Apple launches 5K display, Retina iMac


Apple's 5K iMac
5K on show: Apple’s new iMac. Picture: Apple.
Apple has launched its much-anticipated, Retina iMac.

The new computer, announced at an event in California, will be the company’s new, top of range all-in-one computer. In its most powerful configuration, with a quad-core i7 processor, it is second only to Apple’s Mac Pro in performance.

The new iMac can be ordered with up to a 4GHz CPU, 32GB RAM, 1TB of flash-based storage, or a 3TB “Fusion” drive. The new model also has two, Thunderbolt 2 ports.

Of most interest to video and imaging professionals, though, is the new computer’s display and graphics capabilities. As standard, the iMac comes with an AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics card, and can be specified with the more powerful, AMD Radeon R9 M295X GPU.

These cards drive the built-in, 27-inch Retina Display. Apple was expected to launch a higher-resolution display iMac following its introduction of Retina displays on its laptops, but the company has gone two steps further, and produced a 5K, rather than a 4K, display.

The iMac’s new screen shows 5120×2880 pixels, which Apple says is 67 per cent more than a standard, 4K display. This allows the iMac to display both Cinema 4K images, but also a full-screen 4K image with space to spare for menus and tool pallets. This will be especially useful for space-hungry applications including Adobe Premiere and Apple’s own Final Cut Pro.

Apple claims that despite the higher resolution, the new display uses 30 per cent less energy than earlier models; it also displays better blacks and has improved viewing angles. As well as the built-in display, the new iMac can drive a second, 4K display at UHD resolutions, via either of the Thunderbolt 2 ports.

The new iMac starts at a dual-core i5 configuration clocked at 3.5Ghz, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB Fusion drive, and costs $2499, or £1666 plus VAT, and ships with OSX Yosemite. It is on sale now in the US.