MacBook Pro Resolutions for External Displays

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by anessen07, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. anessen07 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    #1
    Amidst all the talk and rumors of an impending refresh to the MacBook Pro line, which I'm all for, I wanted to ask about the resolution that the MacBooks output for external displays. I have the 13" aluminum unibody MacBook before they added the "Pro" to it, and I use it for my photography primarily, and I have it hooked up to an HDTV with the mini display port to HDMI converter, but the highest resolution that it outputs clearly without distortion is 1360 x 768. The whole reason why I have it on the TV is for the added real-estate that it would add to see most of my high-res photos, but with the resolution not being as high due to the dated graphics card, it just looks like a scaled up version of the MacBook screen.

    I am going to be looking at getting either a 15 in. or a 17 in. for their upgraded hardware and the added benefit of 2 graphics cards. I know that they have different native resolutions for their screens since they're different sizes, but if I were to hook either of them up to the HDTV, would I get the highest resolution off of both of them, or would one be better than the other? I figure since they both have identical graphics cards the output should be the same, right?

    I'll probably end up waiting to see if there actually is a refresh, but any help or advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    The 13" Aluminium MB's graphic card (9400M) can output video up to 2560 x 1400 (correction with the help of kasakka: 2560 x 1600), so the limiting factor is most likely your HDTV. Are you sure your HDTV does support the maximum HD resolution of 1920 x 1080? Because some HDTVs don't do that.
     
  3. anessen07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    #3
    See, I thought that was it too, so I started looking at new TVs, but to be sure, I took my MacBook to Frys and hooked them up to some TVs that were similar to mine and it was the same result, so i hooked it up to the higher end TVs, brand new that I would never ever consider in their price range, and it was the same result, not necessarily the same 1360 x 768, but certainly lower res than how you would want them to look.
     
  4. kyzen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    You realize most TV's are only going to go up to 1920x1080? Maybe 1920x1200 if you're lucky.

    What resolutions are you getting up to?
     
  5. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #5
    Have you checked System Preferences > Displays if there is any other resolution available?

    Do you have access to another mDP (mini DisplayPort) to HDMI adapter to try that one out, or do you have a friend or colleague with an mDP to DVI or VGA adapter which you could try with an external display with a bigger resolution than 1360 x 768?

    Because even my iBook G4 could use a bigger external resolution than its internal one (the iBook G4 was only able to mirror its own display, but with the help of a hack, one could extend the desktop to a bigger display).
     
  6. anessen07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    #6
    I'd be thrilled if I could even get up to 1920x1200, if I could do that then I wouldn't even consider a new MacBook, but it only offers 1360x768 in system preferences. It does offer the new 720p, 1080i and 1080p that came with the snow leopard update, but it looks distorted, just not as clear as it ought to. But if you think it may be the actual mdp converter, then I'll see if I can try that out. It hadn't even occurred to me that it might be the issue, and if it's not, at least I'll have narrowed down the list..

    I'll try it out and report back, Thanks!
     
  7. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #7
    Correction: the max res for the MB's Mini-Displayport is 2560x1600. TVs also only go to 1920x1080 max (though some might have lower resolutions but not higher).

    To the OP: if you have the mini-DP to DVI adapter then try using that with a DVI-HDMI cable. If that doesn't work either then it's either the TV or the mini-Displayport.
     
  8. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #8
    I don't know what kind of HDTV the OP has but its either one of two res. 1366 x 768, or 1920 x 1080. It sounds like you have the former so in that case your MB will output 1360 or 1366 x 768. Problem with a bigger screen is that the resolution will still be the same, hence much bigger pixels and it won't look as sharp as your MB screen. You need to look at resolution as that determines how much information you can see on the screen and not the size of the screen itself. The same resolution will look much sharper and better on a smaller screen than on a bigger one.

    I would either buy a 1080 HDTV or get a 24" monitor with 1920 x 1200.
     
  9. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #9
    That is correct, I thought of the new 27" iMac's resolution instead of the 30" display's.
     

Share This Page