Why doesn't Apple list the true max resolution of the 15" rMBP?

HawaiiMacAddict

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2006
904
0
On one of my Macs of course
Aloha everyone,

I work in an office filled with Windows sheeple, and was recently showing some of them my newly-purchased 15" rMBP. One of them was looking at the display, wondering about the "retina" labeling and all and asked me the value of the max resolution. I checked System Information, and it indicated that 2880x1800 was what I was currently running (the More Space option on the Scaled section of Display Preferences). However, I took a screen shot that indicated I am actually running 3840x2400, double the resolution of the 17" MBP it replaced :eek:

Anyway, I was wondering why Apple would indicate a lower resolution than what my rMBP was actually running? Has anyone else experienced this strange behavior? I've attached a couple of screenshots showing my discovery.

I verified the resolution with the background I made in Photoshop. I trust Photoshop with accurate dimensions and it fits perfectly.
 

Attachments


Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
The 15 inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display has 2880 x 1800 pixels, the numbers you get are due to you using the quadruple of 1920 x 1200 pixels (to be rendered) to get more screen real estate, thus the MacBook Pro with Retina Display has to upscale. Look at Anandtech's review from last year to understand the inner workings.
 

Quu

macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
2,767
4,320
The resolution of the display is actually 2880x1800.

The reason your screenshot says 3840 x 2400 is because when you select the highest scaled resolution (1920x1200 effective) the operating system renders the desktop at 3840 x 2400 and then downscales it to fit within the 2880x1800 display. So the OS itself is actually rendering the 3840x2400 but it isn't outputting that many pixels to your eyeballs through your display.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,294
4,818
The actual physical resolution is 2880x1800. When you use the hidpi 1920x1200 mode, the OS will use a supersampled offscreen buffer to create image (double the logical resolution, this is what you see in photoshop) and then downsamples it to the real physical screen.

So, if we get back to your question - the resolution is a much more complicated thing with the rMBP. Which resolution should they list - the logical (how the software sees it), the backing store one (how the rendering system sees it) or the physical one (what the display can do)
 

HawaiiMacAddict

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2006
904
0
On one of my Macs of course
The 15 inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display has 2880 x 1800 pixels, the numbers you get are due to you using the quadruple of 1920 x 1200 pixels to get more screen real estate, thus the MacBook Pro with Retina Display has to upscale. Look at Anandtech's review from last year to understand the inner workings.
Thanks for the link, simsaladimbamba. It still was really impressive to my coworker :D I think he's a little envious. I never was a "stat whore" with respect to my Macs, but to him, it's everything. He has to be able to push the most pixels on the screen, have the best CPU, the most RAM, etc... it's nice to show him a Mac and have him drool a little :D

Thanks also for our explanation, Quu. I'll have to read the Anandtech report, but I think with both explanations I understand what is really going on.
 

CJM

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2005
1,336
549
U.K.
Thanks for the link, simsaladimbamba. It still was really impressive to my coworker :D I think he's a little envious. I never was a "stat whore" with respect to my Macs, but to him, it's everything. He has to be able to push the most pixels on the screen, have the best CPU, the most RAM, etc... it's nice to show him a Mac and have him drool a little :D

Thanks also for our explanation, Quu. I'll have to read the Anandtech report, but I think with both explanations I understand what is really going on.
To be fair, rendering 3840x2400 puts quite the strain on your little laptop.