Doubt about the screen resolution of the new rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fsmorelli, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. fsmorelli macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Good night guys!
    My friend is going to the U.S. next week and am thinking of buying the new rMBP. Currently, I have a 2011 MBP . My big motivation for change is the retina display , since I had a big surprise that feeling when I traded my iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 4 .
    I do not understand much about resolution and such, but I believe that the higher the resolution, the more things fit on the screen . And this is something that bothers me in my current MBP : the amount of content displayed . For example: I wanted to use the Dock on the left side , but when I opened Facebook in Safari , the side window with updates and chat disappeared ... The chat was minimized at the bottom right ... and that bothered me , cause to use the chat fixed on the side , I had to use the Dock at the bottom , reducing the content displayed vertically ... the MBP 15 " of my friend .. this does not happen with the same page open in both , mine has less content displayed vertically ... however, I believe that this occurs because of the resolution, and not by the physical size of the screen ...
    Therefore, I thought the new retina display and resolution of rMPB solve such problems .. content would be more exposed both vertically and horizontally .. ie less need to use the scroll bar (or could have FB chat on the side and the Dock on the side tb ) ...
    But reading a review in The Verge , I was confused as to what I had in mind . Follows the passage which I generated confusion :
    " In exchange for the slight extra weight over the Air , the 13 - inch Pro offers a gorgeous , 13.3 - inch , 2560 x 1600 display . It's no longer the only beautiful display on the market - the Toshiba Kirabook , the Acer Aspire S7 , the Samsung Activ Book 9 Plus , and a handful of other notebooks offer Equally stunning screens - but it's absolutely gorgeous . It's Essentially taking a 1280 x 800 display and displaying four pixels in each spot , and the result is clear text , crisp lines and details , and the screen you really do not want to take your eyes off .
    The problem is simple real estate - 1280 x 800 is not that much screen space . I can see more on my 13 - inch , 1440 x 900 Air than on the 13 - inch Pro ( though everything on the Pro is far nicer to look at) . You can Set the resolution to a maximum of 1680 x 1050 , but it makes text tiny squint - inducingly , and since the display can not pack an even number of pixels into que resolution things look a little blurrier as well . And there are plenty of icons , websites , apps and que still have not been updated for this new high- res world , and the things have not been optimized que look pretty terrible. But be all that as it may , I'd trade the Air 's screen for the Pro's without a moment 's hestitation . "
    What does this passage mean? The resolution of 2560x1600 or 1280x800 eh ? What does the phrase " 1280 x 800 is not that mach screen space" mean? The exposure amount of content has to do with the resolution or physical size of the screen ?
    I would like to better understand this so I can decide whether or not to buy. And sorry about my mistakes in english.
    Thank you!
  2. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    As the resolution is so high, OSX by default scales the image to make it look bigger so everything is easily readable. This default is the 1280 x 800 but you can increase it all the way to the full resolution (with a custom app) if you want to.

    So yes you can have a normal working space, or a much larger one. Your choice.
  3. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    The Retina display itself is 2560x1600, OS X has "Best for Retina" scaling which uses pixel doubling for the UI elements that support it, making the objects on the display look much clearer when compared to a non-Retina display that has the same native resolution as a scaled UI.

    What was left out of your article, or your post, was that you can change the scaling for more space if you want, so you can scale down the display elements and get more real estate, just like if you were to increase the resolution.

    You are not stuck with very little real estate, it's just a trade-off in UI detail to get more space.

    This KB article might also help explain it.
  4. fsmorelli thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Thank you!

    Thank you!

    Well, after spending a few hours reading reviews about the retina display, I saw that you can use the rMBP in a scaled resolution that looks like 1440x900 (MBA). Thus, my "problem" would be solved, since it would have more space / contents exposed. However, Apple warns on its website: "Resolutions resized not offer the same visual quality. Could also affect the performance of graphics, depending on which application you're using."

    For those who use their rMBP in that resolution, I would like to hear from you regarding the quality, usability, clarity and all, as the experience with this resolution.
  5. marvin4653 macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2012
    I have the same interest as you: I want the ability to fit more content on my screen.

    When the Retina MacBook Pros first came out last year, I compared a 15" Retina scaled to 1680x1050 to a classic Pro with the optional high-res display, which is also 1680x1050. To my surprise, the scaled display on the Retina was sharper than the native display on the classic.

    Where the Retina display suffers is with rendering motion. Particularly at the scaled resolutions, the Retina Pro shows some "stuttering" or "lag"--drops in the frame rate of the rendered content--when displaying moving content, such as when re-sizing windows to full-screen size, moving between Spaces, scrolling web pages, and entering the Mission Control screen.

    In other words, the clarity of the Retina display at scaled resolutions is quite good, but the Retina Pro does not render motion as smoothly as the non-Retina machines. The update to Intel's Haswell architecture and OS X Mavericks does not appear to have eliminated these issues.
  6. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012
    IMO the scaled 1440x900 is still better looking than Air's native 1440x900 largely because you're talking about a massively superior panel (not just IPS, but actual color saturation and accuracy, gamma accuracy, slightly brighter). Also, since it actually renders to 2880x1800 and then scales it back down to native panel res (2560x1600) the quality is very good.

    The only thing to consider is that scaled "HiDPI" resolutions are harder on the system, meaning they'll use more CPU time during things like scrolling, window moving/resizing, and that will drain the battery more quickly. Technically even native retina (doubled 1280x800) will use more CPU power doing those operations than a "non-retina" resolution.

    With a 3rd party utility you can also set the panel directly to 1440x900, but in this case it'll just be using the display's bilinear interpolation which can come out looking fairly blurry (just like running any display in non-native resolutions), but this will negate any battery life impact related to retina scaling entirely. You'll actually end up getting better battery life than "native" retina (1280x800 doubled).

    I don't have a 13", but I can do a similar trick on the 15" by putting my display in 1680x1050 (non-retina), which is one step up from the panel's half-res (1440x900). It's got bilinear blur, but it's not terrible looking and could be an okay option for power saving on battery.

    Complicated enough? Turns out dealing with super high resolutions on laptop displays isn't a simple matter.
  7. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    Tried the 13" today at all scaled resolutions with web browsing and app switching. It does slow down the higher you go but imo it is very usable like the difference between different generations of phones.

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