The Retina screen was one of the main novelties of the iPhone 4, chosen even by you, readers, as the best novelty of the Apple smartphone at the time of its launch. Unfortunately, only the iPhone and iPod touch take advantage of this rumored resolution beauty of an iPad 3 with Retina display, while Macs are fine, they will certainly gain support, but the question is when.
If it depends on Intel, Apple could launch Macs with Retina displays in 2012, along with Ivy Bridge processors. That's because, in addition to performance gains of 60%, improvements with respect to graphics and support for OpenCL, the new processors from Chipzilla will support resolutions up to 4096 × 4096 pixels, paving the way for possible Macs equipped with Retina Displays.
According to VR-Zone, processors will still feature MFX engineering (Multi Format Codec), capable of running multiple high-resolution (4K) videos simultaneously, in addition to handling video processing in the 4K QuadHD format, a standard that YouTube started supporting since last year.
Try to watch this video at full resolution (original) to see what happens
Now, let's do a little bit of math: considering the 16: 9 screen currently used in the Apple Thunderbold Display, iMacs and MacBooks Air, if the company launches a screen with 4K resolution, this would result in a total of 4096 × 2304 pixels .
A 27-inch screen with 4K resolution would have a density of 174 pixels per inch. Even not getting close to the density of the iPhone 4 which is 326 pixels per inch if we assume a minimum working distance of 24 inches (60 centimeters) and a view for calculations of 20/20, we can say that the iMac and Thunderbold Display would have Retina screens.
Of course, this involves not only the support of Intel processors, but also an adequate production price for these screens, in addition to other factors such as increasing the resolution of machines without providing proper software support, the interface elements end up decreasing and can overcoming a barrier than pleasing to most users.
But Apple certainly knows that and is working to trim those edges before putting a Mac with Retina display on the market. There is no lack of evidence for this, as OS X Lion wallpapers support a resolution of 3200 × 2000 pixels, which has never been seen on any Mac. Even the controversial Final Cut Pro X already supports 4K resolutions.