I recently changed from a 2012 Non-Retina Macbook Pro (15 Inch) to the 2016 Retina model.

As soon as I changed , my eyes started to hurt after only few hours of working (1-2) and painful headaches afterwards, this was never the case with the 2012 model, even after 15-16 hours.

I checked and the default resolution is 1680x1050. which is weird as the display 2880x1440 the HiDPI default resolution should be 1440x900.

There is a 1440x900 option, but Macbook says it is "Scaled", and 1680x1050 is default and not scaled (unless the display is 3360x2100 that can't be true can it?)!

I'm confused, does any one has the same issue? or my Macbook has issues?

Please instead of closing this help me, I'm having serious headaches working with this $3000 waste of money and I can't return it (no Apple support in my country) :(

  • Have you tried resenting the NVRAM? Make sure volume is turned up. Turn off the computer, hold Cmd + Option + P + R during startup until you hear the startup chimes twice. Let us know how that goes – NoahL Dec 17 '16 at 18:39

The 2016 15" Retina MacBook Pro has a resolution of 2880 x 1800. 1050/1800 and 1680/2880 are both 7/12 which means it is scaling properly for 7/12 the maximum resolution.

I'm not sure how the resolution or scaling would cause you to have headaches unless the text and images on the screen legitimately appear blurry. Is that the case? It is possible that you have the screen brighter, or glossy rather than matte, or are using it differently, but I can't really say.

In general, you should take short breaks every 10 or 20 minutes and have a screen brightness that matches the ambient environment (many people make it too bright which forces them to squint or tense up and get headaches) to prevent eye strain, and remember to blink frequently to prevent dry eye.

Short of that, I'd say change the resolution to whatever feels better for you, or see if anyone you know would be interested in trading laptops if you find theirs to be easier on your eyes.


Just configure it at the scale you prefer, and ignore the message that it is being scaled. A 2016 MacBook Pro should have no trouble with it.


Macbook pro 2016 15" native resolution is 2880x1800, and even if the default resolution is 1680x1050, 1440x900 will look sharpest due to each pixel of GUI elements being rendered by exactly 4 pixels.

In fact, Apple's all iPhone and iPad displays default to this type of 1:2 scaling, because it puts least amount of stress to the GPU and results in best text sharpness.

However, from a screen real-estate point of view, to make for more space Apple started setting the default resolution to 1680x1050 on Macbook Pro 15" devices. If you have a good eyesight, you can definitely realize the sharpness difference between 1440x900 and 1680x1050 and that difference might be bothering you. My advice is, use the looks like 1440x900 option even if it says that it is scaled. It will supposedly deliver best text sharpness. Generally, UI elements will be bigger, which will also put less strain on your eyes, which in turn will result in a more comfortable user experience.

When you really need more screen-real estate, you can use the 1680x1050 or even more space options for shorter durations.

At this time, it looks like it is time for Apple to bump up the screen resolutions of Macbook Pro's even higher to deliver more space to users, This would allow using the 1:2 scaling which results in true retina experience. For that, native resolution for your laptop screen should have beeen 3360x2100, which is not the case (yet).

  • How are you measuring GPU stress? – bmike May 24 '20 at 22:02
  • Intel Power Gadget App can log the clock speeds of both Cpu and Gpu to a csv file. Afterwards, you can analyze the file and see how high Gpu clock has been for that period. There are also other apps which are used in reviews of macs, which can report Gpu utilization. – Alper Kocatas May 25 '20 at 5:07

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