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Evidence of Upcoming Retina iMacs Showing Up in OS X Yosemite Beta

imac_2013_sideEvidence of upcoming iMac updates is continuing to accumulate, and the latest hint points toward support for models equipped with Retina displays. As noted by MacBidouille [Google Translate], the OS X Yosemite developer preview includes a new file defining display scaling resolution options for a machine identified as an iMac.

The unreleased machine was first spotted last week in the OS X 10.9.4 beta, but today's discovery includes the observation that Retina-resolution display support is included.

The file includes a series of scaling resolution options for this machine, maxing out at 6400 x 3600 pixels, or 3200 x 1800 as a Retina display. The display itself would carry a somewhat lower native resolution, perhaps 5120 x 2880 to simply pixel double the current 27-inch iMac, but as with the Retina MacBook Pro higher resolutions are specified and generated by the machine before being scaled back down.
The first of these resolutions indicates hexa "00001900 00000e10" is therefore a resolution scaling of ... 6400 x 3600 (probably 3200x1800 HiDPI).
Continues and is 5760x3240 (2880x1620 HiDPI) 4096x2304 (2048x1152 HiDPI), etc..
(There are other resolutions, just make the conversion from hex)

With this alone, it is not possible to guess the native resolution of the machine. This is a resolution that does not appear in the file, since it is native and does not have to be "scaled".
Knowing that there is a gap between the values ​​of 5760 and 4096, one can imagine something between these two (probably 5120x2880, 2560x1440 or in HiDPI), but this is speculation.
As an example of how these higher-than-native resolution options are used, while the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro has a native resolution of 2880 x 1800 (giving screen real estate of 1440 x 900 as Retina), the system is capable of generating a 3840 x 2400 desktop that is then scaled down to give the real estate of a 1920 x 1200 display.

In the case of this iMac, a similar scenario would see the initial 6400 x 3600 screen scaled to display as 3200 x 1800 on the Retina iMac.

Apple has been rumored to be working on Retina iMacs ever since the debut of the Retina MacBook Pro in 2012, but the company has likely been challenged by the large number of pixels needed for the desktop machine, particularly the 27-inch model. Recent rumors have pointed toward a lower-priced version of the iMac to help address emerging markets, but Retina models are likely also in the works.

As was seen with the MacBook Pro, Apple may initially move to split the iMac lineup with Retina models initially coming in at higher price points alongside existing or slightly cheaper non-Retina model pricing. Over time, the line would be consolidated as prices for the components needed to support Retina displays come down.

(Thanks, Greg!)

Related roundup: iMac

Top Rated Comments

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20 weeks ago

how about jumping to 4k instead?


The resolution posted above is higher than 4k
Rating: 20 Votes
20 weeks ago

how about jumping to 4k instead?


a retina imac would be a higher resolution than 4k?
Rating: 18 Votes
20 weeks ago
Hopefully there's a matte screen option, though I'm not holding my breath.
Rating: 13 Votes
20 weeks ago

how about jumping to 4k instead?


6 is bigger than 4. Do you math?
Rating: 12 Votes
20 weeks ago
Retina Thunderbolt display please.
Rating: 12 Votes
20 weeks ago
this is going to be crazy expensive.
Rating: 10 Votes
20 weeks ago

a retina imac would be a higher resolution than 4k?


The resolution posted above is higher than 4k


6 is bigger than 4. Do you math?


TV 4K is 3840 x 2160 (at a 16:9, or 1.78:1 aspect ratio)
Movie industry standard is 4096 x 2160

27" iMac could be 5120 x 2880,

Better than 4k. Nice!

Better bring out a Monitor too!


that will teach me to read first, comment later
Rating: 9 Votes
20 weeks ago
how about jumping to 4k instead?

--edit

whoops
Rating: 8 Votes
20 weeks ago
just in time! I'm due for a new iMac :D
Rating: 7 Votes
20 weeks ago
I mean what is the point of double or quadrupling the pixels only to show content the exact same size as on a lower resolution display?
I mean I just bought a laptop with something like 3200 x 1400 resolution, but then Windows UI is scaled at 200% so all the content is the same relative size as if it was a 1600 x 700 display. This is the same process used by iOS devices that went "Retina", same sized icons, just smoother rounded corners.

It has been maybe 15 years since I last looked at a screen and lamented how aliased some lines looked on it.

Yes I know that there is content like video and photos that will look beautiful @ 5000+ pixels, and I am sure there are apps that can use every pixel you can throw at it, but 99% of the time most users are going to simply be looking at a highly scaled up UI that is identical in physical dimensions to icons and buttons from the previous "low" res generation of screens, they just paid an *ssload more money for that privilege.

Also, I question putting this on an iMac because iMac's are not notorious for offering high-end GPU options and if you hope to play any future game on this screen, at native resolution, then you are going to need like a 4-way SLI GPU configuration option from Apple.com. Unless you can add an external GPU through Thunderbolt which also daisy chains back to the internal iMac display, then I think most people are going to be frustrated trying to make full use of their iMac with an impressive waste of pixel count.

Apple, just focus on making iMac affordable and/or come out with a headless Mac that doesn't cost as much as a used car and let people decide how many pixels they need to waste on a display of their choice.
Rating: 5 Votes

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