3 Ways to Run a Retina MacBook Pro at 2880×1800 Native Resolution

This is a discussion on 3 Ways to Run a Retina MacBook Pro at 2880×1800 Native Resolution within the MacBook Pro forums, part of the Macbook Forum category; The Retina MacBook Pro 15″ screen resolution is 2880×1800, but because of how a retina display works the effective resolution is 1440×900 and the onscreen ...

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Thread: 3 Ways to Run a Retina MacBook Pro at 2880×1800 Native Resolution

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    3 Ways to Run a Retina MacBook Pro at 2880×1800 Native Resolution



    The Retina MacBook Pro 15″ screen resolution is 2880×1800, but because of how a retina display works the effective resolution is 1440×900 and the onscreen elements are just running in HIDPI mode. Apple provides an option to run at 1920×1200 through System Preferences, but as of now there is no built-in approach to running the retina display at the screens true 1×1 native resolution of 2880×1800. Instead, you must activate the 2880×1800 option through a variety of third party approaches, the result of which is a gigantic amount of screen real estate, albeit with tiny onscreen elements. If that sounds good to you, here are three different ways to enable the true 1-to-1 native res:


    SwitchResX

    A reasonably simple solution, SwitchResX is a third-party preference panel that allows you to run custom resolutions on any display. Install the preference panel, select the Retina Display, and add a custom resolution setting for 2880×1800.

    Download SwitchResX from the developer

    This shareware app is free to use for 10 days before it wants to be registered. SwitchResX has a lot of technical customizations available within it, possibly making it overkill for this task.

    SetResX

    Probably the easiest option of them all, SetResX is a little menu-bar app that allows you to run 2880×1800 easily.

    Get SetResX (be sure to click the lower download link, not the ads on the page)

    Hopefully the developer of SetResX will find a less shady site to host their app, but nonetheless SetResX is a nice little find by CultOfMac

    scrutil

    Slightly more advanced due to the nature of the command line, the free utility called screenutil gets the job done immediately with a quick entry into the Terminal:

    Get ScreenUtil now (direct download link)

    Launch Terminal and drag and drop scrutil into the command line to use it once, but if plan on using it often it’s a good idea to toss scrutil into /usr/local/bin for easy future access. Once installed, changing the retina display to native 2880×1800 with screenutil is achieved with the following command:

    scrutil s 2880 1800 16

    The command will report back the resolution change, the 16 at the end is color depth so you can set that to something else if you’d like. You can set it back to the default resolution either through System Preferences or with scrutil s 1440 900.

    Pick whichever method best suits your needs, though with the Retina MacBook Pro just now starting to ship to many customers there’s a high likelihood that better options will soon be available.

    Clink download link
    HERE


    6-18-12

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    This Is What A Retina MacBook Pro Desktop Looks Like At 2880 x 1800

    You’ll need Superman vision for this desktop resolution.



    The new Retina MacBook Displays may have an incredible resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels, but OS X doesn’t treat it as such. Instead, it treats the display as a 1440 x 900 HiDPI display in its default configuration, meaning that while text, video and images may look crisper, you don’t actually get 2880 x 1800 pixels worth of desktop space.

    In the Displays panel in Systems Preferences, you can tell your Retina MacBook Pro to give you more desktop space, up to the equivalent of 1920 x 1200, but that’s as far as it goes. What if you want a 2880 x 1800 desktop, though, with each pixel mapped one to one? There’s an app for that.


    The program is called SetResX, and it is a free menu bar program that allows you to set your Retina MBP display to a number of desktop resolutions, including:

    • 2880 x 1800
    • 2560 x 1600
    • 2048 x 1200
    • 1680 x 1050
    • 1440 x 900 (no HiDPI)
    • 1280 x 800
    • 1024 x 768
    • 800 x 600
    • 640 x 480

    It works well enough, and in 2880 x 1800, really puts into perspective just how crazy pixel packed the Retina MBP display is. Everything is microscopic! It’s not a usable resolution, to be sure, but it’s still plenty cool to see. You can barely see the menu bar!


    6-18-12

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    Running the Retina MacBook Pro at Full 2880x1800 Resolution

    Retina MacBook Pro running at 2880x1800



    While Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro includes a display measuring 2880x1800 pixels, the default display options do not allow users to run their systems at that full resolution. Instead, the extra pixels are used to display a higher level of detail on a canvas representing the previous 1440x900 resolution. But users who wish to use a desktop with effective resolution higher than 1440x900 can still do so, as System Preferences offers several different options ranging up to 1920x1200.

    Those users who want even more screen real estate by tapping into the full 2880x1800 resolution of the display can also do so, but the option involves a workaround that is not authorized by Apple. Macworld has more details on the process, which involves using either a third-party app like the paid SwitchResX (as noted in our forums) or one of a number of free options that have sprung up such as Change Resolution.

    Running a 2880x1800 desktop on a screen measuring only 15.4 inches diagonally obviously results in very small text and user interface elements, but for those willing to sit close enough to their screens to make the onscreen content readable, it may be an interesting option.

    As noted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, users running Windows on the new Retina MacBook Pro can also take advantage of the full display resolution, simply setting the resolution in preferences within Windows.

    6-21-12

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    scrutil seems to be abandoned, and the binary floating around the internet isn't compiled for x86_64 CPUs (you'll get a compatibility warning under Mojave).

    Instead you can try these open source alternatives to scrutil:


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    Wow! Great post


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I went for the SwitchResX and it works nicely. Once you have tried the 2880×1800 native resolution you won’t go back, not unless you’ve got bad eyesight. I can work on one side, have a browser on the other and a spreadsheet in another and still watch a 720P movie in full resolution, absolutely perfect!

    I really don’t know why Apple have only gone up to 1920×1200, I can’t see any reason for anything other than native res.
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