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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Retina iMac again

Retina iMac again
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Mac Elite
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Jul 19, 2014, 05:47 AM
 
Hey,

how's life with the iMac? I got a new 21.5" iMac and it's lovely. It's gorgeous even... This is not so easy...
Is there going to be a retina iMac at a point or a retina MacBook Air? OS X is entirely ready in a way. What would change for you? The "games" point of view is not so easy in a way. Other than that, I think the situation is alright. What do you think? Next year is an okay chance for change, I believe...

Greetings,
Pete
     
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Jul 19, 2014, 09:24 PM
 
The iMac will hinge on the cost of Retina panels and reliable GPUs to drive them. The Air is reliant more on the GPU. Air should move to Intel's upcoming fanless platform but I have no idea if that can drive retina panels nicely enough for Apple.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jul 19, 2014, 11:03 PM
 
Historically, Apple didn't want to add features to the consumer model before the pro model. So the MacBook Pro got Retina before the Air. And they wouldn't want to add Retina to the iMac before the Mac Pro.

Since the Mac Pro is Retina-ready now, the iMac is next. The Air will have both cost and thermal concerns running that much GPU power. I'd call it a tossup if the Air or Mac Mini gets Retina last.
     
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Jul 20, 2014, 12:23 PM
 
If possible, Apple would put retina screens into the MacBook Airs yesterday. But there is a good reason why you need more powerful, thicker, heavier MacBook Pros to drive a retina screen.

New technologies are best introduced in low-/lower-volume products.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
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Jul 20, 2014, 02:58 PM
 
For the Retina MBAs, I think the issue is the delay for Broadwell (next gen Intel CPU). For the iMac, it's a bit harder. I think Apple would like to go 4K at 24" or thereabouts, but displays at that res are not common - most are 4K at 28" or so. And if you do that, what's the other model? Do you go to 2560*1440 quadrupled? I don't think DisplayPort supports that yet, and I haven't seen such a display. Not that it can't be done - 16 7" 720p displays would do it - but I haven't seen one yet. If you say that 4K is enough, you are arguably stepping back in spec on one parameter, and Apple is loath to do that.

If I would guess, I'd say Apple goes for a 24" iMac in two models, with and without Retina (so the non-Retina is 1080p, 1920*1080) but that they'd like the next-gen graphics (Pirate Islands or Maxwell GM204) for it, and the MBA is higher priority anyway.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 26, 2014, 12:04 PM
 
For those of us waiting to buy a new iMac and who realise that "retina" is more of a boondoggle than a real thing for most users ... I would appreciate any comments on when or if the iMac is actually going to be updated this year.

I can't see how the new cheap option is the only update for the year. It's been ages since the last good update.
     
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Jul 27, 2014, 06:23 AM
 
The problem is that Intel is late with the next generation of its processors (codename Broadwell), which means that there is little for Apple to put in them. They could update the clocks one notch, but I think that that's not enough to bother with.

What is slightly surprising, however, is that the MBP has not been updated with the newest nVidia GPU (GM107, 750 Ti as a desktop card, replaces the GK107 the top MBP uses today). Apple likes graphics power, and this one saves a good chunk of power too. Of course that update could come to the iMac as well (it also uses the GK107 in some configurations), and nVidia has updated the specs on a few other chips as well, but it seems they would have done that together with the introduction of the low-end model.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 27, 2014, 07:45 AM
 
Retina displays are great. I wouldn't call the Retina concept a "boondoggle" in any way. They aren't necessary or appropriate in every situation though. For example, my wife's iPad Mini's display is very clear and crisp, though it isn't a Retina display. It has the same number of pixels as my iPad 2, but in a more compact screen, so it is clearer by virtue of having more pixels per square centimeter....kind of like Retina does with larger displays

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 30, 2014, 01:48 PM
 
I don't see the point of a retina in any big screen. Your eye can't discern the pixels at about 300 ppi on a phone one foot away from your face... much less a desktop monitor three feet away. Let's compare (from Wikipedia):
  • 326 ppi for the smallest devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad Mini (2nd generation))
  • 264 ppi for mid-sized devices (iPad (3rd & 4th generations), iPad Air)
  • 220 ppi for larger devices (MacBook Pro)

Heck for a desktop I'd say even 160 ppi is a "retina" display.

Take a widescreen 23.5" monitor (or 20" horizontal) and you can have double the resolution of 1680 x 1050 with a monitor that gets 160 ppi.

Is that something you want?
This one time, at Boot Camp, I stuck a flute up my PC.
     
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Jul 31, 2014, 10:49 PM
 
The point is compatibility with older apps. Apple implemented their Retina function by pixeldoubling, so older apps would still run at a reasonable size. The original Mac from 1984 had a 72 ppi resolution, so I guess 144 ppi would classify as Retina, but 72 ppi would make controls look overly large to me now. Personally I think a 4K 24" monitor would be perfect - like the old 24" iMac, except 16:9, made Retina. That is roughly 170 ppi, which seems reasonable.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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