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elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
Hello,

I am wondering about the following.

1. Is it possible to "downgrade" the screen on the iMac Pro? I have one with a cracked bezel, but the screen itself is fine. I wouldn't mind downgrading the panel to a lower resolution, if possible. Should this be feasible?

2. Is there any reasonably-priced "all in one" that has a PCI-E slot along with a couple of SATA ports? I don't need the PCI-E slot for video or graphics. It just needs to be an X1 and that should suffice.

3. Reliability. Sometimes there were issues with high-end Wintel MacBooks and the T2. I am hoping the board for this machine, given its branding and target market, is proven to be reliable?

I am really excited about this machine but I would like a nice and tidy way to hold my desktop creature comforts.
 
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PaulD-UK

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
649
297
?????
Do you mean make the screen raster of the iMac Pro smaller with a black surround, or <4K at full size?
I am really excited about this machine but I would like a nice and tidy way to hold my desktop creature comforts.”
How does the iMac Pro relate to this creature comforts dream?
Alongside it?
Encompassing it?
As a <4K display for it?
 
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elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
I mean, is it possible to use another iMac 27" panel as a replacement?

I want a lower-resolution native panel that will still fit the iMac Pro frame.

With respect to the second inquiry, I am looking for a way to move my SATA drives and PCI-E slots to an enclosure.

The iMac Pro is better than I thought. I didn't know there was an 18 core specification, and the Vega 64 is 16GB as opposed to 8 that came on standalone PCI-E versions.

Anyways I thought someone here would have had some sort of caddy that can hold all their drives and such using a single TB3 port.

Man the number of ports on this thing is ridiculous. 4 TB3. 4 USB3. Crazy
 

PaulD-UK

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
649
297
Ok 👍
Yes, a 2017-2020 27” iMac panel ‘could’ be made to fit, as it’s more or less the same panel.

The glued backlight cable around the periphery is different so the original would have to be swapped, as well as the eDP video cable.

The biggest problem is the FaceTime camera and mics, which are part of the screen on the iMac Pro (and the 2020, but that is simpler).
They are miniaturised so probably extremely difficult to swap.
The mountings are non-existent on iMac screen panels pre-2020 screens, and different on the 2020.

It’s far easier to get a proper iMac Pro screen panel - I got one brand new for a good price and turned it into a DIY 5K monitor.
I see these screens on eBay.

The iMac Pro can only drive the panel full screen at 5K full size.
Only original screens have the glass surround needed and the 8-lane eDP electronics to interface with the iMac Pro.
 
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elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
Thanks for this information.

In other words: the closest fit would be a 2020 iMac 27" but this will still require quite a bit of work, and the cameras and microphone will likely not fit like the original screen?

I figured if I'm opening this thing to upgrade the RAM and possibly the SSD (I am sure this forum will explore every alternative with the whole T2 raw nand situation), it would be good to deal with the display at the same time.

It's not that I can't afford a replacement 5K panel, but really for the price I purchased this thing, I don't know if I want a new one. It will probably make playing WoW incredibly hard with full spell detail and such.
 

PaulD-UK

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
649
297
“It will probably make playing WoW incredibly hard with full spell detail and such.”

Can’t you just set a lower resolution in the OS?
 

elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
I haven't thought about that, since non-native resolutions usually look terrible.

I have heard great things about this panel though. Are you saying non-native resolutions look great? I'd run 2560 x 1440 if it looks good.

I can't wait to get it. I haven't been looked forward to a new computer for a while. When I got my 2012 Mac Pro at the time I wasn't really thrilled about it since it was for non-leisurely activities.

This one is just to tide me over for a year or so. I really want to go for 256GB ram but the 64GB module cost is a little prohibitive.

At least it has AVX2 and no USB2 ports. I think I can use an eGPU enclosure for my PCI-e purposes. It will give me two slots and only one functional PCI-E slot, which is all I need. The other slot is for the daughterboard (Xonar Sound Card).

I can't go back to integrated audio jacks after my STX II. Just can't.
 

PaulD-UK

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
649
297
2560x1440 is the ‘Default’ resolution for iMac screens. Apple call it HiDP with 4 pixels for each displayed pixel. It’s the sharpest resolution.
You don’t need to change it unless you want it different.
An eGPU enclosure will work fine with it. Any TB3 enclosure will work, with BlackMagic ones made for it.
 

elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
but i assume that the 2560x1440 you're mentioning isn't the actual resolution?

or are you saying that the display has a way of taking a 2560x1440 signal and upscaling it (4 pixels per original pixel) so that it appears crisper?
 

PaulD-UK

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
649
297
No. MacOS graphics cards ‘draw’ to a frame buffer that is the screen panel’s actual full resolution, and then downscale the image onto the screen at whatever resolution you select.

But you select a game resolution in the game software, and that is what the graphics card renders to the frame buffer.

The bigger problem with game software is the 60fps panel limit.
All Apple 5K displays have this maximum.
 

elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
Not trying to step on your toes here, as I'm very grateful for your help, but wouldn't a graphics card that uses metal also pass through this same system? so WoW would still need to fill the frame buffer equivalent to the native resolution?

I thought the Retina concept was merely that things may appear superficially at larger resolution, but in reality they are still rendered at the higher resolution.

You sound like you know what you're talking about in this area though, so I'll take your word for it.

Do you know if the Vega 64X appears in System Report as such? edit: It does, darn! Still a Vega 64 isn't bad haha. Was hoping maybe this person also had the 64X if they sprung for the 18 core, but I guess not :p
 

PaulD-UK

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
649
297
Haha. I’m no expert in the details, just using the results…

MacOS draws media content like video at its natural revolution (using as many repeated native 5K pixels as required) whatever the interface setting if it’s set higher/lower.
 
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elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
So in terms of GPU strain, surely it's more than the typical 2560x1440, given that the buffer is four times as large?

But what I think you're intimating is the OS may be able to reduce that strain by implementing some kind of "smart" duplication/etc that can.
 

elitistjerk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
15
0
I just wanted to ask one more thing:

This thing is reliable, right? I won't end up running into T2 issues if I'm actually putting it to full use? I assume so?
 

theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
7,678
7,843
but i assume that the 2560x1440 you're mentioning isn't the actual resolution?
Mac screen modes are a bit confusing and misleading.

"2560x1440" (or "looks like 2560x1440" in older OSs) isn't 2560x1440 at all - it is 5120x2880. ...unless you're running a bit of legacy software that doesn't support Retina displays, everything on the screen is at full 5k resolution. In this mode, MacOS renders the system fonts, icons, UI widgets etc. with 4x the number of pixels as it used on the old, standard def screens - giving them more detail and making them big enough to see/click on.

Unless you jump through hoops when selecting screen resolution, all of the other modes on offer send a 5k image to the screen. Typically this is created by (in effect) first drawing to a internal buffer at twice the "looks like" dimensions (or 4x the pixels, if you prefer) and then having the GPU downsize it to 5120x2880. This is a lot simpler for "looks like 2560x1440" because it's exactly half the dimensions (or 1/4 the pixels) of 5k - other "looks like" resolutions require fractional scaling which can give a slightly "soft" look and cause slight artefacts but still results in far more detail/clarity than you'd get on a standard def screen of that resolution. The internal buffer and fractional scaling also increase RAM and GPU usage - but a M-series SoC or an Intel with a decent dGPU shouldn't struggle.

However, if you "option click" on "Scaled Mode" and then check the "Show all resolutions" checkbox that appears (That's on Monterey - details may vary) you should get a series of "low resolution" option which do what you'd imagine and send a lower resolution image to the monitor. You might also be able to select lower resolutions in full-screen games and get this effect, which may improve frame rates.

You might also get a straight "(looks like) 5120x2880" option which is a full 5k display without doubling the size of the UI - so put your optometrist on danger money!
 
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