2016 Macbook Pro, Native Resolution

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zzzachi, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. zzzachi macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Hi there,

    I just came out of an Apple Store where they had the first 13" non-Touchbar 2016 Macbook Pros.
    When checking the screen resolution I got a bit confused !

    In the tech specs on apple.com the native screen resolution is specified with 2560 x 1600
    which is used in retina mode of course, so effectively should "look like" 1280 x 800.

    Now on the model in the Apple Store, in the monitor panel of the system preferences,
    the standard resolution is 1440 x 900, and not 1280 x 800.
    so either the specified 2560 x 1600 is wrong or the standard resolution is not @2x, but actually a scaled resolution. on the other hand, 1440 x 900 is mentioned as scaled resolution on apple.com.

    something must be wrong here. ???

    is this some cheat to make the store models look better? :p
  2. hulkk macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2012
    The default scaling option was changed with the 2016 models.
  3. zzzachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    what does that mean?
    for me it looks like the default screen resolution on the models is not true retina.
    (2560x1600 / 2 is not 1440x900, so the standard of 1440x900 is not displayed @2x)

    ps. not that i care, i actually need the screen space, so 1440x900 is much better.
    i'm just confused, because with 2560x1600 the standard should be 1280x800.
    but if this is true, the tech specs on apple.com are not correct.
  4. deepdishstar macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2016
    US NY
    The new default just means that things on the screen are smaller, so you can fit more. It does not change the actual screen resolution, which is the number of pixels the screen has. The resolution is what makes a screen retina, not the scaling.
  5. blackberrycubed macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2013
    Rather than getting higher resolution panels, they figured since the gpu now can handle these non optimum scaled resolution without jitter apple decided to just do that. Penny pinching in every way possible.
  6. zzzachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    that would mean the standard resolution is NOT @2x (normal retina)
    but why does apple list 1440x900 as scaled in the tech specs?
    a last minute change?
  7. ulfertg macrumors newbie


    Jan 18, 2016
    Afaik there is no such thing as "normal retina" regarding displays.
    The resolution regarded as resin by Apple depends on the device and the typical viewing distance (retina resolution of an iPhone is higher than the retina resolution of a MacBook).
    Maybe you are referring to web design where the @2x is used to declare retina images?
  8. justin216 macrumors 6502


    Mar 31, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    The Retina Macbook also isn't a perfect 2x ratio by default. My guess, as GPU performance and panel quality has improved, it's made Apple more comfortable with using a higher scaled resolution as the "default", as clarity difference is likely minimal, but real estate is much better.
  9. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I forget the exact definition but retina to Apple isn't 2x the screen resolution scaled down, they define retina as your eyes cannot distinguish pixels at a comfortable viewing distance or something similar to that, don't quote me on it.
  10. zzzachi, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016

    zzzachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    but this is new right?
    to my knowledge this would be the first time that apple hardware branded as "retina"
    does use a standard resolution which is not exactly half of the effective screen resolution.

    the tech specs on apple.com specify 3 scaled resolutions 1680 x 1050, 1440 x 900 and 1024 x 640
    1280 x 800 is not mentioned so i expected it to be the standard resolution, as it is half of 2560 x 1600.
    now on the device 1440 x 900 is the standard resolution, and 1280 x 800 is a scaled resolution.

    so there is a mismatch w the specs, but anyway, i m glad that 1440 is the standard, as i will run it on this anyway
    besides of that i'm a bit shocked that i must buy adapters for 100$! --> 2x usc-c to usb, 1x usb-c to ethernet!
    plus the ethernet adapter has a 6-7 weeks delivery time, thats not very professional of apple!
  11. justin216 macrumors 6502


    Mar 31, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    Again, not the first time -- 2015 Retina MacBook was the first to ship with "non-2x" as the default. The only (major) reasons to do 2x are text quality and performance. If they feel performance is rendered moot and text quality difference can't be reasonably discerned, may as well give the extra real estate.

    Given I've not seen any of the new MacBooks in person yet, I can't speak to it personally, but I figure Apple chose it, so they must be comfortable with it.
  12. supermars macrumors newbie


    Dec 1, 2015
    On my 2015 mbpr I really, really prefer 1280 x 800 because the 1440 x 900 isn't very sharp :-/
  13. dr.z macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Just checked pdf rendering on my 13" tMBP. Was surprised text is in fact sharper with the default 1440. On 1280, which is native in theory, there is blurring.

    Now I believe there is some atypical subpixel rendering.
  14. Orien macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2010
    San Francisco
    To my eyes, 1280x on the 13 tMBP is still sharper than 1440x.
  15. paaj macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2016
    All text is rendered at 2560x1600, the scaling settings determine the display size of it. 2560 is the native resolution, the other is a virtual resolution. Images pixelperfect for low-res use, like older interface and webimages would look better on 1280 (original retina setting) as its an easier scaling but I guess high-res images are used more and more so it matters less.

    Or maybe Apple noticed in their systemfeedback that many people prefer more space.
  16. Ender17 macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2005
    I switched from 1280 on my 13" to 1440 a while back and I've been pretty happy with it. Definitely nice to have the extra screen real estate.
  17. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I run my MacBook at the higher "looks like" resolution and it's been absolutely fine and looks just as clear as the 2x resolution to me
  18. dr.z macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Perhaps there is a bug in the Quick Look renderer?
  19. PeterJay macrumors newbie


    Nov 8, 2010
    Newcastle upon tyne
    ... or efficient use of the resolution available
  20. caramelpolice macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2012
    I would've preferred that they actually bumped the panel resolution rather than downscaling, myself. The 3360x2100 mode on the 15" Pro still looks damn good, and certainly better than a 1680x1050 panel, but the native resolution still looks better. No getting around the fact that downscaling ultimately means using less pixels to draw the same thing. Small objects at current "Retina" resolutions don't get "pixel-y," since you can't see individual pixels, but they do get "blurry" and lose detail.

    However, the native resolutions just don't provide enough screen real estate. 1280x800 and 1440x900 are just too "big" for 13" and 15", especially if (like me) you're used to a 1440x900 13" Air. So I stick with the scaled modes.
  21. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    There is no such technical term as 'true retina'. And as to what 'scaled' means, thats also kind of up to debate. This is why Apple primarily talks about HiDPI resolutions — where every logical point is represented by more than one physical pixel.

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