Please explain 5K retina display options

Ryand123

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
82
36
So I got mine a couple days ago and I must say at first I was wildly unimpressed by the display. I didn't look nearly as good as my iPad screen or what I remember the Retina MBP looking like. Then I adjusted the display to "More space" and it looks so much sharper.....with the need to do a lot of zooming/font adjusting. So is the default actually 1440p? Because that's about what it looked like to me.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
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"More Space" is for those n00bs afraid to use their imac to their full potential.

Press option when pressing on the "Scaled" radio button. Select "5120x2880" and enjoy the full resolution of the 5K display.

But seriously, the text on a 5k imac is much sharper than on the old imac, even in 2560x1440 mode.
 
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redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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So I got mine a couple days ago and I must say at first I was wildly unimpressed by the display. I didn't look nearly as good as my iPad screen or what I remember the Retina MBP looking like.
Perhaps you're just used to bigger Retina displays now. While the pixel density is slightly lower on the 5K compared to a Retina MBP, it isn't enough to make a difference. I own a 13" rMBP and 5K iMac and both displays are very crisp.
Then I adjusted the display to "More space" and it looks so much sharper.....with the need to do a lot of zooming/font adjusting. So is the default actually 1440p? Because that's about what it looked like to me.
More space is rendered at 3200x1800 HiDPI (equivalent to 6400x3600), but is then downsampled to 5120x2880 to fit on the 5K display. I'd say it looks fuzzier than the default native resolution, which is why I tend to stick to native.
 
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Ryand123

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
82
36
"More Space" is for those n00bs afraid to use their imac to their full potential.

Press option when pressing on the "Scaled" radio button. Select "5120x2880" and enjoy the full resolution of the 5K display.

But seriously, the text on a 5k imac is much sharper than on the old imac, even in 2560x1440 mode.
Ahhhh. Got it. Why did they have to make getting 5K so complicated? But yes 5K does shrink things even more than the 1880 more space option it seems..... But it does look purdy.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
2,693
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IMHO, the retina screen is most useful when looking at text-- not "4k" or even high resolution images, though sometimes it's useful to see the whole picture and the smallest details at the same time.

But if all the text is small (as in the 5280x2880), it's too small to read. It's a trade off. Personally I'm, satisfied with doubled 1440p, and I hope to never see the grey of anti-aliasing.

The imac is superb if you're into reading rare books, too

Here's a 1623 edition of Shakespeare-- unfortunately, only the frontispiece is available. Notice that every detail is crisp enough to read comfortably?
 
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