rMBP + Windows 8 on parallels -> blurred programs

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rodrigoluizb, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. rodrigoluizb, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014

    rodrigoluizb macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2013
    Campinas, SP, Brazil
    Hey guys

    I installed a Win 8.1 VM via Parallels and the programs installed on windows are blurred. The main windows interface is retina like, but all programs i'm using, like Matlab are non-retina like. I'm wondering if this problem is from Parallels, Windows 8.1 (read something windows 8.1 can't handle HiDPI) or i'm using programs that don't support HiDPI. Does anybody know how to resolve this problem?
  2. OldMacUser macrumors member


    Jan 10, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    My own experience is not with Parallels as I use VMWare Fusion but this may be an avenue for you to explore.

    I have turned off the setting in VMWare to use the full resolution of the Retina Display as the windows were getting resized whenever I moved the VM window from one screen to another - I have a Dell U2410 24-in monitor. The Windows resolution would revert to 640x400 when the setting was turned on and the VM window moved to the Retina screen, but would not revert to the old setting (1280x800) when moved back to the Dell screen.

    With the setting turned off, the VM windows now do not auto-resize and stay at the set resolution across both screens.

    Like I said, not identical to your issue, but may be worth exploring turning off the option in Parallels (if there is one) to use full Retina resolution.
  3. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    I'm guessing the app doesn't know about HiDPI displays and Windows is just pixel doubling?

  4. ct2k7 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2008
    London or Florida
    What version of Parallels Desktop have you installed?
  5. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012
    If I understand the problem correctly this is basically the same issue Retina has on OSX: Some programs have not been updated to support it.

    Windows has a very similar system (DPI scaling) and it's not properly supported by many pieces of software yet. When it's not supported the OS just ends up doing the scaling on the existing assets, which makes them blurry. For example, the Spotify client does not currently support DPI scaling and will be blurry (even text) when you use anything > 100%.

    So... My guess would be that Parallels set up DPI scaling by default because you're on a Retina system (otherwise the Windows interface itself would be tiny) and you're using software that doesn't support DPI scaling yet.
  6. cdubb80 macrumors member

    May 15, 2011
    So this problem is fixable on RetinaMBP with VMWare fusion 6?

    I am looking to purchase either a 13 MBA or rMBP and use VMWare fusion to run windows 7 to look at medical imaging (X-rays, CT scans) for preop planning.

    It would be an issue if it could not display images correctly.
  7. adww12321 macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2012
    this is a windows 8.1 problem, it happens even natively on windows boxes with high dpi screens.

    the solution --
    1. right-click on the program's icon, select 'properties'
    2. compatibility -> disable scaling

    do this for all programs that are blurry.

    it should help, however there will be some programs that can't be fixed no matter what you try. maybe windows 9 will handle hi-dpi a little better.
  8. winphreak macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2014
    This solved my issue with Chrome. Thanks for the info!
  9. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008

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