4K output from rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Alucardx03, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #1
    Long story short, I'd like to output a native 4K signal from the HDMI output of my rMBP to my 4K home theater projector. In Windows on Boot Camp, it works fine. I can watch native 4K video content very easily. There are a few graphical hiccups here and there which I attribute to the drivers, but I can get it up and running without issue.

    However, in Mac OSX, I can't seem to get any resolution above the native resolution of the rMBP screen, even if I'm using the projector as the primary and only display. Does anyone know a way around this?
     
  2. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
  3. Ploki macrumors 68010

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    #4
    OS X crippled rMBP, the HDMI itself is able to output 2560*1440 in Windows, but limited to 1080p in OS X.

    QuickResX won't be able to output more than OS allows it, which is 3840*2400.

    You can try the freebie "Retina Display Menu" to see how it works.
     
  4. nycmi macrumors member

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    Jan 5, 2013
    #5
    Is the Macbook Pro's native resolution 4K? If not could someone please explain the difference between the resolution of the macbook pro and 4k? I've been wanting to know the answer to this for so long.
     
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #6
    4K is a term that covers several resolutions, most common being double the resolution of 1080p in both directions, or 3840x2160. There are also wider versions of 4K for cinema aspect ratio.

    The 15" rMBP's resolution is 2880x1800, so greater than 1080p (1920x1080) but less than 4K (3840x2160).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution
     
  6. nycmi macrumors member

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    #7
    Would there have been any reason that Apple didn't make the Retina Macbook Pro with 4K? It seems a bit odd to me that they would only go half way. Does it seem feasible that Apple will pack in a 4K display on a future Macbook Pro?
     
  7. jesaja macrumors member

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    #8
    Yes, there was a reason, it's because Apple made their 'retina' displays double the resolution of their traditional displays, so that they can use pixel doubling for non-retina apps. So iPhone went from 320×480 to 640x960, iPad from 1024x768 to 2048x1536, 13 inch MBP from 1280x800 to 2560x1600 and 15 inch MBP from 1440x900 to 2880x1800. Makes everything much easier for devs, too. Also, the current generation of GPUs has a hard time pushing 2880x1800 as is, especially in more graphics-demanding applications. So, maaaaybe they'll do it somewhen in the future, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I think you'd rather find this in an iMac in the foreseeable future (or an external display).
     
  8. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #9
    I think it's possible in the future, but it really wouldn't make that much of a difference on a 15" screen.
     
  9. Ploki macrumors 68010

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #10


    While your theory works for iPhone and iPad thats really not necessary for the MacBook Pro since applications handle themselves differently.

    To be honest they could've made the 15" double 1680*1050, upping to 264ppi (which is the iPad screen) and made it totally awesome. Same goes for 13" (2880*1800 on the 13"er)

    3840*2400 (double 1920*1200 which MBP does infact render with one of the "more space" modes) would make 300 ppi. Kinda overkill for 15". But it can run these, even on the iGPU. (It's rendered at 3840*2400 which could be considered 4K and downscaled to 2880*1800)

    300ppi for laptop is too much. 4K makes no sense on 15". However they could make some kind of "intelligent scaling" to just shrink the GUI elements to "quasi 1920" size... @264ppi you won't see any upscaling artefacts anymore. @221ppi you still can when you use scaled modes. Not really much though. It's almost as crispy.
     
  10. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #11
    All they need is to separate 1:1 pixel area and scaled interface area for all applications right from the early development phase. Interface elements (buttons/toolbars/menus) are the only reason why two scaled HiDPI modes were implemented in the first place. Scaling content (like photos/videos/documents) is only a side effect and makes no practical sense.

    Given that the whole SDK and OS must be updated in order to support flexible interface scaling, it's easy to understand why we don't have it now.

    Once this approach is implemented, there will be no need in rendering resolutions higher than native (and no downscaling!). It may be also possible to manually select which applications do you want to run with tiny/small/default interface independently.

    That would be perfect feature to have in 10.9! :rolleyes:
     
  11. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #12
    Or, just BRING BACK THE 17"!

    2400p for the win. Clearly with the extra computer volume dedicated to cooling an adequately beefy GPU @~55W.
     
  12. Ploki macrumors 68010

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    #13
    Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

    At that point, "retina" wont be @2x anymore.

    Actually i suspect the moment all of Apple's range goes retina @2x will disappear and dynamic GUI scaling will be implemented. If you think about it, it only makes sense. Rendering @8mpix instead of 5mpix just takes so much cpu power just to have content smaller? Crazy. There is no more actually pixels and you can't see the pixels anymore anyway.
     
  13. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #14
    They tried true dynamic GUI scale first. You could enable it in Leopard and Snow Leopard if I recall correctly and set the GUI scale to an arbitrary number like 0.83.

    The problem was it was difficult to avoid graphical glitches and image based UI elements often looked bad.

    We'll probably see something like this come back at some point but for now the @2x system is a lot easier for Apple and for app developers and it works pretty well.
     
  14. Ploki macrumors 68010

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    #15
    I didn't know that. Wish I could try it.

    It works, but it's extremely wasteful and interpolates unnecessarily things that could be pixelperfect on the screen. All the time. Technically its just a workaround
     
  15. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #16
    The big thing is that the current method keeps apps looking pretty much like they should.

    If you're drawing in real pixels using an arbitrary GUI scale, things get a lot trickier.

    Say an app has a 1pt black border between the toolbar and the content.

    If your GUI scale becomes 0.75, does that line stay as 1px? Does it go away? Does it stay as 1px but become a lighter shade so it isn't so harsh?

    With the current method you're just applying a downscaling algorithm to the whole image, so things stay proportionately correct. That 1pt line (2px in HiDPI 'best for retina' mode) will get fuzzed equally with the rest of the screen. It definitely has drawbacks, but making an arbitrary scale GUI system has problems too.
     
  16. Alucardx03, Mar 25, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

    Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Actually, Windows does allow full 4K (4096x2160) output via HDMI and I was able to confirm this on my projector via Boot Camp on the rMBP. It's just that OSX limits the HDMI port resolution. Really disappointing...


    People underestimate the time it'll take to get to a 4K iMac. We're looking at 2-3 years at the very least. The mass production just isn't there yet and Apple can only do so much to speed it up. Unfortunately, the manufacturing processes needed to make 4K displays are far from efficient and vary wildly in quality from one unit to the next.

    Panels of a similar iMac screen size start at $20,000 and go up from there. They're mainly used in medical imaging and don't have the response time needed for everyday use.
     
  17. Ploki macrumors 68010

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    #18
    Yeah GUI programming will become a tad more complex - on the other hand, vectors would/should be forced. The amount of PNGs used for GUI in year 2012 is just appalling.
    But I see your point.

    Wow that's even worse. I wasn't aware HDMI on rMBP was even able to output 4K. That's nice. At least when Apple unlocks it... douchebags. I'd like to use my hi-res screens without the damn TB>something obscure adapters.
     
  18. jesaja macrumors member

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    #19
    Regarding "true" resolution independence, which would require some kind of vector-based graphics (bitmaps will ALWAYS get fuzzy at some point. They also need much too much memory as resolution starts to increase), I finally found a very interesting article again which I've been looking for for quite some time now: About those vector icons.

    That's the reason why Apple's @2x approach is so much more workable.

    Of course Apple could have doubled any other resolution, but the point was to make it look its greatest (exact doubling) at the resolution that most people will run their devices - and as per Apple's philosophy, that's at (non retina equivalent) about 100dpi for desktop monitors, and a little higher for their notebooks.
    That's the reason they didn't go with 1920*1xxx displays in their notebooks until they had some form of resolution independence, even though many other PC manufacturers chose to do so. And why the HiDPI models were always BTO.
    In that regard, their current retina models' resolution makes sense, too.

    That's why I said I don't expect higher dpi models for the time being – the next logical step would be @4x somewhen… unless they figure out a workable way of proper hinting and de-detailing for vector gui elements.
     
  19. rev.b macrumors regular

    rev.b

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    #20
    I don't understand why people insist that rMBP hardware can't handle 2880x1800 properly. That's roughly 5.2 Mpixels to draw.

    My '11 17" handles it's native 1920x1200 resolution + an external 2560x1400. That's 6 Mpixels on a previous generation mobile graphic card (Radeon 6750M), and OS X is smooth as butter...
     
  20. robvas macrumors 68020

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    USA
    #21
    Computers have been running 3-4 monitors of that size for a long time. The idea might be that you're not going to make a windows that large, though.

    I'd smack someone if I saw them running 2880x1800 with a web browser maximixed :D
     
  21. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #22
    I think the issues aren't with simply the 2880x1800 resolution.

    The HiDPI system means higher resolution graphics resources (icons, UI images, etc.) as well as scaling that has to happen on things like web content.

    Choosing one of the scaled resolution options (like 'looks like 1920x1200') results in rendering a 3840x2400 screen image (composed of those high resolution UI elements) and then scaling that down to 2880x1800 every frame.
     
  22. rev.b macrumors regular

    rev.b

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    #23
    Anyway, that's 35% more pixels than my setup. 650M is roughly twice as fast as the 6750M.
     
  23. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #24
    But doing all of the scaling work is not the same as simply having a normal 1x scale desktop of that many pixels.
     
  24. Tom the MacUser macrumors member

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #25
    Refresh rate at 4K

    What refresh rate could you get from HDMI on your 4K projector?

    I was able to output 3840x2400 @ 17 Hz out of HDMI for my IBM T221 monitor using SwitchResX.
     

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