Poll - Favourite resolution on rMBP 13"? Do you find 1680x1050 fuzzy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by victorhooi, Nov 28, 2013.


Daily Driver for your rMBP 13" Resolution

  1. 1024x640

    2 vote(s)
  2. 1280x800 (Best for Retina)

    24 vote(s)
  3. 1440x900

    26 vote(s)
  4. 1680x1050

    12 vote(s)
  1. victorhooi macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2011

    I've just moved from a Macbook Air 13" to a Retina MBP 13".

    It's still got that new plasticy/chemical smell :D. Hopefully it'll stay.

    The default "Best for Retina" (1280x800) does look very crisp - however, I feel that you don't get very much screen real-estate. I do a fair amount of coding, so having lots of text visible on screen would be quite nice.

    I'm experimenting with the next two settings up:

    • 1440x900
    • 1680x1050

    Performance wise, I haven't noticed any issues with the higher resolutions yet, so I guess I'm going to base my choice on comfort.

    I feel that the 1680x1050 looks a bit..."fuzzy" - but I don't know if that's just a placebo effect? Have other people noticed any fuzziness with 1680x1050? Do you find it comfortable enough to use all the time, or does it hurt your eyes?

    What do you guys use as your daily driver? Or do you switch between resolutions a lot?

    Also, I've noticed there seem to be quite a few apps to switch resolutions:

    What are people's opinions on the various programs? Any favourites - and why?

  2. actuallyinaus macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    how are you setting 1680x1050?

    if you use rdm or other tools to set to 1680x1050 the computer will be running at 1680x1050 and stretching the image to fit the screen

    if you use the apple settings to set one notch above 'best for retina' and it shows 'looks like 1680x1050' it actually sets it to 3360x2100 and scales the image down to fit the screen

    apple's method looks better than normal 1050p, however native (or best for retina) will always look the best

    personally i use native on my linux and set chrome to 150% zoom
  3. victorhooi thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2011

    I'm using OSX's inbuilt resolution modes to set it to 1680x1050 (right-most option).

    Hmm, that's interesting - so you're saying that tools like Retina DisplayMenu, QuickRes, SwitchRes etc. will actually produce lower image quality than using Apple's inbuilt resolutions?

    Also - you're saying you've installed Linux on your rMBP, and you're running it at the LCD panel's native 2560x1600 resolution, and just increasing the zoom for Chrome (or whatever other programs you use).

    But does that mean the widget/chrome (i.e. menus, icons etc.) are very small?

  4. vandoorn macrumors regular

    May 31, 2011
    I use 1440x900 resolution. I came from the macbook air and the 15" retina, so 1280x800 was just to small. Yes 1440x900 is a bit fuzzier, but still very crisp! :)
  5. zottelkind macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    London, UK
    I'm interested how your coding experience is on the 13" model, OP.

    Have you tried Xcode at different resolutions? Have you got some feedback?

    I can't decide between the 15" and the 13". I would want to use 1440x900 but I fear it's a bit too small a resolution to work productively with Xcode. Got any tips?
  6. profanum macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2011
    Using SwitchResX I added a 1920x1200 HiDPI option (custom resolution at 3840x2400) and have been running that for the past two weeks and it looks really good. The only stutter I see is in netbeans scrolling, but it has the same issue at 1440x900 and 1680x1050, so I don't believe it's a hardware issue. Other editors, like Qt Creator and Xcode have worked well and I don't have any issues with their scrolling.
  7. actuallyinaus macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    well if you set "1680x1050" in osx settings to get the same effect on rdm or other program you would have to set it to 3360x2100 and enable 200% dpi scaling (the resulting image would be called 1680x1050 hidpi) (cause that's what osx is actually doing when you pick 1680x1050)

    2880x1800 cause i have 15" but yes, i've set the terminal font to be higher, and the only gui program i use is chrome so increasing the page zoom is enough for me, yes all the icons/buttons are tiny but ehh i can still click on them so i don't mind

    (chrome's settings page is html so it scales nicely, and dropdown menus' font sizes are based of your gtk settings so they are nicely sized also)
  8. x3n0n1c macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2014
    I often use RDM to manually set my resolution on my 15" Retina to either 1680x1050 or 1920x1200. Yes the picture is a bit fuzzy on close inspection but at a normal viewing distance it is much less apparent.

    What you gain is more screen real estate, higher graphical performance, less power consumption (longer battery life), and less heat generation.

    It is a nice option for when you don't need the crazy amount of clarity afforded by the retina display, but still want more space to work.



    Just noticed how old this thread is, thats what I get for clicking on a "Similar Thread". Apologizes.
  9. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    You caused me to read it:) I didn't realize it was old until you said something lol
  10. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    I know this is quite an old post now, but still relevant. I can see no difference in quality between the Apple Display Preference method and a Third party method (in my case Eye-Friendly at 1680x1050. The screenshot below compares a blown up screen grab by each method.

    I have googled and tried to find any other corroborating reports or articles, without success.

    Can anyone provide any links to support that the Apple Display Pref method gives higher quality than the third party switchers?

    If I believed the Apple method gave better quality, I would dump Eye-Friendly, but it is very convenient.


    Attached Files:

  11. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    There is no difference if you use the HiDPI modes. The post you quoted was about using non-HiDPI modes, or made the (incorrect) assumption that third party tools don't support HiDPI modes.

    You can't find any articles about the differences, as there are no differences.
  12. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Thanks very much for clearing that up.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I leave my rMBP on the best for retina display - making it the full hi res, is too small for my old eyes.

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