To the pixel pushers, will the Retina display suffice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by moveteam, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. moveteam macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    I know this topic has been discussed a few times already, but every time a lot of people seems to misunderstand some very real worries.

    So let me say this: The Retina display on the new MacBook Pro is of course amazing - I'm glad Apple is pushing the industry forward. That said: Close this thread if you haven't been using Photoshop or similar tools to design interfaces, apps, websites etc. This is not meant in arrogance!

    Is it difficult to get an idea of how a non-retina UI interface (for instance a website) really will look on a non-retina screen, while designing on a Retina screen?

    I've made this illustration, which explains the issue:


    Hope to start a nice and thoughtful discussion!
  2. testcss macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2011
    200% Photoshop zoom (or 50%) makes this irrelevant.
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I don't use Photoshop, but I don' get the problem. Doubling (or better said, quadrupling) the image size is pixel-perfect scaling, as long as you leave the scaled 2x2 blocks intact (so you edit 2x2 block as one pixel) - I am sure that Photoshop has tools like that. A 400x400 pixel image on the retina will have the same physical size as 200x200 pixel image on non-retina, with exactly the same pixel granularity. In essence, your red quad is wrong - to get it right you also have to shrink the physical dimension of the monitor twice in both dimensions.
  4. moveteam thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Of course, the squares are just to illustrate the issue. And as long as you're using the 'Best for Retina'-mode everything should be pixel-perfect, but can still appear blurry (which is my real concern)

    I think people agree that even though OS X maps every pixel to four in non-optimized apps, that they still looks worse than apps on non-retina screens. That seems to be the case, just by skimming threads in this forum.

    Whether that's due to a sharper screen or less visible pixel lines, I don't know. But I still really wonder if you'll be able to design interfaces for non-retina screens on the new MBP or if an external monitor is needed.

    For print and designing Retina interfaces, it's probably wonderful.
  5. sutherland macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2010
    Just go ahead and start designing at 2x, but be sure to work in even number pixel dimensions so you can cleanly reduce image resources to 50% and calculate border, padding, etc by dividing by 2. Of course you won't know exactly what it will look like without using a non-retina second screen, but I think it will be pretty close. I think it will be more comfortable designing for non-retina on a retina than designing for retina on non-retina.
  6. Xcelerate macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    Hmm... That's weird. What would be interesting is for someone to take a laptop with 1440x900 resolution, take a screen shot, and then pixel-double that image up to 2880x1800 (not resampling). Then, run the RMBP at 2880x1800 (using that hack) and display the pixel-doubled image. In theory, the resolution and sharpness should look identical between the two laptops, but you may be right -- something could be different.

    Anyone want to try this? If no one does, I have a 1440x900 laptop and I'll try it when my RMBP gets here.
  7. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I think at this point it's tough to say how soon the RMBP will be in great shape for designers. Some have said they don't mind the non-optimized version of Photoshop (I didn't think it looked terrible in the store) while others swear it's awful, we'll hopefully see the Retina-enabled version of Photoshop soon but I haven't heard any specific mention on a timeline for the rest of Creative Suite. The jury is also still out on how other apps may look and when they'll be updated.

    Personally I'm excited by the RMBP's potential but I'm not jumping on board just yet. I also tend to shy away from the first generation of a brand new product until all the kinks have been worked out.
  8. optics261 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2012
    The problem is your first blue and red square should look exactly the same. pixel doubling doesnt add any artifacts and makes it match your 1440x900 old non-retina dpi screen.

    The quality of that individual pixel is a different story, and the retina will be razor sharp in showing the rectangular nature of the 'pixel' whereas your old screen will not.

Share This Page