Not Seeing the Fuzzy Screen on New Retina MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DTF, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. DTF, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012

    DTF macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Went to the apple store the other day to look at the new rMBP. The screen is nice and the text is very clear. So I started running some of the non-retina enabled apps on the computer, like Photoshop, and I didn't see any problems with it. I left the screen at the Retina Optimized resolution because that's what I would use 99% of the time.

    Are all the complaints about setting the screen resolution to something other than the default?

    I'm trying to decide if I want the rMBP or stick with the classic and go for more speed. I can't do the higher resolutions as it's too hard on my eyes to keep looking at that text. I'm also using an external monitor too most of the time.

    So is there a big advantage going with the rMBP if you're only going to be using it at the 1440x800 resolution? (besides the form factor and port changes. Looking only at the screen at this point)
  2. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    I looked at a Retina MBP in the store yesterday, and here's the problem:
    Non-retina apps (I specifically used Photoshop) use subpixel text rendering to smooth text on normal displays. They take advantage of the fact the pixels have a RGB pattern, and make one side reddish and one side blue-ish to make text look more smooth. In retina optimized mode, the OS presents the retina display like a normal one to applications, so they continue to do subpixel smoothing like always. The problem is that now the subpixel layout is no longer correct (because there are really 4 retina pixels in what the app thinks is one pixel), so instead of looking smooth text looks blurry and has a red/blue case on either side.

    Here's an example of blown up subpixel smooth text:

    To magnify the effect on a retina MBP, turn on screen magnification under accessibility, and under more options turn on zoom with scroll wheel and modifier key. Also turn of smooth zoomed image, and I like to set it to follow pointer always (not just at edges). Now hold control and scroll up/down to zoom in/out. Sorry if these instructions are not exact- I don't have a mac in front of me now.

    What they should do is install/create a new set of fonts that can use the retina pixels like "subpixels", or try to do smoothing in the OS rather than leaving it to the application.

    Hopefully this is the start of a move towards true resolution independence.
  3. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Thinner, a bit lighter, SSD, and since the screen is an IPS panel it has better viewing angles, contrast, and black levels than the standard MBP display.
  4. TSloper macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    No the developers should just update their apps as this extends beyond just text and fonts.

  5. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    That's because your not as OCD as most of those people complaining like little 5 year old's who can't get a toy at the store.

    I did the same as you with the mindset that non retina apps would look atrocious. And as soon as I saw the apps, me and my friend said,"that's not bad at all". Sure it noticeable but it can easily be read and overlooked.

    First world problems are hilarious.
  6. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA

    I did the same thing, I wanted to check it out and see just how terrible it was before I could make a decision. It turned out it really wasn't that bad. It's noticeable, but not dramatically worse than using the same apps on the 15" non-retina when you compare them one after another.

    People are babies.
  7. ladeer macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    Look at Facebook timeline photos. are they impossible to look at.
  8. DTF thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2010
    So are all the complaints around setting the screen to a higher resolution or are they complaining about the default resolution?

    I want to get the retina MBP because I think it most likely is the future (it's going to take a while though). But I still need to work with graphics for website design and photoshop for photography. I won't be upgrading to CS6 anytime soon as I won't have the money and CS5 is still perfectly good.

    Is everyone looking at cranking up the resolution on these or just using them at the default resolution?
  9. Smiller4128 macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2010
    I have better things to do with this awesome machine than using it for should stick with an Air or something if that's what you use a mac for imo.
  10. ljx718 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2008
    Lol @ Facebook
  11. DTF, Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2012

    DTF thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2010
    All this really helped with my question.

    I still can't figure out if all the griping and moaning is about any resolution or anything that's not the default.
  12. eba macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2007
    Simplest way to see it is to open a document in Word or Pages. Pages, for example, has several template letters you can use. Look at the text. It's heavily pixelated. Literally 1990s bad. You can sharpen things a bit by upping the resolution, but then if you zoom the document to anything above 100% you're right back where you started.

    Photos in apps not optimized for retina have the same pixelated look.

    Whether this matters to you, of course, is a matter of personal taste and usage. But the problem is real.
  13. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    It has more to do with the fact that it seems silly to get a retina display when so much of what you're using isn't optimized. It isn't like iOS, where there was a huge instant audience (huge iPhone 4 sales) to entice developers to optimize for retina ASAP.

    Don't get me wrong, Apple's retina stuff looks incredible, I used one at the store. I'm still on the fence between buying a non-retina vs. a retina. I just don't want to pay a premium for something that will look half-awesome, half-ugly.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've seen enough screen shots of non-retina apps to agree that while its not horrendous (at least text), its not ideal. For images, like pictures from my digital camera, I cannot have fuzzy. I need the display to show sharpness so I can discern whether the image is soft or not, from the camera. With a fuzzy image in photoshop I'll not know if its the display or the image itself.

    I don't mind using Aperture but I really hope adobe updates LightRoom to make it Retina compatible.
  15. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Care to offer up a screen shot of what you're talking about?
  16. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Only fuzziness I saw was from installing Windows prior to setting the resolution and prior to installing the Nvidia drivers but that is really normal, no matter what computer you are using :)
  17. eba macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2007
    I'm in the same boat. I just don't see a compelling reason to jump at this point. It remains to be seen how quickly third-party apps will be updated. Until then, the RD is definitely a mixed bag.
  18. zerotiu macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    for adobe users, including me. Do you realize that Adobe will soon upgrade their application compatibility with retina right?

    There is no need to complain. All your complains are because currently adobe haven't updated their applications let alone most of use haven't got the retina. So what? Maybe 1-2 months after this, when rMBP buyer finally get their rMBP, Adobe maybe have done the update.

    This "maybe" word means it will happen. We talk about Adobe here (not..uh, microsoft?:D). After all this retina fuzzyness, problem, etcs have been solved, I can predict that most of the complainers will be disappointed that they don't buy rMBP when most of the problems have been addressed and solved.

    Wait if you want for 2nd generation :)
  19. Pipper99 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    I didn't see the fuzziness until I ran the Twitter app: it seemed as if I took off my glasses when I looked at the text.
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    They stated they will be updating photoshop but its CS6. I own CS5 and have little desire to spend the $$ to upgrade. I'm not sure if they confirmed that LightRoom 4 will be updated or not. For me that's more important. I use LR much more the PS
  21. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    go to or I was just looking at those sides today in-store.

    Look at the BBC logo image in the top left hand corner on the page and the topgear image in the top left hand corner on I straight away noticed how those were blurry, going back to a not retina screen, it looked fine again. That all I had time to notice as I was not there long.
  22. eba macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2007
    I predict that if and when the problems are solved, there will be plenty of rMBPs available for purchase.
  23. zerotiu macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    According to few users experience with current adobe, they said that it is okay if we use higher resolution. There are few screenshots here. Can't find all, but here is one (

    Let's see. This is pure waiting game. This reminds me when I bought ATI VGA x1950xt, ugh, 5/6 years ago? It had some driver bugs. The story was exactly like this, people were arguing in forum etcs and then 1 month after the bugs were solved completely.

    What I want to say that, these are Apple, Adobe, AutoDesk and some more famous companies we are talking about. They realize that this retina will increase the user experience for their apps. It is also like free marketing : "hey...use the retina, you will experience photoshop like never before, bla bla bla."

    I'm sure they want to launch the update ASAP. If you like to wait, that's totally fine. Sadly I can't lol :)
  24. njean777 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2009
    Yes because paying 2100$ for a subpar experience is ok in my book :confused:
    No offense but people that want to complain have every right to until apple and the whole internet fixes their images, so until they do you will continue to hear the complaints.
  25. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'd be very surprised if Adobe didn't update LR4, considering how recently it was released.


    It's not Apple's fault that the rest of the world isn't on board the HiDPI train yet. Someone had to solve the chicken-egg problem and Apple moved forward by releasing a machine. They're the first, now folks have to catch up. It's not like the Retina display is some conspiracy to make your life worse.

    And honestly, it's sliiiiiiiightly blurrier when images are scaled than non HiDPI screens. The way some folks whine around here it's like the Retina display kicked their dog or something. Text looks great, updated apps look great, and as more apps (and websites) are updated, everything will start looking better.

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