Windows 8 on the Retina Display MacBook Proby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 14, 2012 3:09 AM EST
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- MacBook Pro
This will likely be the last small update before my full review of the next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Many of you have asked for information about the behavior of Windows running on the next-gen Pro. After getting both Windows 7 and Windows 8 running on the machine, here are some quick thoughts.
Windows 7 by default starts up at 800 x 600 on the Retina MBP, Windows 8 defaults to 1024 x 768. This behavior isn't specific to this system, the GeForce GT 650M doesn't have native driver support in either OS at this point and these are the defaults for the standard VGA driver in both cases. Windows 7 won't expose any resolutions higher than 1600 x 1200 without an actual NVIDIA driver, while Windows 8 will let you select the full 2880 x 1800 panel resolution:
The problem is Apple doesn't provide a Boot Camp driver set for the Retina MacBook Pro yet. I had to use the Broadcom wireless driver from my SNB MacBook Pro to get WiFi working under Windows. Unfortunately, NVIDIA doesn't offer a downloadable GeForce GT 650M driver for either Windows 7 or Windows 8 just yet. The R302 Verde drivers are supposed to be due out in the not too distant future with support for the 650M, but until then you're mostly out of luck. I tried modified drivers to get 650M support and even tried modifying some myself, but I haven't been successful thus far. Just as before, switchable graphics isn't functional under Windows - the discrete GPU (650M) is the only one exposed.
Even without a working NVIDIA driver, I was able to get a feel for what a 2880 x 1800 setting would look like on a traditional desktop under Windows 8. If you remember back to our scaling and display analysis articles, Apple doesn't offer a desktop resolution equivalent higher than 1920 x 1200 under OS X. The thinking being that unscaled 2880 x 1800 would just be too small for the desktop, icon text and default UI elements. The screenshot below shows the Windows 8 desktop at default (no DPI scaling) settings at 2880 x 1800:
Note that the Skyfall trailer is actually a full 1920 x 1080 window. Text is indeed very small, but I suspect those with very good eyesight could actually be ok with this. I would love to see Apple actually expose a native resolution option under OS X.
Here's a look at the unscaled Metro start screen at 2880 x 1800:
Text does get a bit more legible if you turn up DPI scaling. The gallery below has three shots of the same desktop comparing default (unscaled), 125% and 150% scaling options. There's also a shot in the gallery comparing the Retina MBP to Apple's previous highest DPI Mac display: the 11-inch 2011 MacBook Air to give you some perspective.
Quick conclusions? Windows users will have to wait a bit for official driver support, and NVIDIA needs to hurry up with a GT 650M Verde driver.
This is just an insane panel. I'm typing this on my 27-inch 2560 x 1440 display, and to think that the 15.4-inch panel next to it has 40% more pixels is mind blowing.
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BPB - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - linkSmaller CPU chips push out more power with less power needs. Smaller engines generate more BHP and torque than larger ones. Smaller data connectors pass much more information than others several times larger. This has been the norm for a long time now in engineering, and we all saw the Retina Display notebook coming this year. I think the iPad's resolution and power is actually more impressive than this notebook's. I simply can't call this mind blowing. Like I said, nice, cool, whatever. But please, keep the use of superlatives to a minimum. The words are used so much they no longer mean anything. Every difficult shot made in the NBA is miraculous. Every catch while in coverage in the NFL is incredible. Every star in a movie is absolutely gorgeous and every rock star just an incredible human being. It's like Dash said in "The Incredibles", "If everybody is special, then nobody is special."
seapeople - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - linkI bet you're very encouraging to those around you.
"Hey dad, I just hit a grand slam to win the Little League World Series! It was amazing!"
"Eh, grand slams have been hit before to win baseball games. Stop using superlatives so freely. Go clean your room."
"I already did that, mowed the lawn, and aced my chemistry test."
"Stop making it sound like that's important. Wake me when you do something that matters. Until then can't you just leave me alone?"
BPB - Friday, June 15, 2012 - linkdrvelocity's son enters the room. "Dad, I just got my artwork back, the teacher gave me an F! Can you believe it?"
"Let me see the work, son. Why son, this is the greatest art I've ever seen. To think my 12 year old created it! I can't believe it got an F!!! What is it?"
"Um, Dad, it's a portrait of you, can't you tell. I did it from memory."
"Wow! Outstanding! Mind blowing!! Can I keep it?"
"Really? Sure Dad, it's yours!"
Later that evening.
"drvelocity, did you see your son got an F in art? Whatever possessed him to think his teacher would pass that drawing of his? I had no idea what it was." Laughing, "I think it was a portrait of some poor ugly bastard."
"No idea what he was thinking, Hon. I try to teach him he has to push himself and face the truth when he reviews his work. The work he's doing just doesn't cut it. I can't imagine why he doesn't see it. By the way, great dinner tonight. Really well done hamburgers are my favorite. They were awesome."
"Aww, I'm so glad you love my cooking. You sure did drink a lot with your meal though. You know I wanted to go out for dinner but then I remembered how much you loved my burgers last time."
"And I do love 'em! Be right back, I gotta take something for my stomach."
sid.shetye - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link@BPB: Since you show no personal respect to Anad nor the other constructive posters here, you are getting none. So, here it goes - You are a pedantic moron. DrVelocity is probably spot on too - people you interact in real life think you're an idiot + assh*** too.And I spent 60 seconds of my life registering to tell you that.
Spunjji - Monday, June 18, 2012 - linkThank you for summarising why I don't care for comments like the one to which you reply. There's actually an article on cracked.com dedicated to asshats that spend their time in the comments section debating whether or not something really is "a big deal".
ukw - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - linkExcuse me kind sir, but your a troll. A mind blowing one. :>
Dadofamunky - Saturday, June 16, 2012 - linkHe runs the site dude, you don't. He can do what he wants. I like his enthusiasm. If you don't, don't read his site.
Spunjji - Monday, June 18, 2012 - linkMatter of opinion. Boring. Move along.
Dug - Monday, June 18, 2012 - linkHave you worked with the display? Have you compared it to other displays while working with it?
Then your comment means nothing.
And who uses the word cool or nice to describe a monitor? Apparently only you. You may want to take a creative writing class. I haven't seen any comments from any website or any person that describes it as cool. Perhaps a teenager, but cool is usually used to describe something that is less than warm.
Perhaps you should get your own website, your own Macbook Pro and you can then write about how cool it is. I'm sure you will have a lot of followers.
Anand is expressing an opinion, and this is the correct form for using superlatives. In fact its encouraged. Just because you don't agree, does not mean that he wasn't blown away by the display thinking about how the resolution could be so high compared to his 27 inch display.
Any professional or creative writer understands that there is a need to create interest in their audience. He does this effectively not only through integrity over the years, but a deep understanding for the technology behind it.
If you only knew what it took to create that display from start to finish and bring it to market, then maybe you would understand. But because you haven't worked with the display, you don't understand the technology behind it, what it took to create, or think what he was thinking at the time he was writing, then you really don't have a place to criticize anything.
EnerJi - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - linkAgreed! +1