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Thuderbolt 2014 - iMac Retina?

I usually don't like to discuss of products that didn't come out yet. However, I found this interesting article http://9to5mac.com/2013/04/08/intel-announces-2014-thunderbolt-with-4k-support-opens-door-for-retina-imacs/ . They are essentially saying that the 2014 Thuderbolt technology will be able to support 4K videos. This could open the possibility of a future Retina iMac 27" release. It doesn't sound so unlikely to me. The iMac price would probably skyrocket, but where is the news? Apple products are generally expensive.
My questions are: as designers, how much would a retina display affect the quality of our workflow on a 27" monitor? In a world that is switching to high-density screens, isn't it important that we start designing on high-density displays as well?


Staff member
Retina display is just a marketing term... the imac already has a 'retina' display due to the fact that retina display is not about resolution it's about pixel density at the optimal viewing distance... hell your 1080p tv has a 'retina' display if you sit 6 ft from it like usual. Besides to the best of my knowledge Apple usually just makes everything the same 'size' on the screen, they don't give you more pixel space, they just make images crisper by using higher res instead of the usual '72dpi' lower ones... unless you change settings anyways.
Working with high density displays isn't that important because in most cases they use pixel ratio to make the hi res display appear as a lower resolution, just crisper - just look at the the pixel ratio of 2 (ie why we need the @2x required on images) on iphones/ipad retina, I believe the samsung galaxy s4 has a pixel density of 3, as does the htc one iirc. A normal pc display uses a pixel ratio of 1, the retina macbooks have a pixel density of 2 iirc.
as to 4k displays on computers.... you've got a long while yet for the prices to come down. Display port (the same socket as what apple/intel are using for thunderbolt) has supported 4k since around 2010, the issue for apple is that intel's integrated gpu's are rubbish and can't handle a resolution that high, the next gen ones in 'haswell' will support it....amd and nvidia have for quite a while though.