The resolution race is on: LG jumps the gun, says Apple is working on a new 'iMac 8K'

By Julio Franco ยท 33 replies
Apr 6, 2015
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  1. Nevermind the camera megapixel race, or the refresh rate race in monitors, we are on the resolution race now. Handheld devices have been going at it for the last few years, going from the lacklustre (by today's standards) 480 × 320 display in the original iPhone to the latest crop of Android phones sporting pixel-perfect 2560 x 1440 QHD displays. Unfortunately things have been comparatively stagnant on the desktop side.

    The likes of Dell, Asus, and Samsung have been offering 4k monitors for a while, though for a variety of reasons making those work effortlessly on multi-monitor setups is not as plug and play as one would like. Alternatively, LG has also been pushing the ultra-wide format with relative success.

    Apple also joined the UHD race last year by offering the 27-inch iMac with 'Retina 5K Display' (5120 x 2880), replicating the accomplishment it had with Retina MacBook laptops, coupling the high resolution hardware with a great software implementation. If a press release from LG Display is to be believed, even higher resolutions are in the works for desktop PC users. Think 8K (7680 x 4320):

    It has become clear that Japan is planning to launch an 8K SHV test broadcast and then promptly restructure the UHD service. Apple has also announced that they will release the ‘iMac 8K’ with a super-high resolution display later this year. Korea is also preparing to offer an 8K service demonstration at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. LG Display displayed a new beacon of the 8K era by revealing their 98-inch 8K Color Prime Ultra HDTV at CES 2015.

    Except Apple has not. So either LG's release is factually wrong, since 8K displays are not even expected from panel providers until 2016, or at the very least Apple is working with this kind of high resolution panel in the labs.

    apple imac lg monitor consumer electronics retina uhd 8k resolution 8k

    When LG showcased its first 8K set at IFA 2014 behind closed doors, they claimed they had achieved 16 times the resolution of full HD, but to make the magic happen they required four 4K image processors to produce the 8K resolution image. This was a prototype, but merely one year later we have to wonder if they have gone from one-off concept to mainstream so quickly. We doubt it, but the idea remains we are finally seeing more aggressive progress on larger computer displays.

    Image credit: Doghousediaries

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  2. yRaz

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

    LG stole the show at CES this year with their 8K OLED's displays

    But I have to ask, why on earth would they come out with an 8K iMac? The 5K mac had a hard time handling that resolution to begin with, I have no idea why they'd want to push that even further. That hardware can't handle it and the content isn't there.
  3. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 286   +92

    You have to remember that Apple is in a full scale publicity war with Samsung. They are using the media to take away any thought you might have on purchasing a Samsung product right about now as the S6's are due to arrive. Anything to keep Apple in your "mindspace" about themselves, and/or negative reports about the Samsung products are made abundant by all those Apple paid bloggers.

    As for 8K's performance, it might be there in the future, but if that is their product's differentiator, then innovation is seriously lacking, albeit that it is coming from LG.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +1,223

    Well... that does explain why we're supposed to care that you're able to bend an S6 with a phone breaking machine.

    Perhaps they're just gearing up for the iScoreboard.
  5. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    The whole concept of a resolution race is rubbish to me, especially with an almost complete lack of scaling support for many programs. I thought using Java programs with defined window sizes as well as poorly written programs, both of which with 0 support for scaling was bad on a Surface Pro 3 (it's practically unusable). It'd be even worse on a 4K screen, and heaven forbid a 5k or 8k screen... On top of scaling concerns, there's also the horsepower to run such a screen, and I'm not even talking about gaming. That's 16x the size of 1080p. @_@;;;

    If Apple updates the OS so it can properly scale it's desktop environment to 8k, good for them, I'm happy for whoever would put down a mortgage for one of the iMacs. At least it will be (mostly) usable, compared to the mess currently available for Windows and probably Linux.
  6. yRaz

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

    I want to use a large 4k display with the same 96DPI on my current 23" 1080P. I'd like to upgrade to a 40" 4k screen but there don't seem to any 4k TV's of a high enough quality at that size for me to be interested. 4K needs at least another year to mature for PC but I see it being 4 or 5 years until 4k is mainstream.

    Hopefully at that point we can have the scaling issues fixed and I can invest in a 40" 8k screen skipping 4k entirely. I need more realestate without bezels, I've been waiting for DPI in large displays to increase for years.
    noel24 likes this.
  7. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 132   +27

    Who cares ? screw that 4k, 8k bs! give us holographic and true 4d stuff already!
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

    Unless the screen is 60" or larger, I don't (and never will) see the point in going above 4K. And even then I wouldn't want to be positioned close enough to the screen to see differences in detail between 4K and 8K. Not if I am to keep the entire screen in my comfort zone of sight.
  9. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    If I were not concerned with killing my eyes with a 40" display on my desk, I'd wholeheartedly agree with you ha ha... This push for higher DPI numbers (most strongly fought over in Smartphone industry) honestly is just making it more difficult to not only allow newer resolutions to mature, but it also locks them in smaller displays because manufacturers probably want to be able to use DPI as a marketing number...

    A tangent: I personally want 1280x800 and 1366x768 to burn in a fire and stop being used, for the good of all mankind of course, but they refuse to die. =( It's easier to find 1080p on a mid range smartphone than on a laptop or tablet and that sounds wrong.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  10. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    I won't touch 4K for another couple years (TV or monitor), but the fact that the hardware is here/coming this early is better than being late. I just wish there wasn't a huge gap between TV resolutions. Going from 1080p to 4K is a little strange to me.
  11. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    Windows 10 has native 4K and 8K support so not much of a wait left.
  12. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    I've played around on a buddies Win10 with a 4k display. While it is better than 8.1, there, at this point in time, still has a little bit to be desired. In fact I'm not sure if everything they intended to do is complete yet regarding scaling support. That being said, my largest issue is what I had said in the first part of my reply.
  13. Absolute resolutions don't mean anything; only two things are important:
    1) Scaling quality.
    2) Pixels per Inch. (And even with this it is important to realize that distance to the screen makes a difference: desktops/TVs don't need as high a ppi as tablets or phones which are held closer to the eye.)
  14. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    Well if people are already gaming @ 4K, I don't see how a current gen GPU would struggle with non-gaming applications.
  15. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Cool. 8k can finally display my photos pixel 1:1 :)
  16. The first picture is wrong.
    This proves how much users are only busy with the HIGHEST pixels...
  17. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88

    Bullocks! this doesn't make much sense in my opinion.
    What are you going to do with your 8K display other than telling others on twitter, facebook, pub etc... that you spent a **** load of money on an 8K display?
    What refresh rate are we talking about? 60Hz or 30? or 24?

    What are you going to watch on it beside high resolution images? Movies or games? I don't think so.
    Someone please tell me what is the goal in this resolution race because I have a feeling that it is nothing else but lying bigger in your products specs sheet to sell it to folks without giving any added value at all...

  18. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Screw this, it's all just a money making scam and all it does is drive costs up, just like the ppi race on phone screens. 1080p is more than good enough for most people, in fact I'm happy with 720p, I can't see any difference between that and 1080 on my TV.
  19. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Quad UHD 8K will be the start of it all but right major res is 1080p HD. Going higher now is out of the question for me. What is standardize is the 1080i/1080/p or 1920x1080 res. Everything we know would have to pushed into Quad UHD 8K. Cost to do so just going to be extremely expensive.
  20. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Oh there is a difference with 720p and 1080p. Even on computer res 720p is lower than 1920x1080p. HDTV the picture on 1080i is lot better than 720p.
  21. Hello I need 8192x4320 tv with freesync pls k thnx bai
  22. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    Avoiding the rest of that first part I see, which is arguably the more important statement I was making... :p

    Gaming at 4k happens yes, and it's so durn purtty. Unfortunately it is usually with a top of the class graphics card or an SLI/CFX configuration. If not that, then with graphics fidelity turned down, sometimes substantially. That is probably not a huge problem for many of us that come to sites like Techspot, but I'm considering mass market consumption down the line, which will likely use an IGP. IGPs which barely handle 4K, if at all nowadays. Many of them having issues even handling 1080p with settings bottomed out.

    Graphics technology will continue to advance, getting more done with less and pushing performance boundaries as it always does year over year. But this 8K display is purportedly coming out later this year, not 3-4 years down the line. The tech (both dedicated cards and IGPs) would have to advance extremely fast or blow out of the currently set thermal ceilings in order to deliver usable results honestly. =(

    Being that gaming on a Mac is actually becoming a thing again, anyone who will be doing so will have the advantage of using a 3+ old engine that won't require nearly as much horsepower as other games release this year. That being said, 33,177,600 pixels is a lot of pixels, no matter what's being displayed on them.
  23. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 440   +223

    Without a dedicated video card the 8k imac is going to seriously suffer performance wise.
  24. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I know that, it's just that I don't notice it.
  25. The first image is completely wrong. How are 2160 pixels just barely taller than 1080?

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