Native Resolution vs Retina Rescaling

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by iRun26.2, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    What would be easier for the rMB GPU, running in one the standard retina rescaling modes or running in the native resolution?

    (I'm planning on using the native resolution, assuming I can handle the small text. I'm hoping that this will be less challenging for the rMB's relatively weak GPU, producing less noticeable lag while scrolling, etc).
  2. kingofwale macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    i'm running rMBP 15 with discreet graphics card, but most of the time it doesn't kick in. so literally it runs on intel HD4000, no issue with scrolling, but then again, having 10 firefox tabs open doesn't really make me a "power user"
  3. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Why would the text be small at the native resolution? At the native resolution you effectively only have 720 vertical pixels (2304X1440) on the rMB.
  4. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    I think he is referring to using the full resolution. 2304x1440.

    I used the surface pro 3 at full resolution. 2160x1440. It was ok. Things were a bit small Though.
  5. ctyrider macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2012
    What do you mean by native resolution? Are you talking about running 2304x1440 in non-retina mode? The hardware is designed to run in HiDPI (retina) mode, so I suspect doing anything else would be harder rather than easier on GPU.

    Besides, non-retina 2304x1440 on a 12" screen will be unusable in terms of size of UI elements. I plan on running 1440x900, which gives a best balance of HiDPI and UI sizing.
  6. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    The OP plans to run the display at 2304X144, hence the question, 1152x720 is a scaled HiDPI resolution albeit default.

    Personally I think text will be too small, and no it doesn't add load to the GPU if anything it reduces it. and possibly one reason why the OP is considering the option.

  7. iRun26.2 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    I'm sorry for not using the proper terminology. I wanted to know if the rMB GPU would be find it harder to do 2304 x 1440 or a retina version (at 1152 x 720 or 1440 x 900 for example).

    It seems like there are conflicting possibilities: At 2304 x 1440 there is more information (pixels) that must be processed. At 1440 x 900 there is less information but the GPU must make numerous conversions of the smaller number of pixels.

    I think I will be able to use 2304 x 1440 directly (already people look at my computer screen and ask how I can stand such small text). I'm hoping that this is less of burden on the GPU (which is expected to be a little weak).
  8. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The easiest version for the computer to drive will be either the full native resolution, or the Apple default of exactly 1/4 of that because there is no scaling involved for that conversion. For anything non-integer (ie. the 'more space' options) there will be a bit of a performance hit because the GPU has to re-scale the content to a very high resolution, from which it then down-samples to get the resolution it displays for you. Depending on your usage and tolerance levels, this may or may not be noticeable to you.
  9. consumeritis macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2015
    I think the 'best for retina' space of the display (1152x720) will probably be too cramped for me.

    The screen is about an inch smaller than my current 13" Air, but I don't want to give up any space. So I'll have to try one running scaled at 1440x900 and if it lags then I'll go buy a Macbook Pro.

    Native resolution might be interesting to try, if it's an option. It's a bit over half as many pixels again - so things would appear maybe 60% of the size they do on my current laptop?

    With these Retina macs, can you turn off the 'retina' - i.e. have the GPU scale UP from a smaller framebuffer rather than down from a larger one?

    Can you run a game fullscreen in its own space while keeping the ability to swipe quickly over to a web browser in another space? When I played WoW that is how I had it set up - but in that case WoW was rendering to the same resolution as the desktop. If the game has to change the video mode to avoid retina then maybe that isn't possible any more?
  10. iLondoner macrumors 6502


    Screen real estate is very important to me and I can only just about manage with the 1440x900 of the 13-inch MBA.

    I've just had new lenses fitted in my eyes (really!) and I now have 20/20 in one eye and 20/16 in the other, so smaller text is no problem. :)

    Does anyone know if there is a 1080 resolution (1728x1080) between 1152x720 and 2304x1440? That would make the new MB more attractive.

    I had a bit of an experiment on the 13-in MBA measuring screen elements in Safari at standard setting and then with one level of zoom out (from the View menu) and the one level of zoom out is almost exactly equivalent to 1080 horizontal resolution.
  11. danielwerner macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
  12. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    This is the key question and we'll have to wait for reviews.

    You may need to test it at an Apple Store or BestBuy.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Algorithmically, the 'best for retina' mode is probably the least taxing for the system. The target resolution is the same as the native resolution and the setup cost is lower because you have less items on the screen. However, the native resolution might require less dirty area updating.

    At any rate, you should not have any experience issues with any of the standard retina modes on the rMB. My 2012 rMBP has no problems with significantly higher resolutions on its HD4000, and the rMB GPU is both faster and much more efficient (the later being more important in this case).
  14. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    1. It had darned well better not. ;)


    2. I can almost guarantee you that we are going to have thread wars here for months. "It lags." "No it doesn't." "Yes it does." "No way." :eek: A lot of that seems to be both personally subjective and dependent on exactly how the machine (notebook, iPad, iPhone) is configured.
  15. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    To add on this — the rescale operation is so cheap that you literally need be updating your screen hundreds times per second or taxing the GPU with other heavy work in order for it to become noticeable. And the performance of related operations has been further enhanced in the Broadwell GPU.
  16. consumeritis macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2015
    The final rescale to the panel's native resolution might be cheap, but as I understand it the size of the 'back buffer' that OSX is rendering windows into gets bigger as the scaled resolution increases. Isn't it something like:

    'Best for retina' equivalent to 1152x720 = in pixels 2304x1440 = ~3.3 million pixels.
    Scaled 1440x900 = in pixels 2880x1800 = ~5.1 million pixels, plus the scale back to the panel's resolution.

    So running at 1440x900 scaled means the GPU is pushing about 56% more pixels.

    It'll probably be fine, but I will be giving it a go in the store before I buy.

Share This Page