The OS X El Capitan beta version code hints at plans for a new 4K iMac

by on June 25, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 25, 2015

Apple’s very newest OS X El Capitan beta is still light on new consumer features but this developer’s version of the latest Apple operating system for desktops indicates a that Apple is going in the direction of a 4K version of the 21.5 inch iMac.

According to a journalist at 9t5Mac, he spotted references in the code of the El Capitan beta which indicate a nearly 4K Retina display. And since noting Apple currently ships comes with a 4K ultra HD resolution Retina display, the likely thing is that it’s destined for a future iMac.

Since the code which refers to 4K Retina is already in the newest Apple OS, then it’s not too unsafe to assume that this 4K iMac is pretty close over the horizon.

Currently, Apple’s ultra HD product line consists of just a single 27 inch iMac with a 5K Retina display, which was released in October of 2014 and the current 21.5 inch iMac that apple already sells hasn’t yet been given any kind of Retina display, let alone a full-blown 4K resolution of Retina.

Thus, we can assume that the next 21.5 inch iMac is going to have 4K display resolution.

Specifically, the code in the El Capitan OS 4K references indicates a very solid resolution of 4096 x 2304, which is actually even higher than the current highest 3096 x 2160 pixel DC 4K standard found in most PC monitors. This is a lot of pixels for a screen of just 21 inches but it will come with a comparable pixel density to that of the 27 inch 5K iMac.

Aside from the 4K reference, the El Capitan code also references a new Intel graphics chipset known as the Iris Pro 6200 and this too is interesting as far as the possibility of 4K resolution goes. Why? Because the Iris Pro 6200 is a Broadwell-integrated graphics processor that just launched a month ago and definitely comes with enough power to fit well with a 4K Retina display.

Other references in the El Capitan OS X code mention Intel's new 4K-capable Iris Pro 6200 Broadwell-integrated GPU tech

Other references in the El Capitan OS X code mention Intel’s new 4K-capable Iris Pro 6200 Broadwell-integrated GPU tech

On top of the 4K resolution reference and the Intel GPU reference, there are also code snippets which mention several new AMD Radeon R9 processors. While this also isn’t anything conclusive, a reference to new Radeon GPUs is a definite hint of 4K possibilities for future iMac upgrades.

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