No screen real estate advantage on iMac 5K?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bghead8che, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Bghead8che macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    #1
    Do I have this right?

    The 27 inch 5K iMac runs at a resolution of 2560 X 1440. My old PC monitor, also 27 inch, also runs at a resolution of 2560 X 1440.

    So basically a 5K iMac screen give you zero additional screen real estate compared to a standard 27 inch monitor? In other words, photos and applications take up the exact same amount of screen space on each monitor. Correct?

    Maybe I'm a moron but I thought by going up to a 27 inch 5K display I thought I would be able to display more on the screen.

    Kind of of a bummer. I thought the iMac ran at a native resolution of 5120 X 2880 and I'd be able to display more of my documents.

    Maybe this is common knowledge.

    -Brian
     
  2. DamnDJ macrumors regular

    DamnDJ

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #2
    You can change it to 3200 x 1800 at least in the display settings.
     
  3. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #3
    By default, the screen will halve the resolution (or "double" the size of everything). If you want, you can run it at "native" resolution (5120x2880), but then everything will appear rather small. Because it's a retina display you'd probably be able to make out the details well enough to use it, but you'd probably need to sit a lot closer to the screen, too.
     
  4. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    #4

    Hah. Size is actually quadruple, since you get. Doubled on both horizontally and vertically, but yeah. You are right



    If you want you can use full 5k resolution pixel-to-pixel. Though everything would be too small to read
     
  5. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #5
    The advantage is that text and some images look sharper. 5120x2880 is best used for those apps which are too stupid to use high resolution graphics-- and there are some--mostly games. Google Earth come to mind, though my copy may be out of date
     
  6. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #6
    You can scale it to your hearts content. If you want more real estate you can get it.
     
  7. imacken macrumors 65816

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #7
    How? I can see 3200x1800, but 5120x2880?
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    Use an app called switchres X to change it to whatever you like, running at 5K will not be any fun though.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    You can run it at a higher resolution, though I don't know if 5120 X 2880 is the native resolution or not. I think you need to find a nice balance of screen real estate and readability. I think 5120 x 2880 will produce some rather tiny text.
     
  10. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #10
    In System Preferences>Displays, just hold down the OPT key when you click on "scaled". It will show you all available resolutions, including 5120 x 2880.
     
  11. iemcj macrumors 6502

    iemcj

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    #11
    You will certainly not want to run it at native resolution. When I installed windows through bootcamp it defaulted to native 5k and my god, I couldn't see a thing! I had to sit like 6 inches away from the screen and squint to make out icons so I could find a way to scale everything up. lol.

    In some ways you will get more real estate, like if you're playing a video at it's native resolution, it's going to take up 1/4th the space on your screen. Which is nice, except you're going to need to sit 6 inches away to actually see all the pixels in the video. So no, you will not be gaining real estate most likely.
     
  12. iemcj macrumors 6502

    iemcj

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    #12
    You will certainly not want to run it at native resolution. When I installed windows through bootcamp it defaulted to native 5k and my god, I couldn't see a thing! I had to sit like 6 inches away from the screen and squint to make out icons so I could find a way to scale everything up. lol.

    In some ways you will get more real estate, like if you're playing a video at it's native resolution, it's going to take up 1/4th the space on your screen. Which is nice, except you're going to need to sit 6 inches away to actually see all the pixels in the video. So no, you will not be gaining real estate most likely.
     
  13. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #13
    You are cramming more pixels into the same amount of space, so what you are looking at needs to have more pixels to fill the same amount of physical space.

    If you can do that you can see more detail.

    Consider an image in Photoshop that you have to zoom out at say 25% to work on. Now you can view it at 100% (for example).

    Also look at smartphones. The retina iPhone didn't give you an extra space to work with, it just made things alot sharper.
     
  14. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #14
  15. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #15
    What's the benefit of having such a high resolution screen then? Just better quality?
     
  16. iemcj macrumors 6502

    iemcj

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    Oct 31, 2015
    #16
    The main benifactors are guys who do video, photography, or graphic design. For normal people? Eh, text gets a little sharper if you're sitting close. I hop between my 5k imac, my 2009 regular imac, and my 13" macbook pro. For most tasks it doesn't really make a difference, little clearer. The higher resolution is nice though as a photographer because I can see finer detail I woulda missed before. When comparing two images to see which one is going to be sharper (and thus the one I want to show my client), the rImac is hugely helpful. On my normal resolution screens two images will look pretty much the same but on the retina display, I can clearly see that one is sharper and more in focus. This is crucial when printing. :)
     
  17. imacken macrumors 65816

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #17
    It's the same as watching a SD channel compared to a HDchannel on the same TV.
     
  18. Barnclos macrumors newbie

    Barnclos

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2015
    #18
    Noob (literally and figuratively) question. Regarding using native resolution to view photos and videos, do you
    a) run at full native resolution, so text, icons etc are all tiny, but resolution of image is best possible;
    b) run at lower resolution, for more readable text, because apps such as photoshop have the 'intelligence' to exploit full native resolution (even when display is set to lower res)?
     
  19. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #19
    Usually I run at 2560x1440. But the system knows that the screen is 5280x2880 and renders certain things-- fonts, quartz primitives, bitmap images to take advantage of the extra resolution. There are a few applications--mostly games, that can't deal with the mismatch. (The most annoying exception is Draftsight, a CAD program.)

    Apple has done its homework here.

    I've never had a monitor larger than 1080p before, so maybe I haven't yet outgrown 1440p=- retina or otherwise. To me, it's a lot of "real estate" that happens to be extra high resolution where it counts-- text.

    Seriously, I used to read my books on either my kindle 3g or my retina ipad-- my old mac rendered text with distracting antialiasing. Now, I feel comfortable adding my imac to the mix
     
  20. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #20
    I don't know if you've ever programmed on osx, but coordinates are expressed as pairs of floating point numbers-- not pairs of integers. So the concept of "half a point" isn't quite as foreign to the graphics rendering system as you might think.... It just so happens that the screen is good enough to render those half points with black instead of the greys of antialiasing.
     
  21. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #21
    many professional apps for video editing, FCPX for example, will be able to have all your widgets etc available for use and show a 4K video to work on at native resolution that is why 5K is so useful on the iMac for video editing. Not to mention the much sharper screen with amazing colour gamut and brilliant text.
     
  22. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #22
    My question was in response to someone saying they never run at native resolution.
     
  23. G.McGilli macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2015
    #23
    I have my 5k iMac flanked by 2 Thunderbolt displays - and the only time I actually notice a 'difference I could care about' is when I am using Aperture - it's much better on the 5k screen. Everything else I don't see any advantage with my needs.
     
  24. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #24
    I often spend hours each day editing 4k video on my 2015 5k iMac 27 and I have the 2013 iMac 27 right beside it. I actually don't see that much practical benefit in day-to-day editing, since I usually don't need to see 1:1 pixel resolution when editing. The very fact it is 4k means I often must using proxy encoding for performance reasons. Proxy (for 4k) is about 1080p, so the resolution is not even there until the final export.

    The 5k screen does help to quickly evaluate high-quality 4k material to see how much detail is there. I really like the 5k screen and it is dramatically better than the non-retina 27" screen. It is a huge difference in sharpness and overall quality. Ironically I see it more on text than in images.
     
  25. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #25
    There's no irony there. Text is back on white, not grey on grey. Pictures and video are rarely as contrasty.

    That's why I tried to explain it using an engraving-- not a painting. An engraving, when viewed at sufficient resolution should not contain shades of grey.
     

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