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Matlab/Simulink and MacBook Pro Retina Display

Asked by hajime yamada on 23 Jul 2012
Hello, I read that a lot of applications look very bad on the new MacBook Pro Retina Display. How about Matlab/Simulink and the toolboxes?

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I do not have any information about that.
I recently ordered the MacBook Pro without Retina Display. For one thing, I did not think I could justify the price difference.
Another consideration was that Apple does not have any stock of the Retina version in Canada, with "3 to 4 weeks" given as the shipping time. The quoted shipping times turn out to be misleading: the times quoted are when the item would be ready in the factory in China, so one must add time to ship from China to that. That is 8 days for Canada.
I doubt Matlab and its toolboxes have support for the Retina Display yet, but contacting the sales department may help you find out for sure. I would guess that TMW is working on upgrading the graphics for support of higher quality displays in future releases.
I would think it likely that MATLAB already supports high resolution displays, such as the 29 inch monitor. Processing for the "native" Retina resolution (which is lower resolution than the Pro without Retina) should happen automatically, pixel doubling. But if one went for the higher resolutions available on the Retina, using "scaling", it would not surprise me if the display did not always look good.

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2 Answers

Answer by Ken Atwell
on 30 Jul 2012

At MathWorks, we have experimented with the HiDPI settings of OS X. Most MATLAB windows, such as the Editor and Command Window, generally render with full retinal resolution. Icons, toolbar buttons, and other bitmap graphics will have scaled graphics within an otherwise retinal-quality window.
However, MATLAB figure windows and Simulink block diagrams are not retinal-display aware, meaning they will look pixelated (but still quite usable) relative to other MATLAB windows.

  3 Comments

Thanks.
1. Any plan to make Matlab/Simulink and the rest of the toolboxes fully compatible with retina display within the next 2-3 months?
2. If I run Matlab/Simlink and the rest of the toolboxes on Windows via Bootcamp on the MBP with Retina Display, will the figure windows and block diagrams look bad (e.g. pixelated)?
I think I'm glad now that I went for the MacBook Pro without the Retina display!
@hajime, 2-3 months? I cannot commit one way or the other, but I think it unlikely that the situation will change in the 12b release.
I believe the experience would be worse on Windows, assuming you enabled High-DPI settings to compensate for the pixel density on the retinal display. On Windows, all elements would be scaled, while on the Mac you get Retinal-quality text and widgets.

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Answer by Walter Roberson
on 5 Aug 2012

For reference:
MacBook Pro 15" non-Retina, mid-2012 edition, 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7, 4 cores, 8 GB of memory, embedded graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB, "Lion" operating system:
bench() results (seconds):
LU: 0.0816; FFT: 0.1020; ODE: 0.1341; Sparse: 0.1252; 2-D: 0.5743; 3-D: 0.6815
However, the FEX contribution "benchmark" measures notably faster for a few items:
LU: 0.0228; FFT: 0.0757; ODE: 0.1396; Sparse: 0.1422; 2-D: 0.4908; 3-D: 0.5314
So to within measurement differences, the speeds are about the same as for a Windows 7 Enterprise 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7, but the speeds are significantly less than on a 3.7 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon on Linux 64 bit (which consistently ranks notably higher than Windows 7 Enterprise running on what seems to be exactly the same hardware as the Linux system.)

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