iMac 5k 2015 resolution question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by xtac, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. xtac macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2016
    Since I've gotten this imac I have run my resolution at 1600x900. If I run it at default which is 2560x1440 I can not for the life of me see anything. It's entirely too small, if I go to the 'more space' of 3200x1800 forget about it.

    My question is who is using these resolutions? I know my eyes aren't the greatest but are people actually doing real work in default? am I missing something?
  2. wardie macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2008
    You can change the font size so you can use a higher resolution with reasonable size text still. Somewhere in system preferences.
  3. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I use mine at default. I have a 27" 2560x1440 monitor as an external, which was my main monitor as an external to the rMBP I had before. I have ageing eyes, but can read the screens fine.

    It depends on how far away you sit. I vary between 600-750mm (24-30") according to the task (I tend to lean in more for artwork or coding to focus, the longer distance for web browsing).

    I have set my Toolbar to show the zoom button in Safari to deal with websites with small text (View > Customize Toolbar).
  4. wubsylol macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2014
    How far do you sit from the screen? I found 2560x1440 to be hard to focus on, but liked the space it gave me, so was able to move the iMac a little closer until I found the sweet spot.
  5. bbnck, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2009
    For most people, yes. But if you are struggling to focus on small text at a reasonable distance, I would suggest seeing your local optician. Alas, some people simply can't see text as small as it might appear at 2560 x 1440. It's perfectly reasonable to lower the resolution and on Retina displays, this actually results in no quality loss because this simply changes the UI scaling factor (the size of text, images and app windows). The display is still running at 5120 x 2880. I usually run my iMac display at 2048 x 1152. Occasionally I'll change it to 2560 x 1440 if I'm doing design work, but otherwise, 2048 x 1152 is the sweet spot for me.

    Another option is to move the iMac closer to you, but bear in mind it is not recommended to have a monitor closer than an arms length away from you.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    bbnck wrote:
    "Alas, some people simply can't see text as small as it might appear at 2560 x 1440."


    My vision is aging, and in my case, it doesn't matter "how sharp" smaller font sizes are, or not. If they literally "aren't large enough" (in size), they're going to hard for me to discern.

    That's why I use a 27" display running at 1080p (1920x1080). I can view onscreen text at "normal font sizes" without having to "blow them up" out-of-proportion to the other elements "around them".

    I have a friend (also with "older vision", he actually lost sight in one eye) who just got a new 27" 5k iMac a few months back. When we set it up, one of the first things he wanted to do was "enlarge the text" to make it more readable to him. We set it at "one notch" lower resolution (than 5k) and he seems happy with that.
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I had exceptional vision and its still good now that I'm older (20/20). I use 1440p but due to the distance I sit from the monitor I increased text size/zoomed in a few apps that I stare at a lot of text in like Safari, Messages, Email, etc...

    Most everything else is ok.
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    (a) Don't worry about it: if you're comfortable in "looks like 1600x900" that's fine - and you're not "wasting" the 5k display. With Retina/4k/5k displays in MacOS, the screen "resolution" setting works completely differently to the way it did on old-school standard resolution displays. Its a bit of a simplification, but you can effectively think of the "looks like" resolution as just setting the "zoom" level for icons and the font size for system text - everything is still rendered with far more detail than you'd see on an actual 1600x900 display.

    (b) I sit with the screen at approximately arm's length - and, yes, I use "2560x1440" most of the time - but it is a tad on the small size and I sometimes switch to larger text if my eyes are tired or if its time to get my glasses prescription updated... I can actually use 3200x1800 on a good day - but its asking for a headache.

    (c) As has already been said, if you really can't see anything at default then it sounds like time to go and get your eyes tested, and maybe get a pair of glasses "tuned" for arms-length screen use.
  9. tarsins macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2009
    I run my 27" 5K iMac at 2048 x 1152 and my 15" MacBook Pro at 1440 x 900. Anything smaller is too uncomfortable. Wish Apple would do a 17" MacBook Pro again.

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8 October 12, 2018