New desktop machine - 4K monitor


I’d like to put a new desktop machine together with the intention of getting a 27 or 28" 4K monitor (for Haiku as the main OS, dual booting xubuntu probably).

With the current graphics drivers, which cards will support a 4K monitor at native resolution? I guess it’s radeon or intel and through displayport?

Anyone else using Haiku with a 4K display successfully?


Haiku supports Radeon HD cards well all the way up to the latest generations.

  • Go for the RX 480 or RX 470 if it is in your price range. Cheap and powerful.
  • If price is an issue, go for a Radeon HD 78XX,79XX You can find these on ebay used for cheap or new on amazon.
  • If you’re looking cheap, go for a used high-end Radeon HD 58XX,59XX on ebay. (like the Radeon HD 5870)

Only small issue is Haiku looks tiny at 4k. We need better global scaling settings. (all of our GUI’s support scaling from what i’ve seen, we just need to expose a dpi scale)


Thanks for the info (and your work on the drivers!)

Maybe I can have a look at exposing the DPI scaling in appearance prefs. This machine is intended for development anyway and seems like a good first patch candidate?


Please stop calling this DPI scaling. DPI is “dot per inches”. It depends on one single thing, the physical size of the pixels, and it can’t be scaled in any way. Call it “GUI scaling” or whatever.

Anyway for implementing this:

  • We aleady have settings for font size, and Tracker icon sizes. Font sizes are in “points” for which there is not really a precise definition, so we can consider it an arbitrary unit. Tracker icon sizes are currently in pixels, and if there is extra scaling it would not actually be pixels anymore. Maybe we could rename the settings to “small, medium, large, huge” or similar.
  • For the actual implementation: the drawing API has a SetScale and a SetTransform, both of which can be used to change the drawing size of everything. The idea would be to do this automatically when a view is created, and set a global scale (so, it’s a little more work than adding a slider to the Appearance prefs).
  • After doing this, expect to discover bugs because of interactions with other drawing primitives: saving to BPicture, applying more transforms, or using Clipping are likely to miss something and result in broken drawing.

An alternative to this approach (global scaling, similar to what macOS does), is to instead change just the font size (in Appearance prefs) and then make sure all apps properly scale their whole UI according to that. So if there is a large font, apps would also use larger icons, etc. This requires more work (as each app needs to be tweaked), but it is possibly simpler (no need to mess with the app_server drawing, transforms and clipping and stuff).

Sorry, “GUI scaling” it is.

Thanks for the information. Of your two suggested approaches, I prefer the first suggestion. Scaling to font sizes seems like ‘cheating’ to me. I think any bugs uncovered in doing the scale when views are created are worthwhile bugs to find and fix anyway.


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I think, is to be good that the same GUI scaling in addition must work on a tablet for enlarging view with fingers.

Personally, I like Haiku because it is the pinnacle of desktop operating system design (IMO) and I dislike the disregard for established user interface rules that are being thrown out in the race for ‘touch’ interfaces.

Just my opinion!

its nice to have see haiku on 4k and more, how small it is.
And i think the HVIF Icons have a scale limit, this need work to more scale sizes. On the fonts i think its no problem to scale.

We need a small display size rule, to set the default size of fonts and icons.

“Scaling for larger DPI’s” == DPI scaling :wink:

Gnome actually automatically looks at the DPI of the display, and adjusts the scaling automatically as needed.

I like the idea of Gnome’s “global scale” setting.

Example of something similar:

Pretty much we could “default” to a sane value based on the resolution/DPI, then users could tweak everything as tiny as they want.

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Since I realized Pulkomandy and I said just about the same thing, I opened a ticket :slight_smile:

GUI + DPI + scaling = dpiguing


I hope that this “GUI–DPI–scaling” problem will be fixed, this is little bit annoying on 21 century monitors.

I’ve got my new machine now - it’s actually quite usable with 4K on the 28 inch monitor. I just had to up the font size a little.

Anyhow, I can start looking at the scaling code once I’ve got a build environment up again.


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Hi PulkoMandy,

just a small correction: The size of a point is actually defined. It’s a 1/72 of an inch. So if your monitor would have a resolution of 72dpi, then a point would match a pixel. See

Best regards,

This is one of the possible values, and currently the de fqcto standard. But there are other definitions, some relatively recently defined in PostScript or TeX.

But yes, let’s use the most widely accepted definition to keep things simple. We have, however, to rely on correct EDID information from display devices to be able to show fonts in a resolution independant way (same physical character size no matter what the resolution). It is currently not the case in Haiku, I think: our current rendering assumes a 96dpi display when computing font sizes, which means our font size unit is not typographic points, unless your display is indeed a 96dpi one.

Just bought a Radeon HD 7570. Doesnt work. The desktop never shows. All i see is a grey screen. Any clues ?

Please start a new topic with your question. Let old threads stay old threads. After wading through a topic on 4k monitors and scaling, you find an off topic question on Radeon. We value your question, but you’re much more likely to get the help you seek by starting a fresh topic. Thanks!

My bad. Starting a new topic.