Retina iMac make sure you view it in person before buying!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by qunit, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. qunit, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    qunit macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Based on all the hype of the new retina iMac I was really biased to order one unseen since my 7 year old Core2Duo 20" is dying (see thread

    I just had the opportunity to view the Retina iMac it in person in a local Apple retail store. They had the retina displayed next to the "normal" iMac 27". What immediately struck me was: NOTHING. Beforehand I was totally hyped by all the reviews on the net but when looking at in person I didn't initially see a very big difference.

    Only after carefully examination and switching back and forth between both iMacs the differences became more and more obvious. I know it's a technical feat and the resolution is revolutionary but looking at it made me think again. Do I really need it? nope. Do I really want it? Yes, but not as much as before.

    The difference (subjective) is by no means as big between normal and retina as on my retina macBook.

    This either means one or more of the following:
    - My eyes are getting bad
    - The original iMac screen is already pretty good.

    Anyway. I'll have to rethink before buying a piece of equipment of up to 3500 euros. My advice: if you're not a professional graphics/photo or video artist, make sure you have a look at it in person before buying.
  2. freshe macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2012
    I switched from 17" mbp to rmbp and what struck me was that there were no pixels to be seen and everything looked smaller on the screen. It was a change that was noticeable at first when I then went from rmbp to 27" iMac. But after a while you don't pay attention to these.
  3. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    I switch between my rMBP and my HP system at work and the difference to me daily is noticeable. My eyes don't get as tired on my rMBP and images/text look more crisp. Plus if you are looking to buy an iMac no matter what, the price difference between the two is very small once you go beyond the base config. Plus you get a better processor and video card so no reason not to get the RiMac if you are buying one anyway.

    My delivery is imminent :) And I have 14 days to return and I live fairly close to multiple Apple stores so I figure I'll give it a week and see if I like it.
  4. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I don't see how you can not see the difference. It's like night and day. Are you sure you were looking at the right monitor in the correct store? How was the riMac set up? Best for display or in a scaled resolution? Somebody could have been playing around with it before you.
  5. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    It's the latter. As I have mentioned several times here previously, the "old" 27" iMac is almost retina resolution already at 2560x1440 if viewed from 32 inches away.

    I measured the distance to the screen where I sit typically and it was 25 to 26 inches, so I'm technically under the curve (not retina), but if you sit further back, or you're viewing it in a store and tend to stand further away from the display models than you'd typically sit then I can well believe that the difference would be minimal.

    The point where the old iMac becomes retina is beyond 32" view distance (assuming perfect eyesight), so at that point, there will be no visible difference between the new 5k iMac and the old one.

    You'll only see the difference if you move closer to it.
  6. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Since I bought my mid-2012 rMBP every time I look at any non-Retina screen I wince. I haven't seen the riMac in person, but when looking at the standard 27" screens in store I was shocked at how obvious the pixels were.

    In my experience and from other comments I have seen Retina is the sort of thing once you have it you don't want to go back. But you don't miss what you don't know.
  7. qunit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Coming to think of it, i was in a standing position a bit further away from the screen than sitting down. And it may well be my eyes which are the limitation. I know it's a great screen, but I was a bit underwhelmed after all the raving reviews on the web.

    Looking at prices:

    In the Netherlands:
    Base normal i5 3.4Ghz, 512GB SSD: €2529
    Base retina i5 3.5Ghz, 512GB SSD: €2929

    Upgraded normal i7 3.5Ghz, GTX780M, 512GB: € 2879
    Upgraded retina i7 4GHZ, R295X, 512GB SSD: €3429

    A €400 to €650 difference from pretty awesome screen to revolutionary screen and even better performance. The difference is relatively not that big but €650 could buy me some nice other gadg... ehm gifts for my wife. :roll eyes:
  8. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Reporting in from new RiMac... uhh... it was booting up as I was looking at my phone to approve the keychain and first thing I said was "oh ****". Yeah, it is pretty amazing.
  9. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    yes, and the rimac screen is better.. ;)
  10. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    That's what throws me off. Apple kept the prices high on the non-retina models. Even a 21" model isn't that far from the price of a 27" Retina(assuming the 21" model has decent specs)
  11. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    When I was looking at it, I thought everything looked too small. Then I checked the settings and noticed someone had it set to "More Space".

    Changing it to Best for Retina made it immediately obvious to me. Everything looked smoother and less "muddier". Sharp and clear is a good description.

    I ordered mine first and THEN went to the store. A little backward, but it made me even more excited!
  12. jbuk1 macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2014
    Exactly which is why I don't understand this thread.

    I can't get the 4ghz cpu with a non retina and with the config I've chosen the non retina iMac with a weaker cpu wasn't that many £'s different. Practically nothing really.

    The better cpu makes up for that. The fact I get the hi res screen as well then great. Coming from a 20" 2007 iMac this is going to be a ridiculous upgrade. Unless your looking at buying the base model which personally I think would be silly then it's a no brainier to get the retina iMac. Presuming you're in the market for an upgrade because you need one and not just because it's shinny.
  13. Charlemagne macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    I compared the new and old iMacs at the Apple store yesterday - the OP is partially correct IMO. The old iMac screens are pretty great as is - if you never saw a retina, I don't think anybody would be complaining. There IS a very clear difference with the retina screen though - if you look for it. The text is way sharper and smoother as are the UI elements. Is that game-changing? Depends on the sort of work you do. Most people would be perfectly happy with the non-retina IMO. You do get more screen real estate with the retina though.

    However, the non-retina is only $400 cheaper - and that doesn't give you the same specs as the retina iMac. So consider you're getting a better machine for $400 - the 5K display is just glorious bonus. If you can swing the price difference, there's no reason to stick with the non-retina iMac, even if you don't think the screen difference will mean much to you personally.
  14. cycledance Suspended

    Oct 15, 2010
    that's correct.

    i think 4k television is complete overkill and unnecessary. hidpi is a little better for a computer monitor because we are much closer to them.

    i don't sit much closer than 25" (usually more) from my 27" imac so i don´t think it's worth it. it's just a nice thing to have really.
  15. melendezest Suspended

    Jan 28, 2010
    When A/B'ing my 17MBP to a 15 Retina in an Apple Store (mine had repairs), I could tell the Retina was slightly sharper, but nowhere near enough to account for replacing my 17's feature set (it's NOT an appliance). The 17's screen is fantastic as is.

    So I believe the OP offers sound advice, although it cannot be overstated the iMac 5k is an amazing value, and its feature set is similar enough from the "regular" version. If I had the money to "blow", I'd go with it (if, and only if, I can install Mountain Lion on it--anyone know?).

    Still, $500 is a lot of money for many of us (I have to save up for my Macs), and I bet the 5k screen puts more demand on the graphics system, so a performance comparison test is in order.
  16. firsmith macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2014
    name me any other computer that is a year old and stays the same price. Almost any other technology product would be significantly cheaper when it was a year old, especially after a new model came out.

    by keeping the 2013 Imac's at the same price, Apple has allowed themselves to sell the $2,500 unit as being almost nothing of an increase.

    If the 2013 Imac followed normal life cycle pricing, and dropped $800 or so, well, now you do have a decision to make on 2013 vs RImac
  17. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    I am thinking about buying the 5k for the better CPU and GPU. The screen is just a bonus.
  18. jesusplay macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    if you're in the position to where you can throw away money go for it.
  19. qunit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    I'll have à look in another store tomorrow. Based on all your comments I can't help but feeling that for some reason I didn't experience the full glory of the screen. Even the salesguy admitted that hè expected a bigger difference.
  20. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    32" sounds a very long way away from the screen. My eyes are usually around 18-22" from my Dell 30" screen.

    I played with a retina iMac in a store for around 20 minutes. I'm still grumpy about how blocky my 2560x1600 display is. Even with the drop in size from 30" to 27" I'm looking forward to it going retina, having waited over two years now for a retina display since I got my rMBP...
  21. nafai23 macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2008
    I impulse ordered one and was going to cancel it because I assumed due to my poor vision these days it just was not worth the money.

    It shipped early and came anyway. I plugged it in and used it for a day or two and went back to my non retina 27''

    No difference.......cough.....

    My old iMac looked like someone smeared vaseline all over the screen as well as the fact the screen appears to sit right on the glass and the old one has a recessed look as well.

    No contest, I couldn't go back to my old one now.
  22. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    OP is blind.

    I've seen this in person at the store and it's incredible.

    Don't believe the hype.
  23. eqc6 macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2013
    I saw it in person for the first time last night and I'm with OP on this. I was expecting to be wowed, but I wasn't. Having both regular and retina imac next to each other, both look great, and you really don't notice much difference when you use it in normal seating distance.

    But one thing I realized to why I wasn't wowed. It's because I've been used to looking at retina screens for years now! I own a rMBP, an ipad air, and iphone 5s - all having a retina screen!

    Now I can understand if someone is used to using a regular imac and hasn't experienced retina screen. But for someone like me with a main computer as rmbp, then it's not a big moment for me.

    I am glad that I checked it out in person though, because it made my decision final that I will have to skip on this, and either buy a non-retina imac fully loaded, or a macpro.
  24. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    The difference is not a lot when you switch from normal 27" imac to 5k imac.
    The difference is when you come back to the normal after lets say 1-2 days spending in front of 5k
    Just like the case with the ipad retina, ipad mini retina, retina macbook etc.
  25. qunit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Same here, rMBP, iPad Air and iPhone 5s, so I know my retina. Again, I'm not trying to troll or anything. Anyhow, tomorrow I'll pay two stores a visit: First one is an optician :) and the other one is an Apple retailer where one iMac will be ordered tomorrow. And considering the price difference chances are pretty great that I'll go for the Retina, at least with 512SSD and possibly CPU/GPU upgrade.

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