Question about lag when scaling "down" on 13" rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Miss Terri, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    Hi folks,

    I think it's time to retire my 13" MBP Core2Duo in favor of a new machine. Possibilities are a new 13" rMBP, or ... maybe... a new 15" rMBP. Here is my question:

    Because my eyes are not what they used to be, I am constantly "Command-plussing" on my 2010 13" MBP to make the font larger. Hence, I'm attracted to the rMBP with its ability to "scale." I have tried this in the store, and see the limitations with some web pages, and etc., but the eyes want what the eyes want, and it's a lot better than "command-plus" constantly!

    I have read numerous posts about the 13" rMBP "lagging" when using scaled resolutions, but it seems that most people are referring to scaling "up" to get more screen real estate and higher resolution. However I would be scaling "down" to make the print larger.

    If indeed there are any lagging problems, would they also apply to scaling "down" --- or is it only a factor when scaling up? I might still choose to get a 13" rMBP, but I'd like to understand if it is just because of scaling at all, or more a factor when scaling up to higher resolutions?

    (Of course the extra screen real estate of the 15" would be nice, but because I travel a lot, plus tend to usually lie on the couch/bed with the computer propped up on my knees, I think the 15" might feel a bit too bulky (even though it weighs no more than my current 13"). So the 13" rMBP is the top contender right now.)

    Thanks all!
  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Well what would you scale down to? You don't want to run it at anything lower than 1280x800. No matter how bad your eyes are.
  3. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    I'm not sure what the resolution "numbers" are, but on the retina MBP's, when you go into the text size pref area, there are four or five boxes shown. One that's around the middle is the default and is labeled "best for retina." If you choose one of the boxes to the left, you get bigger or biggest size (but less on the screen). If you choose one of the boxes to the right, you get smaller and smallest size type (and more on the screen). I liked the one that was bigger, but not biggest. I don't know if that is lower than 1280 x 800 though... perhaps someone who has a retina MBP could tell me?

    The gist of my question is: Is it as much "work" for the computer to scale down (larger type) from the "best for retina" default, as it is to scale up (smaller type)? If one gets lagginess when scaling up, then will one get the same lagginess scaling down? Or is "up" "harder" for the computer? Does that make sense?
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If you're going to scale "down", you could just get the regular MBP, and save the money, and get a DVD drive. There's no sense paying for a screen that you'll never use.
  5. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    Well, the thing is that I have a "regular" MBP now, and one reason I would like to replace it is that I can't get the type to be nice and large across the board like I can with the retina scaled down. That's what I love about the retina! I can scale it down and two great things happen:

    1) Everything stays as large as I ask it to be (no more constant "command-plus, command-plus, command-plus")

    2) System fonts enlarge along with everything else (on the regular MBP system fonts don't get larger when you command-plus).

    If a regular Mac had resolution independence, I'd be happy as a clam with one.

    I read about lagginess that can happen when scaling the retina machines, but everyone who talks about it is scaling UP. I simply would like to know if it has the same effect on the processor (or whatever it is affecting) when you scale down. i.e. is it scaling of any sort that taxes it, or is it scaling UP that taxes it.

  6. Beezy253 macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2013
    Tacoma, WA
    I have my 13" rMBP set to 1024 x 640 (larger text)..
    If you're using any other Mac daily (which does not have the lag), you will notice it a lot more....
    But now that I am only using my rMBP, i've gotten used to it..(still noticeable)

    Apple needs to fix it, STAT!
  7. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    You will find that people habitually return items on here for reasons they call "lag" for whatever reason, but it is nothing to be concerned about.

    I recommend testing the notebook in the store with the resolution you expect to run and see how it performs. You should be able to tell a great deal about it from a display model.

    I believe it would work well for what you need.
  8. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Ignore this advice. Retina provides sharpness to images and fonts at whatever scaling you're using. There's nothing wasted in running low resolutions on a retina screen.

    Here's my finding on lagginess. At 1680x1050 the laginess is very noticable on transitions such as showing mission control and launchpad. There's no lag that I can see scaling the other way, to 1024x640. I still run at 1680x1050 because for me the added real estate is worth the lag.
  9. Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    That's what I liked too. Glad you piped in :)

    Well, "luckily" the only other Mac I use is my Core2Duo MBP. Having a bunch of tabs open just kills it, and I'm hoping the new one will do better in that regard. Plus... the scaling down should be really nice (for me; I can understand how people with better eyes would want to go the other way and get more effective screen real estate. I've considered a 15" just to "get some screen back," but.... I really like the form factor of the 13" I'm still slightly waffling between the two though).

    So... upshot is I'm not used to any sort of high performance, so in that way I'm easy :D

    That's what I had noticed; thanks for confirming.

    Sweet, that completely answers my question. Since I don't know how the whole thing works "under the hood," I had no way of knowing whether scaling down was as "hard" for the computer as scaling up --- sounds like it is not.

    And monkeybagel, thanks for your input too.
  10. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Up is harder for the computer, no question about it. But I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to run it at anything lower than 1280x800.


    This. Exactly.
  11. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    It was explained in the thread - lower resolution results in bigger text, without having to use the built in text scaling tool.

    Not everyone has 20/20 eyesight.

    The benefit of the retina screen is that even rendering at resolutions less than 1280x800, the text (and everything else vector drawn) benefits from the high ppi - even better for those with poor eyesight.

    There are valid reasons that people run at lower resolutions.
  12. Miss Terri, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    Miss Terri thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    Yep, that's exactly it. Making things bigger on a "regular" MBP is not the same -- I'm not a tech pro, but I think it's because there is not resolution independence. So anything but the "normal" setting is a real compromise. On the retina, you get less on the screen, but it still looks "normal" and system fonts are also enlarged (they are not on the non-retina).

    Thanks to all for confirming that going "down" is not as much work for the computer as going "up." Without knowing how it works technically, I could have made a mental case for it being either way.

    Now, when they make a laptop with a screen that folds out to three times the physical size of the folded laptop, even I will be scaling up! I would love to be able to have more on the screen, for sure.

    Now if I could just decide between 13" and 15"! I've had 13" for years, and that probably makes the most sense as I carry it around a lot, use it in bed, on tiny tables, etc. But .... the extra screen size of the 15" is tempting :)

    Miss Terri

    PS: I have considered getting glasses for when I use the computer, but it's not just that simple, as it's an awkward distance, etc. However, if I do, then I'll just run it on default instead of scaling down, and still have a computer with a gorgeous screen.

    PPS: Just wanted to add that I did consider getting a "small" computer for traveling (even considered 11" Air!) and then a large monitor for at home. Trouble is, "at home" is constantly changing due to travel, and I would rarely actually have a chance to use the big monitor. So ultimately the laptop is what I'm going to be using. If life ever settles down to one location... bring on the huge monitor!

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