How to Get a Retina-like Effect on an iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MICHAELSD, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #1
    Technically, if you used the same 2880x1800 resolution as on the rMBP on the 27" iMac you would have sharper texts and graphics. Although you'd only have the 1440x900 real estate. Doesn't make it a Retina Display but still sharper with that trade-off. Anyone care to try?
     
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #2
    You can't add pixel density but you can half your effective resolution and get the look (from a distance). Google 'HiDPI' and find out how to activate it on your OS.
     
  3. WJKramer macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Correct me if I'm wrong but retina has to do with DPI and you can't push the iMac pixels closer together.
     
  4. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #4
    That's correct, but the idea here is you're getting a smaller workspace with a Retina-like effect.
     
  5. StephenCampbell, Oct 5, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013

    StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

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    #5
    No, you're not. How are you getting that? Retina has to do with how close the pixels are to each other, so that when you get close to the screen you can't discern individual pixels.

    Edit: Oh wait, I understand. If you lower the resolution and step back from the screen... but does lowering the resolution actually lower the physical resolution that the screen is displaying? Because if so, that wouldn't make a difference. The pixels would each appear larger and it would be just as easy to discern them at an equivalent viewing distance.

    And the OP is of course off because you can't set an iMac to something higher than its physical capability.
     
  6. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #6
    You could if there was an app available. Maybe one of the resolution-switching apps for the rMBP are.

    But yes, just a Retina effect. Not actual Retina.
     
  7. page3 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    As an interesting (well I think it is) aside, back in the 90's the Acorn Archimedes and later their RiscPC (both running RISC OS) had pixel scaling built in to the OS. You could double, half or scale to your hearts content. It was extremely useful to give yourself more screen real-estate, even if you obviously couldn't change the actual physical resolution.

    Those of you in the US probably have never heard of Acorn, but you might well have heard of Acorn RISC Machine (aka ARM).
     
  8. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    #8
    "Virus" .... Man I loved that game :)
     
  9. Sym0 macrumors 6502

    Sym0

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    #9
    Pretty sure you can't run a resolution that has more pixels than the display trying to draw it.

    Th retina concept is not about more screen real estate, it's about doubling the detail. The 'best for retina' setting on the rMPB creates the same 1440x900 display sizes and real estate, but doubles the detail. You can change this, and have more screen space, but everything becomes smaller.
     
  10. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    #10
    The 13" rMBP is still has screen estate of 1280x800, which is why I stuck with the 13" Air, with more screen estate albeit not retina.
     
  11. jwhazel macrumors regular

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    #11
    I've not tried it but its possible. You can go from 720p all the way up to 1080p and pretty much anything in between.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1568657

    OP should probably switch to calling it 'HiDPI' instead of 'retina' lest more people pile on trying to correct him.
     
  12. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #12
    I run my 13" rMBP at 1440x900, to get the balance between higher DPI and more screen real estate. Having the flexibility is actually rather nice.
     
  13. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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  14. MikeChicago macrumors member

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    #14
    What is this obsession with retina iMac? The display is amazing and I cannot distinguish individual pixels from the standard viewing distance. Sometimes great display is just that - a great display. :D
     
  15. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    #15
    HiDPI = retina. Period.

    Yes, you can run the iMac in 1280x720 HiDPI mode, and that is EXACTLY the same as what the 13" and 15" MacBook Pro with retina display are doing. 2560x1440 = 4x resolution of 1280x720. Of course, you won't be able to fit anywhere near as much content on the display, this way...

    For Apple to maintain the same real estate of the current 27" iMac, an actual Retina display would need to be 5120x2880. It's the only way to maintain the same workflow without scaling. I understand that Apple's definition of "Retina" may mean the iMac doesn't need to be be a full 5120x2880, but to maintain the same real estate and workflow, it absolutely needs to be.

    iPhone 1/2/3G/3GS went from 480x320 -> 960x480 on the iPhone 4/4s (4x resolution)
    MacBook Pro 13" went from 1280x800 to 2560x1600 (4x the resolution)
    MacBook Pro 15" went from 1440x900 to 2880x1800 (4x the resolution)

    iMac 21.5" would need to go from 1920x1080 to 3840x2160 (4x the resolution)
    iMac 27" would need to go from 2560x1440 to 5120x2880 (4x the resolution)

    The 15" resolution is a shame, since 1440x900 effective, un-scaled space is absolutely awful. I WISH Apple had started with the 1600x1050 higher-res 15" model they offered and made the Retina 15" model 3200x2100. But it's too late now, of course.

    I find all the MacBook Pros with Retina display to be essentially useless since they don't offer enough un-scaled real estate. 1280x800 effective real estate is a travesty on the 13", and 1440x900 is appalling on a 15".

    I wish we had the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus 13" screen in the MacBook Pro 13" Retina display model. 3200x1800 is delicious. Would give you 1600x900 effective real estate in "Retina" mode, which I think is the PERFECT resolution for a 13" laptop.

    Sure, you can run things in full res, but that comes with other issues...
     
  16. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    #16
    This is where apple made a rod for their own back with the 13" Air. They brought it out with a better screen resolution than their "Pro" cMBP 13".

    Now, even though the 13" MBP is retina, there's still less screen real-estate than the Air. I think this is why the Air hasn't gone retina yet, they can't have the Air with a better screen than the 13" rMBP.

    Should have brought out the 13" rMBP with the same resolution as the 15" rMBP.

    Either the 13" rMBP gets a resolution bump soon, or the Air gets a "drop" in screen real-estate when it goes retina, and uses the 13" rMBP screen.
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

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    #17
    You can activate HiDPI rendering for the iMac, but it will look awful. The reason why it works with rMBP is simply because of the pixel density.
     
  18. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

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    #18
    I just figured it out yesterday after trying for like over a year. Pretty easy, and it looks awesome but it blows up the pixels so much that in full screen mode pages are not showing everything.

    I guess its alot better at a higer res.
     
  19. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #19
    How's text look? haha It may be set at a slightly-larger-than 720p workspace.
     
  20. mrmarts macrumors 65816

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    #20
    This is an insane thread to say the least, do not get me wrong i love the retina display on my mobile devices i.e. macbook retina, Iphone etc. But I think the concept of Retina has been lost somewhere, In fact people have become so obsessed with it that they will not buy a desktop unless it has a retina display (I nearly become a part of this cult).

    In all the reviews i read last year about the late 2012 iMac, the display has been improved vastly improved to quote Slash Gear.

    "Colors are brighter and punchier, the screen is impressively bright with consistent backlighting, and viewing angles are broad, with no inversions or color mangling even when sat almost side-on to the display. Graphics appear as if they’re swimming right at the surface of the glass, rather than being slightly inset from the black bezel".

    That said my question is why would anyone you want to lower the resolution in a desperate attempt to get a imitation retina display?, whilst destroying the experience of the new laminated display. My 2 cents is if you want a retina display get a Macbook pro which has been optimised for that experience otherwise the latest gen iMac screen has been vastly improved.
     
  21. kaellar macrumors 6502

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #21
    Trying to do what topicstarter suggests and thus reducing the display's real estate is the dumbest thing the one could do with the iMac. From normal viewing distance, image and text are sharp enough to forget about Retina. True for both 21.5 and 27 iMacs.
     
  22. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

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    #22
    i guess 13" rMBP on an mStand would give you the effect of a retina imac....:rolleyes:
     
  23. divergirl macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2012
    #23
    I guess I always thought this was for people with bad eyesight or people like me who sit as far away from their screen as possible to help prevent further myopia (I sit three and a half feet away from my monitor currently, but my ideal set-up would be a ninety inch tv I could sit ten feet away from).

    Having everything larger just makes it all so much easier to read without squinting!
     

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