¿4K or 5K Monitor on a MacBook Pro (mid 2009)?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Daruca, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Daruca macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2015

    after several years of being a careful reader of MacRumors forums, where I learned everything I know about Apple world, at last I decided to participate. I propose a topic in the hope that it may also be of interest to other Mac users.

    I work with video. So far I have worked with a MacBook Pro 17" mid-2009:
    - Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    - Memory: 4 GB DDR3 1067 MHz
    - Graphic card: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256MB
    - Software: Mac OX X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63)
    - 1 MiniDisplay port for external monitor
    - 3 USB 2
    - 1 FireWire 800 ...

    Great machine... six years ago. This computer was connected to an external monitor Apple Cinema Display 24" through a MiniDisplay port and USB 2. I've been very happy with this configuration for a long time, but after six years of hard work the monitor has stopped working. My most heartfelt tribute. Rest in peace.

    And here begins my doubts.

    Although this is not something to solve tomorrow, the truth is that my work is increasingly geared towards 4K video streams. And I say that is not urgent because, at least until now, the MacBook Pro (mid 2009) has no problem working with images (1920 x 1080) ProRes 422. Of course, they render times are sometimes quite long.

    My idea is to upgrade equipment and buy a Mac Pro or iMac 5K Retina with its highest setting. However, I think that, at least in my case, is not a good time to do so:
    - future updates of the Mac Pro and iMac in 2015 or 2016
    - overheating problems in the iMac 5K Retina (at least in the configuration that I like)
    - the arrival of El Capitan
    - software not yet adapted to these resolutions

    My solution (perhaps an impossible madness) would buy a high-end monitor 4K or 5K (or less resolution) that can connect to my MacBook Pro 17" (mid 2009), down the resolution, and thus work to take the appropriate decision to purchase (2015-2016). The idea is that the monitor has Thunderbolt connections so it can be used as a second monitor if I buy an iMac 5K Retina or as a first (or second) monitor if I decide on a Mac Pro.

    I try to be as ambitious as possible with the resolution of this monitor to ensure that the work is nice when you are working with another monitor Retina 5K or similar. It would be like a temporary solution for a few months until it reaches a final decision.

    These are my questions:

    - Do you think this is possible or seek another solution?
    - If so, how I can do?
    - What monitors can suggest?
    - Do you know if it really works? Are you tested?
    - Are you think of another solution to not go blind and not throwing money?

    MUCH appreciate your comments.

    A greeting.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It just won't run a 4K monitor in any way that would be workable mate. The connections just don't have the bandwidth to send the information you need to a 4K monitor even downscaled. A 5K monitor still takes 2 mini display port cables over thunderbolt 2 to connect even on the new 15 inch macbook pro with dGPU. (not to mention the fact that they cost as much as a 5K imac on their own).

    The best time to buy is when you need something new and you certainly do need something new for 4K video editing.

    I'd say go with the 5K imac it is a great machine and while it does get a little warm when you are hammering it (all computers do) the money you will save in render times alone will be worth it.
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Any Mac before 2011 cannot take in a 4K display at all. Macs from early-2011 to early-2013 can take in 4K, but requires extensive workarounds to get it working at an unusable 30 Hz.

    13" late-2013/mid-2014 rMBPs can take in 4K, but at 30 Hz. It requires extensive tweaking to get it to 52 Hz. Meanwhile, all 15" models from late-2013 can run 4K at 60 Hz out of the box. Mid-2015 15" with the R9 M370X GPU can power a 5K display as well.

    If you're going to be dealing with 4K footage and ProRes 422, you're going to need a quad core i7 with a discrete GPU at the very least. At this stage, a nMP might be a possibility as well (I use two 12-core nMPs for 4K footage plus ProRes footage from an Arri Alexa, along with running several VMs).
  4. Daruca thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2015
    Subject solved.
    Samuelsan2001, yjchua95... thank you very much for your messages.

    A greeting.
  5. dbook macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2016
    This is from the MacBook Pro Mid-2009 Spec info at Apple on the graphics capabilities:

    Graphics and video support
    • All models: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory3
    • Selected models: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory on 2.66GHz configuration; or 512MB of GDDR3 memory on 2.8GHz and 3.06GHz configurations
    • 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
    • Built-in iSight camera
    • Mini DisplayPort

    That should pretty much tell you what monitors it can and can't support... definitely not 4k.

    My 2009 MBP is running great on El Capitan (10.12.1) after maxing memory to 8G and, the biggest boost, a SSD hard drive. Can't recommend that enough - made it feel brand new!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 3, 2016 ---
    Of course the new MacBook Pro released a couple weeks ago here in 2016 can support what you really want; Screen Shot 2016-11-03 at 4.31.27 PM.png two 5k monitors...

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4 July 10, 2015