4K display vs Thunderbolt Display

IlikeMacsSoMuch

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
346
2
Blainville, Province of Quebec
Hi, just curious here. Besides very high quality photography, what' more can one do with a 4K display that actual thunderbolt display can't? Cause I have a 27 inches imac and the picture quality is already amazing IMO, and even tho I know I can use it as an external monitor for my MBP, I want to sell it to buy a thunderbolt display and eventually I'll buy a MacPro when they come out. So, my question is, since I am not a professional photographer nor a video editor, would I use the extra pixels?
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,162
3,889
Atlanta
Hi, just curious here. Besides very high quality photography, what' more can one do with a 4K display that actual thunderbolt display can't?...
4K is a misnomer for a resolution named UHD (Ultra High Definition) 3840x2160. True 4K is a digital Cinema term that means 4096Xxxxx.

Thunderbolt is a connection/interface standard and can support many different resolutions including UHD (with Thunderbolt 2).

So a UHD can have a Thunderbolt 2 connection and Thunderbolt 2 can connect to a UHD.
 

IlikeMacsSoMuch

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
346
2
Blainville, Province of Quebec
4K is a misnomer for a resolution named UHD (Ultra High Definition) 3840x2160. True 4K is a digital Cinema term that means 4096Xxxxx.

Thunderbolt is a connection/interface standard and can support many different resolutions including UHD (with Thunderbolt 2).

So a UHD can have a Thunderbolt 2 connection and Thunderbolt 2 can connect to a UHD.
Thanks but that doesn't answer the question
 

Outrigger

macrumors 68000
Dec 22, 2008
1,759
92
Hi, just curious here. Besides very high quality photography, what' more can one do with a 4K display that actual thunderbolt display can't? Cause I have a 27 inches imac and the picture quality is already amazing IMO, and even tho I know I can use it as an external monitor for my MBP, I want to sell it to buy a thunderbolt display and eventually I'll buy a MacPro when they come out. So, my question is, since I am not a professional photographer nor a video editor, would I use the extra pixels?
what does very high quality photography mean? what would a 4k display offer a pro photographer (i.e. someone that makes a living off of it) that a monitor designed for photography (i.e. Eizo) can't?

I think if you have to ask if you need the extra pixels, then you clearly don't need it.
 

meistervu

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2008
1,027
27
...

I think if you have to ask if you need the extra pixels, then you clearly don't need it.
I am no so sure. Replace "extra pixels" in "if you have to ask if you need the extra pixels" with other things like:

- a smart phone
- a computer
- a pen
- a car
- shoes
- house
- new cave
- fire
- help

The list goes on. It depends on how one defines "need." As one person once said, "nobody needs more than 640K."
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,972
68
Thanks but that doesn't answer the question
It's a poor question and that's why you got the response you got. As already stated, Thunderbolt and 4K are completely different things. You might as well ask "Should I buy a Honda Civic or diesel?".

Improved resolution isn't just about "what more one can do" but whether one needs the added resolution or not. It's one of those questions where if you have to ask you probably don't need it. If you need it you'd know you need it.

Turn the question around. Why are you considering 4K if you're happy with your current resolution? It seems like you're putting the cart before the horse. Instead of trying to fit solutions to your needs, understand your needs first and then find appropriate solutions.
 
Last edited:

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,716
1,782
Thanks but that doesn't answer the question
Take a look at the rMBP displays. The effect in terms of resolution would be similar, although the imac's resolution is decent as it is. Beyond that you're unlikely to get much of an answer. 4K is just being supported because drivers have started to appear for it. It could be extremely expensive for the next several years, but we really don't know.
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,496
3,933
Space--The ONLY Frontier
Hi, just curious here. Besides very high quality photography, what' more can one do with a 4K display that actual thunderbolt display can't? Cause I have a 27 inches imac and the picture quality is already amazing IMO, and even tho I know I can use it as an external monitor for my MBP, I want to sell it to buy a thunderbolt display and eventually I'll buy a MacPro when they come out. So, my question is, since I am not a professional photographer nor a video editor, would I use the extra pixels?
It all depends on the size ( pixel density ) of your photos.

If you have photos that are very large they will fit ( without scaling down ) on a Thunderbolt display with 4K capabilities.

If you use the same photos on a Thunderbolt display without 4K capabilities they will need to be scaled down to fit the screen.

The same idea is used for video.
 

meistervu

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2008
1,027
27
I think it is hard to imagine how a 4K displays look on a 27" screen, plus there are other factors such as color, contrast, reflectivity, etc.. One can take a MBPr screen and imagine it being bigger, but that doesn't really capture the essence of it. Remember when the iPhone retina came out and people try to speculate how an iPad retina would look? I don't think one can get the sense of the latter by looking at the former.

For sure text will looks sharper, but most of all photos will show will a lot more details. I think it is hard for me to imagine anyone into photography would not appreciate more higher pixel density to view their photos. A print is typically 250+ DPI where as the current Apple Thunderbolt display is, I guess, less than 150 DPI. Sure, one sits further from a 27" display than one do viewing a print, but even at that distance, a higher density display will certainly make a huge difference.

I am sure many people who didn't think they need a 4K display will change their mind one they use one, just like our ancestors who didn't think they need fire until they tasted BBQ mammoth :)
 

IlikeMacsSoMuch

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
346
2
Blainville, Province of Quebec
It all depends on the size ( pixel density ) of your photos.

If you have photos that are very large they will fit ( without scaling down ) on a Thunderbolt display with 4K capabilities.

If you use the same photos on a Thunderbolt display without 4K capabilities they will need to be scaled down to fit the screen.

The same idea is used for video.
So basically besides photo or video editing it would be overkill?

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I think it is hard to imagine how a 4K displays look on a 27" screen, plus there are other factors such as color, contrast, reflectivity, etc.. One can take a MBPr screen and imagine it being bigger, but that doesn't really capture the essence of it. Remember when the iPhone retina came out and people try to speculate how an iPad retina would look? I don't think one can get the sense of the latter by looking at the former.

For sure text will looks sharper, but most of all photos will show will a lot more details. I think it is hard for me to imagine anyone into photography would not appreciate more higher pixel density to view their photos. A print is typically 250+ DPI where as the current Apple Thunderbolt display is, I guess, less than 150 DPI. Sure, one sits further from a 27" display than one do viewing a print, but even at that distance, a higher density display will certainly make a huge difference.

I am sure many people who didn't think they need a 4K display will change their mind one they use one, just like our ancestors who didn't think they need fire until they tasted BBQ mammoth :)
I see your point and I agree, and now I want some BBQ mammoth!

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Take a look at the rMBP displays. The effect in terms of resolution would be similar, although the imac's resolution is decent as it is. Beyond that you're unlikely to get much of an answer. 4K is just being supported because drivers have started to appear for it. It could be extremely expensive for the next several years, but we really don't know.
I did not realize that the difference would be that big, will it work with thunderbolt 1, or actual? I hope it won't be like the thunderbolt port vs the mini displayport

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It's a poor question and that's why you got the response you got. As already stated, Thunderbolt and 4K are completely different things. You might as well ask "Should I buy a Honda Civic or diesel?".

Improved resolution isn't just about "what more one can do" but whether one needs the added resolution or not. It's one of those questions where if you have to ask you probably don't need it. If you need it you'd know you need it.

Turn the question around. Why are you considering 4K if you're happy with your current resolution? It seems like you're putting the cart before the horse. Instead of trying to fit solutions to your needs, understand your needs first and then find appropriate solutions.
Point taken, but knowing how far you can go with one tank of gas might make you want to go elsewhere than planned, don't you think?

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what does very high quality photography mean? what would a 4k display offer a pro photographer (i.e. someone that makes a living off of it) that a monitor designed for photography (i.e. Eizo) can't?

I think if you have to ask if you need the extra pixels, then you clearly don't need it.
And how would I know if I need it without asking myself the question? By high quality photography I mean pro grades, highest DPI and all.