Retina at lower resolutions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DiogoReis, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. DiogoReis, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012

    DiogoReis macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hey

    Will there be any differences between the Retina MBP running at 1680 x 1050 versus a MBP (HD screen) with the same specifications (CPU, RAM, etc) and also at 1680 x 1050?

    Screen wise, will the Retina perform worse compared to the MBP? Or the same?
     
  2. gbit macrumors member

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    Aug 20, 2012
  3. Drask macrumors regular

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    Feb 3, 2012
    #3
    No need to offend, that's why there are forums like this.

    OP: I believe it would work better graphic wise due to the retina GPU being overclocked, though the screen looks bad because it's not at native resolution. All of this of course if you mean native 1650x1050 and not the scaled option.
     
  4. CFoss, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012

    CFoss macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Well, for starters, unless you use an app like SwitchResX, the MacBook Pro will always be at a resolution of 2800x1800. What OS-X does is it scales the apps to a specific resolution (one of them being 1680x1050). If you WERE to use SwitchResX, and force the resolution to 1680x1050, you will notice the display being very blurry in comparison to the standard MacBook Pro. Unless you have a very specific reason, I would not recommend using the MacBook Pro Retina at that resolution.

    Now, if you were to compare the two, things start getting complicated. On the MacBook Pro Retina, certain apps, icons, etc, utilize the 2800x1800 resolution, so they will look more detailed than the standard MacBook Pro. Apps that do not support the "Retina" display will tend to look fuzzier, and perhaps worse on the MacBook Pro Retina. However, more apps are supporting the Retina display every day.

    Also, the overall display is FAR superior. The MacBook Pro Retina uses an IPS LCD (vs. the TFT LCD standard MacBook Pros use). IPS displays have better viewing angles, colour ratio, and darker blacks (the screen's maximum brightness and white levels is slightly inferior on the Retina, but you honestly don't need anything brighter). Finally, screen glare is mostly fixed, as the entire display is one layer of glass. In other words, the screen isn't "embedded' into the display, it's all one layer.

    AnandTech has written a great indepth review of the MacBook Pro Retina, listing off the advantages and disadvantages of the Retina. The standard MacBook Pro does support some legacy ports, and can be upgraded in the future. But if you spec the Retina while keeping the future in mind, and have the extra cash, I would highly recommend going with the MacBook Pro Retina model.

    AnandTech's review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review/
     
  5. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #5
    Speaking from experience, the retina at scaled resolutions looks better than the Hi-Res Unibody Pro display. Performance takes an occasional dip at 1920x1200 scaled.
     
  6. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #6
    screenwise, yes the machine will overall perform worse since it has to utilize a lot of software/hardware resources just to run it. this is of course referring to 1680x1050 hidpi mode on the RMBP. if you're trying to run 1680 non-hidpi, well its just going to look like balls.
     
  7. DiogoReis thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    So for example if I scale it down to a resolution such as 1680x1050 through OS-X and play a game or watch a movie, will the result be the same as doing it on an equal spec MBP?
     
  8. CFoss macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #8
    Game/movie resolution is independent of the screen resolution (I think). So, for example, if you were to play a game at 1680x1050 on the MacBook Pro Retina, the image will stretch to the resolution of 2800x1800.

    When playing games, I tend to play games at a resolution of 2800x1800 (though I turn off antialiasing, as there's no point of AA when playing at the dpi of the MacBook Pro Retina). Games look fantastic, and I don't experience any slowdown.

    I can't comment whether it will look better on the cMBP or rMBP at 1680x1050, and what MacBook will perform better. My guess is performance will be almost identical when played at 1680x1050 (assuming both models have the same specs, including 1GB of GDDR5 memory). As for what "looks better", it will depend on user definition. On one hand, the image will probably be stretched on the rMBP. However, the display is otherwise FANTASTIC on the rMBP (including outside of gaming, and gaming at the resolution of 2800x1800).

    PLEASE NOTE, I don't have a 15" cMBP to compare to, so take my advice with a grain of salt. If someone with more experience with both models could validate my post, I would be grateful. AnandTech probably has a comparison article on their website somewhere, if not the review itself (I need to check it again sometime).
     
  9. ivoruest macrumors 6502

    ivoruest

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    #9
    In my opinion resolution in 1440x900 scaled on the Retina should be the best (not blurry at all). But other resolution combinations such as 1920x1200 should be pretty good.

    In terms of performance 1050 rmbp vs. 1050 cmbp the retina will perform better since its overclocked. Also battery will last longer because it has higher capacity.
     
  10. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #10
    I run 1680x1050 HiDPi with no issues at all with performance.
     
  11. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

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    #11
    This is simply not true (unless you are referring to a non HiDPI resolution?) I think the benefits of the rMBP start to diminish away from the 1440 & 2880 resolutions, but 1680 still benefits from the substantially improved DPI of the retina display, text is still wonderfully crisp etc. The display is certainly better than a non-retina MBP, unless you consider a dithered 6-bit twisted nematic display with low DPI the pinnacle of display engineering... :D
     
  12. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #12
    There are two different things that people are calling "1680x1050" on the Retina MBP.

    1) Actual 1680x1050 pixels. This is achievable by using a resolution switching app like SwitchResX, or by selecting "1680x1050" in a full screen game. Performance in this mode should be identical to a non-Retina MBP running at 1680x1050. It might appear a bit blurry, I haven't tried this in person.

    2) "Looks like 1680x1050" mode selected from the Apple Display Preferences panel. This is actually 1680x1050 "HiDPI" mode, which means it's double the resolution in both directions, or 3360x2100 actual pixels.

    This mode could have lower graphical performance than a non-Retina MBP because of the additional total pixels that have to be rendered and scaled to fit the screen. It will look better than the actual 1680x1050 mode, at least for everything except non-retina-ready applications.

    As far as I know most games bypass the doubled "HiDPI" modes completely.
     
  13. CFoss macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Oh, I meant 1680x1050 FORCED, with NO HiDPI. With HiDPI enabled, the retina will usually look better at that resolution, ESPECIALLY with applications that support the Retina display. It's when you force the Retina display to use 1680x1050 that makes it questionable what display will be better. On one hand, the cMBP will be running at native resolution. However, the standard display of the Retina is superior IPS vs. TFT, etc).
     
  14. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

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    #14
    Ah OK :cool:
     
  15. DiogoReis thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    From what I've read, the retina, due to it's higher screen's resolution, utilizes a bit more processing power. The ideia behind lowering the retina resolution, would be to also lower the GPU/CPU usage. And by lowering it to the MBP res, it would put the CPU/GPU usage at the same level on both systems (this would be done on specific tasks). Does this makes sense?
     
  16. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

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    #16
    The GPU is more than capable of driving the display at the maximum resolution (memory bandwith is 20-80x greater than display demand), and the CPU overhead running even the "worst" 1680x1050 (drawn at 3360x2100 then scaled) is a fraction of one percent (I measured it at 0.75% overall). Remember the rMBP is overclocked compared to the cMBP and has much better thermal management running at consistent frame-rates when the cMBP will start to throttle. Running at non HiDPI resolutions introduces significant distortion to drawing for what is negligible gain.
     
  17. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    #17
    the gain isn't negligible at all. you can IMMEDIATELY tell the difference in response/smoothness/snappiness the moment you switch to a non-hidpi resolution.
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #18
    No, the Apple scaler will supersample to 3760x2100 and then scale it back down to 2880x1800. So having the GPU power a 3760x2100 display and having to scale it back down to 2880x1800 will mean poorer performance compared to a native 1680x1050 display.
     

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