Is the iMac too low res for me?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cinnabun93, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. cinnabun93 macrumors newbie


    Jan 24, 2013
    I was debating on selling my rMBP for an iMac but I noticed that the display wasn't as sharp even sitting away from it. It is nice nonetheless but being used to a rMBP 2880x1800 display it didn't seem as sharp and that would bug me to no end. Is this all in my head or is there some merit to it?
  2. L T macrumors 6502

    L T

    Feb 24, 2013
    Is it low res? No. Is it too low res for you? Only you can answer that.

    My parents iMac looks like retina to me compared to my MBA
  3. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    I absolutely love my 1080p iMac screen.
  4. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Only you are going to be able to answer that. If possible goto an Apple store and play on one. At the viewing distance in an Apple store thats going to be worse case I would think.

    I love mine. I love the extra work space on my 27".
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I would find a higher resolution to be a waste of GPU cycles. I definitely do not need it.
  6. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    Get an external monitor the same size as an iMac and use it with your rMBP. It will be much easier to return to your rMBP if you do find the screen too low res.

    As you are worried, get a 4K monitor if you can afford it. Large work area, high resolution.

    I came from an old 24" iMac to a rMBP. I have connected an external monitor that matches my old iMac (24" 1920x1200) and it seems really low res now that I am used to retina displays.

    Less eyestrain makes retina really worth it to me.
  7. PhiLLoW macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2014
    Got the 27" late 2013 iMac.

    The display itself is really good and very sharp. I have a 2nd 27" 1080p ips display next to it and the difference is huge.

    Unfortunately the way OS X handles the 1440p display kills the experience. It's not a retina solution and everything is just very small. You have a lot of screen space while video editing etc. but it's really hard to read everything in daily use.

    Personally I would recommend the Macbook Pro + external display solution.
  8. cinnabun93 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 24, 2013
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Make sure your machine can drive it successfully for your uses. And that still isn't the same pixel density as your laptop.

    Furthermore, issues like brightness, color and other variables might be important to you. And do you do video? I'm not sure if the new rMBP can now run at 60 hertz, but I'd check. And see here for example:
  10. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I went from a 13" rMBP to a 27" iMac and was worried about the same thing; however, the difference in ppi wasn't nearly as shocking as I thought. 2560x1440 is still a very high end resolution for a desktop display (4K is still in the early stages) and since you sit further back, the display can look nearly as crisp as Retina at times depending on your viewing distance.

    Of course, the added screen real estate that a 27" iMac provides is so enjoyable that any minor pixelation you can detect is worth living with in exchange for having the extra space.
  11. Truthfulie macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2013
    You can manually enable HiDPI (Retina) mode on iMac display. Using it as 720p makes iMac display look like that of rMBP. Of course this means UI elements are going to be scaled 2 times the size so they are huge and you'll be sacrificing the biggest pro of using bigger display, screen real-estate. Only you know what you need, higher pixel density so that every is crystal clear or larger screen real-estate so you can multi-task more efficiently.
  12. solideliquid macrumors 6502


    Aug 8, 2008
    I'm also worried about this issue... I have a MBP 13" Retina 2013 model that I am debating returning for the iMac but I do love that retina display. I feel that since I have an ipad/BT kb combo, and the MBP 13" the portability factor is redundant and I'd be better off with a central (big display) desktop computer. I do not design or make anything on the computer, I play games and try to understand the internet.
  13. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Running the 27" iMac at 720p in HiDPI is a fun little experiment, but it doesn't change the actual pixel density of the display...just dedicates more pixels to draw UI elements in exchange for screen real estate.....not worth it for most people...

    2560x1440 native is an excellent experience

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