iMac Resolution Question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 6826835, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. 6826835 Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #1
    I'm a little confused about the resolutions of the iMac 21.5 inch compared the iMac 27 inch.

    In terms of watching HD content, which is better, as one is 1080p so it is perfectly formatted for this type of content but the other is higher (2560 by 1440 pixels), will this mean it is better because there are more pixels or worse because it is a different size? I'm a little confused about this. Also is it possible to change the resolution to 1920x1080 on the 27 inch? What will this do exactly? If I were to apply a 1920 x 1080 wallpaper for example to the 27 inch iMac will this look better/worse?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question but I am just generally very confused about this subject.

    Thanks, Alex.
     
  2. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    OK, to answer all your questions/fears:

    First, a 27" 1080p display (1920x1080p) screen would offer a slightly sharper image when watching 1080p video on it than the 2560x1440 iMac (also known as 1440p).

    When you watch 1080p video on the iMac, you can watch it in NATIVE 1080p in a 1920x1080 pixel "window," or full screen, where each pixel is "stretched" slightly, meaning that 1 pixel is now 1.4 pixels (or something around that). This means the image is SLIGHTLY less sharp..

    You can easily see this by going to www.interfacelift.com and downloading some wallpapers. 2560x1440 wallpaper on your iMac will look slightly sharper than 1920x1080 wallpaper stretched to fit the screen. In movies this difference is harder to see, but in static wallpapers it's more obvious...

    Hope that helps!

    *EDIT* Yes you can run the iMac 27" at 1920x1080, but it looks noticeably blurrier...especially in text. Very ugly indeed. You'd have no reason to do this.
     
  3. 6826835 thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #3
    Thank you for your answer. But if I were to run the 27" at 1920x1080 when watching HD content, would this have any effect?
     
  4. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #4
    Basically with any flat screen, it has been designed to look best while running at its native resolution.

    Say the 21.5" iMac was playing a Full HD movie, which is 1920x1080, it would fill the screen perfectly with no stretching.

    The 27" iMac would need to scale the video up to fill the larger resolution. It would still look good, but wouldn't look as good as running it at native resolution.

    pac
     
  5. 6826835 thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #5
    I understand now. Thanks.
     
  6. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    Yes. Basically, leave the screen at native resolution, and you'll have no trouble. :)
     

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