Am I Retina Blind?

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CrashX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
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Okay, I just got a brand new rMBP 15". It's ridiculously fast and runs very cool. It's an AWESOME machine.

BUT...

Am I blind? I can't seem to see Retina. I even browsed the web to see the "fuzzy" non-retina graphics. I haven't really seen them.

And I'm back on my old 2007 Santa Rosa - which should reportedly look horrible given my exposure to the wonders of my new retina display... But I'm not seeing it.

I'm not mocking retina - I just wonder whether I can see it? I'm not certain I can.

But I did see it when I first loaded up Windows 7 - where I had to bump to 200% to see anything - everything was SO TINY. But then I bumped it up to 200% (the setting in Windows) and... pretty much looks the same as on my 1440x900 Santa Rosa.

I'm seriously not knocking retina. I enjoy reading AV sites - and I'm always fascinated by how some people have the Superman hearing and sight where they can judge frequencies and see the details in displays and whatnot. I generally trust these supermen's reviews.

Now, if someone turns on a lower-end stereo, I will tell them to SHUT IT OFF. My ears are sensitive enough that any humming and crackling drive me insane. I had to return an AIWA stereo because of it.

I can also clearly see the difference between a CRT and an HD display. Night and day.

I just spent over 2 grand on the machine, and I'm having a bit of remorse over this whole retina business. I was REALLY excited to see the brave new world with ultra-clarity - but instead I'm starting to think I'm going blind.

So if anyone would be kind enough to point me to a website that might showcase the differences that I'm maybe supposed to see, that would be extremely helpful. I'll pull it up on my rMBP and hopefully see whatever it is that I haven't seen yet.

Thanks for any help or advice.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
I see a big difference, most noticeable with text. If you're not seeing it, then I don't know what to say
 

Ardmanz

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2013
212
20
I own a 15" retina.

I personally think the retina resolution is very overstated on these boards (please don't shoot me, haha).

I can tell the difference, sure but people make out that they will go blind if they go back to a screen with a standard resolution.

I bought the rMBP because it had the specs I needed/wanted. I wouldn't pay much extra just for the screen.

I know I'm in the minority but that is my opinion. :)
 

CrashX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
277
140
I don't wanna get shot either.

Just held the two laptops side by side - then I can see the difference.

Am I correct that the Post Reply and Quote buttons on this site are non-retina?

I'm in the same boat with you - I needed the upgrade regardless. I was just hoping to get a bigger "kick" out of the retina display than I did.

But I do think it's overblown to say "going back" is difficult. If I'm correct about all of the graphics on this forum - then the only thing about the retina is that it makes them all look bad, once you look for it.

If I'm wrong about the various buttons/icons on this forum, no offense meant. Just trying to see if I'm catching on to seeing the world in retina?

Text is much blacker and more defined between the two. And the buttons here look fuzzy. Seriously hope I'm right about that - if not, moderators please excuse my experimentation here.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Boston
I just spent over 2 grand on the machine, and I'm having a bit of remorse over this whole retina business. I was REALLY excited to see the brave new world with ultra-clarity - but instead I'm starting to think I'm going blind.
If you're not happy with the display, then take it back, why spend so much money on a product that you're dissatisfied with. As for MacRumor's controls they're not retina optimized yet.
 

Quackers

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2013
645
1
Manchester, UK
I think it basically looks like a 1440 x 900 screen on "best for retina" setting - which is basically what it is, though there are 4 times as many pixels creating that image.
I think retina is more noticeable when you use a scaled resolution (1680 x 1050, for instance) where the text is crisp looking.
Just my impression :)
 

CrashX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
277
140
If you're not happy with the display, then take it back, why spend so much money on a product that you're dissatisfied with. As for MacRumor's controls they're not retina optimized yet.
I feel much better now that I can be a retina snob and see the defects - I feel superior now.

Seriously, it's weird - I'm on my new machine now, and I'm like "OMG, these controls look AWFUL! WTF!?!"

I'm sending Jony Ives to the MacRumors office tomorrow with a hammer to flatten things out.

Kidding aside - it's definitely not as drastic as watching Planet Earth for the first time on BluRay, where the flock of birds don't blur. But like anything else, once you pick up on it, you can definitely see it.

So glad I'm not retina blind. IT'S A MIRACLE!!!

And hope I get a pass on the jokes - I'd put a smiley face, but then I'd have to see that freakish pixelated POS on my beautiful awesome screen that's too cool for this site and stuff. rSmilie.
 
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thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
I have a 13'' rMBP and a 15'' MBP with 1680x1050 matte screen.

- I prefer to look at pictures on the 13'', since I see more detail without having to zoom in.

- I can use 1440x900 or 1680x1050 effective resolutions on the 13'', to get as much screen real estate as on the 15''. I couldn't work on the 13'' MBP with 1280x800 resolution.

- I can finally watch 1080p movies that are not being squeezed into 1050 points.

Effectively I feel that the retina display makes smaller laptops more usable, at least for me. Unfortunately some software that is not optimized looks notably blurry - Mathematica and MS Office are my main issues currently!

I'm typing this sitting in front of a 21'' iMac, about 60-80cm from the screen. It is a nice screen, but I am able to see the edges and aliasing on the text I am typing, while things are much sharper on the retina.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
1,996
You're not blind.

I have a 15.4"/2.7/16/768 retina and a high res-matte 17" MBP, and my son has a 15" 2.3 Mid-2012 1440x900.

For most things I prefer the high-res matte screen of the 17" to the retina. That said, i prefer the retina to my son's machine - it's just that little bit sharper overall.

As others have said, and as I wrote when retina models came out, they have been hugely overhyped. Certainly a step forward, but an incremental step and not a revolutionary leap as some have claimed.
 

Tomr182

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2014
39
2
I agree with Naimfan

With my new rMBP 13" next to my old Whitebook, it does look a load better, but compared to standard screens I use at work, it isn't mind blowingly better.

Text and depth do look a lot nicer, but its not 'amazing'
 

braindeadunit

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2013
1
0
I definitely don't think it's night and day, but IMO, there is an improved quality -- one that's noticeable when I go to other screens, one that's of a great value, but not a feature I miss when using other computers.

For most of the internet, no, you won't notice a difference. The fact of the matter is: very little of the world's content is "retina optimized." A low-res JPEG is a low-res JPEG no matter what screen you view it on.

Most of the differences you're going to see are within Apple products themselves, including the fonts/text and anything rendered by the OS (so other apps will benefit if they make extensive use of Cocoa, etc.)

** I'm actually a noob and have no idea what I'm talking about, but these are my guesses.
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,843
30,363
Boston
I agree with Naimfan

With my new rMBP 13" next to my old Whitebook, it does look a load better, but compared to standard screens I use at work, it isn't mind blowingly better.

Text and depth do look a lot nicer, but its not 'amazing'
I wonder if the difference is less noticeable on the 13" rMBP then the 15" rMBP (which is what I have)
 

Naimfan

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Jan 15, 2003
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I wonder if the difference is less noticeable on the 13" rMBP then the 15" rMBP (which is what I have)
Well, perception varies on an individual basis, but in my experience, the differences are about equal from 13" to 15".
 

nvarga

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2013
36
8
I have retina and non retina 15" mackbook side by side and retina is just way better. On 1440x900 I clearly see unsharp fonts.

And 20" desktop display 1680x1050 looks horrible besides retina.

Really, I'm not a snob - it is something you just cannot oversee.
 

alex0002

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2013
483
103
New Zealand
It depends on the light, I've been to some shops where the Retina MBP looked beautiful and put everything else in the shop to shame, including the 15" cMBP.

I've been to other shops where the 13" MBA screen looked a little washed out when compared to the 13" cMBP, but there didn't really appear to be much difference between the cMBP and rMBP with the same screen size.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,118
9,213
I still prefer my 2010 17" MBP matte screen!

I bought my rMBP for the specs and how thin it is, as stated the screen is good, but prefer my 17 MBP matte screen.
 

abowlby

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2013
69
29
Eastern US
I saw the difference as soon as I looked at the rPro at the Apple store. It's certainly present at every level, but I noticed a few subtle areas where it really shines. I'll share a few:

1. The dock. The icons look like they are made out of glass, they look as if I could reach out and pick them up and observe them in my hand.

2. Near the edges of any window. If you look up in the corner of your web browser as it sits on the desktop, the exchange from one space to another is so marked and crisp, yet soft due to the OS design (with the shadowing, etc) that it truly enhances the feeling of depth within the operating system.

3. When you sync an iDevice to iTunes, and go to the Apps tab - the way the iDevice's home screens appear within iTunes really shows the capabilities of the retina display.

4. Keep in mind that with the scaling tool, you can choose to view things big, bold and beautiful, OR you can choose to scale down and fit WAY more information onto your display. Friends of mine that code seem to LOVE this feature! ;)

5. If you use your machine in a font centric way, there is a very real possibility that the retina Pro is the lowest resolution computer you will ever use again. Typing documents on my 13" is FUN. Which from an artists perspective (writing) means you are evoking emotions which will undoubtedly show through in some way within your craft. So, fonts are WAY better on retina.

These are a few examples off the top of my head after a week of use. One of them is technical (fitting more content on the same size display) but most of them are subtleties, which add up to something amazing.

In my opinion, of course. :)
 

827538

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2013
1,235
1,074
I don't know, maybe your eye sight isn't what it once was? For me it's night and day, I can't stand using normal resolution displays anymore as it just looks like a fuzzy pixelated mess. The display is staggeringly beautiful, not just in pixel density but the colour reproduction and lack of ghosting or input lag just make it incredible. It's like looking through a window, although I do wish it could be perhaps 25% brighter then I would be in heaven.

Even without the display it's a brilliant machine, light, small, hugely powerful, only two moving parts on mine (fans), incredible SSD, great sound from the onboard speakers, great keyboard and trackpad, stunning industrial design.

Just a shame the FaceTime camera isn't 1080p yet - for all the 3 times I've used it :p.
 

Laco

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
375
1
I can't see the difference either. However, I plan to upgrade in about 2 years by which time all Apple laptops will probably be "retina" and so I will be forced to buy one if I want a new Mac.
 

dmccloud

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
991
14
Anchorage, AK
That's precisely how you'd have to compare. You can't compare just by looking a web site on a retina screen.


CRT and HD are not mutually exclusive.

I can tell the difference between using my rMBP at home and my work computer without the two being side by side. Yes the biggest difference is in the quality of text, but once you start working with photos large enough to match or exceed the native resolution of the screen you really begin to see the difference up close and personal. But one of my favorite things about the retina screen is the reduced glare compared to the cMBP.

For me, the retina screen has resulted in less eyestrain, sharper text and photos (important for a lot of the stuff I'm working on), and a more enjoyable experience overall.
 

CrashX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
277
140
As others have said, and as I wrote when retina models came out, they have been hugely overhyped. Certainly a step forward, but an incremental step and not a revolutionary leap as some have claimed.
I agree with you. I can now see "in retina" - but it's really more one-uppance than anything that "amazes" me.

In buying this Mac, I needed a replacement for my old machine - and retina was required for "future-proofing". Apple will eventually phase out support for non-retina so as to improve my user experience on my retina - that's always the company line, yes?

Then Apple goes and drops a non-retina Air this week, which confuzzled me. But if they're still selling machines with base 4GB RAM and old school displays, then I feel like I just got future-proofed for another year. I'm rocking 16GB and quad core, so it does make me feel better.

Anyway, thanks for all of the feedback. I really expected some revolutionary experience with "retina" - and was honestly a bit disappointed. But the important thing is that I'm now living the hype - and it is glorious indeed. Except it's really kinda "meh..."

But if anyone has a link to a movie or whatever that would help me to show off my retina, that would be awesome. My next door neighbor wasn't sufficiently impressed by my shiny new toy - and I need to put him in his place. Thanks!

EDIT: He requested a retina movie called Faye Reagan. I'm not really so much into politics myself.
 
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davidjearly

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2006
2,177
210
Glasgow, Scotland
It might just be something that takes a while for you to fully appreciate the retina display. I'd say it has become more of a 'feature' for me personally as time went on.

Perhaps the hype surrounding it has left you underwhelmed initially?

Certainly, over time, it has become much more noticeable to me moving from retina at home to non-retina displays at work.
 

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
924
2
Okay, I just got a brand new rMBP 15". It's ridiculously fast and runs very cool. It's an AWESOME machine.

BUT...

Am I blind? I can't seem to see Retina. I even browsed the web to see the "fuzzy" non-retina graphics. I haven't really seen them.

And I'm back on my old 2007 Santa Rosa - which should reportedly look horrible given my exposure to the wonders of my new retina display... But I'm not seeing it.

I'm not mocking retina - I just wonder whether I can see it? I'm not certain I can.

But I did see it when I first loaded up Windows 7 - where I had to bump to 200% to see anything - everything was SO TINY. But then I bumped it up to 200% (the setting in Windows) and... pretty much looks the same as on my 1440x900 Santa Rosa.

I'm seriously not knocking retina. I enjoy reading AV sites - and I'm always fascinated by how some people have the Superman hearing and sight where they can judge frequencies and see the details in displays and whatnot. I generally trust these supermen's reviews.

Now, if someone turns on a lower-end stereo, I will tell them to SHUT IT OFF. My ears are sensitive enough that any humming and crackling drive me insane. I had to return an AIWA stereo because of it.

I can also clearly see the difference between a CRT and an HD display. Night and day.

I just spent over 2 grand on the machine, and I'm having a bit of remorse over this whole retina business. I was REALLY excited to see the brave new world with ultra-clarity - but instead I'm starting to think I'm going blind.

So if anyone would be kind enough to point me to a website that might showcase the differences that I'm maybe supposed to see, that would be extremely helpful. I'll pull it up on my rMBP and hopefully see whatever it is that I haven't seen yet.

Thanks for any help or advice.

Youre not really seeing it? I had some browser games looking crazy good after it. I don't understand how you just can't see it? Try to look closely and you will se some pixelated stuff on the non Retina screen. :D
 

CrashX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
277
140
Perhaps the hype surrounding it has left you underwhelmed initially?
I believe that was the issue. But I'm still hunting whatever it is that really SCREAMS retina.

I have a date tonight with a girl from Craigslist.com. She wants me to bring my new machine over so she can see it - and I'd really like to show it off.

She sent me photos. She looks almost exactly like the politician lady. Doppelgänger I suppose.

Anyway, any help would be awesome. She wasn't really that interested in me until I told her about my new Mac - always putting me off and stuff...

I think I'm going to bring her some flowers. She's really pretty.
 

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