5k iMac vs 4k monitor HiDPI

Discussion in 'iMac' started by curtoise, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. curtoise macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #1
    I cannot find an answer or a review about this, I know the difference between non retina and retina screens but I want to know the difference between the 5k iMac with retina display and a 4k monitor at HiDPI setting attached to a rMBP, at the same resolution the image should be exactly the same saving amount of ppi and the different panel components and technologies correct?

    Is there any video comparing a 4k monitor and 5k iMac at the same resolution?
     
  2. 5iMacs macrumors regular

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    #2
    You have to go well below 24" to get the same ppi, are there 4k monitors that small?
     
  3. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I'm not trying to get same ppi as that will be impossible due to 4k vs 5k and amount of pixels, I'm just wondering on regular daily use, coding, design, web, email, a 4k monitor in HiDPI mode at 2560 x 1440 should be very similar experience than the 5k imac correct?
     
  4. kgapp macrumors member

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    #4
    I think it is hard to fairly compare them because 5k has almost twice the pixel count of 4k. It is a bit like asking how does a 1440p monitor compare to a 4k monitor when using HiDPI modes at the same resolution?

    But to answer your original question, yes if they are running at the same scaled resolution (2560 x 1440) then you would see the same image proportions on both screens. As you noted the PPI will be quite a bit different and depending on the actual size of the 4k monitor the UI elements will potentially be a different size. Most importantly, the image on the 5k monitor will appear quite a bit sharper than that on the 4k (after all it has almost twice the numbers of pixels which is what all the hype is about).

    What I am interested to know at this point is how much current software will take full advantage of retina resolution. I am finding the need to update quite a few of my software packages in order to have retina compatible apps that will look their best on the new hardware.
     
  5. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Thank you, I guess due to the lack of information or reviews between actual 4k monitors and the new iMac I'll have to order one and compare myself, I'm trying to find out if the LG 34UM95 will support HiDPI mode, IPS panel and it is about $890 now, using it at 2560x1440 in HiDPI should be very good (retina like) display correct?
     
  6. kgapp macrumors member

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    #6
    The LG 34UM95 is an ultra wide monitor (21:9 aspect ratio). It will not have anywhere near the same image proportions as a 2560X1440 (16:9) monitor. I believe that if you tried to run the LG monitor in 2560X1440 you would end up with 880 horizontal lines (440 on each side) of resolution showing nothing (black). This would obviously not make any sense and would completely defeat the purpose of buying an ultra wide screen monitor like this.

    The LG monitor would not have a retina like image in anyway. It just would have an image that has a ton of horizontal resolution.

    I have heard good things about the LG but have not seen one first hand so I can not comment on its actual display quality except to say that it will not be close to 'retina like' as you have inquired.
     
  7. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thank you, right now I'm running an 4k ASUS PB287Q with a late 2013 rMBP at HiDPI 3200x1800 and everything looks retina to me, I wonder if the iMac will look a million times better or just slightly better, $579 on the ASUS against $3000 on the iMac for slightly is a lot of money.
     
  8. kgapp macrumors member

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    #8
    If you have it running @ 60 hz and you are happy with it I would probably suggest you stick with what you have. Will the 5k look better? Probably. Will it look a 'million times' better? Highly unlikely.
     
  9. 5iMacs macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2014
    #9
    Well, 28" 4k is an interesting size, if you like the way it looks for the font sizes you use then you are in good shape there. Remember, anything is "Retina" at some distance away.

    Upgrading to a 5k Retina would let you use smaller fonts and smaller magnification levels and put more total stuff on the screen, while remaining legible and attractive. And you'd be leaning in more. So if the screen doesn't feel too crowded then you probably are not hurting for a Retina display.
     
  10. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Yes I have it running at 60hz with Display Port 1.2, it is a TN panel but very good view angles, I'm a coder-designer so I use it about 10-12 hours a day with Coda-Photoshop-CSS.

    The retina display on the rMBP looks better (sharper) but not a million times better than the ASUS in HiDPI, I'm still scratching my head on why nobody did a review between the 5k iMac and the new inexpensive 4k monitors on the market, everybody is wowed about the screen in the new iMac against the old ones but nobody is comparing against the current 4k monitors.
     
  11. ra004e, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    ra004e macrumors regular

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    #11
    Don't forget that apple's display is glossy and will not argue pro and cons here, but on these ultra high resolution displays in my opinion the glossy panels really highlight the clarity these panels provide. Also if HIDPi settings were available for any monitor, 1/2 the panel real resolution would amount to "best for display" setting in System preferences. i.e. TBD @ 2560x1440/2 would be like having a 27" display with a resolution of 1280x720. on the 32", 28" 4k panels resolution would be 1920x1080. Only dells 24" 4k real makes sense as it would effective be 24" monitor @1920 x 1080. I believe we didn't see a 21" iMac retina because only 24" 4k panels are available at the moment and apple would have had to retool 21" to 24" iMac. Also only wide color gamut version of that panel anyway, I believe LG is producing sRGB version of that panel by end of year and next iMac could be 24" retina 4k @ 1920x1080.
     
  12. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #12
    The number one issue is the major performance hit that you get from running at a scaled resolution. Lump that on top of the already weaker graphics in a laptop and it's not ideal.

    I don't know that I would advocate spending the money if you've already got it, but I wouldn't advise buying that setup from scratch.
     
  13. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I don't want to use smaller fonts, I want to use the same fonts but in better quality, I'm looking the screen (code) 12 hours per day, I need them to be relatively big and sharp, the ASUS does a decent job, the Macbook Pro does it better as there is more ppi and better display components versus the TN panel from the ASUS.

    ----------

    Yes I see that as the rMBP is glossy too and it makes the screen look much better than the matte panel.

    ----------

    I have a GT 750 with 2MB right now, do you think it is not good to run the ASUS? I have not encountered any issues on normal day use and even gaming at 2560x1440.

    What will be the major performance hit to run scaled?

    I thought the iMac runs scaled resolution by default in best for display too.
     
  14. 5iMacs macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2014
    #14
    well, the only one way to get better quality fonts is to give them more pixels, so running larger point size or moving to a higher ppi display, there's no magic there.

    BTW I run my 2012 retina Macbook Pro with an external 4k panel about 15 hours a week and it does not struggle in the least.
     
  15. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Yes that is why I'm intrigued about the 5k iMac, even f the ASUS 4k is good I wonder how good the 5k iMac will be showing code and css in the same resolution but with better ppi.

    What 4k panel are you running of the Macbook?
     
  16. 5iMacs macrumors regular

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    #16
    39" seiki 4k TV on a standing desk. Have to stand to use a display that is so wide.
     
  17. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    #17
    As someone who writes software on a 4k now, it's pretty darn clear. The 5k in the iMac is at even a higher DPI which statistically should look even "clearer" although to most users the higher DPI than a 4k likely wont be too noticeable since you're sitting pretty far away from the display itself (another forum member pointed this out to me earlier).

    I wouldn't buy this because it's 5k > 4k, I would buy it because it's a high dpi panel with great colours.
     
  18. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I was looking at that one in Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Seiki-SE39UY04-39-Inch-Ultra-Discontinued/dp/B00DOPGO2G

    Pretty inexpensive too, what resolution are you using? HiDPI? also I see LED display but it does not say anything about IPS, how is the screen quality on this one?
     
  19. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    #19
    That webpage claims that it's 30Hz at 4k which is standard for television but terrible for computers. The iMac runs at 60Hz, as do most 4k monitors with DP1.2.
     
  20. 5iMacs macrumors regular

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    #20
    The point is to fit a lot of stuff on the screen, terminal windows, VNC sessions, monitoring dashboards, so I run native. It's the resolution of a 20" 1080p monitor at 4x the area.

    I have yet to run into any problems with the 30Hz refresh. When you move the mouse pointer quickly you get a little bit of a "strobe" look to it but it's not delayed at all, so not harder to control.

    I suppose I am out of luck for proofing 60fps video, darn.

    The main point is that it's a cut-rate 39" monitor which brings its own massive pros and cons, not that it's 30Hz (at least in productivity applications).

    Forgot to mention: The contrast and color are good, off angle is better than average TN but not IPS, and it needs considerable adjustment out of the box so beware if you hate fiddling with that kind of thing.
     
  21. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Have you tried connecting a PS4 or Xbox to that monitor? Any good?
     
  22. 5iMacs macrumors regular

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    #22
    I'm very fussy about image quality, so no way would I send that display a 1080p signal and let it scale it up, it's really ugly upscaling.

    Like I said, cut-rate. It's one of the limitations.
     
  23. EnderTW, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    EnderTW macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I have the Dell 24 inch 4k attached to my 5k iMac. I can tell you there is a difference. The 5k iMac is that much sharper.

    When I first got the Dell 24 I connected it to my rMBP 13 inch which could only drive the display at 30hz, so I returned that and waited until they got it right.

    Don't get me wrong, the Dell 24 4k monitor is great on it's own. If you could drive that 60hz, it's great. The way OSX does spaces and multi tasking, and also allows individual spaces PER DISPLAY is truly amazing. I'll have a video playing full screen on the 4k, with xcode and such on my 5k display. I can swipe with 4 fingers on the 4k monitor between that, limechat, maybe safari. etc while maintaining the xcode on my 5k display. All with no lag on the base model. Only lag is the mission control animation, which I think another thread confirmed per Apple Support Engineer that they're aware of the issue and a fix is coming.

    Another thing that amazes me is that it's super aware. if I turn off the display, all the applications come back to main 5k screen, I turn on the display and all the applications immediately go back into their former position on the 4k screen.

    I usually don't mix resolutions, but for what I use the 4k monitor for, IRC / light reading or videos, plus OSX does such a great job with it's retina implementation, it makes it a joy to use.
     
  24. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Thank you I'll try the iMac retina and attach the Asus 4k as I have until Saturday to return it and the iMac should be here tomorrow.

    Do you have a picture of your setup or closeup photos of the monitors together?
     

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