I'm having the same issue on my 5-day old 27-inch iMac (late 2012, 3.4/i7).
Interestingly, I first saw it when using Adobe applications, too... because their grey workspace makes the problem very visible.
I think it's a brightness issue. The image retention only shows up during the day, when my brightness is maxed out. Of course, this could be a heat issue, too (more bright=more heat) but I have temporarily solved this by lowering the brightness. Not that this is acceptable... it most defintely is not for a brand-new, flagship iMac.
If you google 'image retention imac' you'll find a lot of people with brand-new 27-inch iMacs are having the same problem (and you'll find a great youtube demonstration of the problem). Many are not seeing improvements after exchanging their machine, but a few are. I will probably exchange mine.
I left feedback for Apple about this issue and also exchanged my less-than-a-week-old iMac for a new old. I haven't recieved it, yet, but have a feeling that there is a strong possibilty that new one will have the same problem... judging by the all of the people that are having problems with my particular configuration:
- iMac 27-inch, Late 2012
- 3.4 Ghz, i7
- 32GB RAM
- 680MX 2MB
Message was edited by: TV Cameraman, changed MB to GB
I've had my 27" iMac since January, and I noticed the persistent image problem on the second day. I did some digging around and it seemed like this was just something that I should learn to deal with, so I let it go. Today, though, as I was working with InDesign, I noticed the screen looking grainy within a few minutes, and I thought it might be time to revisit the issue. I did that checkerboard test: http://www.marco.org/rmbp-irtest.html and within a minute and a half, I could see the pattern burned into my screen. To my mind this is unnaceptable, bordering on the ridiculous. Has Apple changed their tune on this whole "normal" retention for an IPS display? Do I have any options for getting this fixed without paying out any money? I didn't buy any extended warranty or anything.
I purchased my iMac through MacMall and when I contacted their support department they told me this was a "known issue" which Apple is officially not acknowledging and one "Genius" got a little grouchy about telling me I'll have the same problem on any 27" iMac that I get. However after pushing the issue, I was told that if I purchased the iMac from the Corporate store they would have more "options" in helping me. So I returned the iMac and purchased another one from the Apple Corporate Store. That was several months ago and I have yet to have another image retention issue.
My Advice: Try and get the place you purchased this from to take it back. I have a feeling the new batch of iMacs may not have this issue because I believe - and this isn't verifiable - that it could have been a fluke thing with a batch of displays from a certain manufacturer in the beginning and those issues were resolved. Either way, Apple told me they would replace my display if I wanted them to. Don't take "no" or "that is normal behavior for an IPS display" for an ANSWER!
If you bought this iMac in January, you are still on your first free year of AppleCare. There should not be any type of financial charge to you for the diagnosis or repair.
I'll repeat my previous statement to you, as well.
My recommendation is that if your are still on your complimentary one-year of AppleCare, I would budget right now and before that year runs out, buy and register at Apple for 3-year extended AppleCare.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST DAY OF THE FREE YEAR APPLECARE TO RENEW!
There maybe more issues than just the new screens having image retention issues coming your way.
If you purchase and register with Apple for the extended AppleCare warranty, you will get another 2 years of No charge warranty servicing. The cost of this plan is a lot less than the cost of an actual, typical hardware repair/replacement service.