4K Monitor As Retina Display

dell-up2414q-overview1So, I needed a solution for a Retina display in OS X.  I, of course, could have just bought a true Apple Retina Display, but I love to tinker.

Instead, I opted for the Dell UltraSharp UP2414Q.  It’s a beautiful display, and normally I’m opposed to buying nearly any item from Dell, but I sure am lovin’ this thing.  It’s default resolution is a staggering 3840×2160, and EVERYTHING is tiny in that mode.  To get it working in OS X as a Retina display I had to follow these steps:

  1. Connect the monitor via DisplayPort
  2. Run the following command in Terminal:
    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool true
  3. Restart the computer
  4. Open Display settings on another monitor (your 4K display won’t work because there are two 30hz settings for the default resolution, one of which doesn’t work).
  5. On another display (assuming you have more than one, like I do), hit “Gather Windows” at the bottom of the Display settings window.
  6. Switch to the window for your new monitor’s settings.
  7. Click the radiobutton for “Scaled” resolution.
  8. Select the new display mode listed as “1920 x 1080 (HiDPI)

And that’s it!  You now have an ultra cool Retina display!  While really amazing looking, this is for more than just kicks.  Development in Retina is a different world.  The 2x scaling factory is requiring a lot of code changes for my products, and will make them even more enticing for my customer base.