iMac 27 with Retina Display, is it possible?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by seasurfer, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. seasurfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    Everytime after looking at my iphone 4s and back to my iMac or iPad, I feel that there is a downgrade in visual display. The retina display just looks so much sharper and comfortable.

    I wonder if there will be retina display on the iMac? Is it possible.
  2. -Ken- macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2011
    Oregon, USA
    Definitely possible. The question is: How much will it cost? :)
  3. Ciclismo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    Ken hit it on the nose. I think that it is pretty much a given that panel makers are attempting to make displays with "retina" resolution (I use the term loosely, as it is not the same resolution for all devices due to variances in typical viewing distances) in larger sizes, especially as the race for 4k and soon 8k TV's is heating up. But it wouldn't be of surprise if the unit cost is currently still too high - considering that there was talk of Sharp (IIRC) being unable to produce iPad 3 screens with an acceptable yield, then it is no stretch of the imagination to assume that there are difficulties with yields for even larger screen.

    Nevertheless, I still want one :D
  4. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
  5. alksion macrumors 68000


    Sep 10, 2010
    Los Angeles County
    As much as it's welcomed, I am quite satisfied with what I have now.
  6. Rodus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2008
    Midlands, UK
    Until we start seeing tri-fired GPU's with 3GB+ of Vram in iMacs then no, 3D graphics performance would be horrible.
  7. skaertus macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    I would buy one right away. But I don't think 5120x2880 resolution is feasible. Not even NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 or AMD Radeon HD 7970 support such a high resolution...
  8. nostylluan macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2012
    i'm a gamer so i might be biased but why would you require more than the native resolution on the imac?

    most games don't run 1900x1200 full graphics very well unless they're old
  9. tuccillo macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2012
    About 10 years ago, IBM introduced the so-called "Big Bertha" display (T220). It was a 22" LCD with 3840x2400 pixels or about 200 dpi. This was a bit lower than the current 326 dpi of the iphone4 but your eye was further away from the screen so you could get away with lower resolution. It was advertised as matching the resolution of the retina. This is approximately 4x the resolution of the current 21.5" iMac display. I had the chance the use it a few times and it was very impressive, especially if you are writing code as it would support very small fonts so you can have lots of code in a window. It was also very expensive and needed a special video card for an AIX workstation. If I recall, it was around $20K in the IBM pricing book. Technology has come a long way over the past 10 years but I suspect it will still be expensive. With "4k TVs" around the corner, perhaps we will see monitors with improved dpi.

  10. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    Anything is possible. Cool thing is that we can't even predict what we will have more than 5 years from now because those devices haven't even been invented yet! :eek:
  11. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    I could only imagine how much of a price gouge the iMac would get from such a screen. Apple already likes to put quite the hefty tax on their products. Considering the current screen costs around 600 dollars and apple likes to charge you around 1000 for it, I'd imagine such a machine currently would cost around the same as a fitted out mac pro. Grahpics cards would need an insane amount of memory bandwidth to support frames that big as well, especially if anti-aliasing it.

    A couple years down the line? Most certainly. Bring on the ultra high-res gaming! Skyrim looks amazing on 2560x1440, I wanna see it on 4k.
  12. camardelle macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2011
    +1 And the costs. Ouch!!
  13. yashi macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2011
    It will happen someday I'm sure, just probably not in the near future. Just look at the number of pixels squeezed into a high resolution MacBook Pro compared to an old monitor of the same diagonal dimension.
  14. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    Eventually, yes. Its not a matter of how much it will add to the cost of the machine.. but rather, how long until the cost is low enough to put in to the machine without raising the price.
  15. alksion macrumors 68000


    Sep 10, 2010
    Los Angeles County
    I don't care what it costs Apple, but honestly, we probably won't see that right now.

    The iPad is what needs it the most and it looks like it's getting it.
  16. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Possible? Sure. But it's not happening any time soon. Maybe a few more years from now. They're just now getting to where they can make a 10" iPad cheap enough. (If rumors are true)
  17. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I'm pretty happy with my 27 inch imac screen. It is probably the best commercially available screen anywhere besides the research community. I would actually prefer a 35 inch screen, and a corresponding bump in resolution to match the current, over retina upgrade. The Imac is almost big enough to take over for my tv but not quite. A couple inches would make all the difference.
  18. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...every time after looking at my 27" cinema display at work and coming back to my 24" HP monitor at home I feel that there is a downgrade in visual display... :)

    Seriously, Apple's cinema display is already ahead of the game on the resolution front: most cheaper monitors these days are only 1080p (and when you start looking at pro monitors, the Apple cinema display stops looking quite so expensive).
  19. skaertus macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    If your purpose is to play games on your computer, then a retina display would not be useful (at least for now), since even the top video cards are struggling to deliver a good performance on 1080p resolutions.

    But then again, if you are on games, you'd probably prefer to use a PC running Windows. Not all games are available for Mac and, even if you run Windows on Bootcamp, you will not be able to have a top-notch video card such as the GTX 580.

    A retina display may have other purposes. For me, one of the biggest problems of the Mac platform is sub-pixel rendering of fonts. You may probably have noticed that fonts look blurrier on the screen on a Mac than on Windows. Windows uses ClearType to render fonts: they look distorted, but they are sharp on the screen (and comfortable to read). Mac uses Quartz, which preserves the actual shape of fonts on the screen (they will look like exactly as they do on paper), but they are blurrier on the screen (and therefore more difficult to be read). I consider it a problem because I spend hours in front of the computer writing long pages of text and, therefore, I would like fonts on the Mac to look sharper. And the fonts would definitely look much sharper with a retina display. That's why I want a retina display in first place. Nothing to do with games, though...
  20. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Considering the issue some have with text on the 27" iMac and 17" MBP with Hi_res displays currently, Apple would have to do something with the fonts on a display with that resolution.
  21. Zwhaler macrumors 603


    Jun 10, 2006
    Displays of such high pixel density are slowly making their way into bigger and bigger sizes, from the iPhone/iPod Touch to the possible iPad 3 to the rumored MacBook Pro update, but displays like that 20" and up are still a little far out to be built into consumer machines as a standard option, not to mention the graphics required to power it or the effect it will have on scaling applications' GUI, text, etc.
  22. mattg3 macrumors 6502

    Dec 8, 2010
    Will Imacs ever get a retina display?

    Hopefully that is on Apples radar and it happens soon
  23. evangw macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    It won't be soon, since no one makes displays remotely close to 21.5''. Maybe like 2–3 years from now.
  24. Mikey86uk macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2010
  25. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    "Retina" is not a terribly useful term in this context. It's supposed to mean that, in normal usage, your eyes can't distinguish between pixels.

    So, the optimal viewing distance for a screen is 1.5x its diagonal width. So for a 27" screen, that would be 40.5". What DPI do you need to achieve "retina" at that viewing distance?

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