Display sharpness - Windows 7 sharper than OS X?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Biscuitz, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Biscuitz macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    On my Macbook Air, it seems that the display in Windows 7 seems ever so slightly sharper and clearer than the display in OS X. It seems most noticeable when reading text.

    Anyone else notice this? I'm not familiar with OS X, or Macs for that matter; MBA is my first Mac, bought last weekend. I haven't been able to find a Sharpness setting in OS X - is there one? Is there a third party app to tweak the sharpness?

    I have to say I like the visual crispness of surfing the web in Windows, but I enjoy using the touch gestures while surfing on OS X. It only makes sense that I should be able to achieve the same crispness on the same display, no matter the operating system, right?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. Biscuitz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Yeah I guess that'd be it. As the article says, I'd rather have what I'm used to. I genuinely feel like I have to squint every time I'm surfing in OS X, whereas I find the text in Windows clear and sharp. It's a genuine issue of readability for me.

    Are there any solutions (other than "Just use Windows 7")? Or... are there better touch gesture drivers than the ones Bootcamp offers for Windows 7?
  4. redache macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2011
    I'm the opposite, even before using a Mac I found the Windows font rendering horrendous on LCDs. It is interesting that there can be so much difference in what people see as acceptable font rendering. I actually even prefer Linux over Windows in that regard :).

    As far as gestures for Windows 7, there's probably some software right now but Windows 8 should come with native gesture support which will probably work a lot better than some hacked 3rd party solution :).
  5. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    when representing font, which is curved, with finitely many pixels, you must choose how to approximate the original; this is what font smoothing is.

    Apple font-smoothing prioritizes font accuracy.

    Windows font-smoothing prioritizes text readability.

    There are some very slight tweaks that you can do in OSX to fiddle with the font-smoothing, but they do almost nothing; try TinkerTool for example. (free download; lots of people use it; very simple and neatly acts like an extension to System Preferences)

    personally, i find all the new mac screens nearly impossible to read on. but i've decided font smoothing is not the problem for me. i've written about this elsewhere, but also just discovered this thread on modern Mac displays.
  6. FluffyPop macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2011
    I felt the same way about text rendering in Mac OS X when I switched, but now it's Windows that gives me a headache. I don't think one is better than the other, but they're certainly different and take some getting used to.

    Give it some time, in a few weeks you'll no longer notice. :)
  7. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    I thought windows finally moved on to anti-aliased text.
  8. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    it's the switching back and forth that causes trouble for me.

    a downside to Bootcamp, etc.

    It seems to be only Windows 7, as Xp doesn't do this.

    I don't think either one is better than the other: (note: the graphics differences also might be a contributing factor).
  9. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    my pixel example is oversimplified. of course, each pixel can hold not only black and white, but also shades of gray, which, i believe, allows for 'anti-aliasing'.

    but, working with a discrete grid of color slots (and technically, finitely many colors), you still need to approximate, and you can have different algorithms that favor different results.

    Windows 7, at least on my comp, makes text look fantastic. i do believe i have anti-aliasing on, as i assume ClearType (for one) uses this.

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