Upcoming Macbook Refresh - is it silly to expect a retina display with today's tech?

I

iFanboy

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Original poster
I would very much like a 15 or 17 inch Macbook Pro with a retina display, but I'm wondering whether it's actually possible at this point in time?

To get the iPad retina display took a huge battery and lots of powerful components under the hood, and that's just for 9.7 inches.

For a 15 inch screen is the technology even available for that to be possible without a prohibitively enormous battery and a graphics card with a power that doesn't exist yet? For a 17 inch screen are we really talking car battery and theoretical octo-core graphics card clocked at 5ghz per core?

Thoughts appreciated on whether retina is even possible for Macbooks in 2012 :)
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
481
I would very much like a 15 or 17 inch Macbook Pro with a retina display, but I'm wondering whether it's actually possible at this point in time?

To get the iPad retina display took a huge battery and lots of powerful components under the hood, and that's just for 9.7 inches.

For a 15 inch screen is the technology even available for that to be possible without a prohibitively enormous battery and a graphics card with a power that doesn't exist yet? For a 17 inch screen are we really talking car battery and theoretical octo-core graphics card clocked at 5ghz per core?

Thoughts appreciated on whether retina is even possible for Macbooks in 2012 :)
More pixels don't require that much more power. The innards of the new iPad have more to do with the 4G LTE chipset and the more powerful graphics and main processor, which both use much more power than before.

I'm not sure too many manufacturers make a 15 or 17 inch panel with "retina" resolution at the moment.
 

Comeagain?

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2011
2,190
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Spokane, WA
I think it is probably not very likely. That would be (IMO) more pixels for the sake of more pixels. I don't think you'd actually gain anything from it.
 

hypermog

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2009
245
0
Zero chance of MBPs having a 'retina display'. For a 15" or 17" display, the pixel density required would be astronomical. There's a debate as to whether the iPad 3rd gen is even truly dense enough to be called a retina display.

That's not to say that the resolution won't be increased, though.
 

yanksrock100

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2010
605
151
San Diego
I sure hope so. If not 15 or 17, I dont see why they cant make a 13 inch retina.

Since there s supposed to be a new design, there should be AT LEAST a higher resolution! :)

I think a retina display this year...is likely!
 
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harlex

macrumors member
Nov 23, 2011
63
0
I have the new MBP with the matte screen which has a slightly higher pixel count apparently and it is super. There is nothing wrong with the display as it is and most pros use this.
I am delighted with mine.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
The discrete GPUs in the current MBPs would be able to drive a retina display. After all they are strong enough to run 1920x1200 + two 27'' external displays with 2500x1440 (or something like that).
The integrated GPU in the next generation Intel CPUs (Ivy Bridge) should also be able to run those displays. Compared to the iPad, we don't need new GPU technology here.

There are two drawbacks, the same as in the iPad:
1. For the same brightness, a retina display needs more power. The reason seems to be that there are more transistors, i.e. less room for light to get through the display. You need a stronger backlight, which uses more power. Sharp might be sitting on some technology to improve this.
2. The CPU/GPU will use more power for simple tasks like web browsing, moving windows around. This further increases the base power usage, so it reduces battery life.

I think the space and weight savings from removing the optical drive (if that happens) could be put to better use than to just add a battery for the retina display.
 

borisiii

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2010
358
0
I will be very pleasantly surprised if apple manage to quadruple the resolution of any of their Macs in the next refresh. It will definitely happen one day, but my guess is that we are still 1-2 years away.

Retina is defined as having a sufficiently high pixel density that, at normal viewing distances, the user cannot distinguish between individual pixels. If you put a 1920x1200 display on a 13.3" MacBook Pro, that gives you a pixel density of 170ppi. Following that logic, and assuming viewing distances in excess of 20 inches, that would count as a retina display. The problem with that is text/items on the screen would be way too small, and if you ran it in HiDPI mode the effective resolution (960x600) would not be high enough to display websites/apps at their full width.

What they would really need to do for a true retina 13" pro is take the resolution of the current 13" air, and quadruple it to 2880x1800 and run it in HiDPI mode. The other MBPs would need the same treatment. The problem with making the resolution a bit higher is that you make objects on the screen smaller. You need the resolution to be significantly higher so that you can use HiDPI mode. Ivy Bridge opens the gateway to displays of up to 4000x4000, so it will happen; I just don't think the technology to do that and maintain current MBP price points is there yet.
 

Smiller4128

macrumors member
Feb 1, 2010
96
0
How likely do you think it is that Retina Display will be in the new MacBook Pro's?

Just trying to see if you guys think it'll be possible at all to see a Retina Screen in the new line of MacBook Pro's? I know nothing is a "sure thing" but best guess is all I'm really looking for. I Just bought a brand new 17" MacBook Pro, but if the new 17" MacBook Pro's have a Retina Display, then I may consider making a return and getting the new ones when they release. Plus all these tales of a bigger battery is a good sign of it too I'm sure...what's your opinion on it?
 

lilcorey10

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2012
39
0
Maybe not retina quality but def. an increase in resolution since OS X Mountian Lion is using HiDPI. The current 13'' res is 1280 x 800; which is horrible. If the 13'' doesn't get a resolution bump up i would be shocked.
 

Tom2893

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2012
477
105
United Kingdom
There's a lot of rumours that the 17" will be discontinued this year... So I think that there will be Retina display for 13/15" Macbook's.