I've got nice-to-have problem: my new monitor (Dell 3008WFP) has wide color gamut and displays too saturated* colors (magenta and cyan look almost fluorescent).

I'd like to get colors closer to saturation of an average monitor (sRGB?), but preferrably without sacrificing ability to display more saturated colors in color-profile-aware software.

In my monitor's settings I've set color to "Adobe RGB".

OS X recognized my monitor model and has factory profile for it, but I'm not sure if that's appropriate profile. Regardless whether I choose my monitor's factory profile or "Adobe RGB (1998)", colors still look too saturated, and gamma is too low (dark shades are too bright).

I've used Display Calibrations Assistant (in Expert mode) already, and it's not enough. I was able to adjust gamma and temperature, but it doesn't alter color saturation.

Which profile should I choose in Display settings? Should I create my own profile? Can I do it without hardware calibration tool?

Is it even possible to tell OS to limit colors to certain profile for profile-less graphics (e.g. icons, images on the web) and use full capabilities of the monitor for images with color profiles?

*) by "too saturated" I mean more saturated than I'm used to, regardless whether that's theoretically correct saturation or not :)

Edit: I've found Firefox about:config settings that achieve desired effect (but in browser only, I'd like that system-wide). It's mode=1 full color management of all content (including untagged) with rendering_intent=3 ICC-Absolute colorimetric and Adobe RGB (1998) display profile [the same profile set in OS's settings doesn't achieve desired effect].

Edit 2: Snow Leopard solves the problem! (well, mostly – after I've sorted out gamma and saturation, subpixel font smoothing looks odd…)

  • As a general rule of thumb, if you don't own any display calibration hardware you probably don't need a wide-gamut display in the first place. Nov 17, 2009 at 3:01
  • Yes, I know - never again. It's just that there's only one 30" monitor in existence that works with latest MacBooks without big-ass faulty adapter.
    – Kornel
    Nov 21, 2009 at 12:37

3 Answers 3


I found this which may help:

I prepared this web color tutorial to test, review and troubleshoot internet color problems with the Apple Macintosh OS-X ColorSync® because I was seeing greatly over-saturated colors on the web.

Specifically, how the new so-called wide-gamut LCD panel flat monitors display untagged RGB color in a color-managed web browser like Safari for the Mac OSX and Windows XP Vista operating systems.


Reading through it myself as i find colour calibration an interesting topic! ;-)

  • It's exactly the problem I'm having, too bad the article doesn't have satisfactory answer (I'm assuming there isn't one [yet])
    – Kornel
    Aug 24, 2009 at 21:20
  • 1
    Yes, I wish there was a solution for this. I wonder if snow leopard will bring anytthing to the table, though I've not seen anything other than the default gamme shift as changing. I tried searching for programs to quickly set saturation, but didn't find anything. Will update this if I do find anything... Aug 25, 2009 at 12:01

Mac OS X's color calibration wizard allows you to customize the profile for the monitor... It does affect the color space of the monitor...

Chances are that you need to change the Target Gamma & Target White point. Those are settings that are very user specific.... So, try the settings... You can't break anything...

But I would suggest 1.8 gamma, and Either D65 or Native for the white point.

  • Gamma and white point settings are not what I'm looking for (I've set them already, but that doesn't affect saturation of colors).
    – Kornel
    Aug 23, 2009 at 22:43

I use these settings on my Dell 2709W; my home office has a lot of natural light during the day. From the monitor's controls:

Quick Menu

Brightness: 0
Contrast: 50
Preset mode: Adobe RGB
Color Settings

Gamma: MAC
Mode Selection: Graphics
Display Settings

Sharpness: 80

On OSX, I used the monitor calibration in expert mode for the settings that looked best to me after setting the above. It does take experimentation because everyone's preferences, and ambient light in the room will have an effect on how things look too.

To me, my monitor looks very close to the native LCD of the Macbook Pro it is attached, which I never changed from the default because it is clear, crisp and perfect colors for me.

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