Retina + Web / Graphic designers

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wiseoak1, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. wiseoak1, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    wiseoak1 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Short intro:
    I'm a webdesigner / developer and my current unibody Macbook Pro (17 inch, 2009) is the only workstation I use.

    This is a question for all the Web Designers and Graphic Designers out there, who use Photoshop & Adobe to design their stuff.

    What is your experience with the Retina screen?
    Can you work and create crisp / pixel-perfect designs on this screen?
    What is the overall performance you're getting? Smooth / allright / laggy?
    Could I rely on just the Retina screen without any external displays...?

    Looking forward to your replies and input.
    Thanks in advance.
    Over & out.
  2. molingrad macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    In design and illustrator are heavily pixelated on the retina screen. You'll need an external monitor until they get updated.
  3. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    i would definitely not rely on the retina screen solely for design. at this point, external is a must.
  4. Mattgfx macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    Im a CG artist / 3D artist and currently wondering the same thing.. I feel the display will be great to use at work ( portable with a high res screen) and when i get home use it with a second display.
  5. wiseoak1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    You mean the interface of the toolbars, or your work in the workspace / canvas?
  6. molingrad macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    The UI more but your work doesnt look great either. For some reason vectors in illustrator are pixelated. Text in in design too. It's definitely noticeable.
  7. wiseoak1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    So what do you use the Retina screen for?
  8. leez, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    leez macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2008
    I would suggest to get used to do graphic design on anything 21" +. Good for your eyes and design ;).

    I do have an external monitor at home and iMac at work. I use my MacBook at work to check e-mails etc, iMac for design. When I get back home -> MacBook power + ex. Monitor.

    And personally would never do serious design on 15". Maybe some quick adjustments, but longer work - as said before - 21" minimum.

    Just to add:
    Retina is good for creating Retina-ready websites etc. So perfect for preview if you get the calculations right (how does 72dpi, 300dpi image looks on it ?). Somewhere here was a topic about the image size confusion. How to create retina-ready images on a retina ready screen, when scaled up/down etc.
  9. jimmyjones macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2012
    Such a high resolution on a small screen just sounds like a waste of resources to me.
  10. molingrad macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Untill the updates anything that's not work. It's still a great computer. I needed a new one and it's cheaper than original with same specs. But like another poster said I don't think you'd really want to do intense design work on a 15" screen no matter how great it is. Dual 24" monitor supports a better work flow IMO.
  11. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    As a webdesigner, I'm currently somewhat waiting for a 13 inch retina but I've also got doubts even before it's announced.

    First thing is the effective resolution which isn't even that high at 1440, limiting the space you have. You can scale it to something higher like 1680 and while it should still look great, and from what I've heard still better than a true 1680px display, the pixels are distributed unevenly and I have my doubts about building pixel-exact things on a screen that is not.

    Second thing is: The web does look ugly, unbearably so. Jpeg-fragments look so bad, they physically hurt... but they're required if you want fast load-times, and I doubt that's something that will change within the, say, next five or so years? Will I be chrunching my teeth every time I deliver something to my clients, knowing that it's good and sufficient for everyone's purposes, while looking like dung on my screen?

    I wonder if it may even turn out to be a bad decision to switch to a retina display, if you're a web / interface designer...
  12. defektion macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    I'm a full time web designer / developer and I use my retina for development.

    Despite people saying the web is ugly, it's not that bad and you get used to it and tbh I didn't really complain about it at all considering I knew what I was getting myself into.

    I run my rMBP at 1680x1050 but also run it at 1920x1200 when needed and it looks great. I don't see anything wrong and most of the apps I use are optimized for retina (Sublime Text, Terminal, Adium, SourceTree, Versions, etc) The only apps that aren't optimized is the Photoshop CS6, illustrator. It doesn't really affect me to much when I do need to work in Photoshop on my retina display.

    I have my setup with both my thunderbolt ports being utilized to drive 1 x 23" 1920x1080 Dell Monitor and the other is the Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, my HDMI port drives another 22" Dell display @ 1680 x 1050 and my rMBP runs in clamshell mode when I work.

    80% of the time I am using it with external displays the only time I use it on it's own is for presentations, meetings, or at home.

    The feature I liked about the rMBP that it can drive up to 3 external displays. the cMBP only has 1 thunderbolt / mini display port so it can only output to one display until someone comes out with a viable usb 3.0 to dvi / hdmi option.

    tl;dr - I love this machine. Things may look pixelated / not optimized but you compensate until developers rectify it. Use an external display if you can when developing it helps. :)

    My rMBP is the 2.6 / 16GB / 512GB SSD.
  13. nontroppo macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2009
    Just to clarify here. The retina display for apps not yet updated displays the same level of pixellation as on a non retina display (i.e an external). The retina display is not more pixellated! What you see is primarily a perceptual illusion as you're comparing other elements on the page that are high resolution with elements that are the "old" resolution, which make them look immediately worse. BUT, they are pixel identical!

    The other reason people think it is more pixellated is that the gaps between pixels are much smaller on the retina display, and pixels are more precisely square. This results in less display aberration on the retina, it is technically superior at rendering pixels, yet we have got used to blur and gaps after many years of looking at low DPI displays...
  14. RiseDarthVader macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2012
    Doesn't appear more pixelated then a standard 1440x900 display because of the scaling method?
  15. marddin macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    I've used my retina for about 3 months doing client logo work and small web designing and haven't really had any issues. I work at the max 1920x res which adds fantastic screen real estate. When running at 1400x or looking very very closely yes there is pixelation in the toolbars of illustrator/photoshop/etc. but my work/canvas is pixel perfect.

    I feel that a lot of people, designers alike, have over-reacted a bit regarding the non-retina ready apps and the pixelation.

    I <3 my retina.
  16. nontroppo macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2009
    If you look at screenshots, the display is identical between low DPI displays and high DPI displays running non-retina apps. I've linked my screenshot of photoshop to death, but there is no difference to the pixel level, Apple use nearest neighbour to scale non-retina apps, thus pixels are identical. If they used some other interpolation method (as Safari and Chrome do for web images), then you can not some differences. But scaled apps only use nearest neighbour, thus are identical.
  17. andymac2210 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    What's with all these crazy people doing design work on 15" screens? :p

    The hi-res display on the cMBP I have is great, though I still much prefer an external display for well, everything.
    It lives in clamshell mode unless I'm away form my desk.
  18. CaptainTripps macrumors newbie


    Oct 6, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    While the bigger screen is nice, it is not a must. You can do "serious" design on a 15" screen. I survived college on a 13" MacBook designing.
  19. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    School work = not serious design
  20. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    I wouldn't say it is heavily pixelated, only slightly, but I run the 1920x1200 mode. I use premiere pro and as the first adobe app to be retina ready it really shows how good the rest of the suite will soon look.
  21. marddin macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    can someone explain this please...I know it has to do with OS scaling, which I thought i understood, but now I am confused.

    I currently was working in 1400x resolution. I opened a massive image in photoshop to crop it to 300px by 300px. Set my crop window to the desired size. Cropped it. Saved. Opened the image info and my mac is telling be it's 2000px by 2000px... what gives?

    Does this mean that whenever doing anything size/resolution related I need to multiply the desired number by 6 and 2/3rds (6.666667) to get the correct sizing?


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