Apple's next iMacs also rumored to receive Retina display upgrade

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
In addition to the MacBook Pro lineup, Apple's next-generation iMac desktops are also rumored to receive a new high-resolution Retina display.

Following up on earlier reports that Apple would unveil thinner Retina display-equipped MacBook Pros at the forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Joanna Stern of ABC News corroborated those details, but also included the iMac in the mix. Along with the MacBook Pro, the iMac will get a new, "very, very high resolution" display, she said.

The detail comes on the heels of benchmark tests that appeared online for a new iMac model, identified as "13,2." The desktop tested with Geekbench featured a quad-core i7 chip at a clock speed of 3.40 gigahertz running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and earned a score of 12,183.

One report in April claimed that Apple's 2012 iMac lineup will feature anti-reflective glass displays. It was also said that the new iMacs will be noticeably slimmer than the current all-in-one desktop models offered by Apple.

The latest rumor of high-resolution iMacs suggests that Apple plans to quickly upgrade much of its Mac lineup to new Retina displays, catching up with the high pixel density screens currently found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Earlier this month, AppleInsider discovered new Retina-caliber icons hidden within Apple's latest OS X 10.7.4 update to Lion.

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An earlier report in April previously indicated that Apple was eyeing a June launch for new iMacs featuring Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge processors. It was said the new iMacs would feature options for Core i5 or faster Core i7 processors based on the latest chip architecture.

The iMac lineup was last updated in May of 2011, when Apple added high-definition FaceTime cameras as well as high-speed Thunderbolt ports. The current iMacs are powered by Intel's Sandy Bridge processors and AMD Radeon HD graphics.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 81
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,345member


    Anyone with thoughts on whether Apple displays might get a bump up as well?

  • Reply 2 of 81
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Anyone with thoughts on whether Apple displays might get a bump up as well?





    Naturally image


     


    I'd like to add that the DPI for a large display would be much smaller than what's in iPhone/iPad because our eye will be placed further out. I am curious how high the density need to be. Will 150 DPI be good enough?

  • Reply 3 of 81
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,706member


    No one on Earth makes 27" 5120x2880 display. The iMacs cannot get retina displays this upgrade time. It's just not possible.

  • Reply 4 of 81
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    No one on Earth makes 27" 5120x2880 display. The iMacs cannot get retina displays this upgrade time. It's just not possible.

    I agree. I also don't know of any mainstream graphics chips that will handle that resolution. Rumormongers ought to at least check on whether something is plausible.


    ETA:
    I may have been wrong about the graphics chips. Modern chips are getting close to being able to handle that resolution:
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/37253-three-screen-geforce-gtx-680-vs-radeon-hd-7970/
    This is a three screen setup at 5760x1080. Not quite what TS was referring to, but it's closer than I thought - and suggests that it just might be possible with a high end video card.


    They will, however, have to come up with some new initials for a screen that size:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_display_resolutions
  • Reply 5 of 81
    kfury77kfury77 Posts: 44member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    No one on Earth makes 27" 5120x2880 display. The iMacs cannot get retina displays this upgrade time. It's just not possible.



     


    The article didn't state the resolution would be exactly double to what it is now, and I don't think it will. In fact there was an article linked to from Macrumors earlier about the possibility of a retina display iMac and suggested:

     Apple could build a 3840 by 2400 pixel 27-inch screen that presented itself as a pixel doubled 1920 by 1200 pixel display. That’s effectively an 84ppi screen @1X and 168ppi screen @2X.



    Makes a lot of sense to me!

  • Reply 6 of 81
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member


    Seriously... What is the point in this? I can appreciate it would possibly be useful for laptops, but desktop machines?


     


    Very dubious.

  • Reply 7 of 81
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member


    I agree. This sort of move would be a 'bridge too far'--maybe two bridges too far. The cost would be too high for a mainstream product. If Apple makes a move like this, it's likely to come first in a high-end, standalone display.


     


    Laptops are another matter. I'm so delighted by the screen on my new iPad. I'm delaying getting a MBA at least until it gets a retina display.

  • Reply 8 of 81
    foljsfoljs Posts: 268member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    No one on Earth makes 27" 5120x2880 display. The iMacs cannot get retina displays this upgrade time. It's just not possible.



     


    It doesn't have to be double the current resolution.


     


    Desktop OS X is not like iOS, it can support multiple resolutions without problem (actualy it already does, from the 11" Air to thw 27" iMac). 


     


    They just have to increase the resolution to approach something like 300dpi. (It could even be less DPI, say, 280 or so, since the viewing distance to a 27" display for example is bigger than to an iPhone), and show normal assets with double the pixels and optimized assets with double the pixels + double the detail.

  • Reply 9 of 81


    Notably thinner = No optical drive.

  • Reply 10 of 81
    foljsfoljs Posts: 268member


    To be clear: not that iOS cannot support multiple resolutions, just that it is problematic to do so without doubling them, because then you have inconsistent interface elements, or things get smaller than the optimal size for a finger (whereas a mouse pointer can easily click on a huge desktop OS X button in 90dpi to a small-ish version on the same button in 160dpi).

  • Reply 11 of 81
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,706member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by foljs View Post

    It doesn't have to be double the current resolution.


     


    Sure it does.


     


    Quote:


    They just have to increase the resolution to approach something like 300dpi. (It could even be less DPI, say, 280 or so, since the viewing distance to a 27" display for example is bigger than to an iPhone), and show normal assets with double the pixels and optimized assets with double the pixels + double the detail.



     


    Which, if you do the calculation, is the resolution that I said and which no company makes.


     


    Edit: I was wrong. That was for a 22" display. 5120x2880 on a 27" display is 217 PPI.

  • Reply 12 of 81
    gustavgustav Posts: 816member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kfury77 View Post


     


    The article didn't state the resolution would be exactly double to what it is now, and I don't think it will. In fact there was an article linked to from Macrumors earlier about the possibility of a retina display iMac and suggested:

     Apple could build a 3840 by 2400 pixel 27-inch screen that presented itself as a pixel doubled 1920 by 1200 pixel display. That’s effectively an 84ppi screen @1X and 168ppi screen @2X.



    Makes a lot of sense to me!



     


    Then it'll fit less stuff on its display. It'll be a step up in legibility, but a step down in usability.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    Seriously... What is the point in this? I can appreciate it would possibly be useful for laptops, but desktop machines?


     


    Very dubious.



     


    Well, I agree it's dubious, but why is it useful for laptops and not desktops? Do you think the resolution on desktops is high enough? The text looks crystal clear to you? Mine sure doesn't.

  • Reply 13 of 81
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,694member


    Considering the huge amount of power consumption associated with pixel-dense displays, as was evident in the new iPad, it would be unlikely to see thinner or lighter MacBook Airs with high pixel density. It would be more plausible to see high pixel density displays in iMacs and Apple Displays.

  • Reply 14 of 81
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    Well, I agree it's dubious, but why is it useful for laptops and not desktops? Do you think the resolution on desktops is high enough? The text looks crystal clear to you? Mine sure doesn't.




     


    For all the reasons mentioned. What is Retina on a desktop machine? Has anyone calculated? And if it works out to something like 200 dpi then most people will lose screen real estate, albeit gaining crisper text.


     


    Also graphics cards... We want cooler games and smoother graphics. If the 3G iPad is anything to go by, we're going to see a decrease in graphics performance in the first generation Retina iMacs. Not a great idea!
  • Reply 15 of 81
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Considering the huge amount of power consumption associated with pixel-dense displays, as was evident in the new iPad, it would be unlikely to see thinner or lighter MacBook Airs with high pixel density. It would be more plausible to see high pixel density displays in iMacs and Apple Displays.



     


    Hi DPI sounds like something that would be perfect for the MBP really.  If they keep the MBA on dual cores with the current res screens and SSD only, then the MBP has quad core processors, higher res screens and SSD+HDD, then you have some serious product differentiation going on.

  • Reply 16 of 81
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,694member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


     


    Hi DPI sounds like something that would be perfect for the MBP really.  If they keep the MBA on dual cores with the current res screens and SSD only, then the MBP has quad core processors, higher res screens and SSD+HDD, then you have some serious product differentiation going on.



    The display and required graphic power will drain the battery in half the time. So instead of getting 7 hrs of battery in a MBP, it'll be more like 3.5 hrs.

  • Reply 17 of 81
    asciiascii Posts: 5,363member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kfury77 View Post


     


    The article didn't state the resolution would be exactly double to what it is now, and I don't think it will. In fact there was an article linked to from Macrumors earlier about the possibility of a retina display iMac and suggested:

     Apple could build a 3840 by 2400 pixel 27-inch screen that presented itself as a pixel doubled 1920 by 1200 pixel display. That’s effectively an 84ppi screen @1X and 168ppi screen @2X.



    Makes a lot of sense to me!



    Makes sense to me too, there are 3840 x 2400 panels already in existence. I would run it in 1920x1200@2X because my eyesight is not very good, but some people I know would run it in 3840 x 2400 and be very happy.

  • Reply 18 of 81
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Which, if you do the calculation, is the resolution that I said and which no company makes.


     


    Edit: I was wrong. That was for a 22" display. 5120x2880 on a 27" display is 217 PPI.



     


    I'm as dubious about the GPU capabilities required to drive this as much as I am the screen.  Apple don't have a track record of putting the latest and greatest GPU's in any of it's hardware, and supporting resolutions that high would need them to.


     


    The whole thing seems highly unlikely.

  • Reply 19 of 81
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Sure it does.
    They just have to increase the resolution to approach something like 300dpi. (It could even be less DPI, say, 280 or so, since the viewing distance to a 27" display for example is bigger than to an iPhone), and show normal assets with double the pixels and optimized assets with double the pixels + double the detail.

    Which, if you do the calculation, is the resolution that I said and which no company makes.

    Edit: I was wrong. That was for a 22" display. 5120x2880 on a 27" display is 217 PPI.

    The PPI in and of itself has no barring on if it's a Retina Display or not. You have to also include the distance the eyes are from the display.

    Here is a chart that shows that the larger the display the closer we have been to having Retina quality displays.

    300

    As you say, there are no tech that can feasibly double the current iMac displays which is why it will be a double of the smaller resolution noted already. This means that the elements on the screen will be slightly larger because they will have a 1x PPI that is smaller (even though it's unbelievably more crisp). Personally I prefer that which is why I never bought a HiRes MBP in the past as it just made the elements too small for my liking.
  • Reply 20 of 81
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,143member
    Anyone with thoughts on whether Apple displays might get a bump up as well?

    They will. At some point. Higher res, better color handling, new sizes, hdmi input. It is all likely to happen. Eventually

    Will any of this happen at WWDC or even this year. Who knows. Personally on WWDC I say no. The keynote will be about software with maybe a scant mention of any hardware, details and release being silent and maybe that same week

    Will it be some 300+ dpi level upgrade. Probably not since Apple is focusing their definition on the effect, not the dpi. With these screens something like 250 dpi might fit their math.
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