MacBook Pro TB Screen not as crisp? Less Retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jpfour23, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. jpfour23 macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2009
    I have the 15" and the screen feels like there's a very soft blur to everything. My iMac 27 5k seems sharper. I can't figure it out. I believe the 5k is 218ppi whereas the 15" is 220ppi. Oddly, my 15" 2013 MBP Retina is 227ppi.

    Honestly, I want to love this... but the clarity thing is really getting on my nerves. Also, it's only been 24hrs but I kind of feel like the touch bar is a gimmick but that's another story.

    Anyone else feel this way?
  2. yillbs macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2015
    that is likely because you have the light turned down to low. You're USED to staring at a 5k screen all day.. with 450 nits of brightness, anything less than that, is going to look bad , lol
  3. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    Seem to me it could be the new scaling resolution being used. The ppi and resolution of the 2013 and 2016 are the same.
  4. jpfour23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2009
    Just bumped the brightness to 100% and the text I'm writing looks like it's been hit by a Photoshop Filter > Blur 1x. Just the slightest blur.

    Also, my iMac is set to about 50% brightness and is calibrated by i1 - so I don't think it's brightness.
  5. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    It's the scaled resolution. Set it to the "1440x900" Retina option and it'll look the same.
  6. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Yep, Apple's gone up a notch in the screen resolution department.

    I'm not noticing a change in crispness though.

    Attached Files:

  7. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Also, keep in mind that your 5K iMac has a lot more resolution than the MBP...
  8. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2012
    The MacBook Pro has 500 nits brightness.
  9. Orien macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2010
    San Francisco
    I guarantee it's the new upscaled resolution that Apple is now using as default.
  10. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    My understanding is that the 15" retina has always been 2880x1800 (220ppi). The resolution hasn't changed. The 2016 has the same resolution and scales the same way as your 2013. Either you have it set to different scaling in preferences (might have a different default setting), or there's something about the new display technology that seems fuzzy to your eyes, or you have a bum unit. Best of luck!
  11. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015

    As others have pointed out it has to do with the new default "looks like" resolution in settings. It used to be "looks like" 1440x900 and now it defaults to 1680x1050 which provides more space. The first resolution uses exactly 4 pixels to render a point, in other words it is sharp as much as a native resolution would - 2880x1800. The 1680x1050 setting will be a bit less sharp as it is scaled. You can get the same "effect" on the 5K if you changed resolution setting.

    TLDR: Looks like 1680x1050 - more space, slightly fuzzier. It may even slightly reduce performance (but you probably won't notice it). Still, I prefer this setting. Looks like 1440x900 - more sharpness, less space. It used to be the old default. Try it and see if you prefer it.
  12. deadworlds macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2007
    Citrus Heights,CA
    I believe you guys are right about the resolution setting. I had noticed the weird "blur" the OP is talking about. After comparing "more space" to the default, it is noticeable that "mode space" producers a crisper image but you sacrafice on text size. Personally, for me "more space" makes the text too small to comfortably read the text.
  13. jpfour23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2009
    Ya'll are right. Went back to MBP 2013 and saw it was set at 1440x900... I changed the new 2016 MBP to 1440x900 and we're sharp again. Thank you for the help.

    I will say... as a "Pro" I'm surprised that Apple is ok with the new default being a little soft / blurry. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I turned it on. I appreciate the more space, but not at the expense of going backwards to a softer screen.

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