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View Full Version : MBA 13 with external display (thunderbolt to VGA adaptor)



kevin7
13th July 2012, 09:54 AM
Hi guys, I got my 2012 MBA 13inch 2 weeks ago, absolutely love its lightness and it's so slim! I upgraded it from 2008 mbp 15 (non-unibody). Oh man, it worth it, it's a very fast machine.

However, I have an issue with the external display, I'm using Samsung 24inch 1920x1200 external lcd. I noticed the display output rendered on the external screen is less pleasing (font is not sharp and inconsistent) comparing it to my old mbp.

Is it due to mba graphic card? im using thunderbolt to vga adaptor (bought a wrong one) to connect my mba to lcd. mbp is using dvi port. Is that the reason why the output doesn't look as good? should I get thunderbolt to hdmi?

I bought this thunderbolt to vga adaptor along with the laptop, it doesn't come with a box, so I wonder if I can return it.

Thanks.

Oldmacs
13th July 2012, 10:24 AM
It may be due to the graphics card, but I'm willing to bet it is the fact that you are using VGA- VGA is not the best connection for clarity. I would highly recommend HDMI or DVI for a better picture.

timwhite15
13th July 2012, 10:58 AM
Sounds to me like you are noticing the difference between an analogue (VGA) and digital connection (DVI). Frankly that old VGA stuff is rubbish at higher resolutions and needed to die years ago. I agree with the other response that says swap your adapter for the DVI one.

Alec Fraser
13th July 2012, 11:03 AM
Definitely go with Thunderbolt to DVI or HDMI! Analogue will always look fuzzy compared to digital, so as timwhite15 said, that's probably what you're noticing.

Oldmacs
13th July 2012, 11:12 AM
This is why I prefer the apple approach to video output on their MacBooks, because many pcs have VGA only which means your stuck, whereas with Apple you can have many different outputs, you just need a dongle. I really don't know why VGA is still around and so relevant!

kyte
15th July 2012, 08:05 AM
I also am connecting to an external screen. I was using mini displayport to VGA and remembering the content of this thread, bought a mini displayport to DVI adapter, and to be honest, its no better. I rather think that its not so much the graphics card, or the adapter in use, but the fact that 1920x1200 on a 24" screen is always going to be a bit fuzzier than 1920x1080 on (for example) a 22" screen. I don't mind though, with the Dell I can leave the netbook attached to the VGA and switch between via a button on the screen. However, visually... no difference between VGA and DVI, here. I was contemplating getting a mini displayport to displayport adapter (the Griffin one that will carry audio) to see if thats any better, but I suspect it won't be.

If I don't ever get used to it, I'll sell the Dell and get a smaller screen.

Oldmacs
15th July 2012, 09:21 AM
Are you sure that the adaptor is working properly?
When I connect my Macbook to any screen I see a very visible difference in quality, between using DVI and VGA.
I still vote HDMI as the best connection for clarity.

kyte
15th July 2012, 10:44 AM
Are you sure that the adaptor is working properly?
When I connect my Macbook to any screen I see a very visible difference in quality, between using DVI and VGA.
I still vote HDMI as the best connection for clarity.

How can an adapter not work properly? I mean... I have no idea how to check. Maybe the cable is at fault... I did have trouble getting it connected at the adapter end. But surely that would result in a generally rubbish display and its not *that* bad.

The_Hawk
15th July 2012, 11:18 AM
We have a couple of MBA's sitting here and have used both VGA and DVI to connect to a Samsung 24" 2443BW (http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/pc-peripherals/monitor/archive/LS24MYKRBQ/XSA) @ 1920 x 1200 without issues. The VGA connector is a genuine Apple but the DVI is a cheap knock off. Can't say as I noticed a bad image when using VGA and noticed minimal difference when switching to DVI (slightly sharper maybe).

If you are saying there is an issue with BOTH VGA and DVI... maybe it's the LCD itself!

Oldmacs
15th July 2012, 11:26 AM
How can an adapter not work properly? I mean... I have no idea how to check. Maybe the cable is at fault... I did have trouble getting it connected at the adapter end. But surely that would result in a generally rubbish display and its not *that* bad.

I have had one Genuine Apple adaptor die on me, the pins can break off and sometimes the connections go funny for some reason, I really don't know any other way to check besides borrowing someone else's adaptor and seeing if it shows the same result.
In my case we had two adaptors and I compared the image from one to the other and realised something was wrong with the older adaptor.

kyte
15th July 2012, 11:32 AM
If you are saying there is an issue with BOTH VGA and DVI... maybe it's the LCD itself!

Theres no issue at all. I'm just saying there's only a barely perceptible difference between DVI and VGA (the images for both are acceptable... I guess I was expecting much more of a difference in the switch to DVI). Oldmacs seemed to be saying that there should be a marked difference. I'm not seeing it.

Oldmacs
15th July 2012, 05:06 PM
Maybe in your situation there is a minimal difference, I regularly connect to our 40' LCD via both different connections and I have always found that there is a noticeable different between the two connections.