Tim Bajarin: Apple’s iMac with Retina 5K display is a game changer

“On the second day Steve jobs was back at Apple, I had a chance to sit down with him and ask him about how he planned to rescue Apple,” Tim Bajarin writes for Tech.pinions. “He was aware the Mac had led the desktop publishing revolution and it was deemed the best personal computer for what was a narrow audience of graphics and engineering professionals but a lucrative one if done right. So, as he told me then, the first order of business was to create more powerful Macs and go back to these professional audiences and give them the tools that would make their business projects easier and more profitable for them.”

“With the new 5K Retina Mac, Apple is fulfilling Jobs’ vision that started back in 1997 and delivering to these pro users what appears to be the best personal computer ever designed for creative professional audiences.,” Bajarin writes. “What Apple is bringing to market is a 5K Retina Display that is a full Mac starting at $2499, a price even the small-medium sized business (SMB) graphics professionals can afford. More importantly, by moving the display to 5K, it is upping the ante for its competitors and will probably become the de facto standard for graphic based desktop PCs. It will be a game changer.”

“Apple did something very interesting with the design of the 5K Retina Mac,” Bajarin writes. “They created a special processor of their own known as the timing controller or T-CON designed just to manage and manipulate each pixel with levels of precision we have not seen so far in TV or PC displays. I have no clue if this could be put into a dedicated Apple TV but, at the technical level, this processor could give them a decided edge in TV designs should they want to go in that direction.”

Read more in the full article – recommended, as usualhere.

Related articles:
Apple’s matchless iMac with Retina 5K display is its most expensive ever – October 18, 2014
Apple introduces stunning 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display – October 16, 2014

33 Comments

    1. Yeh, all the neigh/nay-sayers. Have NO IDEA what the original MAC PLUS (maxed out to 1meg of ram (with 2 512k SIMMS going for over a grand due to the earthquake in Kobe, Japan) revolutionized the graphics departments of every printshop in the world.
      The Mac Pro series did it again. Now the 5K Retina Mac expands Steve Jobs’ vision with a NEW REVOLUTION with a resolution he only saw in his dreams…gives new meaning to his dying words “WOW” “WOW” “WOW”…

      1. The Mac Plus maxed out at 4 MB of RAM. Yes, you had to install it yourself as Apple didn’t ship any with 4 MB. Yes, you had to physically clip a resistor on the digital board. But, the real limit was 4 MB.

        1. Geez, you must have had a rich uncle! $2500 for the
          MacPlus right outta the nice Apple Branded zip shoulder bag, then
          $1100 bucks for a 50 meg external hard drive, maybe toss in an external floppy drive to read those new double-sided 800k 3.5″ disks, then splurge on a Mirror Cartridge drive the size of a brownie baking dish…throw in $400-$1,000 per meg for a ram upgrade & for the anti-static wristband w clup, buy the “case-cracker tool & the foot-long tool to remove the 8 special screws… one if which was buried insude the carrying habdle , clip one leg of the transitor & bend it out if the way…reassemble for a state-of-the-art rig. Of course don’t forget those SCSI cables & some Appletalk boxes…

          1. We were around 87 offered a Mac 2CE (if I remember correctly) for around £9000 we resisted the temptation. A year later it was offered for £3000. We bought it and less than a year later it was down to a bit over £2000. Amazing days but thankfully not ones we have to go back to. To think now what you can get for that sort of money is mind boggling.

      2. I have been tempted to use The WOW, but come to the point that it’s way way way bigger than whatever it is I was going to post. I don’t even think a $220/share would make the WOW I could imagine Steve seeing.

        I am thinking the WOW has to be something much further down the road. Maybe the day Samsung closes their doors, maybe the day that all society is run and influenced by Apple products, on Earth and in space. It’s hard to tell, whatever it was, he was THERE.

        Anyway, let’s hope this was part of it and there’s much much much more to come.

          1. YES & YES! Points well made & taken. I too am enjoying the joke & the “Cosmic Puppet Show” by popping in to MDN & scrawling something & scrambling a few qubits on this digital whiteboard.
            while well-aware that the world was over long ago and we’re living in it’s after-image…

    2. Ordered mine as soon as it was possible, but ALAS, I cancelled the order two days later. I was expecting delivery dates to slip quite a bit. When they didn’t I started to wonder what was up. Then I found out that it cannot be used as a monitor only mode, not that that matters in my case, but would be nice to have anyway.

      So now I am sitting with an itchy trigger finger just waiting to see if any further light is shed on the performance etc.

      Looking to pull the trigger after the first few performance tests are out.

    1. Yeah, you do wonder why they couldn’t have given the connectors on the back that would allow you to double up on the iMac as a subsidiary monitor for a Mac Pro etc.HDMI,

  1. As Bajarin mentions, the graphics controller that Apple developed for this iMac could be put to amazing use in televisions. If you think about what the cost of televisions comes from, Apple may now be able to undercut everyone for 4K,and potentially Intermatic fashion. If a 5K iMac with screen and computer costs $500 less than just a 4K screen, then what if an AppleTV 4K screen costs $800 or $1000 less than a standard 4K tv with no Apple TV? Boom

      1. Intermatic is a brand of mechanical timers very commonly used to control pool pumps, lights, etc. Very much low tech, so I guess Siri was trying to keep your tech spending under control! 😉

    1. I am running it on a 2008 Mac Pro and I am impressed. What a highly optimized OS. I am just blown away by the speed that a 22 minute upgrade install warranted to my aging Mac. This is by far the most rewarding upgrade I have ever experience on my 20 something years using a Mac.

  2. Personally, I think the 5K iMac is a bombshell! It’s gonna sell like hotcakes this Xmas! Anyone who works in images, still or moving, is going to want one! They’ll all be watching the SuperBowl in January on their 5K iMac!

    Samsung earnings headed downhill. Google earnings slipping … This Xmas Apple is going to look like the White Knight standing there in glorious greater-than-HD definition holding its blazingly brilliant torch on high!

    Believe it!

    1. Won’t happen for a year or so until the interfaces catch up. There is not yet a single cable that can drive that lovely display.

      For still images you could use software to make it an extended desktop of sorts.

  3. While I agree it’s a pretty impressive piece of technology, in the end this is no different than any other Mac in the graphic squirrel. This will have zero effect on the graphics market. T the machines that it replaces have about the same price point as this machine.

    As someone who’s worked in the graphics industry for 25 years, I would suggest to you that what I am seeing is a rapid move to cheap commodity PCs as it’s just too expensive to equip every desktop with the $2500 workstation. And, while you may not like this, the Adobe creative suite runs just fine on a Dell computer.

    1. This is like something I was hearing 10 plus years ago certainly not the case today anything hut indeed. As a designer of 25 years also the industry is more Mac now than ever, iMacs are so cheap relatively there is little need to sink down the pecking order. Even I as a semi retired individual have 2 a 21inch and a 27 inch and it hardly broke my bank.

      But a case in point a guy I remember from when he was at college living close by 15 years later moved back into my high street here with his ‘Dell’ pcs in his design ‘shop’. 3 months ago these disappeared to be replaced by 27inch iMacs prominently on display. If low end design professionals like him are moving to Mac then there is no trend away generally going Apple has never been cheaper indeed. indeed I am surprised how many shops like hairdressers and the like are using iMacs now to give their business an improved image.

    2. What are you talking about? $2,500 is dirt cheap for 4k and this is a
      5k display. The only problem I have is that I need to change graphic card every year and this is not possible. Still at that price, replacing them every 2 years while not optimal is viable.

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