Display Technology Question

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by wrylachlan, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. wrylachlan macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2002
    Ok, so I've been thinking about the iMac, and some of the advantages of being a hardware and software company, and I came up with an idea. I don't have any clue how feasible it is, but maybe someone with a little more hardware know-how could chime in here.

    Why would you change screen resolution? Two reasons I think. One is to tweak performance vs. detail. And the second is to adjust the amount of screen real-estate you have.

    In the current time, graphics card performance has outstripped screen resolution on most tasks, especially with LCDs which tend to have a lower native resolution than a similarly sized CRT.

    So that leaves us with the prime reason to switch resolutions on an iMac is to adjust how much screen real-estate you have.

    Why doesn't apple instead make all buttons, widgets, menus, etc. scalable via Quartz in the way that icons are currently? So instead of changing the screen resolution. All you do is set a preference slider for how big you want buttons to be. This could be a boon for those with poor eyesight as it allows the OS to scale to any arbitrary size.

    But the real advantage in this, as I see it, is this:
    Currently, both the LCD, and the graphics card have hardware to support multiple possible resolutions. But If you knew for sure that the LCD was always going to run in it's native resolution, none of that would be necessary.

    This could potentially make the iMac less expensive to manufacture since the LCDs would require less circuitry and the graphics chip would require less transistors.

  2. Beej macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2002
    Buffy's bedroom
    Have you ever seen an LCD out of it's native res? It looks fuzzy.

    Have you thought about what happens when you try to view 8 pt fonts on a 12" LCD with a native resolution of 800x600? You can't read it.

    It's a nice idea, but as far as I understand what you're saying, it just won't work.
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You probably could do it in software, using a slider to alter system font size and icon size on the fly, but:

    Apple is also using mildly modified PC video (different ROMs , endian, cable adapters).

    Doing anything to simplify video, would move Apple back to where video cards would be MUCH more expensive than than a similar PC card.

    You would also need to get every application on board with the program for fixed resolution systems, difficult.

    Plus each LCD has a different native resolution, depending on some manufacturing details/comprimises.

    So using a 3rd party program that plays with the desktop (icons and text size at same time) may be all you ever get.

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