rMBP 13 Resolutions...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MTD's Mac, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. MTD's Mac macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    Shopping for a new Macbook and, given the current lineup, screen resolution is a big factor.

    Here's my question: has anyone with a 13" Retina Macbook Pro installed SetResX to use resolutions other than those available in System Preferences? Specifically I'm wondering about performance at 1920 x 1200 scaled resolution. Is this even available through SetResX? I know it works on the 15-inch through System Preferences. Basically, I'm hoping to make my next Macbook have the same screen real estate as my 24" Cinema Display at its native resolution.

    Thanks in advance, all!
     
  2. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    I would think 1920x1200 normal would work fine albeit fuzzy, but I doubt 1920x1200 HiDPI mode is even available to use with SetResX on the 13".
     
  3. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #3
    SetResX turns off the "HiDPI" mode when it sets the resolution. So nothing it enables (2048x1280 is the closest available resolution I see) actually gets the high-resolution treatment.

    2048x1280 might be high enough that you don't care, but it kinda defeated the purpose of a high-PPI display for me.
     
  4. Mercmanman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    I use SetResX and it can do the 1900 x 1200. It looks fine...about as good as a standard 24" 1920 x 1080 monitor would compared to a Cinema Display or Thunderbolt Display...in other words...just and only fine.

    I tend to use the 1680 x 1050 HiDPI setting (more space in Display Preferences) and I use SetResX to switch to it. On the 13" panel is seems to be very very clear and crisp, far more so than the 1440 x 900 resolution for some reason.

    So I use the native Retina 1200 x 800 resolution normally or for working on documents, and whenever I want more space on the rMBP itself, I jump straight the 1680 x 1050 resolution.

    At the office, I always have it hooked up to a Thunderbolt Display.
     
  5. Canadian Bacon macrumors regular

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    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    On the Baltic Sea
    #5
    Most effective setting on 13 rMBP?

    Quick question because I'm sitting on the fence myself: on the 13" cMBP many people criticized the 1280x800 native resolution as not having enough screen real estate to be effective in everyday use. So, when the rMBP is set at 'best for retina' at (2x) 1280x800, is the issue of how much content is displayed on the screen suddenly a non-issue just because the image is so much clearer? Or do people just flip back and forth between higher and lower settings on the 13" rMBP depending on their needs?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #6
    The rMBP and cMBP both have the same screen real estate when the rMBP is set at "Best for Retina". So it doesn't make it a non-issue.

    However, since you can bump it to 1600x1050 or 1440x900 and still get the advantages of sharper text, it actually makes it easier to move to a higher resolution than you might otherwise do because the text is just that much sharper.
     
  7. Canadian Bacon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    On the Baltic Sea
    #7
    I'm really starting to warm up to the idea of being able to effortlessly change resolution settings on the rMBPs (don't own one yet myself though).

    And I'm wondering if one of the long-term added benefits for apple is that there might be fewer returned laptops due to people trying to pick just one dedicated resolution over another like with the old 15" MBPs (normal vs high-res). Fewer returned units might mean fewer refurbs, though, non? Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  8. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #8
    I actually leave mine in 1280x800 ("best for retina") mode most of the time, as it makes reading a bit easier and the display is just slightly sharper than using a scaled resolution.

    I'm using QuickRes though so when I need extra screen real estate I just hit option-command-R to toggle 1440x900 mode and it switches instantly. You can choose which resolutions you want to toggle through including the native 2560x1600 which is eyeball-straining to say the least.

    So it's not like you're bound to using a single screen resolution. With a retina display you get the flexibility of rapidly switching, via 3rd party apps, to whatever screen res you feel like using at any given time (whereas a non-retina screen is pretty much only usable at its native resolution)
     
  9. Canadian Bacon macrumors regular

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    Nov 27, 2007
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    On the Baltic Sea
    #9
    Okay, thanks for replying. Quick follow-up question: could you ever go back to non-retina 1280 x 800 aka cMBP 13"?
     
  10. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #10
    Has anyone compared a rMBP 13" running at 1440 x 900 compared to a MBA 13" running at 1440 x 900? I'm currently using a MBA, and 1440 x 900 works well for me when editing documents. But I'd like the ability to bump up to 2560 x 1600 when working in Aperture. Thanks.
     
  11. mac jones, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #11
    I'm running at that resolution now. It is fine. The notebook is better than an Air no matter what (except maybe for price, but these can be had for less than retail).

    No seriously, you should go to an Apple store of course, but i'm sure everyone here will tell your the Retinas work great at all resolutions, if your eyes can handle that sort of thing.

    BTW, We've owned about 5 Airs and we now own both Retinas. For reference.

    But now that i'm on the topic, You've obviously decided that you want the 13" probably because of weight. Rest assured, it is much lighter that the 15" and you would notice the difference after some time for sure. The 15" is nicer of course, but the thing is, these are notebooks and weight often will be the dominant spec (which is just a case of 'sad but true' I guess). Point is, I would love to have the 15" weigh the same as the 13" :D
     
  12. sno1man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    #12
    I have the 13 retina (and had a 15 previously ) What many don't realize is that the retinas look better at pretty much any resolution including standard as well as the scaled up ones than the older 13 pro.

    We still have a 13 pro standard in our office and now everyone hates using it because it looks "grainy"
     
  13. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #13
    One comment:

    Retina enabled apps will draw images at "1:1" for the most part. So if I open a 1080p image when in 1280x800 mode, you'd think that it would display larger than the whole screen. But it doesn't. Instead it actually uses 1920x1080 pixels of the display's native resolution to draw the image. So you get the benefit of a denser screen without having the UI elements shrunk into oblivion.

    The catch here is that I use the display in 1440x900 mode, which means that it thinks the resolution for "1:1" drawing is actually 2880x1800, making images smaller than they should be.
     
  14. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #14
    I did, the first time I checked out the 13" retina in an Apple store.

    rMBP at 1440x900 scaled looks way, way better and sharper than the MBA. If you look very closely you might detect a tiny bit less sharpness compared to the "best for retina" resolution. But you have to look pretty hard to see it.

    ----------

    Running Aperture at 2560x1600 won't give you any more details in the image; it'll just make the UI (menus, buttons, etc) a lot smaller. So it won't make a bit of difference if you're editing full-screen.
     
  15. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #15
    So, if I understand correctly, Aperture won't give me any more detail in the image whether I run at 2560x1600 or 1440x900. But both will give me more detail than running my MBA at 1440x900.
     
  16. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #16
    Correct.
    On a rMBP at 2560x1600 and 1440x900, the image will be displayed at the same resolution (1 pixel = 1 pixel). Only the UI components will be different (4 pixels = 1 pixel in HiDPI mode).

    So you'll see the exact same amount of detail in your picture, but the UI components will be very tiny if running at 2560x1600.
     
  17. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #17
    Great. Thanks for clearing that up. Off to visit the Apple store today with my MBA in tow :)
     
  18. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #18
    Follow up – Went to the Apple store today. The screen looked great at all of the resolutions. I was not expecting that based on some of the reviews I read. I did note that scrolling down pages on websites seemed a little less smooth than it does on my MBA, but iPhoto worked well. The machine I tried did not have Aperture loaded.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  19. Hi-i'm-a-mac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    #19
    Can someone go into detail on how much difference in quality there is when you up the resolution from Best for Retina to 1440x900? that is the only thing holding me back from upgrading from the Air. Is it noticably different from the native resolution quality or is it something you don't even notice unless you squint your eyes and check every little pixel?

    owners of the 13 mbpr please chime in. Thanks.
     
  20. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #20
    I have the 13" rMBP. There is a big difference between say 1680x1050 and 1680x1050 HiDPI, so please don't confuse that. The scaled non HiDPI-resolutions look like crap, just as you'd expect from a normal display running with a resolution that's lower than intended.

    HiDPI resolutions however render the image with twice the intended resolution (so: 2880x1800 for 1440x900) and then scale it back down to the screen's native resolution (2560x1600), resulting in very clear graphics that are worlds better than anything you'd get on a MBA.

    SwitchResX only offers a resolution of up to 1680px HiDPI (the same the system preferences offer) but that's already too small for my taste. Runs perfectly fine but, for me, it's it's pretty hard on the eyes so I mostly use 1440x900 HiDPI.

    In direct comparison the scaled resolutions are a tiny less sharp than 1280x800 HiDPI but the difference is miniscule and I only notice it if I really look out for it directly after switching.

    Interstingly enough, it's maybe in many cases not even necessary to switch resolutions at all: Due to the sharpness of the retina display, the screen estate feels larger than it should be. Whenever I sit in front of a regular 1280x800px screen I feel like the ceiling is crashing down on me. But with the rMBP I've frequently caught myself thinking how great it is to be able to use it with 1440x900, only to find out that I've actually been using it with 1280x800 for a while.
     

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