A look at OS X 10.9.3’s 4K display improvements and remaining flaws

“As part of Thursday’s OS X 10.9.3 update, Apple finally added improved support for high resolution 4K displays,” Jim Tanous reports for TekRevue. “Thus far officially available for only the 2013 Mac Pro and MacBook Pro with Retina Display, the 10.9.3 update gives users the option to configure their 4K displays at “’Retina’ resolutions using System Preferences. Users could previously attain Retina-like resolutions for 4K displays by manually enabling OS X’s HiDPI mode, but the update makes the process as easy as configuring the built-in display of a Retina MacBook.”

“In OS X 10.9.2 and below, users with 4K displays connected to their Macs would see a list of compatible resolutions by default,” Tanous reports. “Native 4K resolution was available, but most users would find it too small for standard productivity work. The only other option, aside from the aforementioned HiDPI tweaks, was to use an upscaled lower resolution, such as 2560×1440.”

“Despite the improvements in Thursday’s update, support for third party 4K displays in OS X still has a long way to go,” Tanous reports. “Apple released Knowledge Base Article HT6008, explaining that only a select few displays are officially supported, especially at the important 60Hz refresh rate threshold, and that users may have to update their displays to ensure compatibility. Apple currently cites official compatibility with only the Sharp PN-K321 and Asus PQ321Q, and they’re not kidding.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. This article is a bunch of crap, its not that hard. I have a 2013 8 core and 4k support is relatively easy, the part that is confusing only to a few is the 60Hz part which is a failure on the displays part not apples. All 4k displays come set to 30Hz by default. Because there are very very few computers out there that can support 60Hz. The mac pro is one. Just set the displays to 60Hz in there menus and your done. It is not Apples fault that some displays may need a firmware update to support 60Hz.

    1. Absolutely incorrect. The U28D590D is part of a crop of new 4K panels that support 60Hz via single stream out of the box. There are no 60Hz settings or firmware to update. And the panel works fine in Windows and with Macs using NVIDIA GPUs. It’s a bug related to AMD’s OS X drivers that causes the issue, as stated in the article.

  2. The main issue it appears is a driver problem when single streams are used. We have known for a long time that graphic card drivers always lag for the Mac. Since it does appear you can manually adjust the resolution via the display controls this issue does not appear to be a deal breaker.
    On a separate issue, I will not be buying any Samsumg standalone products due to the way they conduct their business. Wherever possible I will not be buying their products at work either.

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