High resolution on a small screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PostHate, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. PostHate macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #1
    Maybe I am looking at this the wrong way, but isn't the super high resolution of the Retina display going to make things on the 15" screen way too small?

    When I turn up the resolution on my monitor it makes everything much smaller- the icons, the images, the text, everything.

    2880x1800 on a 15" screen seems like everything will be absolutely tiny. No?
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #2
    yes, you are looking at it the wrong way.

    Apple's 15" retina screen is indeed double-resolution (quadruple if you're a pedant). But OS X doubles the size of everything on the screen so that you're looking at a 1440x900 sized desktop ... except everything looks much much much sharper. No signs of anti-aliasing at all.

    If you think that's a waste (like I do), then they have screen resolution options for 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 as well. With the actual resolution density so high, you won't see as much blurriness as you would a traditional screen at non-native resolutions. It's the best of both worlds, if you asked me.

    ft
     
  3. afinch1992 macrumors 6502

    afinch1992

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    #3
    yes, what ft said. thats probably the best feature of having the retina display. everything is more clear at the same resolution, but then you have the option to increase the resolution at your whim
     
  4. PostHate thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    So for most things it's at a useable resolution of 1440x900. That makes perfect sense, thank you for the clear explanation.

    When looking at the 27" iMac with 2560 by 1440 resolution, I assume that is displaying it the normal way, correct?
     
  5. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    #5
    Yes, ftaok is absolutely right. The standard 'Best for Retina Display' setting looks absolutely beautiful, but isn't terribly efficient for displaying large amounts of (text or button -based) information.

    I leave it on default the majority of the time and use quite a few apps (e.g. Safari) in fullscreen mode, but when I need more working room (e.g. Photoshop), I tend to switch it over to 'looks like 1920 x 1200' mode.

    It's great to have both! :)

    P.S. With regard to Safari, you can leave it on 'Best for Retina' and shrink the size of webpages, but not the app's UI, by using the Zoom options. This allows you to fit a lot more into the Safari windows while leaving the system resolution alone.
     
  6. afinch1992 macrumors 6502

    afinch1992

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    #6
    good tip!
     
  7. serenesam macrumors member

    serenesam

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    #7
    Really? I have had the retina display for a while now, and I don't really understand what people are talking about when they say the 1680 by 1050 looks better than previous generation models at its native resolution. Maybe I have special eyes or something like that because the native resolution looks sharper to me.
     
  8. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    #8
    They're saying that the MacBook Pro with Retina display running at 1680 x 1050 equivalent scaling looks better than the non-Retina MacBook Pro with a native resolution of 1680 x 1050.

    Since I had a non-Retina MacBook Pro with the 1680 x 1050 resolution and now have the MacBook Pro with Retina display, I can confirm that this is 100% true.

    The MacBook Pro with Retina display does, however, look best running at its native setting, which is aptly named 'Best for Retina display'.

    I hope that clears up any confusion!
     
  9. serenesam macrumors member

    serenesam

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    #9
    Yes, and I disagree with that, of course, just my opinion. :)

    Yes, and I disagree with that too. Videos look dull. :)

    Not really. :confused:
     
  10. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #10
    Obviously.
     
  11. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #11
    What I'm saying is that 1680x1050 on the rMBP isn't as blurry as other screens running at non-native resolutions. Of course the previous gen MBP with a native 1680x1050 screen looks better than the rMBP at 1680x1050.
     
  12. bill-p macrumors 65816

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    #12
    No... the rMBP actually looks better (a lot sharper) at 1680 x 1050 than the previous MBP. At least it does in Mac OS X.

    That's because 1680 x 1050 in the Retina MacBook Pro is actually 3360 x 2100 downscaled to 2880 x 1800.

    And it goes without saying, 1920 x 1200 on Retina is actually 3840 x 2400 downscaled to 2880 x 1800.

    Apple does it that way to keep everything on the Retina screen perfectly sharp. The problem is that the processor has to draw significantly more pixels than with previous generations, thus the occasional lag.
     
  13. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    #13
    Yeah, this is what I was trying to say. The 1680 x 1050 scaling on the rMBP 'looks like 1680 x 1050', but only in terms of the physical scale of the interface.

    You're still seeing 2880 x 1800, thanks to the doubling + downscaling that bill-p described. This definitely looks a lot better than a native 1680 x 1050, and I can say that from experience of owning both!
     
  14. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    #14
    too bad the one major caveat is that the RMBP feels like it runs MUCH slower since using anything besides 1440x900 hidpi resolution bogs the machine down by a ton.
     
  15. PostHate thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    Yeah, I don't think I'm liking all of this. What's the point of super high resolution display if you aren't going to get that resolution or it's going to slow the machine down?

    Thanks for saving me $2,200+ guys :p
     
  16. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    #16
    Well, you can actually access the full 2880 x 1800 at normal DPI settings using various free apps (I recommend this one). The computer runs very smoothly at this setting, but everything is absolutely tiny, of course!

    I actually run my rMBP at the 'Best for Retina display' setting and use most apps in fullscreen mode. If, however, I absolutely need the space, I switch it to the microscopic normal DPI mode and enjoy a ridiculous amount of working space! :p
     
  17. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Right now, only the retina macbook pro uses this double resolution mode. Even the regular macbook pro 15" has a traditional screen.
     
  18. PostHate thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #18
    So on the regular MacBook Pro 15" everything is normal and if you get the upgraded 1680-by-1050 discplay all the icons, images, etc. will be much smaller?

    I wonder what that looks like compared to the normal 1440 by 900 resolution?
     
  19. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    #19
    thats not 'extra workspace'. thats just working in a completely unusable environment.

    sometimes i actually set mine at 2048 x 1280 NON-hidpi. looks not great but OK, doesn't get bogged down by retina mode and at least still feels speedy.

    theres such a huge difference in performance between retina mode and non-retina and i'm kind of disappointed by how unoptimized the whole thing seems.
     
  20. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #20
    Here's a good image gallery that shows the relative sizes of things at the different scaling resolutions on the RMBP.

    It also lets you see the difference in relative size between 1440x900 and 1680x1050. On the Retina MBP those modes have higher detail than on the non-retina versions, but the sizes on screen should match.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5998/macbook-pro-retina-display-analysis
     
  21. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Yes, it displays 2560×1440@1× but you can have it display 1280×720@2× if you prefer. It’s the first non-retina display that actually gives a usable resolution if you do this.

    You can run it natively at 2880×1800 (tiny UI, but very sharp) or 1440×900@2× (normal UI, and very sharp)

    There is also the option of expanding your workspace to 1680×1050@2× or 1920×1200@2×, but these are scaled resolutions and are do not offer pixel-perfect sharpness (but should still be fine for most people) and have some performance compromises because it’s rendering a lot of pixels.

    I would love for someone to do a direct comparison between the 1680×1050@1× MacBook Pro display, and the Retina MacBook Pro displaying 1680×1050@2×.

    The Retina MacBook Pro may have a high enough pixel density to negate the fact that it is not running a pixel-perfect resolution.

    These screenshots show the resolution the Retina MacBook Pro is rendering i.e. 3360×2100 (1680×1050@2×) and 3840×2400 (1920×1200@2×) rather than the image that actually appears on the Retina display. (scaled down to 2880×1800)

    Even if it did show the scaled image, you cannot compare that on a non-retina display. Things that look bad on a non-retina display may be invisible on a retina display due to the pixel density.
     
  22. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #22
    Total bs right here. The machine is not bogged down.
     
  23. bill-p macrumors 65816

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    #23
    It's not slowing the machine down (in the sense that it makes the computer slower). The only problem is that occasionally (like once every hour), an animation lags or skips (this happens randomly). I constantly run 1920 x 1200 myself.

    It's definitely much less smooth compared to my old 2011 MBP at times, but the fact that I can show an effective 1920 x 1200 desktop on a 15" screen more than makes up for it.

    Plus you are getting a redesigned cooling system, significant weight reduction, and a much thinner profile as well.

    It's worth $2200 in my opinions. But if the screen is your only concern, I'd agree that it's not worth it.

    They won't be much smaller. If you put a MacBook Air 13" next to a MacBook Pro 15", then the icon size is about the same as the 13", but the desktop space would be bigger.
     
  24. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    #24
    That's your opinion, so please don't state it like it's a factual correction.

    I find the full resolution at normal DPI to be perfectly usable, but maybe my eyesight is better than yours.
     
  25. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #25
    Stevelam has been trolling these forums since the retina's release, just ignore him.
     

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