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Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD 8K Display is Shipping, Dec 2017 iMac Pro Already Behind the Curve

See my Mac wish list.

Background info:

8K now shipping

Details on the Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor UP3218K at Dell.com.

The about $4999 Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor UP3218K has been shipping for a couple of months. Back in January 2017, I postulated that an iMac 8K should be possible:

Since a 32-inch panel now exists, it seems ideal for an iMac 8K which could use a custom graphics solution to push those 33 megapixels—no need for wait for standards to evolve to support external 8K support; it can be done internally just as with the iMac 5K.

Here in June 2017, the about $4999 Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor UP3218K is shipping thus proving that 8K is a done deal. Possibly, it might even work with an existing Apple MacBook Pro using Multi StreamTransport (MST) over dual Thunderbolt 3 cables; see Can a 2016 MacBook Pro support an 8K display?.

Certain PC video cards support 8K via Multi Stream Transport (MST).

Now consider that Apple’s ultra-pricy Dec 2017 iMac Pro does not incorporate an 8K display, being essentially a souped-up iMac 5K with a dark paint job, a pathetic 1 year warranty, and a sky-high price tag once it’s built up properly.

In objective competitive terms: Apple calls it innovation to announce a an iMac Pro with a 1-year warranty that won’t ship for six months and has a 27" display with 14.7 megapixels versus the 31.7 megapixels of a display that Dell is already shipping with a 3 year warranty, one that with proper software support and dual cables ought to already work on a MacBook Pro. In other words, Apple is offering an all-in-one computer that is:

  • Non-upgradeable for CPU, GPU, memory or SSD (at least not without unsupported disassembly).
  • Does not support HDMI 1.3 for 8K support (Apple makes no mention of 8K).
  • Has no technical advantage over readily available PCs and does not support NVIDIA.
  • Does not have a display that would make it state of the art.

Beautifully presented, this is not technical leadership; it is marketing. The iMac Pro is behind the curve six months before it ships, gorgeous as it surely will be at a price few can contemplate. Perhaps the promised modular Mac Pro (early 2019) is what Mac users will have to wait for.

About 8K

7680 X 4320 pixels = 33.2 megapixes in 32" form factor, aspect ratio 1.77:1

4K is like tiling together four HD displays and thus requires 4X the bandwidth of a conventional 1920 X 1080 display.

8K is like tiling together four 4K displays for a whopping 33.2 megapixels (7680 X 4320), and thus requires 4X the bandwidth of a four 4K displays or 16 HD displays.

A full resolution Nikon D810 image is 7360 X 4912, so that its entire width fits with room to spare on the 7680-pixel 8K display, although the aspect ratio is too tall to fit vertically.

At 280 ppi, the Dell 8K pixel density is higher than the 220 ppi of the iMac 5K, so a 'chrome'-like viewing experience should be incredible, showing more detail than 35mm film could ever capture with far superior contrast to any print—a huge 32-inch 'chrome', in effect.


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