Windows 8.1 on retina MacBook Pro (DPI Scaling)

bem809

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2013
3
0
I've read that one of the main features of the upcoming Windows 8.1 ("Blue") update is improved automatic DPI scaling for hi-res screens.

Having suffered through the subpar DPI scaling for Windows 8, I'm curious to know if anyone's tried a leaked version of Windows 8.1 on a retina Macbook Pro.

For those who have, is there an improvement with how the desktop looks? Is it on par with OS X in terms of how it scales with the high DPI on the retina Macbook Pro?
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2012
196
3
I've read that one of the main features of the upcoming Windows 8.1 ("Blue") update is improved automatic DPI scaling for hi-res screens.

Having suffered through the subpar DPI scaling for Windows 8, I'm curious to know if anyone's tried a leaked version of Windows 8.1 on a retina Macbook Pro.

For those who have, is there an improvement with how the desktop looks? Is it on par with OS X in terms of how it scales with the high DPI on the retina Macbook Pro?
I heard there's an improvement too. I hope that is the case. Running Windows on the rMBP now is a nightmare.
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2012
196
3
I've read that one of the main features of the upcoming Windows 8.1 ("Blue") update is improved automatic DPI scaling for hi-res screens.

Having suffered through the subpar DPI scaling for Windows 8, I'm curious to know if anyone's tried a leaked version of Windows 8.1 on a retina Macbook Pro.

For those who have, is there an improvement with how the desktop looks? Is it on par with OS X in terms of how it scales with the high DPI on the retina Macbook Pro?
Hi, apps are now scaled exactly like Mac OS does it. If it is not retina-optimized, it will be "blur".
 

Timo12

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2013
2
0
Hi, apps are now scaled exactly like Mac OS does it. If it is not retina-optimized, it will be "blur".
Could you explain what you mean by blur? I'm looking to buy a rMBP and mainly want to use windows on it for development. I want to know if 8.1 will improve the user experience on a retina resolution.
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2012
196
3
Could you explain what you mean by blur? I'm looking to buy a rMBP and mainly want to use windows on it for development. I want to know if 8.1 will improve the user experience on a retina resolution.
Since Windows 8.1 just enabled hiDPI support, most third-party apps will look scaled since developers haven't enabled hiDPI yet. It's the same Mac OS situation when the rMBP's came out last year.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,039
30,964
Boston
All I want is DPI Scaling on Windows 7. I hate 8.
I understand but that's never going to happen - win 7 is all but dead, as MS is betting the farm on win 8.1.

I may download the preview and throw it into a VM, though that will mean no scaling.
 

mm201

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2013
113
1
Have they fixed any more bugs with DPI virtualization? (fuzzy mode) On 7 and 8, there are bugs with mouse movement and control sizes in a few situations.

PS. Microsoft needs to migrate all the built-in apps to WPF asap. Supporting C++CX in Desktop would help with this.
 

497902

Suspended
Sep 25, 2010
905
215
I'm running 8.1 on my Retina MacBook Pro. The desktop UI works fine with 200% scaling, although it isn't as good as OS X. Scaling on the Modern UI doesn't work at all. Did Microsoft remove the "Make Everything on your screen bigger" setting from Windows 8? I can't find it.
 

scarred

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
516
1
Just installed Windows 8.1 Preview. Retina scaling looks great without any changes... no problems at first glance.

Best thing so far? The bootup logo is a cute fish. :>
 

497902

Suspended
Sep 25, 2010
905
215
Windows 8.1 Modern UI doesn't scale on rMBP

I'm running Windows 8.1 on my Retina MacBook Pro using Bootcamp. No scaling problem with the desktop UI, but the Modern UI doesn't scale at all and is very tiny. Did Microsoft remove the "Make Everything on your screen bigger" setting from Windows 8? I can't find it.
 

Dragooon

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2013
3
0
Windows 8.1 on MacBook Pro Retina

I got a MacBook Pro Retina and am wondering if anyone has tried bootcamping Windows 8.1 on it and see how well it works? I'm mostly curious about the display scaling which is supposed to be much better in 8.1.
 

Humex

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2012
290
1
We see that Windows 8.1 Preview provides improvements on HiDPI. Improved responsiveness and it is more stable than Windows 8.
I expect the USB 3 drivers Intel for Windows 8 for better performance.
Realtek drivers for audio are not compatible with Windows 8.1 but it works.
The problem currently is that Windows does not have a lot of applications that support the HiDPI. Windows 8.1 should be a response to this problem. However, developers are in no hurry to update their applications.
In fact, Apple should update BootCamp as the font are unclear.
 

Flavour

macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2013
7
0
I'm not sure about 8.1 but I've managed to get Windows 8 looking pretty good for most programs. Just set windows to 150% scaling and if there's any program that looks blurry, simply disable DPI scaling for it (right click>Properties>Compatibility>check "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings").

For the few programs where that option is greyed out, a simple registry hack gets the job done. Press Win+R, type in "regedit" navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers. You'll see all the programs you've already set to DPI aware with the Data value "~ HIGHDPIAWARE". Right click on the empty part of the right window and add a new string value. Copy in the programs address (eg. C:\Program Files\whatever.exe) and then modify the data value to "~ HIGHDPIAWARE". A little short cut for this is to set the program to "Run this program as an administrator" in the same compatibility tab used for other programs, then find the program in the same directory in regedit and change the Data value from "~ RUNASADMIN" to "~ HIGHDPIAWARE". Saves you typing out all the program addresses.

Those who don't want to go to 8 from 7, just get StartIsBack. You'll never have to even look at the Start Screen if you don't want to. You'll get the free month trial and it after that, you'll be willing to pay $3 for it. I guarantee it.
 

Humex

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2012
290
1
Boot Camp needs an update because the font are still blurry on "Windows 8.1". The scaling is correct in 200% DPI.
 

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monkeybagel

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2011
1,122
39
United States
I understand but that's never going to happen - win 7 is all but dead, as MS is betting the farm on win 8.1.

I may download the preview and throw it into a VM, though that will mean no scaling.
Windows 7 has a few more years of mainstream support remaining, so it is far from "dead." (1/13/15) and extended support to 1/14/20. Microsoft has been known to release additional futures during the mainstream phase.
 

mm201

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2013
113
1
Windows 7 supports DPI scaling. What it doesn't support is per-monitor DPI. If you don't use an external, Win7 is fine and the same as 8.1 on the rMBP.
 

ntsarb

macrumors newbie
Jan 11, 2014
7
0
Windows 7 supports DPI scaling. What it doesn't support is per-monitor DPI. If you don't use an external, Win7 is fine and the same as 8.1 on the rMBP.
I just tried per-monitor DPI scaling in Windows 8.1 on rMBP 2013 (latest) with an LG L246WH external monitor (1920x1200 pixels, 24 inch) and it simply doesn't work. The OS fails to use a 100% (native) scaling factor on the external monitor. resulting into blurred text. Even worse, the task bar and the context menus (when right-clicking) on the Desktop are huge. It looks like the OS is using on the external monitor the same DPI scaling that is used for the retina display, hence no per-monitor DPI scaling here (I've not configured it to use the same DPI scaling on all monitors).

I also tried the same monitor with Mac OS X Mavericks. The DPI scaling factor is correct but the text is blurred.

It was the first time I got a MacBook Pro and I've been very disappointed so far. I hope Apple and Microsoft fix the issues I've so far identified and reported to their support departments.
 

whiteonline

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2011
497
205
California, USA
I just tried per-monitor DPI scaling in Windows 8.1 on rMBP 2013 (latest) with an LG L246WH external monitor (1920x1200 pixels, 24 inch) and it simply doesn't work. The OS fails to use a 100% (native) scaling factor on the external monitor. resulting into blurred text. Even worse, the task bar and the context menus (when right-clicking) on the Desktop are huge. It looks like the OS is using on the external monitor the same DPI scaling that is used for the retina display, hence no per-monitor DPI scaling here (I've not configured it to use the same DPI scaling on all monitors).

I also tried the same monitor with Mac OS X Mavericks. The DPI scaling factor is correct but the text is blurred.

It was the first time I got a MacBook Pro and I've been very disappointed so far. I hope Apple and Microsoft fix the issues I've so far identified and reported to their support departments.
Are you connecting via HDMI? If so, you may want to check the monitor settings menu. I recall on one of my monitors, the default setting for HDMI was some sort of TV compatible mode. Set it to PC and looked great.
 

mm201

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2013
113
1
Mac OS X always uses 96DPI (technically 72 but that's a whole other story) for external monitors. This works great for the common case of a loDPI external but breaks hiDPI/medium-sized UHD monitors which you want to be scaled.

Windows 8.1 tries to use the monitor EDID to choose an appropriate scale. This sometimes doesn't work and sadly they don't let you manually pick a scale for each monitor. (This is disappointing since Microsoft usually does very well for providing tons of tweakable settings.)

8.1's per-monitor-DPI is also buggier than I had previously hoped and none of the built-in apps even support it correctly. I mean come on, Microsoft! How do you expect third-parties to adopt your APIs when you yourselves don't even use them?

ntsarb: Have you installed your video drivers? Per-monitor-DPI depends on the desktop compositor which only works if video drivers are installed.
 

ntsarb

macrumors newbie
Jan 11, 2014
7
0
Are you connecting via HDMI? If so, you may want to check the monitor settings menu. I recall on one of my monitors, the default setting for HDMI was some sort of TV compatible mode. Set it to PC and looked great.
Yes, it's an HDMI connection and it's a proper monitor, it supports the resolutions typically supported by PCs.

----------

Mac OS X always uses 96DPI (technically 72 but that's a whole other story) for external monitors. This works great for the common case of a loDPI external but breaks hiDPI/medium-sized UHD monitors which you want to be scaled.

Windows 8.1 tries to use the monitor EDID to choose an appropriate scale. This sometimes doesn't work and sadly they don't let you manually pick a scale for each monitor. (This is disappointing since Microsoft usually does very well for providing tons of tweakable settings.)

8.1's per-monitor-DPI is also buggier than I had previously hoped and none of the built-in apps even support it correctly. I mean come on, Microsoft! How do you expect third-parties to adopt your APIs when you yourselves don't even use them?

ntsarb: Have you installed your video drivers? Per-monitor-DPI depends on the desktop compositor which only works if video drivers are installed.
Yes, you are right that Windows 8.1 per-monitor-DPI is buggy.

I suppose by "video drivers" you mean the driver (INF file) for the particular monitor. Yes, I installed that, too. The actual video driver (for the GPU, which is integrated with the intel CPU) comes with BootCamp drivers.