Question about 5K Retina iMac

I am about to upgrade to a new Mac. Have been watching the iMacs figuring that they should be getting decent upgrades soon since the current ones have been out since late 2013. At least the non-5K Retina models. Now Apple has done a, meager little tweak to them, mainly just offering a new, cheaper version of the 5K Retina. In the process it appears that you can no longer get a 27 inch non-Retina iMac with an i7 processor which didn’t make me happy.

My question is this, do any of you work with one of the 5K Retina iMacs. I am just wondering whether or not my 71 year old eyes are going to be able to read text with a doubling of the resolution that I am now working with. 2560x1440 to 5120x2880. Be a darned shame to upgrade and then have to sit there with a magnifying glass to read the documents on the screen. :wink:

Are there any other oddities that you encounter with the 5K Retina iMacs.

My two Macs right now work fine; but, just once before I depart this earth I would love to own 2 Macs that have identical functionality. In all the years that I have had two Macs it has always been that the older one is 2 or three years older than the newer one and therefore cannot do everything that the newer one can.

Really appreciate any info you can give regarding the 5K Retina iMacs.

You could look in their “Refurbished and Clearance” store. It doesn’t look like they’ve added the old 27" iMacs yet, but they may show up.

For what it’s worth, the screen should look identical to the 2560x1440 screen in terms of how big the text is, just that it’ll be sharper.

FWIW, I have two thunderbolt monitors here that are 2560x1440, and yes, even my 46 year old eyes have issues from time to time reading the text. Especially when I’m tired.

Thanks Greg. Not sure why but I thought that doubling the resolution would make things smaller. If the main difference is clearer presentation, I can happily live with that.

The main difference is a much clearer presentation, your eyes will certainly be grateful! And you can choose between different resolution/scale factors meaning if an app should be difficult to read, you can always opt for an effectice reduction of screen size resolution while everything stays crips and clear like print.
I have an old color-calibrated monitor standing beside my iMac Retina. Text is a bit bigger than on the iMac, but I prefer reading on the Retina display. It’s a huge difference and clearly to the better.

The good thing is that the retina Macs have a slider in the monitor settings to move from more space to bigger letters.

So you don’t need to run it at 2x. Maybe 1.5x is better for you to read.

also when you get used to retina display, you don’t want back.

Soooooooo much easier on the eyes after a long day…

My 84 years old eyes do not find much difference in 5k Retina iMac display and thunderbolt monitors next to it. The display control panel are different. The 5k has “*Larger Text”, between, “Default”, between, “More Space”; where as the Thunderbolt has: 2580x1440, *2048x1152, 1600x900, 1280x720. * indicate my setting. Not sure but I think I have to have the brightness set higher for the 5k.

This Mac is only a few months old. If it were not for the SS(?) memory I would probably be disappointed.

Thanks for all of your replies. I am now much more confident in upgrading to the 5K Retina iMacs as it appears that my thinking everything would be 1/2 the size is totally off base. Now I just have to convince myself to depart with the dollars, although, when it comes to cars and computers, that is not that hard to do and always feels good once you are in possession of the new car or computer. Thanks again.

I have an iMac 5K and very happy with it. I also have a second Apple Thunderbolt display. Trust me, the difference is HUGE.
As Christian said, ones you worked on a Retina screen, you never want to use a dull ‘lowres’ display again. :slight_smile:

[quote=188952:@Christoph De Vocht]I have an iMac 5K and very happy with it. I also have a second Apple Thunderbolt display. Trust me, the difference is HUGE.
As Christian said, ones you worked on a Retina screen, you never want to use a dull ‘lowres’ display again. :)[/quote]

I assume the 5k is the better display?

I’ve been on a 2011 27" iMac for some time, but also have had a MacBook Pro for a year or so with a Retina display. Just now upgraded the iMac to a 5k. In fact, software updates are running in the background right now :slight_smile:

It’s true… Retina displays are awesome. Don’t use one if you do not plan on purchasing right away…

the highest resolution Apple lets you use is 3200 x 1800, which is fine, I can still see that. There is a utility called SwitchResX that lets you, well, switch resolution to something not in the preference pane. I tried the native (5120 x 2880) value, bu to read anything I have to change font sizes, so what’s the point. Before I do that again, I need to get new glasses or lasic surgery or both.

I tried switch res on the external monitors I have on my rMBP
Didn’t help :frowning:

I don’t have one of those yet, I wasn’t going to buy one, since I just bought the 5K iMac. But the company I work for was bought and the new owners give us the choice between some Dell laptop and a mid-range MBP, so one is coming my way around September (the MBP that is, not the Dell).

I read some stuff about these 5K iMacs. From what I gathered, they operate in waht is basically Hi-DPI mode. So although the maximum resolution is 5120x2880, HiDPI mode uses by default half of that, which makes it 2560x1440 (Same as the current Thunderbolt monitors), but by doing that it crams twice as much information into the same space; this makes everything super crisp and smooth at the same time and is indeed a pleasure for your peepers. You can set other resolutions and font settings in System Prefs.

Having seen the screenshots showing the difference, the non-Hi-DPI (Or non-Retina) looks almost jagged and broken by comparison. Basically, you can not ‘see’ the pixels on the new model in the way you could have on the previous ones.

Apple really have done a good job with the screens on these 5K iMacs.

Sadly, whilst I have a pile of cash here to invest in one, I wont be buying yet, as Im not happy about the GPU choice.

Feel free to add/correct on what I have written here since I dont physically have one yet. The above is my understanding of them.

What’s wrong with the GPU? It’s a laptop GPU, right, so it may in principle fall back behind a high-power desktop GPU. In real life switching from a Mac Pro 2009 to a Retina iMac cut the time I need for processing an image with Perfect Photo Suite from about 2 minutes to maybe 15 seconds.
in a sudden attack of nostalgia, I bought a license of Elite Dangerous, just for old time’s sake. I miss the waltz when you approach a station, but besides that it runs in highest resolution with Ultra detail setting without any stops or slow-downs.

Well I’ve read scattered reports of two areas which concern me.

First is, as you mention its a mobile class GPU, and that the performance could be better. That in itself wouldnt stop me outright from buying.

Ive also seen reports though, that the GPU is a bit of a mobile toaster, in some cases heating up to near 100 degrees celsius. Apparently that is within specification, but I feel uneasy about that kind of heat level building up inside such a tightly packed machine. It likely doesnt happen a lot but even so, that cant be good for the overall longevity of the system.

Just wanted to give a thank you to those who replied and removed the fear of my old eyes having a tough time looking at a 5K Retina iMac screen. As I mentioned in my initial post, I am an old timer who, before leaving this life, wanted for once to have two Macs that had identical capabilities. For years now I have had that new Mac with a 2 or 3 year old Mac as a backup. I have finally achieved my wish as I now have two identical 5K Retina iMacs. Set the first one up as a clean install adding in my applications one at a time. Thankfully all of those license keys were within 1Password on the remaining old Mac so with File Sharing in place I could just copy those license keys from a Finder window looking at 1Password on the old machine and post them in to the registration window on the new machine. Once the first machine was set up the second iMac used Migration Assistant to bring over the goodies. Both machines have two external drives. One with Carbon Copy Cloner running twice daily to keep it as a bootable backup for the internal drive and the other drive dedicated to Time Machine.

Needless to say, this old fart is a happy camper at this point in life. Spent a ridiculous amount of money to achieve this goal but what the heck, as they say, I can’t take the money with me when I depart.

By the way, these old eyes have no problem with the screens and the text that appears on them. None at all!!!