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iMac Retina 5K Display Release Date: Reviews, Specs, and Features

( [email protected] ) Oct 21, 2014 04:22 PM EDT
Apple has released its new Retina 5K Display with the new iMac, and it's already being called the "best display ever on a computing device." But what exactly is this Retina 5K Display and how much of a difference does it make?
iMac Retina 5K Display

Apple has released its new Retina 5K Display with the new iMac, and it's already being called the "best display ever on a computing device." But what exactly is this Retina 5K Display and how much of a difference does it make?

The iMac's Retina 5K Display is a bit different than the Retina Display you'll find on other Apple products, like the iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros. This latest technology brings more pixels than any other previous Apple device at 5120x2880, but not necessarily more pixels per inch; that distinction is held by the iPhone 6 Plus with 401ppi. This isn't the most ppi in the industry, but just for Apple products.

To break it down, that's 14.7 million pixels packed into the iMac's 27-inch display. That's seven times more than your standard 1080p HD screen and 67 percent more pixels than the previous best, 4K.

To power all of this pixel pushing, the latest iMac contains its own timing controller that's powered by the machine's hefty 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor that is configurable up to 4.4 GHz through Turbo Boost technology. That type of resolution on the Retina 5K Display wasn't possible before we saw this tye of processing power, so Apple is using that to its advantage.

As for memory, the iMac boasts 8GB of DDR3 RAM that's upgradeable to a maximum of 32GB through four SO-DIMM slots. A 1-terrabyte Fusion Drive rounds out the impressive inner-workings, with an ungradeable capacity of 3 terrabytes.

The desktop dynamo comes loaded with the brand new OS X Yosemite, Thunderbolt 2 I/O capabilities, USB 3, Bluetooth, and more.

The Apple iMac Retina 5K will set you back $2499, which some say is its biggest downfall. The Wall Street Journal took the new desktop around the block for a review and seemed to hint that the price was an obstacle in relation to what the Retina 5K Display can offer, but not a deal-breaker.

"Priced at $2,500 and up, you don't need this new iMac-standard 27-inch iMacs start at $700 less." But the reviewer soon elaborates, "But oh boy will you want one, particularly if you spend time working with digital photos or videos. Using the Retina iMac lets you see, for the first time, every pixel you've captured all at once."

But PCMag.com didn't seem phased by the price, giving the new iMac an "Excellent" rating and the Editor's Choice award. "The unmatched display paired with solid high-end performance at a surprisingly affordable price makes it our Editors' Choice for high-end all-in-one desktops."

TechCrunch observed that this new Retina display might not be worth the upgrade unless graphics is your thing. "Let's be honest - this computer is all about the screen, and the display is the factor upon which a buying decision from anyone considering it will rest. If you agree to that, then you must also agree that this computer is a must-buy for anyone for whom display quality is serious concern."

In all, Apple's Retina 5K Display on the new iMac is certainly impressive, but most likely only necessary for those who are serious about their pixels.