2016 12" Macbook compatible with Dell U3219Q?

mrmister

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 19, 2008
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The title says it all—I don't have the 2016 12" macbook here, or I'd just plug it in myself and see if it works. If anyone knows if this macbook can drive this monitor, I'd be much obliged.

Here is the monitor at Dell's site:


Thanks!
 

joevt

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2012
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Tech specs says MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016) can do 4K 30Hz on an external display.
But an Apple Support document for the LG UltraFine 4K display says it support 4K 60Hz.

There's a post on 9to5 Mac about it:

In conclusion, if you are running the latest macOS then you may be able to do 4K 60Hz out of the box. If not, there's a patch for that.
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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Yes the 2016 12” MacBook supposedly is able to run a 4K 60 Hz monitor. However, you need the right dongle, and some have claimed it can feel a bit more sluggish at times. I can’t say myself about the sluggishness since I have the 2017 model and I’ve only tried it a few times (and it seemed relatively OK).

Also, most USB-C multi-port hubs will not work as they are limited to either 4K 60 Hz with USB 2, or else 4K 30 Hz with USB 3, so the manufacturers usually pick the latter.

A dedicated 4K 60 Hz dongle would work, but just remember to get one that supports USB-C external power delivery.

You have to very careful when making your dongle purchase. Make sure it supports 4K 60 Hz, and if you want to use it for extended periods, make sure it supports external power delivery to keep the MacBook charged.
 
Last edited:

joevt

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2012
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Right. You want a dongle with USB 2.0 output (or no USB), DisplayPort 1.2 HBR2 four lanes (allows 4K 60Hz), and USB-C Power Delivery input (for charging the MacBook).
A dongle that supports USB 3.0 would allow only 4K 30Hz so avoid that.

Here's a dongle that will work:
It contains a USB 2.0 hub to add two USB 2.0 ports and a 100 Mbps Ethernet port (separate driver download needed for the Ethernet port).
It supports DisplayPort 1.2 HBR2 and DisplayPort 1.4 HBR3 link rates.
 
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mrmister

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Dec 19, 2008
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Thanks for the advice! I got the MacBook back, and before doing either test just plugged it in—and it works! The single USB-C cable is transmitting data from the hub connected to the monitor, and while it took some fiddling with opening and closing for resolutions to stick, after about 10 minutes I had it on a good resolution and working in clamshell mode.

Even better, when I checked System Profiler, it is running at 60hz!

This is on the latest update of Mojave. I don't know if this stuff got ironed out more on the monitor side, as it is a newish 2019 monitor, or what, but it actually was pretty close to effortless for once.
 
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joevt

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Jun 21, 2012
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Thanks for the advice! I got the MacBook back, and before doing either test just plugged it in—and it works! The single USB-C cable is transmitting data from the hub connected to the monitor, and while it took some fiddling with opening and closing for resolutions to stick, after about 10 minutes I had it on a good resolution and working in clamshell mode.

Even better, when I checked System Profiler, it is running at 60hz!

This is on the latest update of Mojave. I don't know if this stuff got ironed out more on the monitor side, as it is a newish 2019 monitor, or what, but it actually was pretty close to effortless for once.
Oh, I should have checked the specs of the display. The Dell U3219Q has a USB-C input which provides 90W of power delivery. Therefore you do not need a dongle if you want to use 4K 60Hz and USB 2.0.

The only problem with the MacBook is that it can't do 4K 60Hz and USB 3.0 at the same time but there's no dongle that can fix that. If you wanted to use 4K 30Hz or 1440p 60Hz with USB 3.0, then you would buy a USB-C hub that support 4K 30Hz with USB 3.0, then use DisplayPort output to the display.
 
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mrmister

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Dec 19, 2008
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It’s fine because it is not a permanent state of affairs—my 2018 MBP (which I affectionately now call Lemon) needs a lot of repairs. USB 2 will be bearable for the time it’s getting repaired.
 

aednichols

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2010
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In conclusion, if you are running the latest macOS then you may be able to do 4K 60Hz out of the box. If not, there's a patch for that.
I believe Sierra (released fall 2016) enabled 4k@60Hz on this machine with no modifications. That may be why an older spec sheet appears contradictory. My Ultrafine 4K certainly operated at that spec under Sierra.
 
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