Apple unveils the 5K Retina iMac with "the world's highest resolution display"

By Justin Kahn · 36 replies
Oct 16, 2014
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  1. Following the announcement of the iPad Air 2, iOS 8.1 and OS X Yosemite, Apple unveiled the new 27-inch iMac with Retina display. Described as the next step in Retina technology, it boasts what the company calls a Retina 5K display...

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,889   +1,223

    Wait... so they made this (probably) awesome, super high-res display and it's only available in NEW all-in-one iMacs? So anyone who wants to buy one for their current computer is out of luck?

    Good thinking Apple, this will make sure you dont' run into any supply problems.
  3. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    These would be great for making 1080p content.
    yRaz likes this.
  4. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,376   +286

    Let see how the R9 M290X will hold up, I see issues.
  5. AlanCasseb

    AlanCasseb TS Rookie Posts: 20

    Being the Mac Pro the only current Apple machine that can power such resolution, maybe it's not 'that' stupid.

    Many would try and use the display with their Intel HD Graphics powered Mac. That would be hilarious!

    But I agree. Standlone displays should follow.
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Should be fun to see how what is essentially a HD 7870 handles 5120x2880.
    The iMac is also supposed to be optioned with the R9 M295X, which is rumoured to be the fully enabled Tonga GPU - still massively underpowered for 5K in a gaming sense.
  7. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

  8. Neojt

    Neojt TS Addict Posts: 223   +56

    kinda makes me think they must have shared R&D on this. what are the odds they show them at the same time!

    thats nothing new from apple
  9. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,306   +1,401

    >on a mac

    I really don't think games benefit from 4k+. Unless there is some revolution in graphics quality there is not much to be gained from the higher quality. The issue in speaking of is view distance. Games load areas in "blocks" and use a "LOD" to replace anything outside of the rendered blocks. Until we can eliminate the need for LODs there isn't anything to be gained from higher resolution displays. There simply isn't anything to see at those resolutions.
  10. I agree, technology is just all, bigger is better atm. And thats fabulous.
    But it isn't all bad, new stuff gets ahead of the curve, costs and arm and a leg, but because it foolishly gets released ahead of schedule, it can lead to price drops in the best of the best bits that actually will do you favors, and those are snapped up. And this stuff like anything apple, should just be left for them other types.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Hence the qualification " a gaming sense"
    If Apple aren't at least paying lip service to the possibility of some kind of gaming workload why bother with a 295X upgrade option?
    The only real standout is pixel pitch. Higher pixel density, less aliasing. Using workarounds where use of AA might not be straightforward can be a hit or miss proposition.
  12. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    Unless they sort out the font scaling, or invent human eye transplants, I am quite happy with 1080p or less.
    mosu likes this.
  13. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    Font scaling on the retina MacBook pros is fine in my experience and we deal with them every day at work. I'm more upset that my 27"iMac is no longer the best beast on the block but I'll get over it. Nice machine though, fast with the fusion drive, 4ghz (?) cpu and that screen. Better value for money than the Mac Pro again.
  14. Underpowered for gaming yes, but then who would buy an iMac for gaming....
  15. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Crazy people.

    For anyone who would consider this as a gaming option, allow me to illustrate the difference between OSX optimization and Windows optimization. I have a 2010 MBP 13" and Diablo III. On OSX, the game will run between 20-30 FPS with noticeable hangs during chaotic battles on medium settings. Note, I'm running 8gigs of ram and an Nvidia 320m. On bootcamp with Windows 7, the game runs at 30-60 FPS on the highest setting, flawlessly. A Mac is a waste of money if you buy it for games.

    That said, I might be interested in this iMac a few months down the road. Specifically, the display would enable me to to ditch my current dual monitor setup and do everything I need to on a single screen with relatively small footprint.
  16. Does it come with a magnifying glass? If not, I ain't buying.
  17. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,889   +1,223

    This is the biggest reason to have an ultra high-res computer... especially in a mac. Dual monitor setups are very common, especially in the workplace, and having all the real estate on one screen would be even more convenient. I could imagine graphic artists and the like are drooling over this already, especially the ones who can charge it to the business.
  18. Complaining about higher resolution is like complaining about having bigger balls. They both don't do much but are nice to have.
  19. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I guess they could say that it's the World's Highest Resolution, but it's the same "worlds highest" resolution as Dell's monitor announced in September. Apple is just second in line to bring this level of resolution product to the market. But, in a twist, Apple did it at a better price than Dell! So I applaud them.
  20. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Yeah no really GPU is ready (highly capable) for the job of 4K or 5K. Maybe the next generations will be.
  21. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Remember that in this instance, these are MXM modules which have a maximum bus width limit of 256-bit, so even swapping out at a later date for a "faster" GPU, you'll still be constrained by mobile GPU specification and mobile PCIE power delivery.

    In general terms, you might have to wait a couple of years (at least for mainstream pricing) once the smaller process nodes allow for a bump in GPU capabilities. Having said that, a couple of GTX 970's (or 290/290X/780/780Ti) in tandem at < $700 shouldn't have any trouble driving a variety of games at 4K. If you're spending serious money on a 4K or 5K display, you shouldn't balk at paying $600-700 for graphics to run it.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  22. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 714   +75

    Overpriced. Only a complete ***** would buy this.
  23. Apple solved my next 3 days cant sleep
  24. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I can see the use of this if you are editing 4K video. You can have the full res video in your editor and the toolbars around it in the extra space the 5K provides. Would like to see demos of the built in Mac running this smoothly though.

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