Retina on 1440*900, what is the difference?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Panini, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Panini macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #1
    Hypothetical situation for the sake of my understanding:

    Two computers, both completely identical in terms of hardware except one has a native display resolution of 1440x900 (A) and the other is 2880x1800 (B).

    Now, a series of thought questions assuming both are running at a resolution of 1440x900:

    1. How would the display on computer A differ from that of computer B? Would one look blurrier than the other?

    2. What would be the difference in terms of performance between the two computers? Obviously this is negligible for standard tasks, but on intensive 3D applications, a 20% increase in performance can mean the difference between smooth and studdery.

    3. How would battery usage differ between the two computers? (again, they are on the same resolution)
     
  2. johnhalsted macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2010
  3. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #3
    1. There will be no visual difference at all (given that the panel quality is the same)

    2. There will be no performance difference (upscaling is basically a 'free' operation). The difference in VRAM usage is negligible.

    3. The higher-res computer will probably use more battery (because the higher-res panel needs slightly more power).

    But please note that the RMBP and the MBP are not completely identical in hardware ;) For instance, the RMBP has a much bigger battery.
     
  4. ladeer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    #4

    Two computers, both completely identical in terms of hardware except one has a native display resolution of 1440x900 (A) and the other is 2880x1800 (B).

    Now, a series of thought questions assuming both are running at a resolution of 1440x900:

    1. How would the display on computer A differ from that of computer B? Would one look blurrier than the other?

    A will look like before; B will look sharper if a high-resolution graphic is supplied by the website or software maker. Otherwise, B will look noticeably more blurry where website or software makers did not provide high resolution art works. For example, if you use iPad 3 to visit Apple.com, Apple.com actually detects that you are using a browser from a retina screen, so it loads images at 4x the resolution. Of course, 99.99% of the websites in this world has not done this yet. In fact, it's a huge challenge for people to implement this, as there isn't an agreed-upon standard. For example, Apple used a method that loads the low resolution image first, then reload the high resolution image again. This method is safest but would lead to massive overhead for websites that actually care about overhead. This method also is prone to 404 error hang if the webmaster is not diligent in providing perfect artwork.

    2. What would be the difference in terms of performance between the two computers? Obviously this is negligible for standard tasks, but on intensive 3D applications, a 20% increase in performance can mean the difference between smooth and studdery.

    The additional pixel of course introduce overhead taxing on the graphic card and CPU, so yes, with all things being equal, B definitely will have lesser performance. The upscaling is not as simple as 1px -> 4px. What Apple does is separating text from graphics, and upscale the graphic physically while replace text w/ high resolution fonts. In other words, it's not as simple as "duplicate every pixel into 4 pixel." In fact, each app will treat these differently based on its setting/update, so this is happening on OS and app level.

    3. How would battery usage differ between the two computers? (again, they are on the same resolution)
    B will use more battery, because again your graphic card is driving 4x more pixel even effective resolution are the same. Battery time however will be about equal since Apple puts a much bigger battery in B.
     
  5. throAU, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #5
    short answer:

    if you go up or down in resolution by doubling or halving, you don't get blurriness.

    i.e., a 2880x1800 screen will run 1440x900 perfectly. 1280x800 will look blurry...


    And a card driving a 2880x1800 screen at 1440x900 won't have to process 2880x1800 worth of pixels.... so it will perform just as well as a native 1440x900 machine.
     
  6. OSMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #6
    I seen the Retina Pro a couple days ago, it stuttered where the old Pro was smooth.

    Normal apps look much worse on the Retina display.

    It needs a bigger battery for equal battery life.

    But, the quality of the display colour, contrast, black level and viewing angle are incredible and Retina designed apps are stunning.
     
  7. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    #7
    Are you complaining about the size of the battery in the Retina machine?
     
  8. ladeer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    #8
    This is absolutely untrue.

    Please go look at one yourself. 1440x900 is exactly half of native in both width and height. It however makes graphics look very blurry as attested by everyone who has seen in person on this forum. There r extensive discussions as to why it is so.
     
  9. MacBird macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #9
    I agree with ladeer, I tested image quality by comparing MBP and Retina MBP and images look a bit blurry on the retina display due to upscaling. I am not sure that will change over time since photographers are hesitant to upload high resolution images because of theft. Text does look very crisp if the application is updated. Text in Safari and Mail looks great, in MS Word not so much (yet).
     
  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #10
    1. Depends on the interpolation that the screen needs. Generally no difference but the retina is a great IPS panel. Contrast, viewing angles are much better.

    2. no diff. 3D is only rendered at the (in game) set resolution. Scaling happens after that and has no performance impact. With 2D if you run native resolution but use the more space DPI settings it is different. When you have the 1920x1200 equivalent set it renders at a higher resolution an scales down.
    If you run the screen at 1440x900 in the resolution setting there is absolutely no difference in performance and no fancy rendering.

    3. retina is not as bright and sucks more power (there is more black light blocking space between the pixels). The battery is bigger. So in very low usage situations the standard MBP will be better. If the CPU load has more impact in power consumption the bigger battery pack may even get you better battery life.
     
  11. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #11
    It may very well be that the graphics look blurry on the RMBP, I haven't got a chance to inspect one yet. But a matrix of 2x2 pixels which are the same physical size as 1 pixel will induce *no* blur if upscaled properly. I guess the blurines you see is probably a psychological effect because of the sharply rendered text.
     
  12. cruggles macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #12
    There appears to be a number of posters here who don't think it's psychological - the images do look worse even though they theoretically shouldn't. I haven't seen one yet either.
     

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