Fix jagged text on Dell monitor with macOS

I've used a Dell U2413 monitor for years with my MacBook Pro, and always connected to the monitor's DisplayPort input (using this cable). This is a low-DPI monitor (non-retina), but with font-smoothing in macOS I always found the clarity to be more than adequate. However, when I ordered an Anker USB hub with a separate HDMI port, I decided to connect to the monitor using an HDMI cable (this one) in order to free up another USB-C port. This worked, but it seemed to disable macOS's font smoothing, making the text appear really jagged.

Here are some close-up photos of the monitor that show the difference.

Jagged, hard to read text on monitor plugged in via HDMI. Jagged, hard to read text on Dell U2413 display plugged in via HDMI.

Smooth, easy to read text on monitor plugged in via DisplayPort. Smooth, easy to read text on on Dell U2413 display plugged in via DisplayPort.

This has been true in both Catalina and Big Sur, I don't think I tested it on earlier OS versions. I tried forcing macOS to re-enable font smoothing following this, but no change. So in lieu of buying a new monitor, I've reverted to my DisplayPort to USB-C cable.

Posted by Abraham