Does the Non-Retina Internet Look Good on the Retina Display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MICHAELSD, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. MICHAELSD, Aug 29, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012

    MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    As fantastic as the Retina Display is, it is well-documented how much worse apps not optimized for the Retina Display look than Retina apps to the point that they may actually appear more sharp on a standard display, text notwithstanding in that comparison. So in theory the web, with all its non-Retina optimized images and interfaces should look quite bad.

    Although, on the Retina iPad text and contrast does mostly make up for the slightly-pixelated images in my opinion. Still, the web could look quite ugly with all the extra pixels on the Retina Display - or perhaps even better than the iPad since it's run in Windows.

    I could not find another thread on it surprisingly, so how does the Internet look on the MacBook Pro's Retina Display? Un-optimized images could look as bad as images in apps that are not optimized, which is frankly an eyesore that is almost saved by high contrast and color reproduction.

    Debating some regrets, I bought a cheaper PC with a 95% color gamut 1080p display to replace my '08 Unibody MacBook Pro although if I cannot get OS X working on it, I will definitely be upgrading to the Retina. Heck, I am strongly considering it now regardless... I was going to wait another generation since it'll be before it's time for quite a while until apps and sites are ready for it, but like most Apple products they begin tempting me more and more until I do buy.
     
  2. stuaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #2
    I personally don't think the internet looks that bad through the Retina. Some websites have "tearing" issues but I put that down to Safari/dodgy coding more than the retina screen.

    Maybe I just go on all the right websites? :confused:
     
  3. biskit96 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #3
    I personally think the internet looks awesome. I do not see anything I would call an eye sore. Mostly I think things look much better than on a non retina display. Going back and looking at my old computer is painful. I think at worst some sites look about the same as a normal display. I can only think of a few examples were things do not look quite as good. But nothing looks awful to me. All in all for me it is a big step up.
     
  4. wiznet macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    It looks fine, don't listen to people that say it's horrible, because it's not. Sure a few icons here and there will be a bit blurry, but it's not that bad.
     
  5. mattonthemoon macrumors regular

    mattonthemoon

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    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #5
    i am slowly seeing some updates to websites in retina.

    TSN.ca just recently updated theirs, it now looks great.
     
  6. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

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    #6
    I'd be more concerned with key applications looking atrocious like MS Office & all of Adobe's applications...
     
  7. edk99 macrumors 6502a

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    May 27, 2009
    Location:
    FL
    #7
    I've had me rMBP for 3 weeks now and I've only used safari. I'm currently running my resolution at 1920x1200 and 99% of the time I hardly notice anything that stands out as being an eye soar.

    If you can go visit a store with a display model and go to the sites people have mentioned as being an "eye soar" and see for yourself.

    If you need a laptop now I wouldn't wait because of an issue that can be very subjective.
     
  8. Jamesesesesess macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #8
    The only parts that don't look that good are the images, and I'm totally used to it at this point, so I no longer notice and it doesn't bother me. The amazing looking text is worth it.

    Like someone else said, the thing to worry about is the applications that aren't Retina-optimized. A lot (all?) of them don't render the text in Retina quality, so it looks all around crappy. I've just had to get used to it with Photoshop, but MS Office is basically useless.
     
  9. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #9
    Well, my reasoning for waiting would be so that more apps than a couple dozen are optimized as well once I hop on the Retina bandwagon. By then, Apple would have released a faster generation. Apps as crucial as Photoshop not being Retina-optimized yet ,ay be deal-breakers. I just bought a new PC laptop and am going to try installing Mac OS on it (sorry if it's against forum rules to mention that, not sure whether it is). It may be a little sad if it does not run Mac OS properly as some do since the display actually covers more of the color gamut than the Retina MacBook Pro Retina does for half the price.
     
  10. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #10
    are you serious? theres nothing even remotely retina friendly on that site besides text. all the graphic headlines, logos, photos etc etc are definitely not retina optimized. why do people even bother buying the RMBP when they don't even know the difference between non-retina and retina?
     
  11. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #11
    Agreed, there is nothing "retina" about this web site. The images are the same old 72 ppi low resolution images. Too many people are seeing things… LOL
     
  12. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #12
    well i own it. and they do look atrocious. and i really dont like having to ramp up the resolution to native 2880 because everything is just way too small to work with, including the actual viewport because all of a sudden it just doesn't look proper to scale. this is why without an external monitor the rmbp is a bad idea for people who use it for graphical work.

    for the general laymen who just surf the internet and email and youtube, meh its fine if you think paying $2500 for just sharper text and blurry images on the internet is worth it to you.

    and somewhat related to this post but pixelmator.com is a retina optimized site. tsn.ca is not even remotely close to a retina optimized site and i cant believe someone would actually think it is.
     
  13. mattonthemoon macrumors regular

    mattonthemoon

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    Toronto, ON
    #13
    well that's embarrassing, lol, maybe my eyes were going buggy that night, but i thought it looked 'better' than it did previously.
     
  14. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #14
    Non-retina sites have not bothered me too much. Would be nice if they were all retina but it shouldn't be something that stops you from buying
     
  15. ColoArtist macrumors regular

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    Jul 3, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #15
    Nope, it looks like crap. That is, if you define crap as how it looks on any non-retina display. ;)

    How all those non-retina pieces out there look on the retina is how they look on any non-retina display. It's just that the pre-retina displays are so resolution challenged that you can't see the fuzzy, pixelated, rough anti-aliased edges. With the retina the text portions are so sharp and clear the fuzzy non-retinized image bits tend to stand out.

    It's like getting new glasses and the world is suddenly a clearer place. Those old photos in the shoebox will still be kinda blurry though. Even those digital image you or your parents took with those ancient 1 and 2 megapixel cameras are still gonna look just as fuzzy. But is that a reason to tell your eye doc, hey, I want some new glasses, but with my old prescription? :mad:

    As the internet developed, web pages have always been designed as a balance between load speed and image clarity. As connection speeds improved and monitor resolutions increased imaging was allowed to improve.

    In the mid-1990's most pages were designed around a fixed size of based on 640x480 pixels. Why? Because that was what most monitors were. Ten years later it was estimated less than 1% of the monitors being used to surf the net were that size. What was common had changed to between 800x600 and 1280x1024.

    There were arguments back then too. Should design stick with 640 because people still had them? Or go with 1280 to target the folks willing to spend money? Or go with 800 cause it was somewhere in between. And don't forget...speed, speed, speed.

    Nowadays with display resolution all over the place from handheld devices to big monitors, the basic page layout needs to be fluid. For the most part those fixed width table cells are dying off like the wounded, limping dinos they are.

    So what if those original "we need speed" and "why change" crowd had won? We could very well be looking at the net with fixed-table, 640x480 blinders on. Doesn't sound like much fun to me.

    Time marches on.

    The question is, are you going to march with it, lead it...or just be content hearing the fading echoes and seeing the faint glow as it disappears over the distant hills far ahead? ;)

    :apple:
     
  16. mzjin macrumors 6502

    mzjin

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    #16
    I never really found issues with how the internet looked while I had my Retina MBP.

    The only real issues I had with it was lag.
     
  17. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #17
    this rant had basically nothing to do with retina display at all. and responsive design has already taken on the fixed width issue.
     
  18. ColoArtist macrumors regular

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    Jul 3, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #18
    Err...I guess I did kind warm up to the subject a bit too much. Sorry 'bout that. ;)

    Okay, to be more specific. For me most web pages look no worse on my rMBP than they did on my old '09 MBP. The fuzzyness of the images are more apparent, only because of the contrast with "retinized" text and upgraded graphics.

    So things look good now and are only getting better. The rMBP has only been out a couple of months and already I'm seeing lots of "retinized" sites...and those sites can look fantastic. Right here on this page, the higher res MacRumors logo looks great on the rMBP. The smilies not so much though. ;)

    My advice would be to go to an Apple store and hit a bunch of your common sites and see what you think.

    :apple:
     
  19. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #19
    As you may have seen in some other threads, unoptimised images and other elements in the OS are displayed as they would be on a non-retina display, by using nearest neighbour interpolation. They will look no worse than they do on a non-retina display, only looking bad because they share screenspace with more elegant companions!

    In the browser, it is assumed that Safari and possibly Chrome use some form of linear interpolation and there will be more "difference" than simple pixel doubling. Linear interpolation in theory is better than nearest neighbour, especially when dealing with richer images, but will possibly change pixel art for the worse. So apart from some specific areas like pixel art, images will be fine. No one has come up with convincing examples of web images (not text!) much worse in retina than non-retina displays.

    IMO the non-retina internet looks great, and you need to pixel peep to tell differences in linearly interpolated images compared to a non-retina display. I tend to consider text content by far the most valuable "bit" of the internet , and therefore the internet handles retina resolution wonderfully, 220DPI text is marvellous to read, even in websites that haven't been updated since 1996 ;)
     
  20. skysailing macrumors regular

    skysailing

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #20
    Getting one soon.
    I really hope that most websites like Apple enough to update their resolution.
     
  21. nontroppo, Aug 29, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012

    nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #21
    Here is a screenshot comparing a 200% crop from a random photo on Flickr on a non-retina image between a non-
    retina and retina display, which has lots of detail, edge contrast and JPG compression artifacts (i.e. it should
    maximise the difference). Browser was Chrome. Zoom in to see the detail, IMO the linear interpolation is doing
    a decent job on the rMBP, and at x1 it is hard to have a strong preference:

    [​IMG]
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcplcommons/3424254886/lightbox/

    And what I think is the biggest problem for the rMBP; pixel art, shown here at 200% of actual size:
    [​IMG]
    http://facweb.cs.depaul.edu/sgrais/images/Pixel Art/escher.gif
     

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