The Difference 30 Years Makes: iMac with Retina 5K display vs. the Original Apple Macintosh

22 October 2014Apple

When first released in 1984, the Apple Macintosh shipped with a black-and-white 512 x 342 display. Fast forward 30 years to the release of the iMac with Retina 5K display, which ships with a 5,120 x 2,880 display with support for millions of colours. That’s an increase from 175,000 pixels to more than 14.7 million – an 8,400% increase. 80 of the original Macintosh displays fit within a single Retina 5K display1.

The stats are astounding, but to really put things in perspective, take a look at the image below, showing the original Macintosh display overlaid on a promotional image that Apple has been using to showcase the massive size of the new iMac’s display. Click the image to view at 100%.

iMac with Retina 5K display vs. Original Macintosh

That tiny black-and-white rectangle crammed into the bottom-left corner was cutting-edge technology three decades ago.


  1. Assuming constant pixel size between the two displays, which obviously isn’t the case. 
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