What is the real screen real estate on the iMac 5k?e

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Eduardot, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Eduardot macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2013
    I have a late 2013 iMac and went to the apple store to see how much does the resolution changes when i set it to scale the highest. In the Apple propaganda 5K is equal to 5120 x 2880, but when i scale it to maximum the real resolution is 3200 x 2010. So I was planning on buying the new 5K so I could take advantage of all the screen real estate, that is I thougth 5120 x 2880, but is does not go that far. I asked three Apple employees why they are selling 5120 x 2880 and when i set the maximun is only 3200 x 2010.

    Anyone know why is this? Because no one at Apple could answer me.
    Why its important because currently i am running my iMac late 2013 with two hd samsung monitors on a three monitor setup, and with the iMac 5K I thougth I would get more space so I could get rid of the two samsung monitors. It appears it is not so.

    So then, I need screen real estate, can someone explain why no one at Apple could answer me?
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    That's because it is a retina display. It has 5120 x 2880 pixels hardware, but it uses them normally to display 2560 x 1440 points with 2x2 pixels per point. You get higher image quality, not more points. Why nobody could tell you that a retina display is for image quality, not points, I don't know.
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    The screen is physically 5120 x 2880. However, at that "raw" resolution all the icons, controls, 'window furniture' system fonts, menus etc. would be far to small (I believe that there's a hack available to enable that, though). Unfortunately, lots of older applications are hard-coded for those sizes, and have bitmap assets designed for the old resolution, so just making them bigger "breaks" things.

    Enter "Best for Display" (a.k.a. "retina" or "HiDPI" mode): The screen is still physically 5120 x 2880, but all the pixels are doubled up so old applications "think" the screen is still 2560x1440. However, the wrinkle is that everything rendered by the system or by newer retina-aware software can still use the full 5120 x 2880 definition, so fonts, images etc. are all much sharper.

    The practical upshot of this is that although all the system fonts, menus and screen furniture stay the same size, most applications will let you zoom out/halve the font size of the content & pack twice as much into the window.

    The "scaled modes" simulate even higher resolutions (e.g. 6400x4020) using the same pixel-doubling trick (so apps 'think' its 3200x2010), render the screen to an internal "virtual" screen, then re-sample it down to fit the physical screen.

    See also : http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...to-run-imac-retina-5k-at-full-resolution.html

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