rMBP 15" pixel-perfect 1440x900 non-retina scaling [Bootcamp/OSX]

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xackoff, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. xackoff, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

    xackoff macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    So is there a solution to use real 1440x900 resolution in Mac OS X and Bootcamp with true 1:4 pixel mapping?

    Bought my Retina (2.7/16Gb/768) 2 days ago, fully updated (10.8.2, EFI and Graphics update installed) and noticed that UI and system performance was significantly LOWER (even with discrete GPU forced on) than my old 17" MBP (2.3/8Gb/Intel 510 SSD)!

    Installed QuickRes, switched to non HiDPI resolution and all lags and shuttering was gone, but the picture was looking awful even on quad downscaled resolution 1440x900 (the same problem persists in Bootcamp Windows 7)! "Ok" i said to myself and tried look into other solutions. Found a youtube video that suggests to DELETE AppleGraphicsPowerManagement.kext. Did what it said, cleared kext cache, PRAM/SMC reseted, reboot. Now all HiDPI resolutions worked like a charm (FPS before was <30, now it's around really good looking 50, measured with Quartz Debug).
    But the downside of this solution was battery life time - less than 2 hours, so that was unacceptable.

    So i'll repeat the question - is there a option/kext hack/whatever to use real 1440x900 resolution with prefect pixel mapping in Mac OS X AND Windows Bootcamp? As i can see - its the GPU driver problem that does linear interpolation scaling instead of using nearest neighbor.

    P.S. Please don't tell me something like "Use HiDPI/Retina mode, the slowdowns are barely noticeable/are acceptable!".
    YES they are noticeable. I'm a professional video editor, and my eye is trained to see all the bumps and slowdowns, it literally drives my nuts! =/
    For me personally - performance is much more important than glamorously rendered text, and i don't mind using "old" resolution (of course IF it renders with pixel-perfect 1:4 correctness, as the current 1440x900 resolution mode looks HORRIBLE).

    P.P.S. It's my worst Apple purchase so far since 2004 :(
  2. Simoquasimo macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Return it, current rMBP isn't clearly for you.
  3. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    I can't. I'm from Russia, and we don't have an option to return laptops and other tech, unless it's clearly faulty. I can resale it, but with a loss of ~300$ (the market price of used rMBP) :(

    And i need 2 TB connections and USB 3.0 for work.
  4. jffluis macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2012
    Wait for new perfomance updates, like me and hundreds of people.
  5. nontroppo macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2009
    Linear interpolation isn't any more expensive than nearest neighbour (both are available in GPU hardware, we are not talking cubic or spline interpolation, and anyway even processes like hermite interpolation are OpenGL accelerated), BUT anyway scaling for non-retina aware interfaces does use nearest-neighbour (you can check it directly, or look at this screenshot for an example). Only web browsers use linear interpolation for graphics AFAIK.
  6. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ok, i've done some tests - and clearly it's not a software problem. Inability to perfectly pixel map 1440x900 resolution to 2880x1800 display is 100% GPU driver or display problem. You can't see it on screenshots, the rendering is the same, but on the screen it looks really muddy.
    It seems that when you use non-native resolution GPU "knows" it and upscales ALWAYS applying some sort of softening filter to the output chain (despite the fact that it should be off for resolutions that are multiply of each other).
  7. kahuna0k macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2012
  8. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    you didn't read the thread, did you?
  9. kahuna0k macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2012
    In fact I read the thread, but yes, it seems that even when you set 1440x900 non-hidpi you get some kind of antialias and performance impact. I'm quite happy with it at default 1440x900 hi-dpi. My fault :confused:
  10. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    No, actually i have a performance impact WHEN i'm using HIDPI mode.
  11. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    I also noticed this but I doubt there's a solution. The 13" rMBP is the same. Setting half the resolution (1280x800 in my case) in SwitchResX and everything looks so blurry it's unusable. But as you mentioned, this is probably something that happens on quite a low level.

    And since Apple doesn't even officially support non-HiDPI resolutions, you probably won't ever get an update. There's another topic that came to the same conclusion: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1397804

    You could also try and contact the makers of SwitchResX, maybe they have some further input: http://www.madrau.com/support/support.html. Please keep us updated, if you do.
  12. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    Today i wrote a letter to nvidia as a bug/feature request describing the problem in both windows and osx. There is a very little chance of making nvidia release updated drivers for windows with pixel doubling function, and even a smaller probability of them doing something about osx, but hell, why not to try, right?
    They are my last call, and if they are not doing anything - i'm gonna sell my rMBP, and buy cMPB 15", because at current state it's just ********** unusable.

    p.s. I'd be happiest person on earth if i'd have the same rMBP configuration but with 1650x1050 display.
  13. ibd macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Dude. Get the hi-res cMBP, it's exactly what you want. Sell the other one, you might get less than 300$ loss.
  14. DTKblaster macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2012
    have you tested the scaled resolutions again after you reset the SMC? if your performance was as low as you say, it sounds like you just had the SMC bug, and it needed resetting.
  15. xackoff, Nov 14, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012

    xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    It doesn't have 2 TB connection, USB3.0, and slick body, so it's kinda a deal breaker. But i guess i just don't have a choice.

    Yes of course (actually what you were talking is PRAM, not SMC, and i've reseted both). Performance is not that LOW, but i can see the small shuttering that happens to the interface. Especially when i work side-by-side with my cMBP, Retina just feels much slower. But again - when i disable HIDPI mode and change to any non HIDPI resolution - it's lightning fast.
  16. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    Called Apple support today, and i've been told that they know about those performance issues and that i should just wait for update.
    Made a suggestion about 1440x900 legacy resolution, maybe they'll consider implementing it.
  17. kahuna0k macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2012
    What about using SetResX to set 1920x1200 non-hidpi? if as you said you only get the performance impact when running hidpi, 1920x1200 is not as blurry as 1440x900 and is quite usable, at least for me, but I've been using 1920x1200 dell screens since ever. :-D
  18. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    Yeah people have been mentioning this quite a lot. Apple are definitely aware of it. There are definitely improvements that can be made in software.

    I know it's disappointing, but you'll just have to wait a bit. Hopefully this will be sorted by the new year.
  19. nontroppo, Nov 15, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012

    nontroppo macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2009
    Here is a series of 3 photos taken with a macro lens of a 2012 cMBP, a rMBP in HiDPI1440x900 with nearest
    neighbour interpolation (the default), and a rMBP in non-retina 1440x900. I chose some pixel art as it is designed
    with low DPI devices in mind and shows maximal distortion if some interpolation is performed. It is clear that some
    sort of scaling is occuring at the non-retina resolution on the rMBP. It is also clear how much better the retina
    display in its native mode to the cMBP. Because of the size of the pixels (and the dominance of green subpixel) on
    the cMBP, there is distortion on horizontal compared to vertical edges.


    Attached Files:

  20. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    The machines have been around what - about half a year? 1 major, 2 minor updates to OSX, 1 EFI and 1 Graphic update for rMBP - but still it just LAGS. It's a lot of time to fix ANYTHING.
    I've always loved and admired apple machines for the stability and that they were made for pros. I work in a film making post facility with ~30 of them, and there were always some problems, but not the ones that rendered the machines useless!
    And now personally i have a feeling that rMBP is just a consumer grade laptop :(

    Thanks for great illustration of the problem!
  21. nontroppo macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2009
    Not everyone sees the lag you see. I work in a research lab and we run large computational problems and a lot of visualisation things on our Macs, my rMBP chews through that without any issues whatsoever. Our CS6 demands aren't great (we use photoshop for pseudeo 3D neural reconstructions, Illustrator for scientific graphics), but again no problems. There have been several threads here with very positive experiences running Nuke (advanced post-production compositor) on the rMBP compared to desktop workstations. I edited a 1080p project (only ~10mins of timeline (1 hour of footage), normal colour-correction etc.) with a friend over the weekend (the one who owns the 2012cMBP I photographed) and at least FCPX is like butter on HiDPI, and certainly no different than her 2012cMBP. What workload is causing your problem?
  22. xackoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    It's not about pure computational power, it's really amazing, there are no problems with it whatsoever.
    The problem is that OSX currently is working slower (i mean UI and animation like opening windows, scrolling web pages, mission control, dashboard and even opening dock) in hidpi resolution than without it and there is no option to use "old" resolution mode without implementing softness to the whole picture.

    I currently just don't have time to go to the studio, take RED EPIC and film it in hi-speed mode side by side with cMBP. Maybe on weekend, if i don't sell it by then.
  23. flafy macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2013
    So until, there are no solutions that problem?
  24. aixporter macrumors member


    Feb 21, 2009
    Not to bash anyone but buying a first generation apple product is utterly stupid. My 2008 pre-unibody was working just fine when Apple released the first unibodies in late 2009. Needless to say, I jumped the gun and bought one of the first unibodies. Boy were there problems, the hinges were loose, the screen would flicker and randomly crash.

    I would honestly wait 2 generations before buying an apple product. You can really tell how much Apple perfected the MacBook Air this year with Haswell.

    In fact, until they re-design the MBA, don't expect a Retina Air anytime soon. Apple will definitely reserve that for their Pro-class.
  25. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    There is nothing wrong with buying first-gen product from anyone, including Apple. There is, however, something wrong if you buy them while expecting everything to work without problems.

    For every thread that claims why the MBPR is the worst laptop Apple has released to date, there are at least one other thread that says to the tune of "MBPR: best laptop ever".

Share This Page