MBA vs rMBP 13 for Programming

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Adergaard, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Adergaard macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2012
    I'm a programmer. I'm not a developer, systems engineer or whatever else it's called these days. I'm a programmer and an anal one at that.

    I can't stand blurry screens since 98% of my day consist of typing things in different colors as they tend to render in your favorite IDE.

    So, long story short. I've been using an MBA 13 2011 which now has a battery + cord problem so I thought of just dumping it and getting an rMBP but I really like the 1440x900 native resolution on the MBA.

    Just as a reference: I have an iMac 5k that works super and I love the retina screen, so I thought I'd buy a new macbook (the 12 inch half baked thing). I did. I tried it for 3 hours. The screen was NOT good. The uneven number of pixels (2304) made it stop halfway up the left side. If you are one of the unfortunates who owns one, check your left hand side of the macbook and you'll see how the screen is uneven. Well, then there was the story with the keyboard but that's just not for this thread.

    So why did I just mention the above rant? Just to show you that if there's blurriness in setting the rMBP to 1440x900 I will notice it.

    Please don't tell me to go down town and check it out for myself. I'm writing here instead. So, if you have a definitive experience - and are very particular yourself about the screen - from running the rMBP 13 in 1440x900, please do tell whether or not it's a good buy for someone like me.

  2. throAU, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I haven't noticed any blurriness running mine in 1440x900. But i don't generally do it very often.

    Text looks way, way better than on an MBA screen in either 1440x900 or 1680x1050.

    I confirmed just now by playing with the slider while writing this post.

    I know exactly the sort of blurriness you're talking about but the way the retina scaling works, you won't see it (essentially i believe it renders at 2x the res - e.g., 3360x2100 in the case of 1680x1050 scale), then scales it back down using openGL - which is why the performance drops a tad, it's doing a fair bit of work).

    Performance for resizing stuff drops a tad, but it's still plenty usable while i have a video playing in VLC next to this window.

    And yes, i'm very particular with my screens. I can't stand the surface pro 3 i was using for about a year because of the crazy BS garbage scaling it does when you use it with an external display... (which i have confirmed the rMBP does NOT do with an external display either).

    Hope that helps. Would still suggest you check it out for yourself to confirm (because if you ARE picky i wouldn't expect you to trust some guy on the internet :D), but hopefully this gives you the "confidence" to bother checking it out - i think you'll be happy with the text quality for sure.

    The screen is the reason I went for the rMBP myself, and text readability was the big reason.

    the fact that the viewing angle and colour is just way, way better is a bonus.
  3. Adergaard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2012
    Thanks. Much appreciated. Will definitely check it out now.
  4. brookter1 macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2015
    What sort of programming do you where 2304 is an uneven number?
  5. Adergaard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2012
    Yes, silly of me to choose such erroneous word. What I meant by it is that the MacBookscreen doesn't fill the pixels all the way up on the left most "column" of the screen.

    However, you bringing it up like this makes me think that you did it just to score point off of my mistake which is a very assholish thing to do, don't you think? Was that really the most constructive thing you could think of writing in this thread?

    Please refrain from this in the future or go to a stand-up audition and get it out of your system. Who knows, you might get lucky.
  6. brookter1 macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Not at all. I was merely amused by the chasm between the hyperbole of your post and the oddness (or otherwise) of the number and how it could make the left hand side of the screen uneven.

    Seriously, there is no incomplete left hand column of pixels on the left hand side of my rMB screen. It goes all the way to the top from sea to shining sea. A quick google search also doesn't bring up any similar complaints from other people. Perhaps you had a bad unit?

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