Gaming on the 13" rMBP? (re: scaled resolutions; how slow is it?)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sofakng, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. sofakng macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    I'm really torn between the MacBook Air and the Retina MacBook Pro.

    The screen on the rMBP is absolutely fantastic but the resolution is so high so I'm concerned about non-retina content.

    For example, I obviously can't play games at a decent framerate at retina resolution so I'd like to scale it to 1280x800 (or whatever it is), but I'm concerned about the scaling performance penalty and if it will look blurry.

    I'll be using the laptop mostly on my couch and on my dining room table, but gaming (very, very light games but stuff like Team Fortress 2, etc) is a big concern but again, I'm only talking about older stuff. I just don't want it to look blurry (compared to a MacBook Air with a 1440x900 resolution)

    I'm also concerned about applications that haven't been upgraded to retina. How bad do they look?
  2. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I can't comment of the 13", but I did own a 15" rMBP so it should be similar. Some apps were not retina compatible. Check compatibility if there are apps you use frequently. Gaming on anything other than native resolution is going to look less sharp. I will say the retina looked better scaled down than other screens I've had, but scaled down on the retina won't look as sharp as another monitor with that native res.

    A good solution is to put a game you play on a USB stick or small external drive, go to the Apple Store and load it up. Scale down the res and play for a bit and see how you like it.
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Scaling performance penalty is negligible, and the retina screen usually still looks better running a custom resolution than a display which has that resolution native.

    If the Air can run it, the rMBP will run it better using the same resolution.

    Most applications which use Cocoa API just work with retina resolution, because Cocoa is resolution-independent. Only applications which rely on large amount of image content or do custom rendering might have some problems. In general, non-retina elements look blurrier because your brain immediately notices a contrast between a sharp retina content and the low-resolution one. If you rely extensively on some applications, I would recommend you to check out whether they exhibit issues with retina mode.

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