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So, I was considering picking up a Macbook Pro Retina, but then I realized that Apple forces you to scale the resolution, so you don't actually see the true benefits of the 2880x1800 display. Instead, you see upscaled, pixelated icons -- I saw this for myself in an Apple store a couple days ago. That's ok though, because the main reason I'd purchase one is to run Windows 7 on it, however I understand that the bootcamp drivers have not been updated to work with the MBP Retina. Instead, the option would be to run Windows 7 virtualized, but I haven't found any conclusive evidence to indicate whether the entire 2880x1800 resolution would act the same virtualize (VMware Fusion, VirtualBox, Parallels) as running Windows 7 natively.

My question is: Does Windows 7 see the entire 2880x1800 virtualized, same as running it on bare metal (boot camp)?

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Respectfully, that's one crazy expensive screen – soandos Jun 15 '12 at 13:45
I completely agree. – Trevor Sullivan Jun 15 '12 at 13:55
so your question is... are there Windows 7 drivers for the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M installed in the new Macbook Pro Retina that will allow 2880x1800 resolution? Since... you won't be able to access the switching graphics, and you'll be stuck using the NVidia all the time (this is for a native or bootcamp installation) – Bon Gart Jun 15 '12 at 13:59
I would assume that the updated drivers will be released in the next release of OS X. – Ramhound Jun 15 '12 at 14:07
No, you misunderstand my question. I am asking specifically about a virtualized scenario, NOT using bootcamp drivers. – Trevor Sullivan Jun 15 '12 at 14:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can disable the HiDPI stuff and get full 2880x1800 on the macbook. See this screenshot:

You do it with SwitchresX or whatever. And yes you can also get the full resolution on windows. Official bootcamp stuf doesn't exist yet but it shoudl be doable if you really know what your doing so you dont have to wait for the official bootcamp. Nvidia drivers do suppor that chipset.

I plan to mainly run linux on mine (ariving the 20th) and yes I will be using native 2880x1800 with no scaling.

As for the virtualization it should be no problem as I have no problem doing 2560x1600 on virtualbox. I think i may have even done 3840x2400 on virtualbox before (one of my monitors is 3840x2400) but it might have required setting up some special things on virtualbox, I forget.

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Yes it does. I just got the laptop today and put Boot Camp. Windows 7 will see the full 2880x1800 resolution, making everything TINY!

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Can you give further details? What about Windows in a virtual machine? – bwDraco Jun 16 '12 at 0:30
Virtualbox runs Windows in about 1920x1044. 1920x1044 if I run it in fullscreen. Things are pixelated a bit. – Anders Rune Jensen Jul 20 '12 at 18:56
  • Go to Finder->Applications
  • Right-Click on the VMWare icon (or command+i)
  • Check the "Open in Low Resolution" checkbox

VMWare will now open in the same expected resolution as OSX

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Frustratingly, this trick doesn't work in VirtualBox 4.3.2 :( – JBRWilkinson Nov 20 '13 at 17:57

You can use the whole resolution under OSX, but you need hawk-vision I'm afraid ;) Windows can utilize it as well, though many third-party apps like Firefox and Chrome are (at least I couldn't figure it out) ignoring the high-dpi settings so the text in FF & Chrome is still tiny/unreadable.

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I don't want the high DPI settings. I simply want to know what a fresh, uncustomized install looks like. Could you post a photo somewhere, at the normal (96?) DPI setting? – Trevor Sullivan Jun 22 '12 at 16:54

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