Retina iMac - Real Estate

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Verdenshersker, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Verdenshersker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #1
    Hey,

    I've got an offer about taking over a Retina iMac.
    I'm a graphic designer and even though Double Pixel Density looks good, I need real estate more.

    I know that the native resolution is 5120x2880, but coming from a Retina MacBook Pro, I know they scale things.
    So here is my question.
    What is the highest scaled resolution equivalent to?
    And have anyone used SwitchResX to customize any resolution? If so, what is your settings?

    The Retina iMac, I can get is basically the basic:
    3.5 Ghz i5
    16 GB 1600 Mhz
    1 TB Fusion
    R9 M290X 2 GB

    I have to pay $1800, so I guess it is a fair price.
     
  2. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    Think of it as 2560x1440 UI. There's no difference in that usable space than a regular 27" non-Retina iMac. Just that everything is exactly 4x as sharp.

    Images in PS or LR etc are rendered at their native res, though, so you can fit a 4K image in there with all your dev tools intact.

    You don't need SwitchResX, by the way. It's a 5120x2880 panel (you can hold the Option key while clicking on Display Preferences to display all the resolutions you can pick). 5120x2880 UI is far too tiny to be usable.
     
  3. Verdenshersker thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #3
    Thank you so much.
    I knew it was as 2560x1440 UI if normal, but I thought there was some good inbetween resolutions of 2560x1440 and 5120x2280. Maybe something like a 3600x2000 or so. That will give me more real estate instead of density?

    Also I have SwitchResX anyway :)

     
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #4
    Yeah, you can run 5120x2880 any time just like you would in the pre-retina days in "native resolution." The "best for display" just double sizes stuff with denser pixels.

    But retina is smart; so you can do both at the same time. If you show stuff 1:1 in Photoshop the image isn't scaled, but the UI still is. Ditto with Premiere. And in grid views in Lightroom for example, the images are so crisp that I don't need to be zooming or enlarging previews to be able to cull and do other chores; in other words, stuff looks so sharp it can be viewed in smaller windows. That being said, some stuff, like browser windows, might not be as amenable to that approach.

    So it's a lot of extra real estate, but you don't have to use it in many cases.
     
  5. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
    SwitchResX is really not necessary, though, unless you really like to tinker. By default, you can run 2560x1440, 2880x1620, 3200x1800, and 5120x2880. I'd imagine one of those would work for you, but bear in mind things get REALLY tiny above 1440p.

    As long as the app you're using is Retina aware, all the assets inside will be rendered in the 5120x2880 space anyway.
     
  6. Verdenshersker thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #6
    I guess 3200x1800 is my best option then.

    I use my MacBook Pro Retina 15 in the 1920x1200 as well - even though "best for Retina" is 1440x900
     
  7. pasadena macrumors 6502a

    pasadena

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Socal
    #7
    I use mine at 3200x1800. I sometimes have to go down to 2880x1620 when I'm working on things like Excel or when some websites are designed for 1024 screens and 10px serif fonts, but zooming is usually enough.
     
  8. Verdenshersker thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #8
    Thanks!

    That is the kind of info, I will looking forward to hear about.
    What model do you have?

    I know a lot of people are saying, it is stupid to get the Retina without the 4.0 Ghz i7 and the R9 M295X, but here I am with the options of the 3.5 Ghz i5 and the smaller R9 M290X, but is that good enough?

    I am a designer and the only games, I really play, are Star Craft 2 (Rarely) and League of Legends (a little more often), rest of my games are on my PS4.
     
  9. pasadena macrumors 6502a

    pasadena

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Socal
    #9
    Well, mine is i7 and M295, so I can't give an opinion on the base one, but to be honest I didn't need that. I'm just "that kind of person". I do regret not going for a bigger disk, though.

    So I don't think it really matters, unless you do CPU- or GPU-intensive things that specifically require it, like video work, or games, or 3D rendering of complex buildings, you get my drift. Now, you don't say what kind of designer you are :)

    You don't say how you can get it for $1,800. If it's new (and, like, employer-sponsored), go for it. Run for it. For that price, there is no computer on this planet that can compete with it, by far. Had I had the choice between a base model at $1,800 and mine at $3,000, I would have gotten the base one. It made sense given the price difference (a few $100s), it doesn't make sense with a $1,200 difference.

    That being said, upgrade the RAM (buy some crucial sticks). That's the most important if you spend your life in Adobe softwares.
     
  10. Verdenshersker thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #10
    I have a friend who bought it and then figured out, he hasn't really used it, even though it is only 20 days old, he has only used it a couple of times.

    I am a graphic designer and I spend most time in Photoshop and Illustrator.
    The machine already has 16 GB of 1600 Mhz DDR3, so I will see if that is enough or if I have to bump it up to 32 GB, which I am using in my Mac Pro.
     
  11. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #11
    Sounds like a no-brainer to me. I have the full Monty system I paid $4k for. Sure it's a bit faster and more capable, but at $2,200 less, I would snap that system up in a heartbeat.
     

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