Weird screen resolution on MBP Retina with external monitor

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by HannesJ, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. HannesJ

    HannesJ

    Messages:
    3
    Hi,

    When using Parallels with an external monitor I get a very weird screen resolution. Parallels insists of using 5120x2880 which is not supported by my external display which has 2560x1440 as the maximum resolution. This results in that text looks very weird, and basically all elements on the display are harder to see with jagged edges. I'm guessing that Parallels is somehow scaling it down, but it doesn't look good at all. This is a huge problem for me since i work with graphics and need things to look good on the display.

    Is there a way to solve this?

    My setup:
    Parallels Desktop 8
    The newest generation 15" Macbook Pro with Retina display
    My external Monitor is a 27" Dell U2713
     
  2. serv

    serv Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    810
    If Parallels didn't render external display at 2x resolution Windows fonts and UI elements would be larger than on Retina display.
    You can set VM Configuration > Hardware > Video > Resolution to Scaled to get native resolution on external display. Windows on Retina will be up-scaled then.
     
  3. HannesJ

    HannesJ

    Messages:
    3
    That worked, thank you!

    While on the subject:
    - Is there any way to make parallels realize that I always want Windows running full screen on my external monitor without having to exit full screen on my MBP, drag it to the external monitor and then maximize every time I plug in my monitor after sleep?
    - Is there any way to have parallels running on retina mode on my actual retina screen (the macbook screen) and "scaled" resolution on my external monitor which actually isn't a retina display?

    It seems weird that parallels assumes that all my monitors are retina just because the MBP one is.
     
  4. serv

    serv Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    810
    Unfortunately Parallels isn't able to guess your intent yet. And there's no setting to jump to external display either.

    Regarding your second question, Parallels detects each display DPI just fine. Otherwise, it wouldn't be able to compensate for the differences. The reason it needs to compensate is that Windows has a single DPI setting system wide (Windows 8 metro apps aside). So, if we don't scale down external display, fonts, icons, buttons etc will be physically twice as large as on retina display, something a lot of people complained about in early Parallels 8 builds.
     
  5. HannesJ

    HannesJ

    Messages:
    3
    Ok, thanks. It wasn't about guessing intent by the way - it's about remembering preference.

    Sorry to hear about the DPI shortcomings in Win8. I'm guessing this needs to be set before booting windows 8 and that's why you can't change it when parallels is fullscreen on a lower DPI display?
     
  6. HunterD

    HunterD Bit Poster

    Messages:
    13
    - Is there any way to have parallels running on retina mode on my actual retina screen (the macbook screen) and "scaled" resolution on my external monitor which actually isn't a retina display?

    I second this!! I want windows apps to use the native resolution of ALL monitors.

    As it stands, I only have 2 choices:

    1: Retinal LCD @ native resolution, external displays at 2x native resolution
    sharp/clear on retina display, but horrible and extremely small on external displays

    2: Retina LCD @ 'scaled' resolution, external displays at native resolution.
    sharp/clear on external displays, but obviously 'scaled' and way too big on retina display.

    Why can't i have native display on all displays??!!
     
  7. HunterD

    HunterD Bit Poster

    Messages:
    13
    Can I tell Parallels to just ignore the choice I have selected in the Configure>Hardware>Video>Resolution, and then manually set my own resolutions on the displays? I try manually setting them, but parallels always corrects them
     
  8. serv

    serv Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    810
    Setting VM Configuration > Options > Full screen > Scale to fit screen to 'Keep ratio' should allow you to set resolution in Windows manually. You'd also want to set Hardware > Video > Resolution to 'More space' and adjust DPI setting in Windows to your liking. Let us know if you find a good DPI/resolution balance.
     
  9. HunterD

    HunterD Bit Poster

    Messages:
    13
    testing. I'd much prefer a 'Disable external display resolution doubling' or 'Always use external display native resolution while in Coherence/Full Screen mode' checkbox.

    or perhaps an "Auto (Native Resolution)" option in the 'Scale to fit screen' drop-down.

    Just a simple way to turn OFF parallels' attempts to control display/DPI scaling (on all screens, both up and down-scaling), while retaining resolution auto-detection (so the virtual machine display resolution updates when the window is resized or put in Coherence/Full Screen mode)

    the 'Keep Ratio' option does not appear to do this in Coherence/Full Screen modes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  10. HunterD

    HunterD Bit Poster

    Messages:
    13
    Unfortunately, it appears your suggestion isn't exactly effective. It appears that when 'More Space' or 'Best For Retina' options are selected. Parallels is still 'presenting' a pixel-doubled (3840x2160 in my case) external display to the VM. Thus, if I manually set the external resolution in Windows, (back to 1920x1080), it is as if I am choosing a less-than 'native' resolution. (remember, as far as windows is concerned, my external display 'native' resolution is 3840x2160, b/c that's what Parallels is 'presenting' to the virtual environment)

    So just to get a virtualized external display to appear to be using native resolution, we have down-scaling by Parallels (1920x1080 > 3840x2160) and then up-scaling by Windows (3840x2160 > 1920x1080).

    not very efficient/intuitive.

    Parallels current options are

    Scaled (resolution sacaling on internal retina display, native on external displays)
    Best for Retina ('native' resolution, but DPI scaling on internal display, scaling on external display)
    More Space ('native' resolution on internal display, scaling on external display)

    so with those current options, no matter what, scaling is occurring on one screen or another.

    Parallels needs another option: Native (native resolution on BOTH displays)

    Pretty Please?
     
  11. HunterD

    HunterD Bit Poster

    Messages:
    13
    Here's more rationale - For users who use BootCamp AND Parallels, it makes sense that they would expect the same experience in both native and virtual computing environments (with the exception of computing power and 'sharing' capabilities of course)

    If a user boots Windows via BootCamp, ALL displays (internal and otherwise) will be using their native resolution, but if a user boots Windows up in Parallels, there is no option that allows for a similar experience.

    disclaimer: yes I am aware that Mac OS doesn't use the actual native resolution of the MBPr display panel.
     
  12. HakanL

    HakanL Bit Poster

    Messages:
    3
    I second the need for a Native option. I don't want Parallels to mess with my resolution or DPI settings. I use Windows 8 as guest OS, and I'm using an external monitor. Depending if I'm mobile or at my desk, I move my Windows OS between Retina and external display. Windows manages DPI fine in Windows 8 so I suggest Parallels should give the option to let Windows8 handle it using the native resolution.
     
  13. BassamT

    BassamT

    Messages:
    2
    I've been using parallels 8 desktop on a retina macbook pro 15" and two external displays (27" and 30" IPS). When I'm mobile I run parallels with resolution set to "more space" and windows DPI set to 150%. When running on the external display I set parallels resolution to "scaled" and the windows DPI to 100%.

    Switching between these two modes is really tedious. I'm curious what others are doing here, and if there are any plans to make this easier in future versions of parallels.
     
  14. Niceguy

    Niceguy

    Messages:
    7
    I'm also interested in buying a 15" MacBook Pro Retina, a Thunderbolt Display and Parallels 8.
    The MacBook I want to run in 'More space' resolution (1920*1200).
    Then I also need to use Windows 8 in a Paralles 8 VM.
    After reading some threads here in the forum and out in the internet I'm a bit unsure, if this is running well
    regarding well (crisp) usage of both, the internal Retina-display and the external Thunderbolt Display.

    Is there a solution meanwhile regarding the mentioned problem(s) in the postings above?
     

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