Washed out Colors in Windows (Late 2008) - need expert advice!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by integrat.ethis, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. integrat.ethis macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    I've noticed a substantial degradation in color quality in Windows compared to in OS X with the late 2008 MBPs. This problem manifests itself as a blue tint (probably just the default Windows color temperature, and easily correctible), and washed out colors (not so correctable).

    To solve the problem, I tried copying my OS X .icc color profiles to Vista, and using a LUT/Gamma loader to load them in. This eliminated the blue tint, making everything look much warmer (which had the side effect of making Windows look very strange). But this doesn't really help the washed out colors.

    I've done some research on color profiling, and there's this concept of a monitor's gamut - the range of colors it can display. .icc profiles have this gamut information in them, which is used in OS X to correctly calibrate the colors. But I can't find any information about how to load gamut mappings in Windows - the only thing I can find are Gamma/LUT loaders that don't solve my problem.

    I'm a little bit out of my league here when it comes to color correction, but I know there are some experts here. Am I headed in the right track to solve the washed out color problem? Does anyone know of any software that could load the gamut information from my .icc profile?


    EDIT: By the way, I do know how to manually adjust brightness, contrast, etc. in Windows, but no amount of adjustment is getting me the same vibrancy I find in OS X.
  2. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    i have a side question. If you set your brightness level to the lower levels, do you get screen flicker? thanks
  3. integrat.ethis thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    Nope, not that I can see.
  4. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    I used to run both OSX and Vista on my PC and all I did for both was calibrate the color profiles. Other than that there were no significant differences other than Windows typically uses 2.2 gamma setting whereas OSX uses 1.8.

    You can load ICC profiles from Display Settings -> Advanced -> Color Management in Vista, the setting should be around there on XP as well. Still, the lack of a color profile shouldn't make a huge difference because my HDTV doesn't have one and the colors are perfectly fine on it just using the TV's own settings.
  5. integrat.ethis thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    The Color Management setting doesn't do anything (visible at least), and I set OS X to 2.2 gamma, so that's not the difference either. There's something else that's causing the discrepancy between OS X and Windows.

    Anybody else give it a shot?
  6. 7even macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2008
    You're right, I noticed a slightly washed-out look in Vista when I last installed it on my original Late08. Out of curiosity, what panel does yours have? Mine was the 9C85. Haven't installed Vista on my final replacement (with a 9C84.) I wonder if the colors would be the same. Running Vista through VMWare Fusion didn't seem to have the same washed-out effect, by the way.
  7. integrat.ethis thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    Mine is the 9C85. When you install Vista on the 9C84, let me know if you get the same problem.

    The website I really see a screaming difference on, by the way, is www.gamespot.com. Try it out and cry.
  8. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    I have a 9c84 screen and I installed and spent some time in vista today. I'll tell you though, Vista on a Macbook Pro is a bag of hurt. Wireless interference with audio took me an hour to find a reliable solution (Vista Anti-Lag), trackpad works like crap (connect external mouse). Heat is insane too. When I'm loading up windows I hold my laptop down because it sounds as if its about to lift off. The top portion gets hot enough that its almost too hot to touch. The bottom gets pretty hot but not hot enough that I think I might burn my hand. Crysis DID look nice though. It ran smoothly and was quite an intense experience. I don't game much anymore so I don't have very high expectations when it comes to graphics. I'm rambling though, sorry.

    My screen looked just as nice under Vista as it does under OS X. I didn't visit gamespot but on the webpages I was on, including mac rumors I couldn't tell much of a difference.
  9. vocalcity macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2008
    I noticed this too - wondering what's going on?

    Hi everyone - this is my first post and I've recently purchased my first Mac, after using only PCs for many years (used to use Macs back in my childhood days).

    I recently purchased a Unibody MacBook Pro and have a 9c85 screen.

    I have noticed that when I boot to Windows in Boot Camp, the screen definitely has a blueish tint and seems washed out, compared to Mac OS.

    Did anyone come up with a solution to this? It seems that Vista color management is lacking big time making it hard to correct the obvious color problems seen by some posters in this thread, including me.

    On that note, I am curious as to the cause of this problem. Is this something that only occurs with the 9c85 screen and not the 9c84 screen? It seems that the people in this thread who are having this problem have 9c85 screens. If so, why would this be the case, and what can be done to correct this?

    My 9c85 screen looks pretty good in Mac OSX, after I've applied a custom .icc profile, so this doesn't seem to be a problem with the screen per se.

    I'd really like to find a solution to this issue and figure out exactly what's going on, so let's keep the discussion going!
  10. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    I've noticed this on my 9C84 panel, too and I haven't found a way to really improve the way the screen looks in Windows. Even calibrating it leaves it looking a bit washed out in Windows.
  11. darkus macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2007
    I think its the nvidia drivers causing this problem. On my old MBP (pre 2008) I had the original bootcamp running and everything looked perfect in Windows. When the boot camp upgrade to 2.1 came out I did the upgrade which also changed out the nvidia drivers and control panel which significantly washed out the colors. The only fix I have been able to get is to revert back to the original nvidia drivers/control panel
  12. Julianbl macrumors newbie


    Jan 22, 2009
    Hi all,
    I've noticed the same washed out colors but also some strange driver/displayport related behavior.

    To correct, in some way, the ugly colors in windows, I decrease the gamma almost to a minimum. The thing is that when I plug the display port to vga adapter to be able to use my DLP Projector, nvidia detects it like a dvi adapter and gives me no chance to correct the gamma and the gamma that it uses is the one that i setup to the LCD.
    So, to be able to use the projector, i have to put the gamma back to default and after that, plug the adapter.

    I think that there has to be a simpler solution to the color gamma or color temperature problem. Perhaps a custom made icc?

    Anyone with a spyder3pro who can generate a windows icc?

  13. integrat.ethis thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    Hey guys,

    Cool to see that my thread has been reawakened. I did figure out how to at least somewhat correct the washed out colors.

    1. Make a 2.2 gamma profile in OS X for your display.
    2. Copy the .icc file to Windows (from Libraries/ColorSync)
    3. Double click it in Windows
    4. Use this program: http://www.exactscan.com/lutmanager/
    It'll apply the profile for you.

    Note that Windows 7 color management actually works, so you don't need LUT Manager anymore.
  14. xtqqtxxx macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Sorry to revive it again.. :D

    So I've been having this washed out issue in windows 7 for quite a while now and have been going crazy!!
    The 2.2 icc profile made from os x and then applied using LUTmanager works great.
    One issue I still have though is when I run games the colors revert to looking washed out, which looks horrible while gaming.
    Anyone know how to apply the .icc file so that when games are run it is still in effect?
    I mainly run bootcamp on my MBP to game and with this issue the experience is horrid.
    Any help is greatly appreciated!
  15. Gravedrinker macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2010
    Exactly my question. I scouted the internet for hours and I still can't see a fix. Is nobody bothered that games look like crap? In Call of Duty you can't tell apart yellow sand, enemies, walls and steel.
    The colors make a huge difference and it looks terrible.

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