Anyone using scaled res. on rMBP 13" and 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by comatory, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    I'm wondering about my next workhorse machine. I can't afford to have desktop and laptop anymore but mobile chips have gone up in performance in couple of past years so I'm thinking I'll go with MBP again (currently using MP & MBP 15" from 2009).

    One thing bothering me is screen real estate. In the end I'll probably be using it with external display as well but I'm getting tired of 1400x900 on my MBP and I know I could definitely use more space.

    From what I understand I can use scaled resolution on both 13" and 15" and up to 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. Is anyone using these scaled resolutions? If so, how does it look? Are there any GPU artifacts? I don't really mind using smaller UI elements but in apps with lot of windows I can really appreciate more space.
  2. MrT-Man macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2008
    All the time. I mostly use 1680 on my 13". Looks good to me.
  3. Idarzoid, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014

    Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Ran both 1680x1050 and 19200x1200 on 15" and currently 1680x1050 on 13", looks amazing, apps that don't support retina don't look too sharp but still decent enough.

    As for GPU artifacts, you shouldn't be seeing any, if there are any, it usually means there's an issue with the GPU or maybe the display.
  4. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    I always run my 15" at 1920x1200, looks very good. The 'best for retina' setting makes everything look far too big in my opinion.
  5. Quackers macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2013
    Manchester, UK
    I ran my 15" rMBP on "best for retina" for the first year or so.
    I'm now using 1680 x 1050 which does increase the screen real estate somewhat.
    I'm old but I'd imagine that many could use 1920 x 1200 without too many problems.
  6. slo-climber macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    And what actually means 2880 x 1800 on 15'' display? I know that it is resolution of the screen itself, but why is 1920 x 1200 the largest possible?

    BTW, I have also set to 1920x1200. I did the dock slightly bigger and you can also zoom-in page in Safari let say with "cmd +" shortcut. If needed.
  7. philxor macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2010
    I honestly don't know anyone who runs it at the native Retina resolution. I run my 13" at 1440x900 and it looks great and I don't really notice any real performance differences.
  8. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I am using 1680x1050. I just make fonts bigger and it's great.
  9. Quackers macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2013
    Manchester, UK
    I believe the only way to get the full 2880 x 1800 is by using 3rd party software.
  10. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    This is correct but it's not really usable unless you can find a way to zoom everything in. On windows using boot camp you can do that and it's great but I haven't found a way on Mavericks :(
  11. marvin4653, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014

    marvin4653 macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2012
    There are pros and cons.

    The pros are that the Retinas are the closest we've come to resolution independence. I have a 13", and I can set the display to provide the equivalent screen real estate of native screens ranging from, in HiDPI mode, 1280x800 to 1920x1200. Those HiDPI modes appear to me to be clearer on the retina display than on an equivalent native panel (for example, I find the 1440x900 mode on the 13" to appear markedly clearer than the 1440x900 native panel on the 13" Air). Note that the 1920x1200 HiDPI mode on the 13" can only be accessed using third-party software (1680x1050 is the maximum HiDPI mode supported natively by OS X).

    Using such third-party software, even more screen real estate is available, albeit without HiDPI support (meaning that the appearance is a bit blurrier). UI elements become a bit difficult to read at these higher resolutions, but I sometimes operate at these resolutions when I'm working in programs with familiar UIs (for example, 2048x1280 is great for working in two Word documents side-by-side, since I don't really need to read the UI elements and since the Ribbon in Office 2011 otherwise takes up such a large percentage of the screen).

    Simply put, the ability to use various resolutions that range in clarity from good to excellent enables a uniquely high level of workflow flexibility on a mobile platform.

    The cons are that all the scaling that enables the HiDPI resolutions results in blurrier graphical elements when not optimized for high-resolution displays, and the scaled HiDPI modes introduce varying levels of choppiness to the rendering of motion resulting from the decrease in framerate caused by the increase in resolution. I find the 1680x1050 scaled resolution (the highest scaled resolution supported natively by the 13") to introduce a bothersome amount of choppiness, but I find that the screen real estate and clarity in that mode ultimately outweigh the choppiness. The 1920x1200 scaled resolution on the 13" is almost unusable unless I'm working in a relatively static workspace (like a Word document or spreadsheet).

    As someone who values screen resolution above nearly all else in a laptop, I'm quite happy with my 13".
  12. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I run my 15" at 1680x1050 100% of the time. I was coming from a 2010 15" with a 1680x1050 "high-res" display so it's exactly what I've been using for ~4 years.
  13. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Is your battery life affected?
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I use the best (non scaled) for my nearly 50 year old eyes :D

    Anything less then that was too difficult for me.
  15. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    I'm running a mid-2012 15" rMBP mostly at 1680*1050, and have noticed it affects the battery life slightly.

    With the 'Optimized to Retina' -setting I consistently get 11 hours of battery life doing light work (with Numbers, Safari, Smultron and Messages open, backlight set to auto), while 1680*1050 gets me slightly over ten hours doing the same work. I see a similar ~10% difference with heavier work loads too.

    It's hard to say what the difference is with more graphics intensive applications, because the workload usually varies too much directly compare. But I have not noticed any huge differences running Lightroom or Photoshop CS, I'd estimate the difference is close to the 10% too.
  16. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Ok well you're not alone. On my MBPr I have also noticed a slight decrease in battery life as well.

    IMO it's worth it. Unless your traveling, there's always the wall plug haha.
  17. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I don't think that much, but I haven't done much testing with it on "best".

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