3072x1920 on 16" MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by redheeler, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    If the screen resolution of the upcoming 16" MacBook Pro turns out to be 3072x1920 as rumored, will this be a dealbreaker for anyone?

    I've been waiting for Apple to increase the PPI for years, as the current PPI was introduced on the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display. In 2016, Apple started defaulting to a higher software resolution (3360x2100) on the 15" MacBook Pro, while the physical resolution remained 2880x1800. This means about 1.167 software pixels for every physical pixel, which causes pixels in close proximity to be blurred together and negates some of the sharpness of an otherwise decent Retina display. The alternative to the softened picture is to run it at the native HiDPI mode, but that results in a smaller amount of available screen space.

    If the physical resolution on the upcoming 16" MacBook Pro is 3072x1920, what software resolution will it come with by default? My guess is 3840x2400, which is 1.25 software pixels for every physical pixel and an even softer picture. Or you can run it at the native HiDPI mode which will provide you with less screen space than the high-res 15" MacBook Pro (yes 15", not 17") from the year 2010.

    This display resolution is a pretty big compromise for the $3,000 rumored asking price, at a time when many of Apple's competitors offer laptops with 4K displays for hundreds of dollars less (though unfortunately stuck with the inferior HiDPI mode in Windows). So far, no rumor has suggested that a 4K display will happen on the upcoming 16" MacBook Pro.

    I doubt the battery life would suffer very noticeably from adding more pixels, the extra power usage is minimal on an LCD display. In fact, the 12.9" iPad Pro has more physical pixels to drive than the current and twice-as-expensive 15" MacBook Pro. So, if the rumors are true, I'm left asking why Apple would cheap out on such an important aspect of their soon-to-be most expensive laptop.
  2. CreeptoLoser macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2018
    Birmingham, Alabama
    It's only like 150 pixels away from 4K. Won't make a dot of difference if you're watching 4K movies.

    For Macbooks and iPads Apple doesn't use 16:9 ratio. The ratio they use is preferable for documents and split view.
  3. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    Thinking the same about it.
    While macOS scaling does work great, you are stuck at 2880x1800, which is 1440x900 of screen space with 200% scaling. Anything higher makes it blurrier, which nobody wants.

    3840x2400 would be perfect on 16", but yeah, stubborn and greedy Apple...
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I never understood this argument. "Pixels" to begin with are arrangements of smaller red, green and blue elements and only appear as pixels because these elements are, as you say, "blurred together". All this thing with digital imaging is an optical illusion anyway and it heavily relies on interpolation ("blurring") to produce good looking, sharp, colourful image. I have yet to see any concrete evidence or measurements that 4K screen offers better sharper picture than what Apple uses. At this PPI, normal human's eyes can't discern individual elements anyway, so who cares? At some point, increasing resolution becomes meaningless. The display quality issue we have now is not the resolution, but color accuracy and contrast.

    Not to mention that I'd rather take Apple's resolution at 16:10 aspect ratio than one of the cheaper mainstream 4K panels at 10:6.
  5. ziyuel macrumors member

    May 14, 2019
    Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops don’t come cheap. The 13-inch version starts at $1,199, while the 15-inch doesn’t come cheaper than $2,249. We’ve heard rumors that the 16-inch model will start as high as $2,999,
  6. fokmik macrumors 68040

    Oct 28, 2016
    greedy or perfectly balanced? i guess the iGPU will not handle for an smooth UI at 2400p....

    At 3072x1920p i guess the MBP will have around 16.4"
  7. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    It's not solely about the resolution. It's about DOUBLING the resolution of your 'screen workspace'
    2880x1880 gives you a workspace of 1440x900. (Default retina in settings)
    If you want more workspace you must scale at weird ratios which makes it always more blurrier than exactly DOUBLING the pixels (in height and width)

    The iGPU can handle 3840x2400 since macOS already calculates this resolution if you choose the Larger workspace options in settings. But then it has two calculate back to 2880x1800.... Which adds even more strain on the igpu
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It’s all about resolutions. My point is that “scaling at weird ratios” does not result in image quality loss when viewed at typical monitor distance. There is no principal difference between exact pixel doubling and linear blending of neighboring pixels if your eyes cannot discern them in the first place.
  9. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    I have a 15" retina and i can definitly see it getting less sharp if i do not choose the default retina workspace... Please stop replying over and over if you don't t know what we are talking about ..

    The workspace for the iMac 27" is 2560x1440, which is perfect. It DOUBLED that to 5K so you could again scale at 200%

    We are discussing why Apple don't higher the resolution on the macbook to get more work space

    Retina is just a marketing term from Apple. Or did Apple increase the resolution from the iphones X, XS for fun? (460ppi)
  10. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Blurrier or just smaller? How do you quantify blurrier exactly? Did you use a side-by-side comparison of the MBP and an equivalent higher-res panel? As to “don’t know what you are talking about”, I’ve been using high-res displays at scaled resolutions since 2016, my eyes certainly can’t see any difference. In the end, it’s going to be an argument about subjective opinions. You see what you believe you see. But you’ll have hard time convincing me that you can discern 220ppi pixel grid at distance of >30 cm.

    Increased PPI on the iPhone makes sense since the viewing distance is typically 0.3-0.5 of that used on a Mac.
  11. alpi123 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2014
    Really curious why wouldn't they just use 4K and advertise it as such - people will be more drawn to buying it.
    My 15'' laptop has 4K display and it was a huge upgrade from my 1080p one. I still love it but I wish it had HDR at least (there are now, but weren't when I bought it 2 years ago).
  12. grmlin macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2015
    I miss the native screen estate of the old optional 15" higher resolution 1680x1050 screen.

    Please no 16:9 4k.
  13. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    Exactly my Point. Glad somebody gets it ;)
    Resolution should be atleast 3360x2100 or even 3800x1200 on 16"
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2019 ---
    BLURRIER period.

    Last comment I spend on this..
    Not doubling the resolution in height and width give you subpar scaling like example underneath. (scale 150%)

    While the original picture has one row of black pixels around it the scaler has to decide what to do with the 'half' pixels. It creates an image with sometimes 2 rows of black pixels and sometimes 1 row of black pixels around the face.
    With 200% you would simply see 2 rows everywhere. Since it's easy to double everything.
    The manual touchup is also wrong since it only has one row, the border will be thinner than the original. Though it will be seen as more correct since the overall lineweight is the same .
  14. eulslix, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019

    eulslix macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2016
    I just did a quick check with my old 2013 13" MBP (79 angular pixel density). Created one pixel aligned line in sketch and one that was off by 25%, another at 50%. There's a small difference at 25% off pixel grid, and even more so at 50%. It's noticeable if you pay attention to it. I doubt though that you could tell the difference when casually browsing around. The whole point of Retina is to make aliasing an irrelevant matter and make non-pixel aligned graphics like curves look crisp in any case.

    All the Apple devices have the same density normalised per viewing distance, as you can see here:


    All of them are roughly consistent across the board, which I highly appreciate when designing. Pushing one of their devices into a higher density, like the new 16" into 4K territory, would mean to adapt their whole product line. At that rate, their new Pro XDR display would need to sport almost 8K at 32inch, something most of the people would consider total overkill. No movie display on this planet will ever be able to compete with that, especially since 8K TVs are already considered to be a luxury problem, at roughly 70".
    4K is mostly relevant for movies anyways, and nobody is gonna produce anything beyond 8K for a TV. It's actually already hard right now to justify using an 8K camera for anything else than cropping in or improving sharpness when scaling down to 4K. What you are asking for is basically 16K quality for movies at that density scaled up to TV size...

    There's no point in pushing 4K just because the competition does so. 4K is not meant to be displayed pixel perfectly on such small devices, this is just density overkill. Keeping the product line consistent is way more important, so I totally get why Apple is sticking to their Retina tagline.
  15. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    Browsing is reading text, let text be a small row of thin pixels making arches and circles.. the perfect example to see the difference.
    I can easily see the difference which monitor is the higher PPI scree. but
    4K resolution and scaling at 150% will be blurrier than 3K with 200% scaling.

    I am not talking about apple getting a 4K screen, stop changing my words, I am still talking about doubling resolutions to get more work space.
    If that's close to 4K, 4K or over 4K doesn't matter to me.

    You are closer to your macbook screen than your monitor, but both have the some PPI.
    The monitor (and iMacs) have the perfect screen estate. The MacBooks screen estate is too small.

    You have iPhones with 320 ppi and 460ppi. What consistently?
  16. eulslix macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2016
    Its all written there, you just need to read

    "All the Apple devices have the same density normalised per viewing distance"

    That is the only metric that matters, since it will tell you approximately how many pixels will fall onto one particular area of your eye in any case. Simple geometry basically with a couple of approximations for simplicity.

    And as you can see, all of todays devices have around 70-80 angular pixel density (except for XR and the Apple Watch). So you will perceive each of these devices in EXACTLY THE SAME SHARPNESS (not accounting for different depth of fields, but thats a more complex topic)
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Are you sitting in front of your laptop with a magnifying glass? What you write is quite correct, but ultimately irrelevant since you are not considering the relative sizes, viewing distances or the fact that image data is interpolated. You are falling into the typical logical pitfall of “not aligned on pixel grid=blurry”. With HiDPI, pixel grids are irrelevant. Hacks like sub-sample AA are irrelevant. Everything you render is super sampled at physical level since you get actual physical sub-samples.
  18. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    I have to hold/use my iPhone X (460PPI) closer to my face now than my iPhone 8 (320PPI). Are you kidding me?
    I need to read?? You need to think!
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2019 ---
    It's not irrelevant, that's the reason apple always uses those strange digit resolutions to be able to scale exactly at 200%.
  19. eulslix macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2016
    You're a funny guy... The iPhone 8 isn't a modern device anymore, it's outdated by 2 generations by September. You can clearly see how Apple adapted the rest of their lineup to their overall density strategy, except for the XR, probably due to cost reasons (which I mentioned in my post - "all of todays devices except"). You can expect the same to happen for the Apple Watch one day, even though it's most likely not their top priority since the viewing distance for the Watch can vary extremely, especially when considering how small the display is.
  20. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    The iPhone 8 is still sold and the XR has the same PPI. The always advertised and screamed for years adding more pixels than 320ppi was useless. People couldn't tell the difference, still they raised the PPI on the 2017 iphone...

    What about the iPads PPI? Am I holding it also wrong? Or are you starting to admit different product ranges need to use different PPI? Like the iMac and Macbooks, Oh wait we are back on topic with that said
  21. eulslix macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2016
    They do use different PPI (with identical px/°), that's the whole point of what I'm talking about... I'm getting tired of this, maybe leman can convince you. I can only recommend you Computer Graphics with OpenGL from Hearn and Baker, a classic literature where you'll find all you need to know.
  22. Granville macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2015
    lol I don't need the reading, but you certainly do in this topic.

    Go check the facts for yourself:

    iPhone: 320ppi -> moving to 460ppi since you hold your phone closer to your eyes than an ipad
    iPad: 320ppi

    iMac lineup: 220ppi
    macbook lineup: 220ppi -> looking closer to the screen -> should be more around 250-260ppi. That's what the whole topic is about.
  23. grmlin macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2015
    I don't see a difference in sharpness using my Xr compared to my 7+ I had before, or the X of a colleague.

    Sure, if I get really close, I can see the difference side by side. But that's not how I use my phone...

    The reason I would love a higher res screen is not the DPI but the native, unscaled real estate I get in a 15/16" screen. Imo all MBP screens are sharp enough, but everything is a tad to big for my taste. And scaling the UI is a inferior option.
  24. MrGunnyPT macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2017
    Much better for productivity without a doubt.

    Say for example excel spreadsheets splitting with a database program or so.
  25. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Only if you use a scaling algorithm written by a 14 year-old at summer learn-to-code-camp (and that's probably an insult to 14 year-olds).

    Back in the real world, various resampling algorithms are used to choose the exact colour of the 'half' pixels - so, crudely, a half-black, 1/4 green 1/4 white pixel would be shown as a greeny-grey so that, when viewed from the usual distance and the pixels start to blur together anyway, it looks close to the original. Rendering to a high resolution and then downsampling to the target size is a pretty common technique to improve output by 'smoothing' the jagged edges of high-contrast lines and curves ('anti-aliasing').

    Its also perfectly feasible that MacOS's font and vector rendering engines could be aware of scaled mode and optimise their output accordingly (I have no idea if that is so, but its highly likely).

    I have a 28" 4k display sitting next to my 5k iMac - the iMac is in 2x 'retina' mode and the 4k is in 'looks like 2560x1440' (so, basically, the contents is rendered just as for the 5k screen, then downsampled to 4k). Yes, text etc. in that mode is not quite as pin-sharp as on the 5k, but it is very close (esp. considering that my 4k is an all-round lower-grade panel than the iMac's anyway) and perfectly good for any workflow that doesn't include climbing onto the desk with a jeweller's loupe and doing exhaustive A/B comparisons.

    ...as for why the 16" is 'only' the same pixel density as the 15", that's probably because commissioning a new, higher-density panel just for the 16" would be prohibitively expensive c.f. just using a larger area of the same basic design. Apple are already going out on a limb by not just using an off-the-shelf 4k panel made for the PC market (16:9 - ugh!) - if there is a good justification for the high price of Apple laptops then the decision to stick with 16:10 panels is probably a big part of it (same goes for other pricey laptops like MS Surface Books and Chrome PixelBooks that have 3:2 screens... now, a 16" MacBook with a 3:2 screen would be nice).

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46 July 30, 2019