What brightness level do you prefer for 5k Retina iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by OCDMacGeek, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007
    I have the new Late 2015 5k iMac, and I have cranked the brightness all the way up to the max. It looks fantastic but this level of brightness would probably tire out some people's eyes. I know the brightness you need depends on the brightness of the room, but I am just curious what levels people typically lIke the the brightness of these screens at?
  2. iemcj macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015
    I very move it from about mid level brightness. I'm working on photos and I NEED to make sure I have exposure right, there's nothing worse than getting an image that "looks pretty great" on your high brightness screen then printing it out and realizing woh it was actually under exposed.

    For less mission critical work I might change the brightness but I am not in a super bright room so no need. In fact I often turn it down to about 1/4 brightness when the lights are out, beyond that it's just wrecking my eyes.
  3. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I keep it at max brightness because....it looks so amazing. But I probably should turn it down a bit.
  4. DaakuMaujii macrumors member


    Oct 25, 2015
    I typically set it to mid-brightness, and let the iMac adjust the brightness according to the ambient lighting conditions. During evenings it is somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2. I can imagine during the day with bright sunlight, the screen may go up to 3/4, maybe even full, I'm not sure since I don't frequently use the iMac during the day.

    Is there a downside to running the iMac at full brightness other than power consumption? Is image retention a problem for these displays? I always thought this only affected old CRTs and Plasma screen, not LCD, but I recall someone complaining about this issue on MacRumours.

    Lowering the brightness may save you some energy; here are some power measurements for the iMac 27" (2015) Core i7 395x 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD running idle at login screen:
    25W idle screen off,
    26W idle screen min brightness,
    37W idle mid-brightness,
    55W idle screen at max brightness.

    In comparison, the old iMac 21.5" (~2006) it replaces:
    47.5W idle at min brightness,
    92.4W idle at max brightness.

    I used to play games on an old PC (~2006) that idled at 80W. Add to that a very old 20" LCD display that required 45W. This makes the new iMac very efficient in my opinion. Although nothing beats the Mac Mini at about 10 to 12W idle ;-)
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have mine turned down t about 50 (maybe 40) percent. I don't like overly bright displays, I feel them burning my eyes out of my sockets :)
  6. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2015
    I tried turning mine up to max......
    I honestly don't know how you can stand it there for long without getting a headache or hurting your eyes.

    Mine is about mid-level and more than plenty bright.
  7. loekf macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2015
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    Mid brightness, but looks like the level is (like on iOS devices) controlled via a hidden ambient sensor or (my suspicion) via the front camera. That camera is very sensitive to 50Hz flicker from fluorensecent tubes (TL lights), specially when they are just switched on and starting up. It also looks like the 5K screen does a contrast adjustment as well based on the amount of ambient light.

    I would have preferred a dumb static brightness and contrast setting.
  8. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    I'm usually fine with whatever auto brightness gives me but from time to time I'll take it down a couple squares. I just don't like looking into the sun.
  9. DaakuMaujii macrumors member


    Oct 25, 2015
    Next to the camera there is a small opening behind the glass cover that contains a photosensitive diode to measure the ambient lighting condition. If you don't like the automated control of brightness, you can turn it off from System Preferences -> Display -> uncheck 'Automatically adjust brightness'.

    The old MacBooks used to have the photosensitive diode hidden underneath the grill of the speakers. So every time I would reach for my pencil to write something down or grab my drink the screen would temporarily dim as my hand hovered across the speaker and block the light. It was funny, sometimes during late nights it would be a small fight to keep the brightness up while the MacBook would automatically dim the screen. I'm not sure where the sensor is in the new MacBooks, but I have not experienced any problems with it. I like the feature, as it automatically dims the screen when high brightness is not required and save battery time.
  10. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2015
    I cranked up the iMac to full brightness for about 10 minutes.
    Look what happened...

  11. jptsr1 macrumors newbie


    Mar 13, 2011
    New Jersey
    I keep the slider just about over the "g" in brightness.
  12. yugioh5d macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2015
    I am also an iMAC 5K user. Is it just me or is Capitan brightness level is way lower than yosemite? On yosemite I only use like 6 levels but Capitan 12 levels or even higher.....weird

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