Using retina display at non-native resolutions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shiinx, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. shiinx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    #1
    When using the retina display of rMBP 13'' / 15'' at different resolutions than "best for retina", the resolution is internally doubled in each direction. The screen is rendered at that very high resolution before it is downscaled to fit the actual pixel count of the display. This is done to achieve a higher quality than when simply upscaling. Naturally, this puts additional pressure on the GPU and graphics memory.
    Thus, I would like to know whether it is possible with some 3rd party software to prevent this behaviour; i.e. if you can simply choose let's say 1680*1050 and have the screen rendered in this resolution and upscaled to fit the display resolution. If this was possible, I assume the UI would feel smoother at hopefully only little quality cost (which I am also interested in).
     
  2. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #2
    My default resolution is HiDPI1920x1200 (aka 3840x2400), and I've tested it against nonHiDPI 1920x1200. I see less than 1% difference in CPU use of WindowServer when compositing a fast moving window, and no measurably higher GPU use using atMonitor 2.7 -- there is a clear visible inferiority, so I personally see no need to use the non-retina resolution.

    SwitchResX allows you to very easily switch between the two:

    http://www.madrau.com/indexSRX4.html
     
  3. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    How do we know that this isn't what already happens? I played around with a 13" and 15" Retina MBP at the Apple store the other day and didn't notice any lag.
     
  4. thewretched macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    #4
    Do you mean that the scaled resolutions don't look as good as the native "retina" resolution?
     
  5. a3vr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #5
    Yup. The text is no where near as crisp as at the best for retina resolution.
     
  6. nontroppo, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012

    nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #6
    No I mean the HiDPI 1920x1200 looks clearly better than the standard 1920x1200. Text is visibly clearer. Images and general UI chrome is harder to distinguish without pixel peeping.

    Text is also clearer using HiDPI1440x900 (aka "Best for retina") than HiDPI1920x1200, as expected as no scaling is performed at all, and I switch back to "Best for retina" if I do a block of reading. But HiDPI1920x1200 is a great "general" resolution, and SwitchResX makes it very easy to switch modes, I map each HiDPI resolution to a keyboard key binding.
     
  7. thewretched macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    #7
    Thanks!

    Thanks!

    Now I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a 15" rMBP (instead of a 13"). 1920*1200 for Xcode and 1440*900 for everything else. Currently I'm running Xcode on a MBA 13" at 1440*900 and it's ok, so maybe I'd even run Xcode at 1440*900.

    The only thing that keeps me from buying one right now are the image retention issues...
     
  8. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #8
    Image retention is IMO a hugely blown out of proportion issue, only seen by most after a very artificial set of conditions for very short time periods.

    I code at either 1440 or 1920, both are great but I slightly prefer 1920. At 1440 you can reduce the size of the text compared to a non-retina display, so you still gain even without changing resolution....
     
  9. Desafinado macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #9
    I find 2880*1800 looks just as good as the HiDPI resolutions, personally. Certainly better than 2560*1600, for instance.
     
  10. thewretched macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    #10
    Sounds great. Thanks!
     

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