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Do You Dare? – Run the Retina MacBook Pro at Full 2880×1800 Resolution

Do You Dare? – Run the Retina MacBook Pro at Full 2880×1800 Resolution

Apple’s new Retina Display MacBook Pro has a display that measures a whopping 2880×1800 pixels, but the default display options don’t allow users to use the full capabilities. But, if you have really sharp vision, and want to use your screen to it’s full capabilities, there are ways to do so.


 …the extra pixels are used to display a higher level of detail on a canvas representing the previous 1440×900 resolution. As a result, windows and user interface elements appear to be the same relative size as on a 1440×900 15″ display, but with four times the detail. Users who wish to use a desktop with apparent resolution higher than 1440×900 can still do so, as System Preferences offers several different options ranging up to 1920×1200.

(Thanks to reader Andrei Marian Gherghe for pointing out to us that the screen IS always running at 2880*1800, it’s the GUI scale that is different, in order to give greater detail to the interface elements.)

If you want to use the full screen real estate the beautiful 2880×1800 resolution display offers you’ll have to use workarounds not authorized by Apple. You can do so by using a third-party app like paid option, SwitchResX, or a free option such as Change Resolution.

If you run a 2880X1800 desktop on a screen that’s only 15.4 inches diagonally, be prepared to sit a little closer to your laptop screen. Running at the ultimate resolution will result in VERY small text and interface elements. But, if you have eagle eyes and a small enough gut to bring your screen closer, it can be an interesting option. (Oh Retina Display, where were you in 1988 when I could’ve actually used you?)

  1. Andrei Marian GHERGHE says:

    Mactrast, you lost all my respect. DO SOME RESEARCH BEFORE POSTING! It’s ALWAYS running at 2880*1800, the GUI SCALE is different, NOT the resolution. Repeat after me: GUI SCALE. GUI SCALE. GUI SCALE.

    1. Chris Hauk says:

      Thanks for pointing that out Andre, you are correct. We’ve changed the article to reflect that.

      1. justblue5ft3 says:

        Okay now I see this thanks

      2. Andrei Marian GHERGHE says:

        Oh, great!

  2. justblue5ft3 says:

     I don’t get the do you dare? It’s at full resolution by default.

    1. Andrei Marian GHERGHE says:

      Actually “do you dare” to run it at 1x GUI Scale instead of 4x 🙂 

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