Where have all the 27" 5k monitors gone?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
jack scholl
OP jack scholl Veteran Member • Posts: 4,468
Re: Where have all the 27" 5k monitors gone?

robgendreau wrote:

jack scholl wrote:

mattspace wrote:

jack scholl wrote:

I know they are still listed on the Apple site but it sure seems odd that everyone, Including LG. has seemingly stopped making them.

5K was always an oddball resolution, whose purpose was a kludge to cover over the fact that after several years, Apple's attempts at creating a resolution-independent UI (not scaling the entire display, but a slider to change the size of menubar, windows chrome etc) for Mac OS X crashed and burned.

The non-Apple 5k displays were probably only ever made to soak up production overruns on components made for iMac production, as the rest of the world standardised on 4k/8k TV displays (and Microsoft did its own thing and restored the better 3:2 aspect ratio for its Surface displays).


Given that, what am I giving up getting a 27" 4k vs 5k?

And several folks have said 4k is better at 30-32" than at 27". Any comments?



It really is best to look at them in person.

The PPI matters, as does how far you sit or stand from the monitor. Just like with prints; a 100DPI print can look great across the room but you might not want it for a coffee table book you examine closely. Ditto a 163 PPI 4k 27" vs an iMac 218 PPI 27" iMac.

Only your eyes and your ergonomics can tell you what is better. I stand at my desk, or work with a laptop, so I'm viewing at closer distances than some, and don't want to see pixellation. With an iMac most see that at about 16" or closer; with a 4k 28" at about 22". A 4k 32" at about 25".

And might depend on software. I would think all macOS stuff is retina aware now (except I think Preview isn't...not sure why). So when you say bounce from "Fit" to 100% when viewing in Lr it goes from scaled to true 1:1, but all the UI features of Lr (buttons, sliders, text, etc) stays with the hires graphics, or the same dimensions on the screen. Just the image your working on changes. But some like more space for the image itself, so they like to "shrink" the Lr interface itself, and hence use a different non hires graphics resolution. Ideally you could try the software you use on the monitor you want to buy.

I note that the new M1 iMacs come with a 4.5k (4480-by-2520) 24" display, which is 218 PPI, which is the same as the old 27" retina 5k iMacs. Might want to see what the next gen brings next week, since if mattspace is correct then there might be some 4.5K 24" displays showing up in the aftermarket.

And given the iMac monitor is the same resolution (218 PPI) as the 27" 5k you're looking for, and more info than a 4k, it begs the question of why not that M1 iMac vs the M1 Mini.


The last paragraph is the easiest . . . the iMac Pro can't fly (at least easily).  I have a custom case for it, and we travel by car most of the time.  But it is heavy and a pain . . . and the mini with two displays in both locations will be a great travel companion for the future.

Plus, I will want to keep the 27" size for sure.  And not sure I want to give up the 218 PPI.

Looks like a wait for new announcements or a 27" LG from Apple.

Thanks for taking the time,


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