The iMac 5K: Four hours to instant gratification

“Confirming the rumors, in October Apple launched a 27-inch iMac with a 5K display. That’s one step above 4K, which is the sharper definition format that’s now available on a TV,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “What this means in practice is 14.7 million pixels that have to be generated by graphics hardware with a reasonable degree of snappiness and fluidity, and that’s a tall order.”

“When I asked Apple if they had a loaded iMac 5K for me to review, they said that the custom or CTO versions weren’t available — the demand has been incredible — but they could let me have the bottom-line model for a few weeks. I accepted… Apple also sent along a Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter, so I could attach my backup drives and get up and running in short order. Well, not that short. After a swift startup routine, I had to wait over four hours for nearly 500GB of files to be moved over from the backup drive via Apple’s Migration Assistant.,” Steinberg writes. “Most everything seemed fast and fluid, even the Finder, and the 5K display was just awesome. I was even able to read text with only slight difficulty without my reading glasses, and that’s one huge achievement. With reading glasses in place, the text seemed to pop. Well, at least with apps optimized for a Retina display.”

“The iMac 5K is mighty tempting. It’s not cheap, but neither was my late 2009 iMac once it was optioned with a faster processor and beefier graphics,” Steinberg writes. “Even if you have a standard 27-inch iMac in your sights, the extra $700 that you pay above the entry model to go 5K is not so costly when you consider the marvelous display all by itself. If the current backlogs at Apple indicates demand more than the difficulty building these beasts, it would seem that Apple has yet another hit on its hands.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. 1- No 5k media
    2- What 5k apps exist
    3- The iMacs cannot be used as a monitor if the computer dies unlike some previous iMacs.

    Sounds like more half baked crap from the geniuses that sealed the Mac mini’s bottom and put in soldered memory along with lowball Intel Vampire Video chips. Whomever is making hardware decisions at Apple needs to wake up.

    1. Just not correct Darwin Evolved. My 40,000 plus photo library makes complete use of 5k ability. 36 Megapixel cameras have enormous files and there are millions of them out there. 4k Go Pro’s are selling like hotcakes and there will soon be millions of them out there too. There is already a lot of 4k content online and there will soon be an avalanche of content as the production houses ramp up their 4k/SHD output. In addition, text is something to behold on the 5k screen. Go ahead and bag it but I’m as happy as a pig in with my 27″ 5k iMac 4Ghz i7, 5K 1Tb SSD, 32Gb RAM.

      1. Show me where I can buy a 5k movie that will play on a new 5k Mac.
        Show me where I can buy a season of 5k TV that will play on a new 5k Mac.
        Show me a game that uses the full video capability of a new 5k Mac.
        Show me a webpage that uses the full capability of the new 5k Mac.

        1. I think you’re confused… this is a computer… It’s perfect for 4k video editing, photoshop/lightroom, text – pages, numbers, mail, web, etc. Having retina with this much real estate is awesome.
          Just use your HD TV or 4k TV for videos/TV and games.. this is a computer!!

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