The Next iMac Design

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by GWestphal, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    This is what I'd like to see. LED, IPS, 2160p, local dimming screen. Make it like a Samsung 9000 type form factor, the screen is just the screen and all the hardware is in the base or near the bottom. Make the RAM and HD accessible and replaceable. So basically slap a cinema display on a mac min.
     
  2. amdhunter

    amdhunter Lifer

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    I wouldn't mind any of that except for local dimming. It's not a horrible feature, but it's very distracting when you start to notice it. I'd rather deal with lesser black, than black and brightish spotting.
     
  3. Bateluer

    Bateluer Lifer

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    Unlikely. Apple doesn't want you to be able to upgrade or replace parts on your Mac, they want you to buy the new model in a year.

    I'd want higher resolutions as well, but of a standard resolution, not the oddball crap they used on the rMBP 15". Go with 2560x1440/1600 instead. rMBP 13" got this right . . . but the HD4000 IGP isn't powerful enough to drive it right.
     
  4. bigrash

    bigrash Lifer

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    Lower price. That's what I'd like to see on their next model :)
     
  5. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    I'm confused by all of this:
    A: What company DOESN'T want you to keep buying stuff from them? Having things that are user-replaceable isn't just about helping the user, it also makes the systems significantly easier to manufacture, same as using a punched steel/riveted case with plastic fascia versus friction welded CNC'd Al-U-Min-Ium. Attributing their decision to make the devices non-user-serviceable strictly to a greedy money-grab is disingenuous to say the least. Do they want you to buy a new one from them? Yes, obviously. Did they also make the system non-serviceable because of some sort of weird fetish they have with making everything out of aluminum, glass and as thin as humanly possible? Also yes. The fact that you can't replace the hard drive in the iMac is just as much about that as it is about them being greedy SoBs.

    B: The 21" iMac is 1920*1080, the 27" iMac is 2560*1440. What exactly is oddball about the 15" rMBP? It is 2880*1800, 4x the pixels of the sMBP's 1440*900.

    C: My understanding is the the HD4000 is just exactly powerful enough, maybe just under. Definitely with no power to spare. But think on that for a second, it wasn't that long ago that the intel graphics in the OG MacBook (released 2006) could only handle 720p video, forget about 1080p. Now intel integrated graphics are driving a 2560*1600 panel that is using crazy scaling systems to simulate up to 3360*2100 (1680*1050 doubled) and scaling it back down to fit 2560*1600.

    D: What resolution would you want them to shift to on the 21" or 27" iMac anyway? Plus, they use dGPUs on the iMacs, so no need to worry about the HD4000 in them. Who the heck cares if it is standardized or not? For one thing, it seems like resolution 'standards' are made up as they go, and for another, Apple is using scaling algorithms to fit the content to the screen. They want 'retina' panels so that the image is less fuzzy due to the non-native settings, and to make whatever their target res choice fit better. You show me anyone other than Apple putting ultra-high resolution panels into their systems AND putting the effort into the software back-end to make them work as well as they do, and I will go buy a hat and then eat it. But the closest I can think of is the Asus ZenBook Prime 13" with a 1080p display, and they are just relying upon Windows' built in DPI scaling which is a bit of a band-aid solution, and not fully implemented in all programs.

    All in all, it sounds to me like you are operating on either old or outright wrong information regarding what currently composes Apple's lineup and why it is that way. Which is nothing new, people frequently are when it comes to Apple. They still assume (for example) that you can only put iTS music onto your iPod/Pad/Phone (never been true), or that the music is DRM'd and will only work on iDevices (hasn't been true in years). They assume that Apple forces 8 year olds to work 120 hours/wk on whip-cracking assembly lines (no kids allowed, no OT anymore, and there are no whips, only weird beeping things). They cling to the idea of Apple using evil proprietary components and that they charge an Apple tax, yet let Sony and Lenovo slide for doing the same (once upon a time, it wasn't that crazy to see equally specced Thinkpads selling for more than MacBook Pros, and Sony has always been a little crazy about using proprietary stuff and charging a huge premium for it).
     
    #5 TheStu, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  6. Pia

    Pia Golden Member

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    I'd like to see them drop discrete GPUs entirely and switch to Atom processors so they can make the iMac thinner. After all, thinness is the most important thing in a desktop computer.
     
  7. Zink

    Zink Senior member

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    Please don't say that, a desktop powered by a custom Apple ARM CPU seems to be a very real possibility. It seems like something Apple could actually pull off successfully in the consumer PC space with their Mac App store but it would kill Boot Camp gaming and mean dumb computing all around for consumers. Putting up walls around the current open software ecosystem like Microsoft has done on Windows RT would be sad on a desktop PC.
     
  8. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    Pia, thats simply hilarious.
     
  9. dagamer34

    dagamer34 Platinum Member

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    I can see in the next year or two the 21.5" iMac getting a 4K screen and the 27" iMac having a resolution of 5120x2800, which is very close to 4 13.3" Retina displays stuck together (off by 0.4" diagonally). Though the primary problem in support a 27" screen with a resolution that high is a display transport standard that will push that many bits over a wire.
     
  10. Zink

    Zink Senior member

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    A) It might be hard to make screen that big. It seems that making great smartphone sized screens is the easiest first step and big screens lag behind. The new iMacs have the glass laminated to the display and even something like that is problematic enough to cause delays.

    B) CPUs aren't fast enough to run a 5k resolution with Apple's retina scaling. Mobile CPUs are within 20% of desktop CPU performance and they aren't fast enough to scroll smoothly at even lower res like the Retina Macbook Pros. The 15" Retina can do 3840 x 2400 at it's highest setting so it's close but 5k is probably too far.

    If there is going to be a Retina iMac it will be expensive. I could maybe see a 4k 27" iMac as an ultra high end option but a 4k 21.5" iMac doesn't make much sense.
     
  11. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    Simply not true:

    http://i.minus.com/ibpW3swluw1kMg.png

    Edit: Mac screenshot

    http://i.minus.com/i8tn6sg8Lqkuo.png

    You can scale to 5120 x 3200 on a Retina MacBook Pro just fine without any more significant lag than with 3840 x 2400 or 3360 x 2100. The only reason why Apple doesn't offer such an option is because texts look very very small.

    It's not a matter of CPU performance anymore. It's just whether Apple can actually manufacture such a display and implement it with current technology's bandwidth limitations.
     
    #11 runawayprisoner, Dec 2, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  12. Zink

    Zink Senior member

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    Holly, JPG those images at least or just link them. It seems odd that it would be possible to render at a much higher resolution without requiring any more CPU power but maybe that is true. What technology is limiting bandwidth if not the CPU? I was under the impression that HD 4000 handles the high res fine and it was only the CPU that was bottlenecking but I don't have a fancy laptop to play with so this is all speculation.
     
  13. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    Yeah, sorry for the huge images. I suspected Anandtech's layout would be stretched horribly until the images finished loading. But since I was on such a huge desk space, I didn't think of the actual result at a lower resolution...

    And honestly, I think the CPU was the bottleneck for Lion, but Apple has since optimized their rendering pipelines a lot on Mountain Lion. As a result, scaling up to such uber resolutions really don't do much to the performance of the overall desktop.

    But "lag" problems are true, and I think part of it is because there is a weird bug with the latest EFI update on the Retina MacBook Pro that caused the CPU (and likely the GPU as well by extension) to be limited to its lowest performance state. Even if the CPU wasn't straining itself to render the interface when it's not throttled, thing should still get sluggish when you try to power 4MP or 5MP desktop space with a 1GHz CPU while doing other tasks as well.

    That and as mentioned by dagamer34, higher than 4K resolutions would require a new display connector technology. DisplayPort maxes out at around 18GBits/s, but we'll probably need close to 24GBits/s for 5120 x 3200 at 24-bit at 60Hz. That's quite a tall order.

    Edit: it may work if they use 6-bit panels. In which case, 5120 x 2800 at 18-bit at 60Hz would only eat up about 15.5GBits/s, so it can fit well within DisplayPort's limit. But... who would settle for a 6-bit panel when they're gunning for a 5K display?
     
    #13 runawayprisoner, Dec 2, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  14. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    I want:

    1) Better ergonomics. That screen height sucks on the 27" for some people, and it can't be adjusted.
    2) Better ergonomics. That pixel density is too high (or too low) on the 27" for my tastes. The 27" is currently 109 ppi at 2560x1440. I'd much prefer if it were say 102 ppi at 2400x1350 (or 4800x2700). Coincidentally, 102 ppi is what the 21.5" iMac sports right now. Actually, at those resolutions I'd prefer 16:10 instead of 16:9.
    3) Frickin' stop it with the stupid thinness craze. What's worse it's not even that thin. It's just thin at the edges. This isn't a damn laptop.
    4) 802.11ac
    5) Dual drives, including 1 SSD and 1 hard drive, and both user accessible.
    6) User accessible RAM for all models.

    I'd love something with the ergonomics (and pixel density) of the lampshade iMac.

    [​IMG]

    P.S. I was relatively unimpressed with this last update, particularly with regards to items #1 and #2. So, I didn't buy.
     
    #14 Eug, Dec 2, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  15. Zink

    Zink Senior member

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    I agree, native 4K retina in a 27" iMac would be nice to increase font sizes a bit over straight up doubling current PPI. I sit really close to my 27" display so it is fine but sitting far enough away to take in the whole scree easily native PPI is on the high side. Apple has stuck to 16:10 on Macbook Pros, maybe we will see a custom retina 16:10 panel for a new high end iMac.
     
  16. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    Yeah, PPI isn't going to go down. If anything, it will go up until it hits the 300ish. If you have trouble seeing things, make the font bigger.

    I would agree on having some additional adjustment for height/tilt/swivel though.

    Sorry to say, but think they'll get thinner. Thin is sexy and it sells a lot of computers. People who need real power will get a Mac Pro (if they ever update it) or build there own Windows box for content creation. I fell like Apple will start to miss the higher end prosumer/entry level pro level if they don't release some new product that sits between Mac Pro and iMac.
     
  17. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    300 ppi would suck, and would be totally unnecessary anyway. A good range for ppi would be about 200-205.

    I have never ever bought a Mac Pro. They're just too horrendously expensive for prosumers like me, and are frickin' huge. However, the iMac is fine for prosumers, or would be if they got better ergonomics.

    I have no desire whatsoever to build my own PC. I did that for years, and I'm just sick of it.
     
  18. Pia

    Pia Golden Member

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    Have you tried putting your iMac on a nice display arm? I bought one for my desktop display about half a year ago and it's really good - should have got one sooner.
     
  19. Childs

    Childs Lifer

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    I might have bought one of the new models for my mom for xmas if it had a retina display. That way it could display at .5 - .75 native resolution and still look sharp. Native res is too hard on her eyes.
     
  20. Pia

    Pia Golden Member

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    The 27" model should look 100% sharp if you run it in 1280x720, no?
     
  21. Childs

    Childs Lifer

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    Looks too soft imo, but my mom probably wouldnt notice. I just dont want to buy it this year and have a retina version come out within a year.
     
  22. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    Install SwitchResX, add custom scaled resolutions (4800 x 2700), then switch to HiDPI mode of that resolution.

    Since it'll be scaling down a higher resolution, you won't see much... if there is any, blur at all. Alternatively, you could just add 2400 x 1350 and suffer slightly reduced clarity but with bigger fonts.
     
  23. Zink

    Zink Senior member

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    Anand weighed in on the podcast and he was thinking 4k 27" iMac and Thunderbolt display using Retina 1920x1200. That is full 4K UHDTV width with a bit more vertical height so it would probably hold up well in the future.
     
  24. Pia

    Pia Golden Member

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    1440p to 720p should be 100% sharp because it's integer scaling. Are the Mac display drivers garbage or something?
     
  25. Childs

    Childs Lifer

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    It just doesnt look as good. It never does, even on my U2711, which I use for my Mac and PC. The only time non native resolutions has ever looked good was on a macbook pro's retina display.