MBP Retina to External Resolution

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by n8236, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    So I'm a tad confused on the real resolution of the MBP Retina. It's said to have a native 1440x900 resolution, but can be unlocked to 2880x1800.

    Because I want to use a 27" external monitor, what resolution should I shoot for? Should I find one that supports 2880x1800, something close to that or?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    The rMBP's resolution is always 2880x1800. In the display preferences you just set to what degree the user interface is scaled so it isn't all tiny at that resolution.

    My guess for external resolutions on the Thunderbolt ports is maximum dual-link-DVI resolution, so 2560x1600, just like on other Thunderbolt-equipped Macs. On the HDMI port it's 1920x1080, i.e. Full-HD resolution. And yes, you can hook up three monitors to the rMBP, giving you four in all.
  3. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The resolution of the rMBP's internal screen has nothing to do with what you will see on an external monitor. I am not sure why you think there is some correlation. There are no 2880x1800 external monitors commercially available at this point in time. 2880x1800 won't look anywhere as good on a 27" external monitor as it does on the rMBP's 15" screen. The rMBP's GPU can output up to 2560x1600 via the Thunderbolt/mini DisplayPort port. You can purchase a 30" 2560x1600 monitor or a 2560x1440 27" monitor.

    An external monitor works exactly the same on the rMBP as it would connected to any other computer.


    HDMI 1 to 1.2 ports can support up to 1920x1200. HDMI 1.3 added 2560x1600 support. HDMI 1.4, as on the rMBP, can output up to 4096×2160.

    Good luck finding such a monitor without paying as much as new sedan. :)
  4. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    Thanks, I wasn't aware of that.
  5. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    Has anyone confirmed that the rMBP's HDMI output allows for resolutions > 1920x1080/1200? I'm looking at buying a 27" monitor that is capable of receiving a 2560 signal from the HDMI port (as in other laptops drive it at that resolution), and would like to know if this laptop is indeed capable of that.
  6. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    Not sure if anyone's really interested, but here's what I've found:

    The hardware is indeed capable of outputting 2560 (and perhaps larger) over HDMI. BUT. OS X does not appear to be.

    Under OS X, it will not let me output anything more than 1920x1080 to my 27" monitor via HDMI. However, if I boot into Windows, it outputs 2560x1440 with no issues whatsoever. Obviously the hardware is capable based on my experience. But OS X seems to treat all HDMI devices as TVs, regardless of what they actually are.

    What I don't know is whether this laptop can output to 3 2560 (+) displays simultaneously and also drive the internal display. I don't have the monitors to test that.

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