Is the Retina 5K display truly "Retina" in resolution??

Discussion in 'iMac' started by milleron, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. milleron macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio
    Based on reports from an owner who's already received his, it seems that setting the screen resolution to "Best for display" on the new Retina 5K sets it to 2160 x 1440, exactly the same as the resolution of last year's 27" iMac.

    As an example and to verify what that member of the Apple forums is describing, with an attached secondary Dell 2560 x 1440 monitor at native resolution, when he drags a full-screen window from that monitor to the Retina 5K's built-in display, it takes up the entire screen. IF that 5K monitor were truly running at 5160 by 2880, that window should take up ONLY 1/4 of the 5K's screen. This would mean that each image pixel is composed of 4 physical pixels in a 2 x 2 grid. As all four would have to be displaying exactly the same color, this would give image clarity not one whit better than that of the display for which the Retina 5K is supposed to be an "upgrade." What's worse, is that the Retina 5K apparently cannot even be driven at 4K resolution, let alone 5K. Ironically, hooking up a 4K monitor as a secondary display on one of these so-called "Retina" iMacs will give an effective pixel density closer to "Retina" (however you define that) than will the allegedly advanced display on the Retina 5K.

    Why was Apple not forthcoming about this?

    How can Apple term this display "Retina???" Putting tiny pixels on a display with a density >200 is meaningless unless each pixel can be driven individually. Unless Apple has a great explanation for this problem, this 5K display is not a technological advancement at all. And how can they logically claim to potential customers that they're offering a "Retina" display when its resolution is the same as that of the last 27" iMac, about which they made no such claim.

    Does Apple have a legal problem here?

    While I await delivery of my recently-ordered 5K, I certainly hope that Apple publishes an explanation or clarification. Until then, I'll hope there's something I'm not understanding clearly. Independent reviewers have claimed that this is the best display ever. I certainly hope that their opinion isn't placebo effect based on what they've been told they're seeing.
  2. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    Google "pixel doubling".

    Then take a look at the scaling options under "display" in system preferences.

    Then please for the love of god try to forget that you ever wrote this absurdly misinformed post.

  3. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    Yes. The resolution that you see only applies to UI screen real estate so that you'll still be able to comfortably see things instead of really tiny text and other elements. Apple uses HiDPI.
  4. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    You misunderstand what "Retina" means. What you describe is exactly retina, and is the difference between Apples "Retina" and a screen that's simply high-resolution.

    If you drag across a screen from a low-res to a HiDPI display, the box won't change in size. The resolution within it will, without reference to the program displaying the window. That's what's so clever about it.

    Sure, if you want, you can use gfxcardstatus and change the resolution to 5120x2880 and just get tiny pixels. That's not Retina, that's just high resolution.


    It says something about the economy in the US that someone in Ohio can afford a top-end Mac and still not have the faintest idea of what they just bought or why... :rolleyes:
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I am not even sure if I should take this post seriously, or if you are trolling.

    If you are serious, then I would strongly suggest reading up what a retina display actually does and how the best for display and scaled resolutions modes work.

    Legal issue? *facepalm*
  6. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    And then starts talking about "legal problems"!!:eek:
  7. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Hey folks, it looks like Stella Lieback has joined the forums here! She was the one who infamously sued McDonalds after spilling hot coffee in her lap and then being surprised when it burned her! :eek:

    Welcome aboard!
  8. steve23094 macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2013
    A rather inauspicious first post. But don't worry, people have short memories.
  9. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Inb4 wasteland.

    I don't understand the problem. And why would you ask if Apple has a legal problem?!

    The concept of a Retina display is all over the internet, not to mention Macrumors....use the search.
  10. forg0t macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2014
  11. inhalexhale1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2011
    :D thanks for that!
  12. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    "You are watching it wrong"

    In before someone posts a video in youtube, bending the 5k iMac with his fingers.
  13. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Well, actually, when you look at the details of the hot coffee case, I think that it is reasonable to say that one should not expect to be severely injured by spilling hot coffee on yourself. There's a difference between hot and dangerous.
  14. bwsteg macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2012
    Queens NY
    Ive been using my retina iMac for a few hrs now and I just want to say that my 65" Sony XBR 4K has higher quality picture than my iMac.
  15. acantril macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2011
    based on what ? colour ? , it can't be physical detail as your screen is 2x as big with less resolution...
  16. bwsteg macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2012
    Queens NY
    4k content just looks better on my 4k set. The tv has a built-in Netflix app with ultraHD 4k content and it looks so much better and sharper/clearer than the 4k YouTube videos I play on the iMac.

    Perhaps, the issue is using YouTube to play 4k videos.

    Also, I played purge 2 via iTunes and the quality was not very clear. I download it for free since I purchased the retail version of the movie. Again, perhaps the "free" version isn't the same HD quality as if I were to purchase it directly from iTunes?
  17. houkouonchi macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2005
    I kind of call BS on this... I thought the whole point of these 'retina' displays is for the pixel density to be so high you can no longer 'see' the individual pixels. Well in my case I have better than average vision (somewhere between 20/10 and 20/15) and I have used a 200 PPI display for a lot of years and yes even in the HiDPI mode I can still see pixelatedness even in the fonts (they do look much better though).

    I don't really see how you call a computer with a 5120x2880 display running in HiDPI mode retina but not one that has a 5120x2880 display that is not running in HiDPI mode but is running native 5120x2880.

    I personally hate HiDPI. The resolution increase has been a godsend for increased desktop real-estate and other than for testing i never use HiDPI.

    IMHO if you have good enough vision and are somewhat conditioned for being ok with smaller text (it doesn't bother me one bit) then its much better to not run in HiDPI mode because when you run older applications that don't support it or properly support it all you end up with is a bunch of wasted pixels from scaling without a higher pixel count.
  18. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Good point. Occassionally I'll run my rMBP at 2880x1800 but my eyes arent that good. With glasses yeah its ok. One thing to remember is that programs have to be conditioned for it...I notice that programs that aren't friendly with retina don't always scale that well....less so with my rMBP now but on my new iPhone 6 I have allot of unoptimized apps so its a reminder of the downside.

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17 October 23, 2014