Using the MacBook Pro 13" Retina at 1440x900

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Fantoni, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Fantoni macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    #1
    Hello!

    I'm a web designer and I have to buy a new laptop by Christmas, choosing beetwen the MacBook Air 13" (256 GB SSD, 8 GB Ram) and the new MacBook Pro 13" Retina (256 GB SSD, 8 GB Ram).

    Today I went to an Apple store to compare the two machines and, above all, to see what happens when setting the rMBP resolution to 1440x900. I have to admit that I can't see any drawback in setting the resolution to 1440x900 (instead of the ideal retina resolution): the text is sharp and beautiful such as the images. In comparison, the MBA (also 1440x900) is faded and blurry.

    So my plan is to buy a MacBook pro 13" Retina and use it at the 1440x900 scaled resolution. Is there any drawback associate with this setting? More CPU load, more battery drain, stuttering, display wear? In other words, is there any reason I should *not* use the 1440x900 scaled resolution on the MBP 13 Retina?

    Thank you for your advice!
     
  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #2
    Supposedly things do get less sharp when scaling up the resolution, but I can't see any difference either. Even without Retina, it's still an excellent IPS panel, in contrast to the Air being a TN panel and not a very good display in general.

    I've heard some lag occurs at 1680x1050. Haven't really heard of any appearing with 1440x900, but you always take that chance. But 1440x900 should be lag-free for the most part.

    There is more CPU load/battery used, obviously. But based on some reviews, it appears you only lose around 30 minutes of battery.

    I think the best thing to do is scale up when you need it, but there's nothing wrong with running at 1440x900 all the time. You'll be fine.
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    I have been using a scaled resolution on my computer since day one and never had an issue. I don't see a reason why you shouldn't.
     
  4. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a

    ohbrilliance

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    No issues that I can tell. I've also set mine to scaled (1680x1050) since day 1.
    Still getting up to 12 hours of battery life at this resolution.
     
  5. GoingDark macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    #5
    I have the rMBP 13" 8GB/256GB. I ran it for the first few days at "Best for Retina" and then changed it to 1440x900, and haven't looked back. I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever in battery life or in display quality, even zoomed in on text.

    I can't really speak to performance since I'm not a particularly heavy user, but for whatever it's worth, I haven't noticed any performance difference between scaled or "Best for Retina."
     
  6. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #6
    I have the 15" rMBP and while its not the same I can run 1920x1200p off the integrated GPU (like I am now) and it looks so much better versus the stock 1440x900...IMO 1440x900 should be the minimum resolution for a 13" display, 1680x1050 is preforable though. Allot of people on here tried to stay with "Best for Retina" but eventually caved and went for the desired resolution and with the Retina displays the scaling is sooo much better than a conventional LED where if its not native resolution its horrible looking for text.
     
  7. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #7
    Agreed. The native resolution should be 1440x900 at Best for Retina. So I am glad to hear everything runs smooth.
     
  8. nateo200, Nov 27, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013

    nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #8
    The thing with the scaled resolutions is its just math. Optimal Retina performance or any scaling performance whether it be an OS or rendering video is when the math is easy 2560 / 2 = 1280, the 13" rMBP has a 2560x1600p display so thats the easiest way to scale it, had it had a 2880x1800 display it would make 1440x900 Best for Retina. I've noticed that 1680x1050 runs worse than 1920x1200 on my 15" rMBP...it might be just the math because 2880 / 1920 = 1.5, not as clean as two but not as bad as 2880 / 1680 = 1.71428~. Of course you can scale to not even resolutions by super sampling which is what the rMBP's do, when you use 1920x1200 on a 15" rMBP it samples to 3840x2400 then back down to 1920x1200 and it works damn well and I can't complain I just wondering if that work is intensive or not but so far my display resolution hasn't effected my video editing workflow, even when I'm in After Effects rendering out a visual effects scene or in FCP X piling on 3-4-5 VFX plugins that all leverage the GPU its still smooth, of course anytime I'm using AE or FCP X I use my dGPU so the point is moot for a 13" BUT the new iGPU's are good and with everything moving towards GPU accleration I think everyone will find newly found power under the hood of their computer by the way of just enhanced drivers, CUDA, OpenCL, OpenGL, whatever. As for battery life...I can't report too well on that since It seams I'm always jumping from outlet to outlet just for the sake when Im on the go but today I went 7 hours off my 15" rMBP's battery. Just browsing the web but with about 15 tabs and tethered to my iPhone 4...never turned it off, I used an app that disables lid sleep and turned the brightness down though. Battery life is so tough to gauge since what you do matters, I can tell you I've seen my battery go from guessing 5.5hours of battery life to 40minutes when doing a heavy render with the dGPU. But for web browsing at any resolution laptops all seam to be well suited power wise, and with the new Haswell CPU's the battery life should be even better (I have an Ivybridge CPU).
     
  9. Fantoni thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    #9
    It would be interesting to create a poll among MacBook Pro 13" Retina owners asking what is their current screen resolution. I guess 1440x900 would be the most popular one...
     
  10. Game64 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #10
    I run mine @ 2048 x 1200. I need the screen real-estate for web development. Coding, programming, Image manipulation, etc.
     
  11. Fantoni thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    #11
    How do you set the resolution at these wierd numbers on the MBP 13" Retina? I can see only 3 useful options: Retina, 1440x900, 1680x1050. Do you have an app to choose any available resolution?
     
  12. tirone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    #12
    Yup, another happy 1440x900 user here :)

    Switched off LCD Font Smoothing in Settings also and that made it as clear as the best for retina for me.
     
  13. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #13
    With SwitchResX? Its a decent setting but I notice if you use a resolution that isn't HiDPI (aka Retina) or not the full native resolution it looks fuzzier for sure, although I have ran a some resolutions between 2.1 and 2.8K that looked pretty sharp..
     
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #14
    I can make my 13" rMBP lag with just Safari, MAMP, and Textwrangler, running at 1440x900 resolution. It's not bad, but it's not as smooth as my air.
     
  15. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #15
    Liar, liar, pants on fire!

    Your signature doesn't have 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display!
     
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #16
    It's my girlfriends', I don't own it. But I am using it right now to type this message :p
     
  17. Game64 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #17
    Hate to resurrect; just saw your post. I actually bought the Macbook Retina for the some purpose of using QuickRes... I find anything less than the higher res actually causes blurriness. Since i'm a developer I use the high resolution for screen real estate.

    I've also found when gaming I can use play a game on 2048 x 1280 and it'll be sharp and beautiful. Even w/o AA.
     
  18. phyx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #18
    I am swell using the scaled resolution 1440x900 and the display is still crisp, its not 'retina' anymore, but Hidpi resolution which is to me as good. and no lagg is occurring either. so, i'm very happy with it. the original resolution is too big. can't fit anything on it. 1440x900 is perfect imo for a 13 inch screen!

    cheers!
     
  19. richard371 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #19
    The built in 1440x900 is still HiDPI. The HiDPI resolutions still have slight lag in some cases. Using a non HiDPI resolution such as 1440x900 I find the xbench score is doubled on the 2 graphics tests and lag is completely gone. Trade off is the slightly less sharp fonts/graphics etc. but it still beats a non retina MBA/MBP.

    I have the non Apple store version of RDM installed and primarily use the 1440x900 hiDPI mode (90 percent of the time) but can switch to non HiDPI if I find something laggy or play an occasional game etc. I put the app in my login times so its always there on the top right of the screen next to the airplay icon. It nice having instant access to about 30 resolutions.

    Apple has removed the non hiDPI resolutions from the system preferences and the RDM app in the app store. I guess they feel its not as sharp and degrades the look but you get no lag and twice the GPU performance. I sure hope they can improve the retina to be smoother but at least we have workarounds.
     

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