Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > First Look: Apple iMac with 5K Retina Display

First Look: Apple iMac with 5K Retina Display
Thread Tools
NewsPoster
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 15, 2014, 12:21 AM
 
Apple has been adding Retina displays to its mobile product range over the past few years, but desktop users have missed out -- until now. Apple's new iMac with Retina 5K display has landed, with four times the pixel density of previous models - taking its total pixel count to an incredible 14.7 million pixels. But it is much more than just a pretty face: behind the stunning new Retina display, it packs a one-two punch of up to a 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 display and AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of DDR5 VRAM. We've been using it for the past week, and have some first impressions ahead of our full review.

While rumors ahead of its launch indicated that Apple would be releasing an iMac with a Retina display, the company still managed to surprise when it revealed that it had bypassed a 4K Ultra HD display for a 5K display. However, the decision makes complete sense when you realize that in order to be able to edit 4K video natively on an iMac, there needs to be room for the app interface and virtual control surfaces.



Perhaps even more surprising is its price. At just $2,499, Apple has managed to pack in a high-performance computing package behind its 5K display for less than most are charging for just the equivalent 4K or 5K displays alone. It is no exaggeration to suggest that it is as though Apple is giving away the computer for free when you buy the 5K display. This makes it an absolute bargain, and the best value-for-money Mac ever.



The 5K Retina display is, of course, the absolute center of attention here, and it is stunning. While Apple might be delivering it at an unbelievable price, it has not cut any corners in terms of its overall viewing quality. At normal viewing distances, text is absolutely razor sharp and what we have grown accustomed to in Apple's iPhones and iPads with Retina displays. It's like looking at a gigantic Retina iPad display, which of course makes it an absolute joy to behold.



Even if you are not planning on editing 4K video on this iMac, you can rest assured that if you opt for one, you will be able to enjoy its amazing contrast, color accuracy and brightness getting through even the most mundane tasks. It is a premium panel, the likes of which has never previously graced another computer.



The test model that we have been provided by Apple is fitted with the optional fourth-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, clocked at 4.0GHz. This is matched with 8GB of RAM - although as with the other 27-inch iMacs, this is user expandable up to 32GB. Our model is also fitted with the optional high-end AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of DDR5 VRAM, which will appeal to professionals looking to edit and render effects in 4K videos. Apple says that its GPU computing power is good for 3.5 teraflops, or about half of what a fully-spec'd Mac Pro is good for. This is also great news for gamers who might also want to run Windows on Bootcamp -- the iMac with 5K Retina display comfortably doubles as the best iMac for gaming ever.

By Sanjiv Sathiah
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Nov 16, 2014 at 02:08 AM. )
     
JeffHarris
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York City
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 15, 2014, 10:06 AM
 
What was the price of the beefed-up model tested?
     
garmonbosia
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Aug 2002
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 15, 2014, 10:48 AM
 
The only upgrade the article mentions is the AMD Radeon R9 M295X for $250.
     
aenews
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2014
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 15, 2014, 05:27 PM
 
"At just $2,499, Apple has managed to pack in a high-performance computing package behind its 5K display for less than most are charging for just the equivalent 4K or 5K displays alone."

This is a nice 5K display for sure, but there are many 4K displays are $500-$900 now, so this is not an even remotely accurate statement.
     
DiabloConQueso
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2008
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 15, 2014, 05:51 PM
 
This is also a much higher quality 4k/5k display than the bottom-of-the-barrel $500-$900 displays you're referencing.

It's unfair to compare a display of this quality to the absolute cheapest priced display, considering resolution alone as the only comparison.

"Pssh... you paid $45,000 for a car? Didn't you know you could buy a car for $12,000?"
     
FireWire
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Montréal, Québec (Canada)
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2014, 01:29 AM
 
do your 500-900$ 4K display run at 60 hz? I think most current 4K displays are limited to 30 hz on the mac.
     
Sanjiv Sathiah
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2014, 01:30 AM
 
@aenews: I stand by the statement -- if you read it closely, I talked about "equivalent 4K or 5K displays." As you point out, there are sub $1000 4K displays, but there are not remotely equivalent to the quality of the panel in the new iMac with 5K Retina display. The closest stand alone equivalent that I can point to is the Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K monitor. It retails for $2499, no computer included. @DiabloConQueso is spot on.
Electronista Staff
     
aenews
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2014
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2014, 04:31 AM
 
@Sanjiv Sathiah

I stand by my statement as well. I said very clearly that the the new iMac has a NICE 5K display. I never said the display is not superior.

I merely pointed out the inaccuracy in that 4K displays from competitors are in fact as low as $500 in cost.

Asus PB287Q (28-Inch/ $560)
Samsung U28D590D (28-Inch/ $560)
Dell P2815Q (28-Inch/ $500)

Your original statement suggests that the new iMac is as well priced as not only 5K but also 4K displays from competitors when that is clearly not the case.

@Firewire
All the displays I had in mind are 60Hz displays.

@DiabloConQueso
The iMac display is obviously superior, but none of the monitors I am referencing/ had in mind are "bottom-of-the-barrel". They are high-end monitors from major companies...


I do like how this iMac is more reasonably priced for the advanced technology it is bringing to the table. Makes far more sense buying this iMac than it would have been buying the last model when it came out.

It probably wouldn't be possible, unfortunately, to use it as a monitor for a gaming computer, which I'd love to try on 5K. I'd rather spend less buying a high-end gaming monster and a 4K display to boot.
     
Sanjiv Sathiah
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2014, 04:47 AM
 
@aenews Each of the monitors that you have listed are not "high-end" monitors. They all use TN panels with inferior viewing angles and limited color reproduction among other various issues. Not one of them is equivalent to the IPS technology used in the iMac with 5K Retina display, which offers true sRGB reproduction, outstanding brightness, contrast and viewing angles. The display in the iMac is truly high-end. The displays that you have referred to are good value, but they are not a patch on what Apple has packed into the iMac.

The only Dell 4K monitor that is a match for the iMac's in quality is the UP2414Q, and that retails for $1000 and is smaller than the iMac display, not to mention 4K versus 5K. This new iMac is outstanding value for money and the best value-for-money Mac ever. If you prefer gaming on PCs, you will certainly find good buying out there, but you won't get the equivalent level of quality and componentary for less. Apple did the same thing with the new Mac Pros - there is not a single PC workstation equivalent that you can buy for less than what Apple is charging.

As I said previously, the only 5K Dell 27-inch monitor that is a direct equivalent to the display in the iMac costs $2500 alone. Apple is giving you that, plus a high-powered computer to boot for the same money.
( Last edited by Sanjiv Sathiah; Nov 16, 2014 at 04:59 AM. )
Electronista Staff
     
aenews
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2014
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2014, 05:36 AM
 
@Sanjiv Sathiah

Yup it's the best iMac for the money yet. It's not that I prefer gaming on either platform. I'm saying I probably wouldn't be able to use this iMac as a monitor for a monster gaming rig. One of the most best uses, IMO, for a very high-resolution display, is to enjoy the breathtaking visuals of graphically intense games, which is not be possible with this iMac. It'd probably be more cheaper to get one of the 4K I mentioned AND the monster gaming rig. Yes, I agree the iMac's display is better. Those displays certainly are not as nearly as good as the iMacs, but they are still pretty good. You know what I'd really like is coupling a monster gaming rig with a 4K projector... but that's like 20K ($) lol.
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2014, 02:59 PM
 
I think it's fair to say that incredibly few people who are actually planning to buy the 5K iMac are likely thinking about it from a gaming POV. This machine is very clearly aimed at the creative pro market as kind of a "poor man's Mac Pro" -- since it offers about half the processing power of the Mac Pro plus includes a world-class 5K monitor. The marketing is obviously oriented to video and photo semi-pros and professionals rather than general consumers.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
OldMacGeek
Forum Regular
Join Date: Aug 2010
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 9, 2014, 10:44 AM
 
. . . aaaaaand where is the rest of the review? You gave us specs. You said the display was stunning. All that I've gotten from Apple's website. Did you use it? Did you try to run a video-editing app, like you said the machine was suited for? I know it's just a first look, but I guess I'm looking for a little more "meat" here.
     
OldMacGeek
Forum Regular
Join Date: Aug 2010
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 9, 2014, 01:16 PM
 
Ah. I clicked the first link in the lead story, not the second (identically-named) link. Silly me.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:35 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,