Retina Gaming Article

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pacman7331, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. pacman7331 macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2006

    If u read that article towards the end he suggests that gaming on a retina dsplay will tax the GPU more than the normal displays would, even if running on same rsolutions.

    So he suggests gaming on an external monitor to fix the problem.

    But leaves it open ended and inconclusive on that point.

    Is he correct? Is gaming on a retina going to be worse even at same resolutions? Since one is using more pixels?

    Seems if that were true since it has 2x pixels it would perform half as well to normal same configed laptops.

    Note: they say there is 4x the pixels but only 2x resolution.

    I do not quite understand that, as the GPU is on the same res regardless of how many pixels the screen fills, they are seperate hardwares aren't they? Doesnt the monitor work seperatly from the GPU?
  2. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    After reading The Verge's review, I think they made it clear that gaming in full resolution and top specs, wasn't possible. You had to either decrease the resolution or be willing to play at a different rate.

    Pushing all the pixels plus the game at full specs might be too taxing.
  3. pacman7331 thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2006
    I understand that, but read this article as its talking about pixels not resolution. He is saying more pixels are like more resolution. I just dont understand that.

    Pixels are on the screen. Resolution is on the GPU.
  4. bryne macrumors member


    Nov 12, 2010
    Los Angeles
    It's hard to tell, but I think you are understanding the situation correctly and the author of that article is not. I wouldn't worry too much about technical reviews from random ****** websites.
  5. leman, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I honestly have no idea what this guy is talking about. You can play games using the 1440x900 resolution on the RMBP and the performance/quality will be the same as if the native resolution were 1440x720. Let me explain why:

    The non-retina MBP has 110 PPI - that means that its display has 110 pixels per inch, or one pixel is 1/110 inch big (or small). Now, a retina MBP has the double PPI, which means that its pixels are 1/220 inch big. If you use 1440x900 resolution on the retina MBP, this means that 2x2 blocks of retina pixels will form one 'logical pixel'. Within this 'logical pixel' all pixels will have the same color value. The side size of this 'logical pixel' will be 1/110 inch (2*1/220), exactly the same as with the non-retina display. Thus, using 1440x900 resolution on the retina display will look exactly the same way as if its were its native resolution - there should be no blur.

    Note that this is not the case for other resolutions, for instance 1920x1200, as it is not possible to map a single 'logical pixel' to a symmetrical block of real pixels. A logical pixel would have the size of 1/165 inch, but you can only build 1/220, 1/110, 1/55 etc. blocks with real pixels. So you will have to interpolate (blur some real pixels) to make them look as if their size is different. On a 1920x1200 screen a logical pixel will be comprised of 1.5 x 1.5 real pixels. This is why this resolution might look blurry. This is called 'scaling degradation', because one cannot perfectly represent the logical pixels with real pixels and some information is lost when drawing the lower-res image on the higher res screen. With power of two scaling (1440x900, 720x450 etc.) no information is lost, as logical pixels do not intersect real pixel boundary.

    The tricky thing, now, is that 1440x900 on the retina screen might still apear blurry to some, but the reason for this is a psychological one. Native rendered images on the retina screen utilizing all pixels separately looks much sharper to the eye (or better to say, to the brain), so the switch to lower resolution will be noticeable, although there is actually no quality degradation due to scaling. If you look at the text rendered at the RMBP using the retina mode and after that look at the text rendered on the normal MBP, the normal one will also appear blurry to you (although it is not).

    Edit: I means inch of course, not centimeter, thanks @Dangerous Theory. I am just too used to metric system :D
  6. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2007
  7. Jamesesesesess macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    I installed The Sims 3 and tested it out. I'm pretty impressed, I'm able to play it at full Retina resolution and all settings maxed out with very smooth play. Very slight lag while going along the neighborhood, but that could just be the game. It's not like TS3 is a very demanding game anyway, but it runs better maxed out at Retina res on my MBPR than it did on my 2011 15" base model with medium settings. I already have a PS3 so it's not like I'll be doing much gaming anyway, but I'm still impressed.
  8. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Resolution and number of pixels the GPU is rendering is exactly the same thing.

    More pixels in the display = higher resolution = more stress on the GPU.

    This is one big reason I'm holding off, I think the display is possibly too much for the GPU. Waiting to see if the GPU is upgraded in this mythical August 13" MBP refresh.
  9. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    Sorry, but this guy has no idea what he is taking about.

    Using a native resolution 1440x900 vs a 2880x1800 (set to 1440x900) wouldn't tax the PC/GPU more.
  10. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    How did you come to the conclusion that PPI means pixels per centimetre? I think the I is a good indication that it means inch.
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You are right. I am just tired and stupid :) Editing the post now.
  12. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    The author of the article is saying that if you were running a game at 1440x900 on the rMBP, it would be more taxing on the GPU than running it at 1440x900 on the non-retina MBP (with the exact same GPU).

    This is false.

    When running at non-native resolution, the monitor handles the scaling, not the GPU.

    Now the author may have gotten mixed up with how game (full screen) resolution works compared to how the OSX desktop scaling works. If you're using the built in scaling options on the rMBP, then the GPU is handling the scaling, and it is always pushing 2880x1800 pixels to the screen.

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