RiMac vs iMac Visual Experience

Discussion in 'iMac' started by fastlanephil, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    Ther seems to be different experiences with users comparing the riMac to the previous iMacs.

    What I've noticed is that when I browse the web with my iPad Air which has a retina display and then start using my 2011 27" iMac and Dell U3014 they look a little distorted and blurry but after a few minutes of use they start to look pretty good.

    It think one's brain>eyes adapts to the new/higher resolution of the iPad and then has to make an adjustment for the standard displays.

    So maybe keep this in mind when doing a comparison at a store. You might be just as happy with a 2013 iMac if your not going to be using it for it's graphic abilities or want TB 2 or the 4GHz CPU upgrade.
  2. esphil macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    I got the RiMac a few days ago. The screen is very nice, however I don't know if for me personally it was worth dropping $2600+ on the machine. I have a Cinema I use at work and a iMac at home. I didn't really need any additional performance in the RiMAC so I may end up returning it, since $2600 for a display is a bit steep. I guess the difference is not as dramatic to me personally based on what I had read when I decided to order.
  3. Charlemagne macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    Seems like another reason to NOT go Retina is the heat and the lag that some people are experiencing. I think Apple will learn a lot from this "new" tech, so might be good to wait for them to work the kinks out. I've started to lean that way for a pro audio machine.
  4. alxhrs macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    For browsering and emailing RiMac is not worth it - nice, but not nice enough to justify upgrading. However, for photographic & typographic work, its night and day - its looks like print, almost better. It looks like how it ultimately ends up in the real world, so glad its finally here.
  5. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Not sure if I agree. While video and photography work is good, I find some unexpected applications really transformed by the resolution. Logic Pro X (with lots of beautifully clear score staves) is amazing. All forms of CAD are utterly different. I've been working on house design blueprints and some 3d printing stuff in Sketchup, which are like changing from a marker pen to a draughting pencil.

    A word of warning though -- don't try gaming in 5k as you will be utterly spoilt. Half-life 2 in 5k is like a whole new game. I just wander around looking at things. I can't get portal or portal 2 to work in 5k (they crash or have strange elements), but they work fine in measly old 4k. All hold up perfectly at 60fps, just dipping down slightly when there's some real action about.

    Gaming is perfectly good at 2560x1440, but after having run at 5k it looks far far worse.

    The temperature rises and you can just hear a slight fan noise in 5k (disappears when the temperatures go back below 80). In 2560x1440 though, the temperatures never rise high enough.

    Yes, these are very old low-tech games, but it does show that the different resolutions load the GPU differently.
  6. iSayuSay, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    I'm still owning a 2012 iMac with 680MX so i might not be fair here. But I would wait a year or two to see some fixes and improvements.

    Retina iMac is just like the 3rd gen iPad. It was resolutionary (remember that word?) but it also has some problems intact. The 3rd gen iPad was a bit hot (for an iPad), a bit heavy, a bit slow, laggy and a bit inefficient although the screen was very, very nice. One step forward, two steps backward.

    Half year later 4th gen iPad makes several improvement, and a year after that came iPad Air which is excellent, efficient, fast, runs cool and even lighter while keeping the same retina display. So yeah, consider the current retina iMac as beta testing product. I wouldn't buy it now.

    But again some of you may have a very very old iMac which needs upgrade, in which case I could not prevent you any further to just buy current 5K iMac. But to me it's not worth it.
  7. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    It's good to know that Logic Pro X benefits from the higher resolution as I own it but haven't messed with it yet. But for me, my DAW set up has my Dell 30" as the main display, which sits in front of me and in back of my piano controller and my iMac is 32" to the right, used for utility.

    I doubt if there would be a noticeable difference between the screen resolutions in my case so I"m looking at a 2013 27" 3.4GHz i5 with a 512 SSD as probably my best option.
  8. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Don't try using a retina iMac, then. My Dell 30" sits next to my iMac, and now looks like a Tandy Color Computer by comparison...
  9. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    Damn I'd love to play even something old like Half Life 2 in 5k. You try Doom 3?
  10. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Doom 3 isn't on OSX, is it? So I'd have to run that in windows and it'd only be at 4k. 4k looks pixelly after you get used to 5k. But we'll have better windows drivers soon enough.

    Age of Empires II is pretty manic in high resolutions, you can see half the world at once...
  11. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    I notice the difference with laptops, but not so much with my iMac, because I sit too far away from it to really notice much difference.
  12. trims macrumors regular

    May 11, 2011
    Nottingham, UK
    Even from 50-60cm away at our local store, with an iMac and RiMac side by side, the difference was quite startling. Photos, yes, but actually for me the clarity of the text on web pages was even more dramatic.

    But I agree, if you can't see it, its a waste of money.
  13. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Doom 3 definitely is. I have it installed on my '12 Macbook Air. I get about 30 FPS on Ultra Quality with all setting max out(except Antialiasing turned-off )


    Actually a game like Age of Empires might be the best of a retina screen.
  14. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I compared the Retina 27" with non-Retina 27" today. The retina is obviously cleaner and crisper using Safari to load the same pages on both. The contrast is better also, with no text fuzz.

    But, when I got home and looked at my 2009 27" iMac again, it didn't look so bad. I concluded that when the time comes to replace my iMac for other reasons, the retina upgrade is the only way to go. But the retina by itself is not enough reason to spend $2500+, if your computer is otherwise good.
  15. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I have downloaded Doom 3, will give it a go. Just for you, and scientific investigation purposes, you understand... ;)
  16. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Ha, in the name of science! Make sure to play it in the dark :eek:
  17. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Well, that's not bad. Of course, having such small textures and being a 10-year-old game it's not so good close-up (there's no extra detail to be seen). But the distant objects are great, and when you're in a larger area it really shows the difference.

    I ran the time demo (control-alt-` and then "timedemo demo1"). At 5k, ultra settings, and setting AA to 4x, it came back with 66fps. Ran very smoothly. com_showfps1 gave consistent high-50s framerate or above. Note that doom3 fixes the framerate to 60fps max, so there's not a lot of point in going higher.

    At 2560x1440, ultra settings, 16x AA it looked pretty much as good (although distant detail is just slightly lost -- for example you can't clearly read the passenger list on the distant computer from inside the bioscan at the start). But not blurry or weird, just not quite as crystal clear as 5k. Time demo at this highest possible AA setting was 160fps.

    GPU die came up to about 90C during play at 5k, hardly rose above 80 at 2560x1440.

    I am going to have to remember how the map goes and spend some time on this again, haven't played since HalfLife2 came out!
  18. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    It's amusing to read the benchmark reports on Doom 3. Just ten years ago they were explaining how it wasn't worth setting Doom 3 to "ultra" as this was a setting intended only for future extreme video cards, and that even the best current ones couldn't handle it. At 1028x768.

    Ten years on, we have a distinctly non-gaming computer, with a non-optimal OS (for gaming), running a port of the program and throwing 18 times as many pixels, at twice the comparable speed, even with 4xAA on.

    Just think what the MacBook Air will be able to do in another ten years...
  19. ErikGrim macrumors 68040


    Jun 20, 2003
    Brisbane, Australia
    That was the first thing that came to mind as well. The "Ultra" setting was only there for future cards. Preparing for this day no doubt ;)
  20. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Certainly at a particular distance retina is a waste. Get 32" away and you're at the point where you can't resolve 2560x1440 regular iMac pixels.

    I use an riMac right next to a good 2560x1440 running off the riMac. And I had to adjust my workspace so the old display is about 32" away. But it just doesn't seem to look as good even accounting for the distance. Once I started getting familiar with the riMac I found myself doing what I do with paper, which is leaning in to see things more clearly. On the old screen I leaned BACK. On the old display type looks either too jaggy or too small.

    What I am ending up doing is displaying stuff on the old display that doesn't have much system-sized text or icons. It's still workable for pictures and video, and for those, especially for casual viewing as opposed to editing, I actually LIKE to be a bit further back, as in a theater. It's like the difference between reading and watching TV.

    And your work changes. I found that when reviewing images in Aperture or Lightroom in grid view I no longer have to zoom them; it's much easier and faster to cull than before. I didn't realize that the new screen would be as helpful as it's proving to be.
  21. firsmith macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2014
    I'm not saying you should spend the money, but I have a 2009 24" and I have them next to each other and it's night and day. If you were to see them like that you'd struck by just how much better it is
  22. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Yes, I did and it was. A new RiMac in my sights, but I can't justify the expense just for retina. I may jump next year, when the next generation comes along.
  23. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Ah cool, by chance did you try 16x AA at 5k?
  24. Padmini macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2014

    If you don't know what you're missing, how can you comprehend it?

    I went from using a typical 21.5" 1080p display to a Retina iMac....looking back on what I was using....I can't believe it used to be that way.


    Anyone that says otherwise, that a Retina iMac is not a HUGE difference from any other non-Retina display, is either lying or has poor vision. Or is simply sitting 10 feet away from it.
  25. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I'll be missing about an extra $1000 compared to a used loaded 2013 iMac 3.5 i7. :p

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