A Closer Look at the New MacBook Pro's Retina Display

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    AnandTech takes a closer look at the new MacBook Pro's 2880x1800 Retina display, revealing just how well the display stacks up against its predecessor and other notebook displays and delving into the details of how it handles various resolutions.

    In looking at scaling, the report explains the new slider option in System Preferences that allows users to select from a spectrum of resolutions that include not only the 1440x900 resolution in Retina quality using the full 2880x1800 pixels, but also larger desktop spaces at 1920x1200 and 1680x1050.

    AnandTech's report also describes how Apple's display design has done away with the cover glass that in some circumstances suffers from significant glare on the standard non-Retina MacBook Pro. Phil Schiller noted during the keynote introduction that glare has been reduced 75% from the previous MacBook Pro, and AnandTech calls the Retina MacBook Pro's glare "remarkably close" to that seen on an earlier-generation matte MacBook Pro.

    Comparing color and contrast, AnandTech discovered that the Retina MacBook Pro's display has remarkably improved black levels, which help compensate for slightly lower brightness. Contrast is also excellent, making for crisp and vivid content display.


    As with Retina displays on iOS devices, Apple automatically scales text to display at the crisper Retina resolution, but it is dependent on apps using Apple's text rendering. AnandTech notes that Google Chrome currently uses its own text rendering engine and is thus unable to take advantage of the sharper text available in Safari.

    Finally, the report takes a look at how games handle the Retina display, with Diablo III taking full advantage of the 2880x1800 display as touted by Apple during the keynote. Some games are able to see the full resolution while others are limited to the "non-Retina" resolutions topping out at 1920x1200, but it seems reasonable to believe that over time game developers will be building in support for the ultra-high resolution of the new MacBook Pro.

    Article Link: A Closer Look at the New MacBook Pro's Retina Display
  2. jasonxneo macrumors regular


    Sep 7, 2010
    Ozone Park, New York
    wow i can't believe the zenbook beat-out the new macbook display. I haven't really seen the zenbook display before
  3. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
  4. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    If you were to select a resolution that wasn't exactly the native pixel density (2880x1800) or exactly half (1440x900), and were to instead pick a larger resolution like 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 (as mentioned in the article) wouldn't you experience fuzzing as the software tries to compensate for the hardware vs. software pixel boundaries?
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    The benefit of that resolution is not needing AA and AF in games, but few laptop cards are up to it on modern games at any sort of high setting.
  6. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    First off, that machine looks stunning. Possibly the best laptop around today but this would worry me if I was going to do any kind of gaming on the thing:


    You'd still need AF wouldn't you to clear up fuzzy textures?
  7. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Hmmm... I'm going to have to stop by my Apple Store and test drive this new Mac Book Pro... I'm seriously considering the possibility of doing away with my iMac & MBA set up (both from 2007) and just having this laptop replace both of them...

    Everything but the DVD drive + raw inches of my iMac, coupled with being nearly as portable as the MBA... sounds hard to beat.

    On the one hand, ew. On the other hand, I haven't actually tested Diablo III on my iMac yet (which doesn't even have that many pixels,) so I don't actually know if that's better or worse.
  8. BrightonMB macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
    The 75% reduction in glare is the most interest to me - hoping they might take this into the next iMac refresh to make it more viable for pros perhaps?
  9. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Yes. Also not much point paying for an expensive 2880 screen and running it at 1680 when a native 1680 screen would be both sharper and cheaper, if they offered it.
  10. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    When you pick the "more space" option, which is equivalent to 1920x1200, OSX actually renders it at double that size in both directions, or 3840x2400, using the retina quality graphics. It then smoothly downscales to 2880x1800.

    It probably isn't perfect, I haven't seen one in person yet, but it should be much better than simply setting a display to a non-native resolution.

    Instead of upscaling a low resolution image, it's downlscaling a high resolution one.
  11. gregwyattjr macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2008
    I'm scared to look at this beautiful new display. It'll make my 1280x800 MacBook display look like a Lite-Brite.
  12. jclardy macrumors 68030


    Oct 6, 2008
    You would, but I doubt it will be noticeable as we are talking pixels that are a quarter of the size that they currently are. But fonts will still be rendered sharp because the OS is scaling them to whatever resolution, so only interface graphics will be scaled.

    But having the option for 1920x1200 usable space makes me want this even more...

    My question: How does it work when plugging in to an external display? If you drag a window from the retina to non-retina does it scale correctly? (The non-retina would be 1x size versus 2x on the retina, meaning the non-retina would have to be scaled to 50% on the fly unless the system loads both graphics simultaneously.)
  13. Asclepio macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2011
  14. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Anandtech specifically says that the '1680x1050' mode on the Retina Macbook Pro looks better than the old 1680x1050 display:

    The scaling that Apple is doing is very different than just running a display at a non-native resolution.
  15. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Will have to see in store I guess, the article doesn't seem to make any mentions of this unfortunately, and we all know how bad LCDs get when run at anything but proper fractions of the native resolution.

    You have to use blending when downscaling in order to interpolate pixels. Unless the display still runs at native resolution (2880x1800) and scaling is down in software to provide a "1680x1050" desktop (which is still displayed using 2880x1800 actual pixels, using some kind of nearest neighbor or other hard scaling which creates no fuzzyness/blending).
  16. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    If you go to the actual source article at Anandtech it does talk about that. I quoted one of the relevant parts above.
  17. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    So does this mean you will have the same usable space on the new 15" as you would on the old 17"?
  18. BornAgainApple macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2009
    I was fortunate enough to check one out at the Apple Store yesterday and was really impressed. They had a slideshow running side-by-side a regular 15" MBP and the difference was stunning. They also had a 13" MBA next to it and the new MBP was just slightly heavier. Let the Apple haters chew on this while the W8 PC's play catch-up.
  19. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    It's a shame MacRumors didn't add the little except you mentioned, it seems that was the most important conclusion of Anandtech's report.
  20. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I'm waiting to see one in person but it sounds promising. I'm still hoping they will add a hi res retina screen option which is doubled up 1680x1050 though, then it would be moot.
  21. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    It's not clear what he means by that. I did read it. Check out my edit. If it is working that way, it's not actually changing the resolution of the screen, you're running at the LCD's native 2880x1800.
  22. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    I've looked around a little bit but haven't found anything definitive about units being in the store on display - anyone know an ETA for that?

    Some things just have to be seen in person, this is probably one of those things.

    Edit: I see BornAgainApple had a post at the same time as me indicating he's seen one in a store.

    Where are my car keys?
  23. Piggie macrumors 604


    Feb 23, 2010
    Can someone, who knows there stuff sensibly and not just a fan boy of course Its better mode, please do the maths on how close the human eye has to be, with normal vision to see the difference in the old MacBook and the new MacBook's screen.
  24. Clubber macrumors member

    May 29, 2009

    I'm excited. I learned a long time ago that the display is one of the most important things of a computer. It's the thing you stare at the entire time, and it's 1/2 of the equation of using the thing.

    I remember paying over $1000 for a used 21" CRT. I was motivated to do so much more of my side project work at the time.
  25. MacInTO macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    I think they've gone a little to OCD now. I have the non-glare screen (1680x1050) and it looks just as good as an iPad 2.

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