Retina Display Compatibility

by GRAPHISOFT, Marton Kiss, Katalin Götz and Dániel Alexander Kovács · updated: 12.19.2014

This article describes the Retina Display compatibility with GRAPHISOFT products.

ARCHICAD 19 and Devices with Retina Display

As technology goes ahead, high-resolution displays are becoming more and more popular. We, at GRAPHISOFT have recognized this tendency, and tailored our products to satisfy this need.

ARCHICAD 19 supports all Macs with Retina displays currently available (including the 5K iMac). We enhanced the speed of 2D and 3D navigation, and fixed some compatibility issues regarding retina displays. To experience the benefits of these improvements, make sure you have the 2D Drawing Hardware Acceleration set to Full:

  • Open Options/Work Environment/Advanced Redraw Options
  • Set 2D Drawing Hardware Acceleration to Full

ARCHICAD 18 (or earlier) and Devices with Retina Display

iMac with Retina 5K display, 4K displays connected to Macs

The new iMac with Retina 5K display features a screen that has resolution of 5120 by 2880 pixels. This is four times more pixels to calculate than with a regular 27″ iMac.

Based on GRAPHISOFT’s latest tests the performance of ARCHICAD can drop in some situations:

  • the visual feedback in 2D windows may have some delay
  • zooming in 2D windows my have lower FPS
  • turning trace and reference or the tracker on, slows down both of the two above and navigation (pan) may be slower as well

Turning ARCHICAD in low resolution mode results the same speed as with non Retina iMacs:low res

  • close ARCHICAD
  • locate in Applications/GRAPHISOFT/ArchiCAD xx folder
  • select the application
  • from the context menu choose Get Info
  • check Open in Low Resolution

The performance on external 4K displays greatly depends on the type of Mac you use. Refer to Apple’s guide on 4K compatible Macs. For the best 3D speed make sure to choose a Mac with dedicated graphics.

GRAPHISOFT is actively researching the available technologies to improve the performance on such high-res displays.

MacBook Pro

ARCHICAD works smooth on retina MacBook Pros. For the best performance select models with dedicated video cards, like the top of the line 15″ model with NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M.

BIMx on mobile devices

The latest version of BIMx on iOS fully exploits the possibilities of the Retina Display. The application has already been updated to support the latest devices.

Find BIMx in the App Store

Here is a screenshot of BIMx running in HiDPI environment:



Please note that the image is re-scaled. Click here to see the cropped image in original resolution.

ARCHICAD, BIMx Desktop Viewer

Retina Display support in ARCHICAD 17+

  • ARCHICAD 17+ fully supports Retina displays both in 2D and 3D design environments

Retina Display support in ARCHICAD 16

  • ARCHICAD 16 is fully functional on Retina Displays. Benefits of using ArchiCAD in full Retina (HiDPI) mode include: remarkably sharp and smooth 2D element and text display.
  • ARCHICAD 16 Hotfix 2 (3270) contains some further improvements:
    • Extended support for trace reference
    • Retina (HiDPI) resolution support in 3D design environment (OpenGL, Internal Engine)
    • Minor fixes to icons

Retina Display support in ARCHICAD 15 and earlier

  • ARCHICAD 15 currently has usability issues when used in HiDPI mode: popup windows might appear outside of the visible screen. We recommend using ARCHICAD 15 and earlier versions in normal resolution (HiDPI mode turned off) on the new MacBookPro computers: open Applications and highlight ARCHICAD within the Graphisoft folder. Choose Get Info and check in the Open in Low Resolution mode. See the steps detailed:


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