MacBook and Samsung monitor problems

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by studentmac, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #1
    I have just bought a Samsung Syncmaster 19" TV/monitor to use with my PS3, but mainly with my macbook while at univerity.

    I have a strange problem with how OS X appears on screen. All the settings seem to be normal, the monitor supports 1440x900 resolution, which is exactly what it is running at, and is used with a DVI connection.

    However, everything on the screen including the size of the menu bar, the size of the application lights in the top-left corner etc are bigger when using this screen. Now my understanding was that using a larger screen with OS X keeps everything the same size, but you have more screen real estate to show your apps in. I have looked in the desktop threads in this forum and notice that whatever the mac or screen size, their menu bar and other parts of the OS are exactly the same size as mine, they just have a larger space.

    Is there anyway to solve this, or am I stuck with a large picture and not much extra screen space? It seems like a resolution problem.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    #2
    I don't know for how long you have your MacBook and I'm not sure if they ever changed its screen resolution, but current MacBooks have 1200x720 resolution. MacBook Pro with 15" screen has 1440x900. Meaning: with a maximum resolution of 1440x900, your MacBook produces the effect you want on an up to 15" screen. On any bigger screen the proportions (not the size!) would be the same as on 15" MBP (unless you used anything lower than 1440x900, in which case you would get even bigger icons and less space). I suppose to keep everything the same size as on your 1200x720 MacBook, you would need about 1920x1200 resolution on your 19" screen.

    Edit:

    After reading your post I assumed that MacBooks didn't support any resolution higher than 1440x900, which seemed wrong, so I checked it on Apple's site:

    So if you have a current model of MacBook (or previous if they support the same resolution), you should try changing it to 1920x1200.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
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    Bedfordshire, UK
    #3
    Thanks for the fast reply.

    The highest resolution that is shown in the preferences pane when the monitor is plugged in is 1440x900, which is the max that my monitor will support.

    This is why it seems strange, as my macbook appears to be putting out the highest resolution my monitor will support, yet the proportions are still too big.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Then I suppose you're stuck with 1440x900, which would give you the proportions as in 15" MacBook Pro - slightly better than in your MacBook, but far from the same size when on 19". If you're really unhappy with the effect, you might still try to return your monitor, since you just bought it, and get one that actually supports higher resolution (though it would obviously be more expensive), or give up on external display.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    This was exactly my thinking too. However, after looking around at 19" tv monitors and also 19" dedicated monitors they all seem to be the same resolution, so anyone with a screen of this size must have the same problem?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I don't know if there're any, I just suspect there might be. On the other hand, I would tell 1440x900 on 19" is good enough, so maybe there aren't any. Maybe people who use bigger external displays will be able to help you.

    Edit:

    I found one with 1680x1050... http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do...ViewSonic VX1940w 19in Widescreen LCD Display
    ... I am really bored, yes ;).
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    lol, thanks for your help.

    Has anyone here used a 19" 1440x900 monitor with a macbook and not experienced these problems?
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #8
    This can be caused by one of these:
    1- Your dual display is configured in mirror mode. In this mode no matter what display resolution you set it cannot get better than your lower resolution monitor(in this case your macbook display). You can change to Extended Desktop mode (go to System Preferences>Displays) and move your menu bar and application windows to your samsung display to see whether your application windows and menu bar becomes smaller and more sharp than before.
    You can also disable your macbook display temporarily by closing your macbook lid, waking your macbook from sleep by USB or bluetooth devices(instead of reopening your lid) to see whether Samsung's resolution becomes better or not.
    For more information:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3131?viewlocale=en_US
    2- Your 19 inch monitor with 1440x900 resolution has a bigger dot pitch compared to your 13inch macbook display. So it is normal for it to show everything a little bigger than your macbook display.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2007
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    #9
    Thanks for that explanation, I think it must be down to your second reason as I was using the monitor with the macbook lid closed.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #10
    You're welcome.
    Also interesting is that Leopard's Resolution Independence which can be activated by using Quartz Debug(it comes with XCode/Developer tools) will not make anything on your 19 inch screen smaller than what it already is but it will make everything on your Macbook screen bigger! Resolution Independence has been made for higher DPI screens such as those on Macbooks that show everything smaller than expected :)
    I hope you will adjust to your 19 inch monitor, I had the same feelings when I got my 20 inch 1680X1050 screen too ;)
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Ok, I took back the Samsung TV/monitor, and exchanged it for a dedicated Philips PC monitor, this one with a 22 inch screen (same price) and a higher resolution. Exactly the same problem! Everything has enlarged by exactly the same amount.

    I was thinking this was maybe a macbook problem with external monitors, but I then plugged in my 4:3 monitor from my windows PC (also philips) and it was perfect, just not widescreen.

    Has anyone managed to use an external display properly with a macbook??
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    *sigh* Alright, so now you have a higher resolution. I've no idea how high a resolution it is, but keep in mind it's stretched over a bigger screen.

    I don't know how big and how high a resolution has your other monitor, but please remember what matters when it comes to preserving the same size is a ratio of resolution to size.

    I think you should read a bit about resolutions. That'd allow you to tell whether you expect too much or if there really is a problem with your MacBook/display.

    I assume you've already set the size of the icons to the smallest possible value.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

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