How does OS X 10.9.3 help 4K users?

As 4K fans and Apple geeks, we’ve spent most of this week caught in a perfect storm of internet rumours, but the 4K-friendly OS X 10.9.3 has finally been released, vastly improving life for anyone who’s trying to work with 4K on a  machine that’s running Mavericks. But what is it that’s actually being improved?

Well, we’re sure there are plenty of goodies, but let’s home in on the 4K display settings. Currently, when you connect your Mac to a 4K display you can choose between a 3840×2160 resolution at 30Hz, which is nowhere near native 4K and severely caps your refresh rate, or 4096×2160 at 24Hz, which leads to your system graphics appearing far smaller and more spread out than usual – not the best working environment.

However, OS X 10.9.3 fixes both these bugbears. The refresh rate cap has being lifted to 60Hz for MacBook Pro with Retina displays (which could previously only refresh at this rate when running Windows) and Mac Pros (which currently make you go through a convoluted setup process to get 60Hz).

This higher refresh rate means that general use of your computer will feel far smoother, with far fewer ‘jumps’ when you’re scrolling or scrubbing.

As for the overall resolution, OS X 10.9.3 introduces the ability to ‘pixel double’, which means your screen pushes twice as much information in to the same number of pixels, creating a far sharper image. Throughout testing, Beta users across the web reported that connecting a 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina display to a 4K monitor over HDMI and enabling pixel doubling gave them a 4K display that was correctly scaled and as sharp as anything you’d see on a standard Retina display, as this screenshot from 9to5Mac shows:

OS X 10.9.3 4K display


If you’re itching to get 4K on your Mac, you can take a look at the latest 4K displays from Sharp and Dell here.

And it’s not just 4K users who benefit…
Recently, one of our engineers was trying to drive two NEC PA301W monitors from a new Mac Pro with a FirePro D500 GPU. In earlier versions of OS X, when the displays were rotated by 90 degrees the resolutions available were limited to 1200×1600, 1008×1344 and 1024×1080 – none of which were optimal.
However, once he’d installed OS X 10.9.3, the 2560×1600 resolution was available again, no matter how the monitor was rotated.

Want to know more about how OS X 10.9.3 could affect your workflow? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Call us: 03332 409 306

2 thoughts on “How does OS X 10.9.3 help 4K users?

  1. Were you able to enable the HiDPI Retina Display option on your 2560×1600 resolution monitor? It seems to be possible for 2560×1440 monitors, but the feature is missing for me despite having the 10.9.3 update. Please confirm?

  2. Hi Rajan,

    We’ve just double checked this with Apple and as far as we understand it the 10.9.3 update allows users to configure 4K displays (3,840 x 2,160) at Retina resolutions. So far we’ve tested this on the Dell 4K and it works. I’ve checked with our tech team and they’ve advised that “if it’s just showing regular resolution choices for the monitor i.e 1920×1080 instead of the DPI scale options that would appear on the Retina, I would assume its not supported.” Hope this clarifies things – sorry if the update was unclear.

    Let me know if there’s anything else we can do,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *