Will the next iMac have an 8K screen?

Ryand123

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
82
36
I'm going to boldly come out and predict it will. I know some of you will say, "Put down the crack pipe, that's years away still".

But let's look at precedent. They came out with the 5K iMac earlier than most thought too. Also, not long before, Dell had released a 5K standalone monitor. Dell has released a standalone 8K monitor. A clear harbinger of an 8K iMac if past is prologue!

Or not.
 

miqui

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2018
15
8
No.

Because Apple doesn't care about pure pixel-number-race, but rather enough pixel density, precisely calculated for human eye perception. And there's no need for higher resolution on 27" screen than 5K. And even if it ever will, than it will be 7680px screen, not an 8K (2560 x 3).

EDIT: Oh, and that is also why there's still no 4K MacBook Pro
 

Ryand123

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
82
36
No.

Because Apple doesn't care about pure pixel-number-race, but rather enough pixel density, precisely calculated for human eye perception. And there's no need for higher resolution on 27" screen than 5K. And even if it ever will, than it will be 7680px screen, not an 8K (2560 x 3).

EDIT: Oh, and that is also why there's still no 4K MacBook Pro
I think they do care about it. Remember when they argued there was no reason to go beyond 326 ppi on a smartphone? Then they did.

When the had 8MP cameras in iPhones I recall they made a similar argument. Then they went to 12MP and counting.

Whether it matters or not isn't important. Whether it's marketable and people believe it is what matters.
 
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mreg376

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,134
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Brooklyn, NY
Phones cameras are different. People enlarge photos, sometime a lot, and the additional pixel depth has practical advantages. Digital photography chased analog film for years in terms of enlargeability. But there's no advantage to increasing the pixel depth of the iMac screen beyond human perception. The screen is not going to be enlarged. In fact, the big brouhaha about the new iPhone XR by some techies and those whose lives revolve around their phones, about the XR's less that 1080p LCD display is just useless noise to the great majority of phone users, because you can perceive only so much on a 5 inch screen.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,363
6,682
Question:
"Will the next iMac have an 8K screen?"

Answer:
No.
Not for years...
 

fathergll

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2014
1,478
891
Kuo did say iMac receiving a significant display performance upgrade but for some reason if it was 8k I'm thinking that would have been part of his original comment.

Per appleinsider's latest article "So we're expecting that the iMac display-performance update will be that the screen is improved to a 120Hz refresh rate. "
 
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Peter_M

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2018
141
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8K for iMac is a waste of money and resources, however 120hz, ultra wide and HDR are upgrades that would actually matter.
 
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Zdigital2015

macrumors 68030
Jul 14, 2015
2,518
2,965
East Coast, United States
I'm going to boldly come out and predict it will. I know some of you will say, "Put down the crack pipe, that's years away still".

But let's look at precedent. They came out with the 5K iMac earlier than most thought too. Also, not long before, Dell had released a 5K standalone monitor. Dell has released a standalone 8K monitor. A clear harbinger of an 8K iMac if past is prologue!

Or not.
Apple prioritizes DPI for their desktops and laptops, which is ~110DPI for non-Retina and ~220DPI for Retina. You can try it for yourself at https://www.sven.de/dpi/

iMac/iMac 5K
iMac 5K - 5280x2880 @ 27" = 217.57 DPI
iMac - 2560x1440 @27" = 108.79 DPI

iMac 4K
4096x2304 @21.5" = 218.58 DPI
2048x1152 @21.5" = 109.29 DPI - @2x resolution, but DPI shown is non-Retina; I have a Dell monitor that does this resolution natively.

iMac (non-Retina)
1920X1080 @21.5" = 102.46 DPI; outside spec a bit and it rears its ugly head sometimes.

15" Retina MacBook Pro
2880x1880 = 220.53 DPI

15" NON Retina MacBook Pro
1140x900 = 110.27

So, a pure 8K display would be need to be 40"

7680x4320@40" = 220.29 DPI or 3840X2160@2x for Retina Display.

And an (Apple) 8K DCI display would need to be 42 or 43"(which is exactly twice the size as the 4K iMac)

8192x4320@42" = 220.51 DPI or 4096x2160@2x for a Retina Display. However, the aspect ratio becomes 17:9
8192x4608@43" = 218.58 DPI or 4096x2304@2x for a Retina Display. Aspect ration remains 16:9

I can see 40" and 43" as standalone Apple Cinema Displays, but I cannot see them being used for an iMac display unless Apple decides that Retina is more than ~220DPI, which I suppose they could decide to do at some point in the future.
 

DQ11

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2018
129
39
It taxes the gpu & CPU too much as it is with 5k.....8k is not needed. 5k isn't even needed right now and 4k will be fine for the next 5-6 years.
 
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fathergll

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2014
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If the iMac can't play 4k HDR content from the iTunes store or any other provider then it seems ridiculous for Apple to be promoting this.
 
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Huddy

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2009
58
27
As others have already said much more likely we'll see 5k/120hz with the possibility of HDR.

If they do go for a redesign I guess we could get a larger screen with a similar footprint if they dump those gaudy bezels.
 

bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
567
311
I'll be surprised if they come out with an 8K display but wouldn't that require quite an enormous amount of GPU power to drive just on its own?
 

Huddy

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2009
58
27
I'll be surprised if they come out with an 8K display but wouldn't that require quite an enormous amount of GPU power to drive just on its own?
Yeah, along with being a massive waste on a 27" screen.
 

sublunar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2007
1,325
775
Cost of 8k panels is prohibitive at the moment and the GPU power required to run them acceptably would also be ridiculous in an iMac Pro (burn out the screen due to heat from a GPU parked next to the panel) or would require Thunderbolt 4 from an external 2019 Mac Pro style box to shift the required bandwidth.

I would agree that 120Hz Pro-Motion would be a better upgrade but you don't see many 5k panels offering that sort of refresh rate that's not a TN style gaming monitor.

HDR would surely also require huge increase in brightness but it's potentially the most achievable upgrade - an obvious one for the iMac Pro I would say.
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,259
1,944
Lincoln, UK
The 27” iMac is equivalent to the old 27” Cinema Display pixel doubled.

I’d like to see a 30” iMac that is the equivalent to the old 30” Cinema Display pixel doubled.

That would be 5120x3200. There are 16:10 MacBook Pros, I’d love to see the same ratio on an iMac. Vertical size is important for all sorts from coding to many websites.
 

hydr

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2009
226
95
The 27” iMac is equivalent to the old 27” Cinema Display pixel doubled.

I’d like to see a 30” iMac that is the equivalent to the old 30” Cinema Display pixel doubled.

That would be 5120x3200. There are 16:10 MacBook Pros, I’d love to see the same ratio on an iMac. Vertical size is important for all sorts from coding to many websites.
I would love that too, it would not be typical Apple but it might be a solution to a revolutionary new design. 30" 16.9 Oled running 7680x4320 without any bezel. The overall size of the iMac would actually be smaller, particularly in the height. All display front, not aluminium. Toss in 9900k processor and bluetooth 5.0. And keyboard will have changing keys based on e-INK. Google Sonder for examples.
 

Zdigital2015

macrumors 68030
Jul 14, 2015
2,518
2,965
East Coast, United States
We -might- see 8k displays in the iMac line about 2025 or so... ;)
If Apple is serious about recapturing the Pro market and keeping it, because an epiphany has occurred, it would behoove them to offer a 4K (4096x2304) 21.5", a 5K (5220x2880) 27" and an 8K (8192x4608) at 43" to give customers a choice of entry points into the Mac Pro ecosystem. The first two monitors are easy to create, as Apple already has a source for the panels. It also allows Apple to sell these monitors to users who may want a second display for their MacBook Pro, iMac or iMac Pro as well as a go to for those who purchase a Mac mini (should it revised for 2018) and keep it in the family. All of those displays are going to be Thunderbolt 3 and Apple can add ports to them in the same way they did with the original Apple Thunderbolt Display.

I suspect the 8K panel will be exclusive to the Mac Pro and perhaps a revised iMac Pro containing a Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller. Perhaps a dual cable solution will be possible with the 2017 iMac Pro and other Alpine Ridge based Macs.

Again, all this is predicated on Apple's seriousness at recapturing and keeping the Pro market and not simply creating a device to placate that market and then abandoning it with a dearth of updates. Only time will tell if the commitment is there.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,642
3,448
But let's look at precedent. They came out with the 5K iMac earlier than most thought too.
There was a good reason going for 5k over 4k at the time - 5k was exactly pixel-doubled c.f. the original 27" iMac, whereas the MacOS interface pixel-doubled to "4k" UHD is a bit too big at 27". Windows actually has a more scalable UI that lets you make all of the UI elements (say) 50% larger*, so 4k was "good enough" - I don't think anybody is actually making 5k displays any more, other than the one LG 5k display marketed solely at Apple users.

I simply don't see the point of 8K on the sort of 27"-30" display that would fit into an iMac, unless its going to be something radical along the lines of the Surface Studio that you use in easel mode close-up rather than arms length. Apart from that, the only point of 8K seems to be editing 8K video without unnecessary resampling (assuming you're not working with lower-res proxy files anyway) and even then, for serious previewing, surely you'd want a big screen that actually let you see the detail?

Apple have said that they are producing a new display to go with the Mythical Modular Mac Pro - now that might be a bigger-than-30" 8k display (and possibly supported by future iMac Pros as a second screen) - but for my money a <=30" 8k display is pointless as is a >30" iMac.

(* This has its downsides, too, and Mac offers its resampled "scaled" modes that look great on 4k and cope better with non-compliant software, at the price of a slight GPU hit and a quality degradation that you'll only spot if you go hunting, so lets not start a Mac vs. Windows war here).
 

tha_man

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2016
75
82
I'd love to see 38" 21:9 7680x3200 borderless and curved iMac. It could retain approx. same physical height as the current 27" model (which is just right for work IMO), but with more usable vertical space (like old 1600p screen, compared to 1440p on 27" model). It would also have enough horizontal space to replace dual monitor solutions, be used for immersive gaming (especially with external GPU) and for viewing movies in cinematic ratio almost in full screen.
 

Freida

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2010
2,381
3,169
I'm surprised how many people here are so unrealistic about what technology can/should be. 8K in iMac is still many years away and anyone saying its possible hasn't done a proper research. Would it be nice to have 8K display? Sure, but only few people would actually really benefit such technology. Mainly photographers but thats about it. The power that would be required to feed this monster would be insanely high and benefits minimal to most people.

So, the answer is. NO WAY! Not now at least. in +-5 years we can start thinking about this on practical level.

Its just like 4K TVs. Great on paper, not so useful in reality as 4K content is still not mainstream. Netflix and others have some but until its mainstream its just a feature that one doesn't use that much.
Anyway, lets hope things will get better overall in the next few years.
 
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