

Apr 22, 2018 9:32 AM

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Apr 22, 2018 1:32 PM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

First of all, thank you for your response.


I am somewhat confused however, since the cable and monitor work fine on both a MacMini, 2011, and on a Dell Desktop, to deliver the 2560 x 1440 resolution of which the monitor is capable.


Although I have certainly had difficulty with cables and adapters before, that would not seem to be the case since the other two computers deliver the appropriate resolution through the identical HDMI connector.

Apr 22, 2018 1:32 PM

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Apr 22, 2018 3:39 PM in response to William Mcclatchey1 In response to William Mcclatchey1

The moment you check Mirror Displays, the resolution becomes one that BOTH the internal display (limited to 2880 by 1800 Max) and the external display can both handle at exactly the same time.


That is likely what is limiting the resolution on the external display.

Apr 22, 2018 3:39 PM

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Apr 22, 2018 6:24 PM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

Again, Thank you for responding.


I am using the MacBook Pro computer in mirror displays mode at my home, and driving an NEC PA322UHD professional 32" monitor at full 4k resolution, using an HDMI connector out of my OWC Thunderbolt dock. Clearly the mirror displays mode does not limit the external monitor to the same resolution as the 15" retinal display. I am typing this message on the machine using the 4k monitor at this time.

Apr 22, 2018 6:24 PM

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Apr 22, 2018 7:22 PM in response to William Mcclatchey1 In response to William Mcclatchey1

The screen shot I posted shows the simple checkbox for mirroring ANY displays. The other method for accomplishing that same task involves dragging the Icon of one display over the other display until they substantially overlap.

That will be indicated as a more complex graphic of overlapping screens, which I do not have immediately available to post.


If you closely examine your Arrange Pane, it will be completely obvious whether you are Mirroring any displays.


If you are, in fact, not mirroring displays, I return to what I posted originally. Best performance for professional displays is obtained by using DisplayPort family.

Apr 22, 2018 7:22 PM

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Apr 23, 2018 2:43 PM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

Again, Thank you for responding.


Grant, there is no question that I am mirroring, as I said earlier.


I also do not understand how the identical cable, if inadequate for the chosen resolution, could display higher resolution on the same monitor when simply unplugged from the MacBook Pro 2017 and plugged into the much older Mac Mini 2011, which supports the higher resolution with no changes.


My suspicion at this point is that using the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for video, whatever sensing signal goes from the monitor to the MacBook Pro through the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port is somehow not relating the information to the machine that it is capable of delivering the 2560 x 1440 resolution that should be substantially below the graphics capabilities of the MacBook Pro 2017.

Apr 23, 2018 2:43 PM

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Apr 23, 2018 2:52 PM in response to William Mcclatchey1 In response to William Mcclatchey1

Sensing display capabilities is MUCH more nuanced that you are imagining.


To get a Mac display to become active, you need the Mac to query the display, and the display to answer with its name and a remarkably full description of its capabilities. Otherwise, no data will be sent to the display.


This query is only sent at certain times:

• at startup

• at wake from sleep

• at insertion of the Mac-end of the display-cable, provided everything on that cable is ready-to-go

• on invoking Option-(Detect Display) button in Displays preferences


The display sends a huge amount of data detailing exactly what it can and cannot do.


Despite your skepticism, Mirroring displays DOES force a compromise in display resolutions that may not be intuitive, because the displays will be driven by exactly the same Hardware, in lock step, and they MUST be synchronized.


As an experiment, try unchecking the [√] Mirror displays checkbox, and set you external display to the highest resolution then available. (one display will just show the desktop background). If it is still limited to 1920 by 1080p, then I would agree there is a problem in the adapter.

Apr 23, 2018 2:52 PM

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Question: external monitor on MacBook Pro 2017, 15 inch