4K Video on new MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by webs2slow4me, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Hello all. I'm looking to purchase an apple laptop in the next few months and I had a question about the air: can it play high quality 4K video on an external display without lag, issues, etc? I'm not talking about editing, just playback.

  2. KylePowers, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013

    macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Well... let's do some math, because I'm not too sure without seeing it first hand.

    The 2012's and later support up to two Thunderbolt displays (source). The resolution of one TBD is 2560x1440. So two of them would mean 7,372,800 pixels.

    4k display resolutions vary, but let's go with Digital Cinema Initiative's of 4096x2160. That's 8,847,360 pixels.

    The numbers are close (17% difference), but the MacBook Air (definitely the 2013's, at least) should be able to support 4k resolutions just fine!

    However! I'm not sure off the top of my head if the current Thunderbolt chip in the 2013 MacBook Air's support 4k output. That might be a Thunderbolt 2.0 (a.k.a. DisplayPort 1.2) feature =\

    EDIT: Fixed some math because I'm dumb
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Thanks for the reply, but can anyone give first hand experience?
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    There can't be any experience because there aren't any consumer 4K displays available. And even if there were, the Thunderbolt port in the MBA won't support 4K anyway. The first time we're likely to see any 4K display support on the Mac is with the upcoming Mac Pro.

    The Tech Specs on the MBA page for graphics clearly state:

    Intel HD Graphics 5000
    Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Here are consumer 4k TVs if you want to buy them. =)


    I realize that it wouldn't natively support 4k, but I've heard people say that it's possible to make it work. I just don't know for sure.
  7. macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2011
    Lima, Peru
    Please do not "bump" your thread.
  8. macrumors 68040

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The HD4000 GPU supports 4k video.

    The HD5000 is better than that.

    No idea on the thunderbolt limitations, but that's going to be true for all apple laptops. The GPU is strong enough though.

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