More than 4K. Review Apple iMac 27,5 with Retina-display

More than 4K. Review Apple iMac 27,5 with Retina-display


    Most recently, Apple introduced the most perfect candy bar – iMac Retina. Novelty has a screen with a resolution of 5K. Separate monitors with this resolution has not yet gone on sale, and their initial cost is very high. Against this background, the new iMac 5K offers a very attractive combination of price and performance. And, of course, is one of the most advanced all-in-one PCs on the market.

    Retina now is everywhere. However, if you do not use this term, it would be more correct to say that the ultra-sharp screens are now available not only smartphones, tablets and laptops, but desktops. Incidentally, this is the beginning of fashion for just the Apple iPhone 4 in 2010. This smartphone is the first mass product with a screen, unseen until the sharpness of 330 ppi.

    Was soon followed by the logical development of the ideas of the fourth iPhone – first saw the light of iPad Retina, and after the first MacBook Pro Retina. Now, Apple switched to desktop computers, where it is still up to no one announced Extra-screen.

    Apple iMac с Retina-дисплеем, официальный портрет
    Apple iMac with a Retina-display, the official portrait

    Yes, we’re talking about the new iMac 5K Retina. Apparently, for greater effect, the company focused precisely on the 27-inch model, while the 21-inch iMac yet complete without Retina-display.

    Design and connectors

    The similarity between the iMac 5K and the usual 27-inch preserved not only in appearance but also in the overall weight and dimensions parameters. The new candy bar is identical to the “classic” to the nearest millimeter and gram. So yes, it boasts hyperfine ends 5 mm each, he assembled a fine aluminum case.

    Общий вид Apple iMac с Retina-дисплеем
    General view of the Apple iMac with a Retina-display

    Strictly speaking, the changes in the iMac 5K exclusively domestic. Preserved even former communication connectors on the rear panel, and the new hardware (CPU and GPU) option was available in the previous generation iMac.

    Разъемы на задней стороне Apple iMac с Retina-дисплеем
    connectors on the rear of the Apple iMac with a Retina-display

    On the back cover are arranged in one row RJ-45 ports, two Thunderbolt 2, four USB 3.0, SDXC card reader and a 3.5 mm mini jack for headphones or speakers.

    Кнопка включения на задней панели Apple iMac с Retina-дисплеем
    Power button on the rear panel of the Apple iMac with a Retina-display

    Bus USB 3.1 yet, apparently, is not ready to appear in mass products, so Apple did not introduce her. Recall, it offers twice as high bandwidth as compared with 3.0, namely up to 10 Gbit / s. But with the Thunderbolt has a tiny change.

    More precisely with that part that is responsible for the interface DisplayPort – for iMac 5K can connect 4K-resolution monitor 3840×2160, whereas “normal” iMac 27 “supports monitors with a maximum resolution of 2560×1600.

    The most interesting is that, formally” iron “classic iMac quite pulls and 4K-screen, so there may be another artificial limitation on the part of Apple.

    Задняя сторона корпуса Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем
    back of the case Apple iMac c Retina-display

    Sound capabilities iMac Retina not changed. A pair of speakers also all located in the lower body. Recall that all monoblocks Apple offers special functions for noise reduction when using a microphone.

    Before we get to the screen, it should be added that the iMac 5K can be updated. Without the help of the service center. However, we are talking about the possibility of a self-build RAM.


    Usually about screen iMac we write in the previous section, but now after a special case! However, we should start with the fact that the computer was presented was not the first who received a similar IPS-matrix.

    In early September, Dell announced a monitor with a succinct and beautiful name UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K. Guess what its characteristics? That’s right: 27 “5120×2880. Exactly the same as in our iMac. However, confuses price.

    According to preliminary data, it will amount to $ 2,500, and in the sale of the monitor will go to the end of the year. In this light, the iMac 5K looks almost like” knight in shining armor “, with a declared value and available now, Apple computer simply puts the blades product from Dell.

    У 5К-экрана iMac прекрасные углы обзора
    5K-screen iMac excellent viewing angles

    Now go through the density of points. Today screens with higher resolution than 5120×2880, massively produced. In the future, we expect 8K-displays (7680×4320), but it is more likely for TVs that finally grow up to his “retina”.

    But the point density depends also on the diagonal of the screen. iMac 5K offers 218 ppi. Recall that the MacBook Pro 15,4 “Retina it is 221 ppi, while the 13.3-inch – 227 ppi. In iPad and iPhone, it is even higher. So actually the picture on the new iMac looks like, as well as on laptops Apple.

    The only difference is in the greater area of ​​the desktop. But it still does not prevent the company says about the 14.7-megapixel resolution images – the largest on the market.

    Рабочий стол в разрешении 5К
    desktop in resolution 5K

    Of course, today the 5K-matrix is ​​the quintessence of all the most advanced technology on the market. And Apple had to try to release the iMac 5K before everyone! For example, she developed a special display controller (TCON), as long as nothing is required to work with such screens.

    But the interesting thing is to get to work at all Apple iMac 5K! According to our information, the screen is connected to the video card on a single channel. If someone does not know, 4K-monitor can be connected to a computer with two ports HDMI, thereby achieving a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

    If it logically in the system will present two monitors united into one. It is fraught with some artifacts when using full-screen applications, such as video players or games.

    In order to resolve this issue 4K can be solved by using the interface DisplayPort. But the thing – DisplayPort 1.2 provides bandwidth 17.28 Gbit / s, which is enough for 3840×2160 @ 60Hz, but not enough for 5120×2880 @ 60 Hz! And there are not enough well – requires a channel width of approximately 19.78 Gbit / s!

    The problem may resolve DisplayPort 1.3, which “pulls” to 25.92 Gbit / s. However, it is literally presented this fall and still no video card with its support just released! One could assume that Apple together with AMD “hexed” over her card to make specifically for the iMac 5K get slightly overclocked version of DisplayPort 1.2, which can provide images conclusion 5K-one connection with the refresh rate of 60 Hz. What can we say, we remove the hat.

    In addition, Apple says about the use of special high-precision matrix Oxide TFT, speaks of advanced LED lighting and 30% lower power consumption. At the same time mentions the special compensation film, providing more natural color reproduction when viewed from any angle.

    Anyway screen iMac 5K has excellent factory calibration. We checked it colorimeter, it was found that the color gamut of 100% corresponds to the space sRGB.

    Результаты тестирования экрана Apple iMac 5К, sRGB
    Test Results screen Apple iMac 5K, sRGB

    Результаты тестирования экрана Apple iMac 5К, Adobe RGB
    Test Results screen Apple iMac 5K, Adobe RGB

    It remains to add that buying a candy bar with a similar screen will have to take care of the appropriate content. After all, the picture became clearer not just -filmy, even if they are stored in the resolution Full HD (1920×1080), will take on the strength of 1/7 of the entire screen.

    So make sure the width of your Internet channel – will have to pump more. Not now, so in the future. Flip it and games that rendering a 5K-resolution require very powerful hardware. But a closer look at this later.


    Package of iMac 5K remained unchanged. While here, you can add? Touchpad Magic Trackpad? And what it will work on a new screen?

    So what is inside the box with the new monoblock we found the wire to connect to a power outlet, wireless keyboard and mouse Magic Mouse.

    Клавиатура и мышь из комплекта iMac с Retina-дисплеем
    Keyboard and mouse included with iMac with Retina-display

    Once again we repeat that Apple Wireless Keyboard has exactly the same layout as the laptop keyboard. Small turnout block under the symbolic layout, no number pad on the right.


    The new iMac 5K so steep that Apple has allocated it on your website as a separate product. “Old” and the 21.5-inch 27 “IMAC” describes one page and a new flagship – separately. But he has only one basic modification. Although, of course, it could be improved, but it will be a custom configuration.

    iMac 5K

    iMac 27″ (older version)


    glossy, 27 “, 5120×2880

    glossy, 27 “, 2560×1440


    Intel Core i5-4690 (four cores, four threads, 3.5 / 3.9 GHz, 6144 KB L3)

    Intel Core i5-4670 (four cores, four threads, 3.4 / 3.8 GHz, 4096 KB L3)


    2x 4GB DDR3;1600 MHz

    2x 4GB DDR3;1600 MHz

    Video card

    AMD Radeon R9 M290X

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M




    System SSD-caching

    Fusion Drive (128GB SSD)


    Ports and connectors

    4 USB 3.0,

    1 RJ-45

    3.5-mm mini jack for headphones,

    2 Thunderbolt

    4 USB 3.0,

    1 RJ-45

    3.5-mm mini jack for headphones,

    2 Thunderbolt

    Wireless interfaces

    Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.0

    Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.0

    Optical drive


    1.3 MP

    1.3 MP

    Built-in microphone




    $ 2499

    $ 1999

    As you can see, iMac 5K “pulled” in all respects relative to the 27-inch iMac. Excuse me, the most expensive relative to the base modifications iMac 27 “. But it is possible to” catch up “to the level of a new candy bar in everything except the screen.

    Apple iMac с Retina-дисплеем, вид сбоку
    Apple iMac with a Retina-display, side view

    Note that all of these characteristics iMac Retina does not end – there is an opportunity to improve them. And without that fast quad-core Core i5-4690 can be replaced by Core i7-4790K, which has a nominal frequency of 4.0 GHz and can bring it up to 4.4 GHz!

    Faster chip for mainstream desktop computers, Intel today is not there. We also note that Core i5-4690 and Core i7-4790K are special series Devil’s Canyon, presented in June this year.

    The basic amount of RAM does not change – it is set to 8 GB. It looks a little strange because the last MacBook Pro 15,4 “Retina have at least 16 GB of RAM. But the iMac has a version with 16 and 32 GB of RAM, plus it is possible to increase the volume of their own.

    Под этой крышкой на задней панели и находятся модули оперативной памяти
    Under this cover on the rear panel and are memory modules

    To date, NVIDIA offers the fastest mobile graphics card (GeForce GTX 970M and GTX 980M), so why Apple decided to stay at the Radeon R9 M290X? One of the possible reasons we wrote above – together with AMD, they provide jobs 5K-screen without separating into two logical monitor. As for the level of performance, it will be about like a GeForce GTX 870M.

    Системная информаци об Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем
    System information about the Apple iMac with Retina-display

    Системная информаци об Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем
    System information about the Apple iMac with Retina-display

    Системная информаци об Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем
    System information about the Apple iMac with Retina-display

    We note that the Radeon R9 M290X case with iMac 5K comes with two gigabytes of video memory. Often, we estimate a similar amount as a marketing ploy, since laptop manufacturers (and candy bars) Package plenty weak memory card.

    It gives them nothing except the numbers in the beautiful characteristics. But not at this time. Radeon R9 M290X – more than the performance of the accelerator. But he will have to deal with the 5K-monitor. For such a bewildering resolution requires not only the fastest GPU, but also a lot of video memory. Of course, if you intend to work in 3D, or play games. And precisely for these tasks 2 GB may not be enough.

    The way for gamers (well, and all of a sudden?) May be a more advanced version of the order iMac 5K, which is equipped with not only accelerated processor, but still not officially announced by the graphics card AMD Radeon R9 M295X. According to preliminary data from her 2048 stream processors (1280 in M290X), and at the same time Apple adds this accelerator with four gigabytes of memory.

    The funny thing is that for the 5K-resolution, and this may not be enough – at high quality setting of the game without too much difficulty can “shavat” and 6 or even 8 GB of video memory! Here rib question arises about the use of two accelerator mode CrossFire (AMD) or SLI (NVIDIA).

    The disk subsystem base iMac 5K also improved. Like its 27-inch analog with a “normal” screen offers new hard drive to 1TB. But he completed system caching Fusion Drive out of the box, while the rest of the iMac it will have to pay extra. Optionally, you can “apgreydnut” standard version up to 3 TB Fusion Drive, SSD and up to 256, 512 or 1024 GB.

    Yes, we ran the test GeekBench 3.1.6 in 64-bit mode, as this is perhaps the only “native” test for OS X. The results were expectedly high.

    Результаты тестирования Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем в GeekBench 3.1.6
    Test results for Apple iMac with Retina-display in GeekBench 3.1.6

    Результаты тестирования Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем в GeekBench 3.1.6
    Test results for Apple iMac with Retina-display in GeekBench 3.1.6

    Результаты тестирования Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем в GeekBench 3.1.6
    Test results for Apple iMac with Retina-display in GeekBench 3.1.6

    Результаты тестирования Apple iMac c Retina-дисплеем в GeekBench 3.1.6
    Test results for Apple iMac with Retina-display in GeekBench 3.1.6

    Other characteristics iMac 5K does not differ from other monoblock Apple. As part of the wireless communication is to support all standard Wi-Fi, including the fastest 802.11ac, and compatibility with Bluetooth version 4.0. FaceTime HD camera upgrade and has not received a previous resolution of 1280×720 pixels.

    Фирменное яблоко на корпусе Apple iMac с Retina-дисплеем
    Brand apple on the case of Apple iMac with Retina-display

    Cost iMac 5K is very high – $ 2499 for a basic kit. But, firstly, the basic kit in their characteristics ahead masthead basic version iMac 27 “. Secondly, the new candy bar is equipped with the perfect display for today.

    And, third, separate 5K-monitor will cost no less! If compare iMac 5K and above the 27-inch Dell 5K, they are estimated at approximately one sum. But do not forget that the iMac – it is also a powerful computer, and not a separate screen.


    When a section of this article can begin to giggle nervously. After all, if even for ordinary iMac worthy competitors once or twice a handful, what can we say about the iMac 5K, which in some aspects is technologically superior to all products on the market?

    Today is not so easy to find a 27-inch monoblock on Windows 2560×1440 resolution and up to 4K no one has grown. What to say about the resolution of 5K, towards which just starts making its first tentative steps?

    Dell XPS One 2720
    Dell XPS One 2720

    In general, from the existing proposals, we picked up a Dell XPS One 2720. At a price of about $ 2200, it offers a 27-inch touch screen IPS-resolution 2560×1440 processor Core i7-4770S (3,1 / 3,9 GHz) 16 GB of RAM, video card NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, hard drive to 2 TB and SSD-cache capacity of 32 GB.

    And yes, he still has an optical drive Blu-ray and licensed Windows 8. And made of plastic computer. In fact it is a competitor senior iMac 27 “, but not the new iMac 5K.


    Generally monoblocks with Apple situation is very funny – the company still does not have a worthy competitor in this market. iMac 5K consolidates leadership Apple, and does it very seriously. At least until the end of the year buying Windows-based computer with a 5K-monitor is considerably more expensive than purchasing a new iMac, and that’s not counting the cost of the Windows.

    If you do not look at the display, the iMac Retina is a very efficient desktop computer capable of performing any task. Is that a question may arise to its video card, and in particular its ability to ensure normal performance in games. On the other hand, the gaming platform is still Windows, and on OS X games ported as a residual.

    Do I need to be updated with the new iMac usual? If resources permit, yes. You will get much better picture and stock performance for a couple of years ahead. If you were looking for a monitor with high resolution, then again, you can look at the new iMac – it will cost the same amount as a separate monitor.

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