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13" 2020 MacBook Pro—what is your default "display scaling" resolution?

AbominableFish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 4, 2020
13
13
I am having a strange issue on my 13-inch MacBook, where the default scaling is shown as 1440x900, even though I believe it should be 1280x800. Can others please check what their default scaling is? Just want to make sure I'm not the only one.

1593901034693.png

Note: I have no doubt that 1280x800 (the second button from the left) is the "correct" scaling for the internal display. I would just like to check if the 1400x900 is set as the "default" for others.

The reason I noticed this as it came out of the box was because the screen was kind of fuzzy and everything looked really small. That's why I'm wondering why this resolution is default. It would be really helpful if others with a 13" MBP could post what their "scaled" display settings page looks like.
 
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coffeeplease

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2019
305
205
Apple changed the default to 1400x900 for new 13" models starting in 2016 (or sometime after that). I also changed mine to the correct 2x scaling 1280x800.
 

JohnDoe12

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2017
49
42
Apple changed the default to 1400x900 for new 13" models starting in 2016 (or sometime after that). I also changed mine to the correct 2x scaling 1280x800.

Wow, okay. I had no idea. Is there any particular reason for this? It makes everything smaller and I get the feeling that that's not a very "Apple-like" move, as somewhat hinders accessibility right out of the box.
 

coffeeplease

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2019
305
205
Wow, okay. I had no idea. Is there any particular reason for this? It makes everything smaller and I get the feeling that that's not a very "Apple-like" move, as somewhat hinders accessibility right out of the box.

Only reason I can think of is to have more screen real estate.
 

iRun26.2

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,906
135
I use the "more space" selection (maximum scaling). So little information is on the display otherwise.
 

AbominableFish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 4, 2020
13
13
Sorry people—I meant, would it be possible to include a screenshot of your settings like I did? Curious what it looks like.
 

adrianlondon

macrumors 68030
Nov 28, 2013
2,730
2,708
Switzerland
Gosh. I run my new 13" MBA at 1680x1050. I do have to put my reading glasses on though :)

The default is the same as the MBP: 1440x900.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,131
2,494
Wow, okay. I had no idea. Is there any particular reason for this? It makes everything smaller and I get the feeling that that's not a very "Apple-like" move, as somewhat hinders accessibility right out of the box.
They made this change at the same time they bumped the 15” MBP’s default scaling from 1440x900 to 1680x1050.
 

iRun26.2

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,906
135
Thanks a lot mate, really appreciate it. Just to confirm, this is on a 13" MBP, right? Mind if I know the year?

I think mine looks 'fancier' because I have an external display connected :p
Yes, mine is from my 2020 13" i7 (10th generation).

I have a 4K monitor but I disconnected it to take that screen shot. :)
 

AbominableFish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 4, 2020
13
13
Yes, mine is from my 2020 13" i7 (10th generation).

I have a 4K monitor but I disconnected it to take that screen shot. :)

Got it, nice! Thanks a lot for your response. I guess that pretty much answers the questions. I'm still confused why Apple would use a scaled resolution, but I didn't realize so many people made it even smaller on their MacBooks. Cool to know, I might start using a "more space" setting as well if I feel like I need more space.
 

ProteinePlus

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
46
4
Now I'm really confused. How does the screen resolution work in MacOS?
I though that the MacBook Pro 13" late models had a 2560x1600 resolution, and thus, that was the native resolution used by the desktop. At least, that's how a Windows machine would work.

By reading the previous posts, I see the default res is 1440x900, and you can also choose 1680x1050. So... ? How does it work? You have a 1600p screen but just use a 900p res?
 

AbominableFish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 4, 2020
13
13
Now I'm really confused. How does the screen resolution work in MacOS?
I though that the MacBook Pro 13" late models had a 2560x1600 resolution, and thus, that was the native resolution used by the desktop. At least, that's how a Windows machine would work.

By reading the previous posts, I see the default res is 1440x900, and you can also choose 1680x1050. So... ? How does it work? You have a 1600p screen but just use a 900p res?
You're right about the native resolution of the display being that. However, to fit more content onto the screen, the default scaled resolution is (a multiple of) 1440x900, even though the native resolution is (a multiple of) 1280x800.
 
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ProteinePlus

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
46
4
So when I watch a Netflix movie that is supposed to be 1080P, what I'm really having? A 1440x900 res?
 

AbominableFish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 4, 2020
13
13
So when I watch a Netflix movie that is supposed to be 1080P, what I'm really having? A 1440x900 res?
If you are viewing something that's 1080p (which usually means 1920x1080), it will be upscaled to match the resolution of 2880x1800, and then it will be downscaled by the OS to display at 2560x1600.

In other words, your computer and Netflix and everything else will think that your screen resolution is 2880x1800, but you will see everything as 2560x1600 simply because your display is not capable of displaying anything more.

A nice way to think about the resolution is in terms of bottlenecks. Since the resolution of your screen is 2560x1600, that's the maximum resolution that you'll get to see. You may trick the computer into trying to show everything at 2880x1800, but in the end you'll see only 2560x1600-many pixels. Your physical display resolution is the bottleneck here
 
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ProteinePlus

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
46
4
Why would Netflix think is a 2880x1800 display? It's a 2560x1600 one, so why the jump?

Also, why put a 2560x1600 resolution display if MacOS is limiting me to 1680x1050?

The more I read, the less I understand. In Windows it's very simple: you have a native 1080p display, you choose a 1080p resolution for it, and everything is 1080p in it.

In my MacBook/MacOS, my screen is native 2560x1600, the interface is at 1680x1050 if at max scaling, and Netflix is displaying at 1920x1080, even if it thinks is 2880x1800. How does that make sense? I must be very dumb, because I find it very confusing.
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,873
4,541
Perth, Western Australia
MBA is "like 1440x900" even though native res is 2x 1280x800.

The more I read, the less I understand. In Windows its very simple: you have a native 1080p display, you choose a 1080p resolution for it, and everything is 1080p in it.

Windows display scaling also sucks and looks ugly, despite them spending 7-8 years on various hacks to try and do it more cheaply than macOS did. Which has looked great from day 1.

MacOS does it differently. I can't remember specifics, but IIRC it draws at 2x NATIVE res and then scales back down to 2x "looks like" resolution to make things look crisper.
 

ProteinePlus

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2018
46
4
So what is really the native resolution for the MacBook 13" panel? Is it 1440x900 or 2560x1600?

I know for a fact that when external programs query for the MacBook resolution they are getting 1440x900, so there's more in action here than mere UI scaling.
 

pshufd

macrumors 68030
Oct 24, 2013
2,792
8,512
New Hampshire
The native resolution is 2560x1600. You can use a program like EasyRes to set it to a number of resolutions that macOS doesn't support. I ran mine at 2560x1600 from time to time. Also 2048 by something.
 

AbominableFish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 4, 2020
13
13
Why would Netflix think is a 2880x1800 display? It's a 2560x1600 one, so why the jump?

Also, why put a 2560x1600 resolution display if MacOS is limiting me to 1680x1050?

The more I read, the less I understand. In Windows it's very simple: you have a native 1080p display, you choose a 1080p resolution for it, and everything is 1080p in it.

In my MacBook/MacOS, my screen is native 2560x1600, the interface is at 1680x1050 if at max scaling, and Netflix is displaying at 1920x1080, even if it thinks is 2880x1800. How does that make sense? I must be very dumb, because I find it very confusing.
you're not dumb lol this is just a really confusing topic. I realized once I was shopping for monitors
 
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