Apple Just Stuffed a 5K Display into the New 27-inch iMac

Apple Just Stuffed a 5K Display into the New 27-inch iMac

Apple iMac 5K Display 2 310x

$2,499 is the entry fee for a 5K all-in-one, which goes on sale today.

Apple's latest press conference took place earlier today, and several product lines were refreshed during the event. With the iPhone getting attention last month, iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite were touched upon, as was the Apple Watch, but the real stars of the show were the iPad lines and the iMac.

The refreshed 27-inch iMac comes with a 5120x2880 resolution "Retina" display -- yep, that's 5K in a 16:9 format. It appears to be a custom-made (unique to Apple) panel, and A/V professionals everywhere have taken notice. The entry model, priced at $2,499, comes with a quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD R9 M290X graphics, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB Fusion Drive (HDD + SSD combo). The I/O also got a bump, thanks to the inclusion of Intel's Thunderbolt 2 standard.

Since the question will be posed in the comments -- What's the point of a 5K display? I'll hedge a little, and say, there isn't one, at least for the average consumer. A/V professionals will like the high pixel count (especially those shooting video on 4K or 5K sensors), but for the rest of us, it's a really cool, cutting-edge piece of tech, and that's about it.

But there is some Apple news for the more average consumer, in form of new iPads, and a refreshed Mac Mini. Apple announced the iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3 today, and both ship with 2048x1536 Retina displays (the Air 2 is 9.7-inches, and the Mini 3 is 7.9-inches). The Air 2 is a bit more robust, thanks to a new A8X chip, M8 co-processor, and 8 MP iSight Camera on the back (1.2 MP up front). The Mini 3 has the older A7/M7 chip combo, and a 5 MP iSight camera. The Air 2 starts at $499 for 16 GB ($629 for 4G), while the Mini 3 starts at $399 for 16 GB ($529 for 4G).

Last but not least, the Mac Mini got a spec bump, and now comes with Intel's latest and greatest. Starting at $499, the $699 model comes with a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Intel Iris graphics (HD 5000), a 1 TB hard drive, and 8 GB of RAM. If the Apple TV (which did not see an upgrade today) isn't powerful enough for you, but you still want a Cupertino product under the TV at home? This might be the place to start.

The iMac, and Mac Mini are on sale today on the Apple website, while the new iPad models go on sale tomorrow.

Excited about any of the new/refreshed models? My 2012 iPad is looking a little tired now, so an Air 2 might be on the agenda soon. And as much as I'd love a 5K display on my desk, I won't be buying one attached to an iMac. Drop your own thoughts in the comments.

Permalink

Technology for the sake of technology. Apple loves to pad out it's devices with useless numbers. I can hear the apple fanboys gushing now. Look at this amazing screen resolution, it looks so much better! No, it looks basically the same as the last generation because there is nothing on an iPad that utilizes that screen resolution. Higher numbers are always just better though, right?

What I don't understand is how the 290x running with that 5k monitor will be able to render at that resolution, considering that even the latest gaming gpus can only render at 4k on a single display... or is that only true for 3d rendering?

Baresark:
Technology for the sake of technology. Apple loves to pad out it's devices with useless numbers. I can hear the apple fanboys gushing now. Look at this amazing screen resolution, it looks so much better! No, it looks basically the same as the last generation because there is nothing on an iPad that utilizes that screen resolution. Higher numbers are always just better though, right?

Sorry, but... how does that make Apple different form any other technology company (and its fanboys) out there?

great i'll be able to see how pixelated my 1080p videos will be on this screen...

Look you can't call it 5K if you are still on the 16:9 aspect ratio! 2880p!!

4K is for 19:10. Apples and Oranges! /being pedantic

DTWolfwood:
great i'll be able to see how pixelated my 1080p videos will be on this screen...

Look you can't call it 5K if you are still on the 16:9 aspect ratio! 2880p!!

4K is for 19:10. Apples and Oranges! /being pedantic

Apple loves to declare itself the first, even if it's completely inconsequential. There is no common user for 4K, so now they have to have a 5K.

"at $399 for 16 GB".
Jeeeeez!!! They REALLY still love getting 100 bucks for a bump to 32 GB of storage that costs them next to nothing, don't they?
The OS leaves you A WHOPPING 5 GB usable storage, doesn't it?

Also... 1080p already looks quite shitty on my 1440p 27 inch monitor.

Why would ANYONE SANE buy one of these?

Well I guess if you love movies... but why not go for a larger screen then? Well, maybe there'll be a professional graphics artist per a thousand units sold that actually might have some fringe use for it.
I'm confident that the majority of people buying this thing will have no use at all for it and will only buy it because of the Apple brand and because of a desire to "have the most pixels".

I have a sister in law that jumps at any and all Apple products just for the sake of having it. That is all this item is. A high priced, needless piece of equipment that serves no real purpose for most people. You are literally paying for that monitor and nothing else, because those system specs are real bad.

Once again Apple gets a slow clap and an eye roll from me.

Baresark:

DTWolfwood:
great i'll be able to see how pixelated my 1080p videos will be on this screen...

Look you can't call it 5K if you are still on the 16:9 aspect ratio! 2880p!!

4K is for 19:10. Apples and Oranges! /being pedantic

Apple loves to declare itself the first, even if it's completely inconsequential. There is no common user for 4K, so now they have to have a 5K.

I'll just keep calling 16:9 Monitors by their vertical pixel resolution. Fuck their "5K" bullshit :P

slacker2:
What I don't understand is how the 290x running with that 5k monitor will be able to render at that resolution, considering that even the latest gaming gpus can only render at 4k on a single display... or is that only true for 3d rendering?

3-D rendering in real time (as in games) is many, many times more demanding of processing power than running a normal interface or video playback.

Any current separate GPU from the entry level up can probably handle 5k video playback without a hitch.

I have to admit that a 5k monitor would be just lovely, my greatest annoyance at building up super huge renders and paintings is that outside of five or six large scale prints that get used maybe twice in a year, nobody ever sees the work in all it's glory. Big 'ol 4k monitors certainly help that situation, but 5k is even more space to appreciate the details.

The pricing is typically Apple though, by the time it was up to an acceptable spec I had sailed past $5000, guess I'll have to slum it with 4k and a new PC in the new year.

DTWolfwood:
great i'll be able to see how pixelated my 1080p videos will be on this screen...

Look you can't call it 5K if you are still on the 16:9 aspect ratio! 2880p!!

4K is for 19:10. Apples and Oranges! /being pedantic

4K is shorthand for multiple screen resolutions

3840 × 2160 1.78:1 (16:9)
5120 × 2160 2.37:1 (21:9)
5120 × 3200 1.60:1 (16:10, 8:5)
4096 × 2160 1.90:1 (19:10)
4096 × 1716 2.39:1
3996 × 2160 1.85:1

So this 5K is just an Apple only 4K variant since the new iMac is 5120x2880

slacker2:
What I don't understand is how the 290x running with that 5k monitor will be able to render at that resolution, considering that even the latest gaming gpus can only render at 4k on a single display... or is that only true for 3d rendering?

Apple iMac's are big in the video and photo editing industry's were this will be popular. Regardless of how big Apple says iMac sales are they are a tiny part of Mac sales back when Apple gave laptop and desktop numbers separately only a third of mac sales were desktops and that number had been falling for years. It's why the desktops always seem to be targeting ever narrower niche's with the laptops becoming ever better value even for power users.

Baresark:
Technology for the sake of technology. Apple loves to pad out it's devices with useless numbers. I can hear the apple fanboys gushing now. Look at this amazing screen resolution, it looks so much better! No, it looks basically the same as the last generation because there is nothing on an iPad that utilizes that screen resolution. Higher numbers are always just better though, right?

The ipad's have the same resolution as last years models it's the iMac that gets the bigger screen resolution.

Edit

NO ONE BUY THE iPad mini 3!

It's the same as the ipad mini 2 with only a finger print sensor totally not worth $100 more than the mini 2.

If you want an iPad mini buy the mini 2 32GB model best value.

Baresark:
Technology for the sake of technology. Apple loves to pad out it's devices with useless numbers. I can hear the apple fanboys gushing now. Look at this amazing screen resolution, it looks so much better! No, it looks basically the same as the last generation because there is nothing on an iPad that utilizes that screen resolution. Higher numbers are always just better though, right?

The 5K is not the iPad, it's the iMac, as in the desktop.
And the thing with resolution is this, EVERY fanboy gushes about how great the resolution of the latest iteration of "their" company's flagship device is. There are people who bash the nVidia Shield tablet, because its screen is "shit" due to it just being barely above 1080 p while Samsung sells 2K tablets, completely ignoring how the tegra shield outperforms pretty much everything.

The 5K screen is nice, but won't really get to shine to its fullest on the entry specs, you'll have to dig deep for it to make sense.

Adam Jensen:
Why would ANYONE SANE buy one of these?

The high pixel count is pretty good for video and photo editing. That display almost allows it to show a file from my 16mp camera at almost 1:1 resolution on fullscreen. If you're into high res landscape photography with something like a D800 or a medium format back, it's pretty handy to be able to zoom into 1:1 and not have to scroll around the image so much.

Still, I could probably build something better in specs for a lot less. This is nice, but not worth paying both the Apple tax and the Australia tax.

P-89 Scorpion:

The ipad's have the same resolution as last years models it's the iMac that gets the bigger screen resolution.

Edit

NO ONE BUY THE iPad mini 3!

It's the same as the ipad mini 2 with only a finger print sensor totally not worth $100 more than the mini 2.

If you want an iPad mini buy the mini 2 32GB model best value.

Dead Metal:

The 5K is not the iPad, it's the iMac, as in the desktop.
And the thing with resolution is this, EVERY fanboy gushes about how great the resolution of the latest iteration of "their" company's flagship device is. There are people who bash the nVidia Shield tablet, because its screen is "shit" due to it just being barely above 1080 p while Samsung sells 2K tablets, completely ignoring how the tegra shield outperforms pretty much everything.

The 5K screen is nice, but won't really get to shine to its fullest on the entry specs, you'll have to dig deep for it to make sense.

According to the article, the iPad Air 2 and the Mini 3 are getting new screen resolutions (not 5K, but the article talks about more than the new monitor). That is actually mostly what I was talking about in my comment.

Baresark:

According to the article, the iPad Air 2 and the Mini 3 are getting new screen resolutions (not 5K, but the article talks about more than the new monitor). That is actually mostly what I was talking about in my comment.

Well from Apple's website it shows the screen resolution of the air and air 2 and mini 2 and 3 are all 2048x1536 screen resolution. http://store.apple.com/us/ipad/compare

The iPad air 2 screen change is that the glass and screen have been glued together so it can be thinner while the mini 3 is unchanged from the mini 2.

P-89 Scorpion:

Baresark:

According to the article, the iPad Air 2 and the Mini 3 are getting new screen resolutions (not 5K, but the article talks about more than the new monitor). That is actually mostly what I was talking about in my comment.

Well from Apple's website it shows the screen resolution of the air and air 2 and mini 2 and 3 are all 2048x1536 screen resolution. http://store.apple.com/us/ipad/compare

The iPad air 2 screen change is that the glass and screen have been glued together so it can be thinner while the mini 3 is unchanged from the mini 2.

Gotcha. I stand corrected then.

Let me guess... Apple is going to shove "5K" down consumers' throats to get them to buy 5K iMacs. It's not like their entire consumer side of their PC division is not about selling more than what a customer actually needs. Creative professionals probably aren't even going to upgrade just to get that extra edge, unless they deal primarily in 4K videa. (They would later on, when their current equipment starts feeling old.)

My question is...can it play Blu Rays? I realize Blu Rays don't even play at 4k, much less 5k, but it would be really sad if they put this thing out and the only thing you could play on your personal 5k monitor is DVD.

The reason for the 5K resolution is the same as the retina Macbook Pro: High pixel-per-inch. If you look at the resolution it's double the original iMac, same case when retina Macbook Pro.

You guys need to understand this is not for games. Those can just render at a lower resolution and scale up. It's useful for... text reading when you are just browsing documents and webpages. After using a retina Macbook Pro I can safely say it's just painful to use a regular desktop and stare at blurry texts now as most desktops just don't have a display with high enough ppi. You get ultra crisp texts and especially for East Asian fonts which are more dense the extra ppi help in giving this "paper" feel. I mean the ppi is only ~210 for 5K iMac. It's over 400 for a lot of new phones.

For example, laser printers print at higher dpi than any displays we have now (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dots_per_inch) where they go at 600+, and I think we can all agree prints look better than computer displays. My opinion is this ppi increase won't really stop until we reach that kind of figure.

As for why Apple didn't go for regular 4K, well their scaling tech relies on doubling resolutions, so they just doubled the existing 2560x1440 resolution for iMacs (a pretty popular resolution for 27' displays now).

Baresark:
Technology for the sake of technology. Apple loves to pad out it's devices with useless numbers. I can hear the apple fanboys gushing now. Look at this amazing screen resolution, it looks so much better! No, it looks basically the same as the last generation because there is nothing on an iPad that utilizes that screen resolution. Higher numbers are always just better though, right?

erm, what does iPad has to do with apples all-in-ones. they are, in practice, just a desktop merged with a monitor.

slacker2:
What I don't understand is how the 290x running with that 5k monitor will be able to render at that resolution, considering that even the latest gaming gpus can only render at 4k on a single display... or is that only true for 3d rendering?

erm, ANY card can render in 4k resolutions. the question is what it is rendering. the more complex the models the more harder it is to render them. and also older cards are going to run out of Vram soon. the 290x is quite good for high resolution rendering though. rendering 4k was a thing for a few years now actually. rendering complex games at 4k is hard, watching a 4k movie? even console GPU can handle that. Mac isnt really the one that gets latest and most complex (rendering wise) games so they likely dont have to worry about it. also due to apple expecting all its users to buy a new one every year theyp robably dont care about futureporoofing.

Adam Jensen:
Why would ANYONE SANE buy one of these?

well, there are many people who buy apple products. i cannot attest to their sanity.

rofltehcat:
Well I guess if you love movies... but why not go for a larger screen then?

when i watch movies - visual quality > screen size. thats why i hate poor compression (youtube, netflix). i consider 30000kbps the minimum acceptable compression for 1080p video. Sadly the ONLY source providing that nowadays is BlueRays. (well and downsampled 4k sources, but those are rare, expensive and often not legal to obtain)

fix-the-spade:

I have to admit that a 5k monitor would be just lovely, my greatest annoyance at building up super huge renders and paintings is that outside of five or six large scale prints that get used maybe twice in a year, nobody ever sees the work in all it's glory. Big 'ol 4k monitors certainly help that situation, but 5k is even more space to appreciate the details.

we still got problems with teaching people not to downsample photos they take, its going to be a long road till people actually learn to use 4k pictures.

Shamanic Rhythm:
The high pixel count is pretty good for video and photo editing.

But on the other hand, 8GB RAM, no SSD (hybrid drives rely on caching frequently used files and are no better than an HDD for that), a mid-range CPU and apparently a mobile GPU (is that "M" a typo? Apple's site isn't working at the moment, but that seems a really weird choice) are all pretty bad choices for video editing. I'm certainly not going to criticise having a high resolution display; it's always bugged me that PC monitor resolution has been held back so much by TVs getting stuck at 1080p, to the point where people still think 1080p is something to aim for rather than the absolute minimum we should expect. I just can't quite figure out who this PC is actually for. It's a Mac, so obviously not gaming. It's an all in one with a relatively small screen, so not for home cinema/media centre type thing. And the specs just don't seem much good for video or workstation use. Photos are about the only thing left, but while high resolution is useful for that it requires relatively little processing power and so hardly justifies the price when you can get a bigger 4K monitor for under £500.

Strazdas:

Baresark:
Technology for the sake of technology. Apple loves to pad out it's devices with useless numbers. I can hear the apple fanboys gushing now. Look at this amazing screen resolution, it looks so much better! No, it looks basically the same as the last generation because there is nothing on an iPad that utilizes that screen resolution. Higher numbers are always just better though, right?

erm, what does iPad has to do with apples all-in-ones. they are, in practice, just a desktop merged with a monitor.

Erm, the article stated, as I have mentioned above if you read all the posts regarding this subject, that the iPad Air 2 and the Mini 3 were also getting upgrade. The article was wrong and someone has already pointed it out to me. To which I responded I stand corrected.

Wonder how many of the people going "nobody would need THIS level of technology" are the same people who put together several hundred-dollar gaming Rigs so that they can run the newest games at 90FPS with maxed settings.

Baresark:
Technology for the sake of technology. Apple loves to pad out it's devices with useless numbers. I can hear the apple fanboys gushing now. Look at this amazing screen resolution, it looks so much better! No, it looks basically the same as the last generation because there is nothing on an iPad that utilizes that screen resolution. Higher numbers are always just better though, right?

Funniest part is that the computer it comes with is so shite that nothing that currently could support 5K actually could run on a 5K display. Movie industry wont switch to such an unimpressive sounding number increase. Graphical editors need more power then that to do stuff at 5K. Videogames barely run at 4K on powerful windows machines.

ycc:
The reason for the 5K resolution is the same as the retina Macbook Pro: High pixel-per-inch. If you look at the resolution it's double the original iMac, same case when retina Macbook Pro.

You guys need to understand this is not for games. Those can just render at a lower resolution and scale up. It's useful for... text reading when you are just browsing documents and webpages. After using a retina Macbook Pro I can safely say it's just painful to use a regular desktop and stare at blurry texts now as most desktops just don't have a display with high enough ppi. You get ultra crisp texts and especially for East Asian fonts which are more dense the extra ppi help in giving this "paper" feel. I mean the ppi is only ~210 for 5K iMac. It's over 400 for a lot of new phones.

For example, laser printers print at higher dpi than any displays we have now (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dots_per_inch) where they go at 600+, and I think we can all agree prints look better than computer displays. My opinion is this ppi increase won't really stop until we reach that kind of figure.

As for why Apple didn't go for regular 4K, well their scaling tech relies on doubling resolutions, so they just doubled the existing 2560x1440 resolution for iMacs (a pretty popular resolution for 27' displays now).

Ok that is just illogical. PCs hurt your eyes to read more then paper because the brightness compared to the non-light emitting things aside them, increasing stress on your eyes. EBOOK running designed devices for years now read exact-ally like reading a book, just without the satisfying turning page feel. They feel like reading an actual page for your eyes, and are far from insanely high resolution.

Kahani:

Shamanic Rhythm:
The high pixel count is pretty good for video and photo editing.

But on the other hand, 8GB RAM, no SSD (hybrid drives rely on caching frequently used files and are no better than an HDD for that), a mid-range CPU and apparently a mobile GPU (is that "M" a typo? Apple's site isn't working at the moment, but that seems a really weird choice) are all pretty bad choices for video editing. I'm certainly not going to criticise having a high resolution display; it's always bugged me that PC monitor resolution has been held back so much by TVs getting stuck at 1080p, to the point where people still think 1080p is something to aim for rather than the absolute minimum we should expect. I just can't quite figure out who this PC is actually for. It's a Mac, so obviously not gaming. It's an all in one with a relatively small screen, so not for home cinema/media centre type thing. And the specs just don't seem much good for video or workstation use. Photos are about the only thing left, but while high resolution is useful for that it requires relatively little processing power and so hardly justifies the price when you can get a bigger 4K monitor for under £500.

Those are just the base model specs. Higher end models come with a flash SSD, up to 32 GB ram, an r9 m295x and an i7. For video rendering, unless you go for something like a Quadro or Firepro the GPU won't make an enormous difference.

Also, there are still people who game on macs.

I just browsed through their store and without insults and flaming, could anyone tell me how apple's iMac prices can even remotely be justified? My girlfriend works as a graphics designer and illustrator and has wanted to buy a Mac for ages now but I'm looking at the specs of these machines and I can not for the life of me figure out why they're worth that much money. I know they're usually very well put together, have a long lifespan, are reliable, etc... but still: 1800$ for a 3.2 i5 and a GT 755M 1Gb... I don't get it.

Juan Regular:
I just browsed through their store and without insults and flaming, could anyone tell me how apple's iMac prices can even remotely be justified? My girlfriend works as a graphics designer and illustrator and has wanted to buy a Mac for ages now but I'm looking at the specs of these machines and I can not for the life of me figure out why they're worth that much money. I know they're usually very well put together, have a long lifespan, are reliable, etc... but still: 1800$ for a 3.2 i5 and a GT 755M 1Gb... I don't get it.

As someone who builds computers for fun and profit and owns several Apple devices, as far as I'm concerned the prices can't be justified. From a technical aspect, the prices are far too high for the tech inside. You are paying for brand, reputation, and admittedly very reliable software. Lack of variation in the hardware means software is more focused and less likely to experience errors and crashes.

There are upsides to apples computers, but I don't find those upsides to be worth a jaw-dropping increase in cost. Apple computers are right for some people but for most I recommend PC.

I can't think of a reason why I would need it. My eyes are optically not good enough to see the difference (wearing glasses).

Aeshi:
Wonder how many of the people going "nobody would need THIS level of technology" are the same people who put together several hundred-dollar gaming Rigs so that they can run the newest games at 90FPS with maxed settings.

Well clearly you haven't read well enough. The problem isn't the level of technology...it's the wrong level of technology in the wrong places. Refer to Kahani's post:

Kahani:

But on the other hand, 8GB RAM, no SSD (hybrid drives rely on caching frequently used files and are no better than an HDD for that), a mid-range CPU and apparently a mobile GPU (is that "M" a typo? Apple's site isn't working at the moment, but that seems a really weird choice) are all pretty bad choices for video editing. I'm certainly not going to criticise having a high resolution display; it's always bugged me that PC monitor resolution has been held back so much by TVs getting stuck at 1080p, to the point where people still think 1080p is something to aim for rather than the absolute minimum we should expect. I just can't quite figure out who this PC is actually for. It's a Mac, so obviously not gaming. It's an all in one with a relatively small screen, so not for home cinema/media centre type thing. And the specs just don't seem much good for video or workstation use. Photos are about the only thing left, but while high resolution is useful for that it requires relatively little processing power and so hardly justifies the price when you can get a bigger 4K monitor for under £500.

I mean...look at this thing! What does it hope to accomplish!? As soon as I saw the i5, I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, "Couldn't be Apple without cutting corners, could it?" But really, my personal snarkiness aside, Kahani nails every problem I have with the thing from an objective standpoint.

And let's come back to the real world. The damn thing is still 2500 bucks. 2500 bucks for a computer with an i5 processor and a garbage GPU. I don't care if you're not a gamer. I don't care if you don't know how to build your own system. With that much money, you could HIRE somebody to design you a computer (and then build it), and still have the money left to build a system that would make my homemade PC look like a pile of rusty bolts and screws...and still buy a 4k display monitor that will look just as good as this inane 5k one.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here