External monitor for my new MacBook 16:9 vs. 16:10

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mcrisanti, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. mcrisanti macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2008
    Hi All!

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before. I searched but didn't see a specific answer.

    I just got a new MacBook. I am in the process of getting an external monitor for it. However, one thing has confused me - 16:9 vs. 16:10. I understand the difference, I just am not sure if the picture is stretched or if there are unused areas on the screen.

    I am considering a Dell S2409W monitor. However, it has an aspect ratio of 1920x1080 (16:9), not 1920x1200. Given that the MacBook supports 1920x1200, how will the picture appear if I connect this monitor to my MacBook? Does the picture get stretched and look strange? Will there be a black bars on the sides? Or does the video card adapt to make the picture look normal?

    I hadn't seen a clear answer on this previously and I really don't want to buy the wrong monitor in this situation.

  2. hmai18 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2008
    The Macbook will display an image without the letterbox bars. The image will look "normal."

    16:9 will be useful if you plan on watching a lot of movies, in which case they will be displayed full screen without the bars.

    16:10 gives you more pixels on screen, which you'll find handy for most work. I don't find that the black bars on widescreen movies bother me much with my 16:10 Dell 2007WFP.
  3. mcrisanti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2008
    That is helpful, thanks!

    I don't plan on watching a ton of movies with it. I just want a nice big screen to work with and I can get the Dell monitor for almost nothing (my company buys a lot of Dell so they are almost giving this to us). Hence, as long as it looks normal for daily use, I should be fine. If it is better to have a 1920x1200 monitor, I would rather spend a little more to get it.
  4. hmai18 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2008
    If it were me, I'd go for 16:10. It's only 120 extra pixels taller than the 16:9, but screen real estate is screen real estate.
  5. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Yeah and most applications aren't wide but tall. I find 10:9 odd for anything other than watching movie. Editing text isn't practical at all, as an example. And most of the time you can find 16:10 displays for ruffly the price of 16:9...

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