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

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!

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  • Haydn Hsin

    COOL~

  • joewaylo

    They probably set the maximum resolution to that because of the battery usage on a Retina Display. 1800p on an Nvidia high power graphics processor would require a lot of battery usage. You would burn through your battery time in under 4 hours at that resolution.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    They probably set the maximum resolution to that because of the battery usage on a Retina Display. 1800p on an Nvidia high power graphics processor would require a lot of battery usage. You would burn through your battery time in under 4 hours at that resolution.

    Then integrated graphics can handle that resolution.

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  • QuickResApp

    This is the best app to easily switch between native resolution and retina resolution!

    It allows the user to switch resolutions in one click from a menubar icon, and supports all the way up to 3840×2400. You can select which resolutions you want in the preferences

    Have fun!

    It’s hosted on our website…

    http://www.gravidrop.com/QuickRes/

  • shazron

    Hi, I created a free preference pane utility to change to the 2880×1800 resolution, see my blog post “Change to the maximum screen resolution on the Retina Macbook Pro (Preference Pane)”: http://cl.ly/IsTn

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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