13'' vs 15'' rMBP for 4K Output, major differences?

evrard

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Original poster
Oct 20, 2014
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Brooklyn
While I know the 15'' rMBP can output 60 Hz 4K via Thunderbolt 1.2, but can the 13'' rMBP? I am trying to decide if I should purchase the 13'' or 15'' - prefer the compactness and lightness of the 13''. Is there a big difference between 30Hz and 60Hz? Would 60Hz reduce ghosting?
 

TheIguana

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Sep 26, 2004
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If you need to run 4k off your Mac you would be better off getting a 15" rMBP, a Retina iMac or a Mac Pro.

While I know the 15'' rMBP can output 60 Hz 4K via Thunderbolt 1.2, but can the 13'' rMBP?
No

I am trying to decide if I should purchase the 13'' or 15'' - prefer the compactness and lightness of the 13''. Is there a big difference between 30Hz and 60Hz?
Yes, at 30Hz you are going to see a lot more lag and stuttering of frames when using your external 4k monitor. Modern computers are designed to operate at 60Hz

Would 60Hz reduce ghosting?
Monitors do a pretty good job in general of controlling ghosting these days. You are more likely to just see it give you lag and stuttering.
 

stempsons

macrumors regular
Feb 15, 2014
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2
While I know the 15'' rMBP can output 60 Hz 4K via Thunderbolt 1.2, but can the 13'' rMBP? I am trying to decide if I should purchase the 13'' or 15'' - prefer the compactness and lightness of the 13''. Is there a big difference between 30Hz and 60Hz? Would 60Hz reduce ghosting?
you can run a 4k sst monitor off a late 2013 retina 13" at 50hz using the mini display port to display port cable. you have to use a third party program (switchresx) but it works fine. not quite as smooth as 60hz, but way smoother than 30hz.

a 15" retina macbook would be ideal though, since it natively supports 4k at 60hz without third part software.
 

Sheza

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Aug 14, 2010
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If you really want to connect to a 4K monitor, go with the 15. It is possible to do it with the 13 at 50-55Hz but it's not officially supported and it's fiddly to get working.

I have a 13 so I'm personally looking in to getting a 25" 2560x1440 monitor and either just using it at its native resolution or putting it in a 1080p HiDPI mode.
 

evrard

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 20, 2014
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Brooklyn
Thanks for the help. Quick question, will I need a new Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter or will my old one work?
 

fuchsdh

macrumors 65816
Jun 19, 2014
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If you really want to connect to a 4K monitor, go with the 15. It is possible to do it with the 13 at 50-55Hz but it's not officially supported and it's fiddly to get working.

I have a 13 so I'm personally looking in to getting a 25" 2560x1440 monitor and either just using it at its native resolution or putting it in a 1080p HiDPI mode.
I plugged my 13" into my Dell P2415Q and it functioned as a 1440p monitor. So there's that.
 

TheIguana

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2004
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Thanks for the help. Quick question, will I need a new Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter or will my old one work?
rMBP all have built in HDMI ports so you can plug directly in without an adapter. Max resolution is 4k at 30Hz on all models. If you go with the 15" you need to go through the Thunderbolt ports to get 4k at 60Hz.
 

evrard

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 20, 2014
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Brooklyn
rMBP all have built in HDMI ports so you can plug directly in without an adapter. Max resolution is 4k at 30Hz on all models. If you go with the 15" you need to go through the Thunderbolt ports to get 4k at 60Hz.
If I went with the 15'' would the thunderbolt require a different cable? Or a cable that supported 1.2?
 

evrard

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Original poster
Oct 20, 2014
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It doesn't have a Thunderport input, rather I am going from Thunderport to USB adapter on the Macbook.... is that why? Does it need a physical input?
 

Sheza

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Aug 14, 2010
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I plugged my 13" into my Dell P2415Q and it functioned as a 1440p monitor. So there's that.
But then if you don't yet have a 4K display there's no point doing that, right? Because it would be a waste of money as you're not getting the full 4K. Unless you're saying it functions as a 1400p HiDPI monitor?

Yes it does.

The Thunderbolt port and Mini DisplayPort are the same port.

So you just need to connect an mDP cable into the mDP/DP port of your display.
According to the TV spec page, there doesn't seem to be a DP port
 

evrard

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 20, 2014
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Brooklyn
But then if you don't yet have a 4K display there's no point doing that, right? Because it would be a waste of money as you're not getting the full 4K. Unless you're saying it functions as a 1400p HiDPI monitor?


According to the TV spec page, there doesn't seem to be a DP port
There isn't. Is it common for there to be? I thought it almost always went through a converter. So, rMBP > MiniDisplay Port to HDMI Converter > HDMI Cable to TV
 

Hieveryone

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Apr 11, 2014
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While I know the 15'' rMBP can output 60 Hz 4K via Thunderbolt 1.2, but can the 13'' rMBP? I am trying to decide if I should purchase the 13'' or 15'' - prefer the compactness and lightness of the 13''. Is there a big difference between 30Hz and 60Hz? Would 60Hz reduce ghosting?
From my understanding the 13" can output 4k but at 52 Hz. I'm not sure if it's that different than 60 Hz but none the less if you want 4k at 60 Hz, get the 15"

Even the base can do it you don't need the dedicated graphics card
 

Sheza

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Aug 14, 2010
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There isn't. Is it common for there to be? I thought it almost always went through a converter. So, rMBP > MiniDisplay Port to HDMI Converter > HDMI Cable to TV
It's common on monitors, but not usually TVs. I doubt it would work through a converter, the max for 4K through a HDMI cable is 30Hz I believe.
 

WorldIRC

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2005
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Will a Mid-2014 rMBP 15" allow two monitors @ 4K / 60hz via the Thunderbolt (MDP)?
 
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