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Macbook external monitor issue (OSX display quality)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I just received my mini-dvi adapter and hooked up my Macbook to my work (Dell) 2o" flat panel display. Unfortunately the picture quality looks soft and hazy, but when I fire up the Vista partition (Bootcamp) the screen looks really nice and sharp. Do I need some kind of driver to have a sharp crisp display whilst using the Mac OSX partition? I've read some threads but most people seem to have this problem the other way round with the OS's and that it's there Windows partition that won't display correctly.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 15
check if you have the same screen resolution (mac/xp)
peve

and by the way...
no. english is not my native language.
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peve

and by the way...
no. english is not my native language.
Reply
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peve View Post

check if you have the same screen resolution (mac/xp)

Yes they are both set to 1600x(something). The colours etc were also both set to millions. I was really suprised to see that Windows was much sharper.
post #4 of 15
Which MacBook do you have? And what model monitor?
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

Which MacBook do you have? And what model monitor?

Intel macbook 2.0 ghz 1 year old. Dell monitor, not sure of the model but a couple of years old that looks quite expensive with usb ports etc
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy_fingers View Post

Intel macbook 2.0 ghz 1 year old. Dell monitor, not sure of the model but a couple of years old that looks quite expensive with usb ports etc

Is it with text that you are experiencing this issue?

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=682
"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
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"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
Reply
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiopollution View Post

Is it with text that you are experiencing this issue?

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=682

No it's the whole screen and not just the text. I guess I'll have to try it on a different monitor at work to see if that makes a difference. Maybe Mac OSX simply can't recognise the monitor correctly (although is does automatically set it to 1600 pixels)
post #8 of 15
It looks like 1280 by 800 is the native resolution for your laptop.
http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html

If that's not the native resolution for that monitor, then it will do interpolation. I don't know what it does when displaying to an external monitor, but I'd look at the native resolution of the monitor. I'm guessing that's the issue.

1920 by 1200 is what the external adapter is capable of displaying, but if it can't do exactly the native resolution of the external monitor then there will be interpolation.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

It looks like 1280 by 800 is the native resolution for your laptop.
http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html

If that's not the native resolution for that monitor, then it will do interpolation. I'm guessing that's the issue.

Does that mean that I should be using the external display set to 1280 by 800 for best picture quality when using OSX? Strange how Windows seems to be fine at full res.
post #10 of 15
If the adapter can't display the exact native display resolution of the external monitor, the monitor displays the best it can. I would try to find out the native resolution of the monitor.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

If the adapter can't display the exact native display resolution of the external monitor, the monitor displays the best it can. I would try to find out the native resolution of the monitor.

Ok thanks, I'll have a look at work tomorrow.

Many thanks for all the help though guys - speak to you tomorrow
post #12 of 15
Go into your System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement.

Make sure to switch off "Mirror Displays" because otherwise both screens will try to use 1280x800. With mirroring off, you can set the resolution of each screen independently.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

Go into your System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement.

Make sure to switch off "Mirror Displays" because otherwise both screens will try to use 1280x800. With mirroring off, you can set the resolution of each screen independently.

Just tried it in the office and it has improved the quality of the display. The only issue now is that I loose the mousse pointer from the external display. Under the Arrangement section there are two pictures of screens, one larger than the other - do I need to do anything with these?
post #14 of 15
Switching off mirroring means that both displays will no longer display the same image. The desktop is now shared accross both screens and you can move the cursor and windows from one screen to another. The two screens you see in the System Preferences allow you to arrange the position of these screens. The larger one will be the Dell display. Drag it so that it is to the left or the right of the smaller screen depending on where your real Dell display is relative to the MacBook.

You can also drag the menu bar from the smaller screen to the bigger screen. This will set the Dell as the main display for the Mac if you prefer to work that way. Another thing to do after you have changed the main display would be to close the lid on the MacBook and just use the Dell display.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yama View Post

Switching off mirroring means that both displays will no longer display the same image. The desktop is now shared accross both screens and you can move the cursor and windows from one screen to another. The two screens you see in the System Preferences allow you to arrange the position of these screens. The larger one will be the Dell display. Drag it so that it is to the left or the right of the smaller screen depending on where your real Dell display is relative to the MacBook.

You can also drag the menu bar from the smaller screen to the bigger screen. This will set the Dell as the main display for the Mac if you prefer to work that way. Another thing to do after you have changed the main display would be to close the lid on the MacBook and just use the Dell display.


IT WORKS!!!!!
Thank you all so much for you help and support!

James
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