Force higher display resolution

un.titled

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
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Anybody know of a way of forcing a higher resolution via software for a Macbook Pro? I've seen software for Windows that can accomplish this, but I haven't found anything for OSX yet.

*edit*: I'm looking to force the illusion of a higher resolution by scaling. I understand I only have a certain number of pixels...
 
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happle

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2010
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call me crazy but i was under the impression that a higher screen resolution = more pixels. and if you dont have those extra pixels you cant make them with software.

i could be wrong but thats what i thought.
 

un.titled

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
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call me crazy but i was under the impression that a higher screen resolution = more pixels. and if you dont have those extra pixels you cant make them with software.

i could be wrong but thats what i thought.
You're right, but you can force it to be higher. It will blur and some text might be harder to read (like when you lower the resolution), but it can be done.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
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You're right, but you can force it to be higher. It will blur and some text might be harder to read (like when you lower the resolution), but it can be done.
You have a certain amount of physical pixels, your idea just doesn't work. It'd require a piece of software to emulate more pixels but would look like utter crap, especially on an LCD which really only looks good in its native resolution.
 

un.titled

macrumors regular
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Jan 2, 2011
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You have a certain amount of physical pixels, your idea just doesn't work. It'd require a piece of software to emulate more pixels but would look like utter crap, especially on an LCD which really only looks good in its native resolution.
It's no different than zooming out past the native resolution of an image. Pinch the trackpad on a page in Safari, same difference. It's a little blurry, but not bad. I just need to be able to raise the resolution when using a couple pieces of software (Geneious, Mr. Bayes).

I've seen software for PC that works really well, I'm just trying to find something for OSX.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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I don't know of any software that does this on OSX. All it is really doing is accepting the higher resolution but using whatever algorithm to interpolate the data down to hardware resolution before displaying it. If you've ever used photoshop it does the same thing. That 5000 pixel high image can't be displayed at full resolution on your display, so when you zoom out it uses a down sampled version. The best thing would be higher resolution displays, but we won't see them on the desktop for some time still :(. Laptops, tablets, and phones are the things getting all the attention, and gpu technology would need to move forward to get iphone like resolution to work well across a 27" display.
 

un.titled

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
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I don't know of any software that does this on OSX. All it is really doing is accepting the higher resolution but using whatever algorithm to interpolate the data down to hardware resolution before displaying it. If you've ever used photoshop it does the same thing. That 5000 pixel high image can't be displayed at full resolution on your display, so when you zoom out it uses a down sampled version. The best thing would be higher resolution displays, but we won't see them on the desktop for some time still :(. Laptops, tablets, and phones are the things getting all the attention, and gpu technology would need to move forward to get iphone like resolution to work well across a 27" display.
Thank for the reply.

Any other ideas of how I could do this without hardware?
 

balk

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2008
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Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (Android 2.3.6; Linux; Opera Mobi/ADR-1111101157; U; nl) Presto/2.9.201 Version/11.50)

so what is it you would like to achieve? smaller dock? more letters on a screen? zoom out your browser or word processor. Don't know how to trim down the elements of the UI though.
 

LostSoul80

macrumors 68020
Jan 25, 2009
2,136
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I don't see the point in having a higher resolution with blurred objects. Buying an external monitor will work.
 

nateo200

macrumors 68030
Feb 4, 2009
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Northern District NY
YouTube it. I did it and it worked on an external display (LCD and CRT). Someone did it on their 15" MBP and went from 1440x900 to 1600x1000~ (don't know the exact numbers). Some registry hack, was pretty cool. If I find the link ill post it.
 

un.titled

macrumors regular
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Jan 2, 2011
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Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (Android 2.3.6; Linux; Opera Mobi/ADR-1111101157; U; nl) Presto/2.9.201 Version/11.50)

so what is it you would like to achieve? smaller dock? more letters on a screen? zoom out your browser or word processor. Don't know how to trim down the elements of the UI though.
I use a program called geneious. It's a bioinformatics program that deals with sequence alignment. It's very hard to use with the resolution on the 13" MBP. The usable working area is very small.

----------

I don't see the point in having a higher resolution with blurred objects.
It's a little blurred, not bad (as seen done on a PC). When you use a program long enough (ex. photoshop), you don't even look at the icons or text in a program, you know where all your tools are at or what things say.
 

randomrazr

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2011
1,209
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u cant increse resoluton when ur limited to the physical screen resolution. im assuming u have the 15inch so it would be 1440 by 900? thats max. unless u buy a new macbook pro with the high res screen

dum question
 

un.titled

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
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u cant increse resoluton when ur limited to the physical screen resolution. im assuming u have the 15inch so it would be 1440 by 900? thats max. unless u buy a new macbook pro with the high res screen

dum question
"dum" answer. I'm looking to force the illusion of a higher resolution by scaling. Does your monitor turn off pixels when you set it to 800 x 600 (stretched)?
 
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randomrazr

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2011
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"dum" answer. I'm looking to force the illusion of a higher resolution by scaling. Does your monitor turn off pixels when you set it to 800 x 600 (stretched)?
no becaus ei dont use low resolution.

just use the standard displayt he way it is. so picky
 

revelated

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2010
993
1
"dum" answer. I'm looking to force the illusion of a higher resolution by scaling. Does your monitor turn off pixels when you set it to 800 x 600 (stretched)?
My understanding is that Snow Leopard can do what you ask, Lion cannot (for some bizarre reason). That's if I am reading what you want to do clearly. It does require a trackpad though to pinch out, and you have to do it per application (Finder, Safari, etc). But once you do it the first time it sticks.

If that's not what you're talking about sorry.

I know what you are referring to on PC - nVidia chips have that feature with the Desktop Manager, AMD/ATI chips have it through the Catalyst software. Apples do not because they don't support the third party software needed to tap into the GPU and make the adjustments.

You might be able to do it if you did Bootcamp and install the Catalyst (if you're 2011) or nView (if you're 2010 or older) software. But not on the Mac side. And I don't even know for certain whether it will work, just a theory.
 

un.titled

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
156
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My understanding is that Snow Leopard can do what you ask, Lion cannot (for some bizarre reason). That's if I am reading what you want to do clearly. It does require a trackpad though to pinch out, and you have to do it per application (Finder, Safari, etc). But once you do it the first time it sticks.

If that's not what you're talking about sorry.

I know what you are referring to on PC - nVidia chips have that feature with the Desktop Manager, AMD/ATI chips have it through the Catalyst software. Apples do not because they don't support the third party software needed to tap into the GPU and make the adjustments.

You might be able to do it if you did Bootcamp and install the Catalyst (if you're 2011) or nView (if you're 2010 or older) software. But not on the Mac side. And I don't even know for certain whether it will work, just a theory.
Thanks a lot for the suggestion, unfortunately I only have a mac license for the software I run.
 

revelated

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2010
993
1
Thanks a lot for the suggestion, unfortunately I only have a mac license for the software I run.
Then you're pretty much hosed, because the Apple side does not support the setting you're talking about. Fastest (and cheapest) option is an external monitor. You can get a 1920x1200 monitor these days for $200 at the most.
 

oiuh151

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2011
359
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Or if you have a 1080p capable TV you could always just buy the appropriate cable/adapter and use that.
 

warvanov

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2011
504
7
I know this won't really help you much, but the Apple Remote Desktop program does the same sort of thing when remotely controlling a computer with a higher resolution display. For instance, the display on my MBP is 1280x800. I can use it to control my mini running a resolution of 1360x768. It scales down the mini's display to fit within a window or full screen on my MBP. In this case it doesn't look that bad but the scaling is minimal between those two resolutions.

I'm not suggesting that you buy a mac mini to run your software at a higher screen resolution and then remotely control it with your MBP. I don't know if it's possible with any available software, but it would be nice if you could do the same sort of thing with your MBP display itself.
 

un.titled

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
156
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I know this won't really help you much, but the Apple Remote Desktop program does the same sort of thing when remotely controlling a computer with a higher resolution display. For instance, the display on my MBP is 1280x800. I can use it to control my mini running a resolution of 1360x768. It scales down the mini's display to fit within a window or full screen on my MBP. In this case it doesn't look that bad but the scaling is minimal between those two resolutions.

I'm not suggesting that you buy a mac mini to run your software at a higher screen resolution and then remotely control it with your MBP. I don't know if it's possible with any available software, but it would be nice if you could do the same sort of thing with your MBP display itself.
That's actually a really good idea. I have a 24" iMac. I wonder how 1920 x 1200 would look scaled down on a 1280 x 800 screen. I'm going to have to try this.
 
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