Screen Resolution

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MacBook Pro 15" (mid 2012) Catalina 10.15.7
Hello,
I have a mid 2012 MacBook Pro 15. Bought new. I love that computer but since I can no longer update it (I have the latest OS that it can handle) and I have been through 2 batteries in a year, I decided upgrade. Bought a 2021 MacBook pro 16, New, sealed box. I am still learning system. I'm sure it will meet my needs for years. Basically, I surf the web, buy things, pay bills, that's about it. No gaming.
My complaint is the screen on the 2012 is way more clear than the 2021. I have played with anything I could find pertaining to picture or display. I can't clear the images up. It's all off. I have a photo of a sunset on my property as my screensaver. when I applied to the 2021 Mac it is so dark that the only part visible is the sun. When I go to email, the white background is so bright that I can barely see the boxes to check to delete emails. Brightness is set to auto. I remember having to get used to my first flatscreen TV but this seems different. Everything I have read about these new Retina screens is how sharp they are. My 2012 isn't even a retina screen. Any explanations or solutions appreciated...
 

IWT


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Your Mac's Specs
M2 Max Studio Extra, 32GB memory, 4TB, Sonoma 14.5 Apple 5K Retina Studio Monitor
You don't mention the OS you have, so I'm guessing it might be Ventura or the latest, Sonoma 14.5.

This Link may help. It defaults to Sonoma but you can Select a Version using the disclosure arrowheads going all the way back to Mojave.


There's a whole bunch of options on this Google page:

how to adjust screenon 2021 MacBook Pro

See how you get on and post back please.

Ian
 

Raz0rEdge

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If you still have the older 2012 machine, then load the same image on the two machines, take a picture with your phone and post it here.

Unfortunately, without physically seeing it, it'd be hard for us to really tell you what to do.

It's entirely possible that you have a faulty display. But I've found that my MBPs/MBAs across a variety of years have not had any issues with the display and they are perfectly clear.
 
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MBP 16" 2023 (M3 Pro), iPhone 15 Pro, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMinis (multiple)
I suspect that what is happening is that the image you use on the old machine is fairly grainy, but that graininess is hidden by the screen's lack of high resolution. When you use the same image on a screen with lots more pixels, the system has to "blow up" the image to fill the screen, so the graininess appears. My wife has the same issue on her desktop background, but she likes it, even with graininess, so it stays.

EDIT: I looked up the screens on those two MBPs. The old one has a screen resolution of 1680x1050, the new is 3456x2234. That difference means that a "full screen" image on the old would fit into one quarter of the screen space on the new. So what the system is doing is "stretching" that small image to be four times larger, but there isn't any additional data, so it just multiplies each pixel by 4, making it grainy. Use a high resolution image for the screen and the issue should go away.

And as an aside, you don't need a screensaver for screens anymore. Screensavers were for the old Cathode Ray Tubes that could get "burned in" images if left on for long periods unchanging. LCD/LED screens don't suffer that same phenomenon.

I didn't comment on brightness. "Auto" just varies around the manual setting you use. If you like it dim, "auto" will make it look dim and adjust based on the ambient light. If you like it bright, that variation will be around that brighter baseline. So, set the brightness where you want it.
 
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OP
O
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MacBook Pro 15" (mid 2012) Catalina 10.15.7
Thanks for the replies,
I will try to cover questions asked. OS is Sonoma 14.5 . I meant wallpaper when I said screensaver. Sorry. Don't use one either. I think I might have fixed it or at least made it a lot better. On one of the links Ian posted it explained that contrast is hidden under accessibility in settings. Between that and brightness adjustment I have it where I can live with it. As I said initially, I don't do any gaming or watch any full length movies so I don't know if whole Retina display thing is even any benefit to me. There are so many display presets and refresh rates to choose from, maybe the lower ones would be better for me. There was also a lot of mention of a program called Vivid. I kinda thought it might be something more for gaming.
Thanks everyone, any other suggestions are appreciated... Mike
 
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M1 Mac Studio, 11" iPad Pro 3rd Gen, iPhone 13 Pro Max, Watch Series 7, AirPods Pro
Are you using the MBP screen or an external display? Most external displays have controls too.
 
OP
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MacBook Pro 15" (mid 2012) Catalina 10.15.7
Are you using the MBP screen or an external display? Most external displays have controls too.
No external displays, just the computer. I am satisfied for now with the appearance. If no one has any dealings with that Vivid program, I guess I will run as is. Thanks again...
 

Rod


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Your Mac's Specs
2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14" macOS 14.4.1, Mid 2010MacBook 13" iPhone 13 Pro max, iPad 6, Apple Watch SE.
There is one thing that Old MacBook user mentions that I can relate to, the brightness and poor contrast between the text in the Standard display mode of Apple Mail. At both my wife's and my optimal settings I find the white is too bright and the grey text too pale.
I use Dark Mode all the time nowadays although I seldom use Apple Mail any more (for other reasons) but it's an option well worth trying.

Below are examples of iOS Mail in Dark And Light Modes, I know which one I find easier to read and it's a much more pronounced difference on a Mac. Of course maybe it's just my old eyes.

IMG_4480.jpeg IMG_4479.jpeg
 

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