4K Display and Retina MacBook Pro 13"

w0rd3r

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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Hello guys !

I'm here to ask if someone tried successfully to plug a 3840*2160 monitor with a 13" Retina MacBook pro late 2013, and has been able to run it at 60Hz (1080p HiDPI or full res).

I own a 15" Retina MacBook Pro (late 2013), and it is plugged to a Samsung U28d590d via Thunderbolt, using the Monitor DisplayPort IN.

I also own a Mac Mini (late 2012), and it can't use the monitor properly (2560*1440@60Hz is the max I can get). So this is why I plan to change the mini for a 13" Retina MBP (if it can use the monitor like my 15")

So is there anyone who has a similar setup or has tried this with 10.9.3 or even Yosemite and succeded?

Thanks guys, if you have an answer, it will be great.
 

w0rd3r

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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Thanks for the lightning fast answer, but if I may quote this page from apple :
Il est possible de connecter des moniteurs 60 Hz au MacBook Pro (Retina, fin 2013) et au Mac Pro (fin 2013) via le protocole MST (Multi-Stream Transport).
It is specified Retina, late 2013 but not only 15". And after a discussion with the online chat, here is the capture of the answer (in French)

https://flic.kr/p/nzgSFU

Only the 4 monitors apple specifies in its page are officially supported.

So where is the truth here?
 
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jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
15
Hi,
With the 2013 13-inch Haswell rMBP it is possible to run at 3840x2160 or 1080P HiDPI over DisplayPort at 52Hz. This is because the max clock rate for the 13-inch over thunderbolt 2 is 450 MHz.

To get this resolution, use the settings in the screenshot I've made with switchresx (attached).

If you want 60Hz or even higher HiDPI settings, you can do this via picture by picture mode with a DP and a HDMI connector. There's an extensive thread on this in this forum.



Edit.. And yes, I did this with the same monitor you're using!
 

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w0rd3r

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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Thanks a lot !
Any chance you have the setings for the 1080p HiDPi mode ?
Or maybe you can send me the link about the thread you mention?
Thanks again,

Bob
 

jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
15
Sure, once you get 3840x2160 working in switchresx if you go to "current resolutions" there should be an option for 1920x1080 HiDPI, just select it and you should be good to go, as simple as that!

If you want to try and get 60Hz instead of 52Hz and some other HiDPI options working check out this thread:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1735590/
 
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w0rd3r

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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Thanks, this will help a lot.

As a matter of fact I was able to try this on my Mac Mini.
The best I can get is 720p HiDPI, even though I can have 1080p HiDPI but it is a scaled resolution (the input of the Samsung screen shows it receives only 2560*1440@60Hz).


Anyway this is pretty much all that I was looking for, except that 1080p HiDPI on Mac Mini isn't as beautiful as the one from my Retina 15" (because it is scaled and only uses 2560*1440 but is displayed in 3840*2160).

But you seem to be positive it will look the same on 13" that on 15" (except 52Hz vs. 60Hz).

Do you see a big difference between 52Hz and 60Hz? 30Hz isn't usable, but 52Hz seems legit, right?

Thanks again a thousand times dude !


Edit : This is on OS X Yosemite.
 
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w0rd3r

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Jun 4, 2014
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You can see here the screenshot (attached) showing 1080p HiDPI on Mac Mini (late 2012) with Yosemite.

Again, it is a scaled resolution, which means it isn't as beautiful as a real 1080p HiDPI.
The most beautiful I can get with Mac Mini is 720p HiDPI
 

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jonisign

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Jul 7, 2007
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@w0rd3r

Yep, if you're running a 4K display off of a late 2013 13-inch rMBP you should definitely be able to get 52 Hz (technically it's like 51.7 Hz) with the configuration I attached! HiDPI at 1080P should just work when you put in this setting as long as you have HiDPI options enabled. The only thing I don't know is whether or not apple would have disabled this in Yosemite, but I highly doubt it.

Besides the 52 Hz vs. 60 Hz thing, the only other issue to think about is that Apple doesn't seem to be allowing HiDPI options above 1080P on the 13-inch. For example, on the 15-inch you can get a HiDPI that "looks like" 1440P or even 3200P which gives you a bit more real-estate. You can get these resolutions working if you drive two panels (see the same thread).

That being said, the portability of the 13-inch is worth it in my opinion over the extra 8Hz at 4K. 52Hz seems totally fine! While 60Hz feels buttery smooth for day to day operation, 52Hz is almost there... I don't really notice the difference unless I'm looking for it. And yes, it's WAY better than 30Hz, which feels unbearable.

Just some technical info on the 52Hz thing, I think it stems from a hardware limitation from this chipset... according to intel this is what's going on:


DisplayPort 1.2 / eDP:
H-Processors: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
U-Processors: 3200 x 2000 @ 60 Hz
Y-Processors: 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz


The H-processors are used in the 15-inch, and the U-processors are used in the 13-inch rMBP. Since 3200x2000 is possible at 60Hz using the max bandwidth of the chipset... you could extrapolate that going to 3840x2160 should be possible at refresh rates higher than 30Hz... it must be about 52Hz!
 

jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
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Yeah I suppose you're right... One thing to keep in mind is that the 2013 models have thunderbolt 2 which allows for 20 Gbps... all I know is that 51.7Hz is what I'm able to get from a 450Mhz clock that this model provides over TB2, whereas you get 300MHz over HDMI (and I'm assuming the 2012 rMBP models)
 

kwijbo

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2012
199
1
Yeah I suppose you're right... One thing to keep in mind is that the 2013 models have thunderbolt 2 which allows for 20 Gbps... all I know is that 51.7Hz is what I'm able to get from a 450Mhz clock that this model provides over TB2, whereas you get 300MHz over HDMI (and I'm assuming the 2012 rMBP models)
If you have it running then you've got better info than me :cool: I'm just trying to calculate this stuff before I make a purchase. Its a pity that its so close but not quite there.
 

w0rd3r

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Jun 4, 2014
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I totale understand you kwijbo!
The 4K support is a total necessity for me. So this is the purpose of this thread guys. I can't be more thankful for the amount of informations I have now.

Even with my mac mini I am quite happy at 1080p HiDPI. But I still can see the difference with my 15" retina. I hope the 13" will look closer to my 15".

Such a shame that Apple does not allow that out of the box on very machine.

As far as we know, we can have : 1080p HiDPI 60Hz (or 720p HiDPI native) scaled on Mac Mini, 1080p HiDPI 51,7Hz on macbook pro retina 13".
 

jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
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Yeah, understandable!

One thing to note is that Intel may have just reported 3200 x 2000 @ 60 Hz because it is some resolution that makes sense... not the possible max you could possibly get 60 Hz at... my bet would be that there is some resolution between 3200 x 2000 and 3840 x 2160 that would let you achieve 60 Hz over a single stream with these U-series processors.

That being said, I think the most important factor is the 450 MHz pixel clock speed on the 13-inch rMBP. With the settings that I posted in switchresx you can see that given a 450 MHz clock you can get to 51.702 Hz scan rate. My monitor is accurately reporting a signal of 3840x2160 at 52 Hz, no doubt about it.
 

w0rd3r

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
145
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France
In order to enable HiDPI did you have to use this command in terminal?

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool YES;
sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver DisplayResolutionDisabled;
Or just a reboot with SwithResX?

By the way, Yosemite did not disable anything here on my mac mini. Can you guys try it on a 13" rMBP?
But I highly doubt it won't work.


About the math here, if we have 3840*2160 @51,7Hz, sure there is something lower at 60Hz, but why bother since screens are 3840*2160?

Hopefully the next MacBook refresh will bring native 4K support for everyone.

By the way, if you can try 60Hz vs. 52Hz, can you tell the difference?
I mean right now 1080p HiDPI scaled vs 1080p HiDPI I can tell the difference (which bothers me), so hopefully I won't tell 52Hz vs. 60Hz.


Thanks again
 

jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
15
Yup, it's just that command to enable it! You may need to reboot? Not sure.

Right, so, there aren't any 3200 x 2000 screens on the market, either, right? Maybe some weird laptop resolution? My guess is that they just picked some resolution that worked with 60 Hz to report that they tested with some panel, maybe a laptop. Maybe they didn't have anything between 3200 x 2000 and 3840x2160, so they reported 3840x2160 at 30 Hz rather than some strange (but nicer!) refresh rate like 51.7 Hz...
 

w0rd3r

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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France
I used this command to, but in Yosemite, the response for the 2nd Line was "file not found"
3200*2000, don't know any screen with such resolution, but it is something I read this a lot since a few years.
 

jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
15
And yes, between HiDPI and without there is a huge difference, I agree! HiDPI is much cleaner.

Between 52 Hz and 60 Hz there is a difference, but is very subtle, I barely notice it. What you could do is try to simulate the 52 Hz experience for yourself on your current monitor. If you go to switchresx you can create a custom resolution at 52 Hz for the resolution you want, restart your computer, and see how it feels!

Also, keep in mind that I achieved this result with a Samsung UD590 monitor... not sure what you were planning on using! No idea how this would work on one of the other (very expensive) 60 Hz 4K monitors on the market... to my knowledge the only 4K monitor that can do 60 Hz over single stream is the Samsung... I think the super expensive sharp is doing it over multi-stream, which is less ideal, and I think it might not even be properly enabled for the 13-inch in OS X. However, windows handles all of this over MST very nicely, and you can get 60 Hz on the 13-inch over MST in Windows just fine from what I've read...
 

w0rd3r

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
145
51
France
Of course HiDPI is the way To go ! Full res is not usable. Good idea I will give it a try with SwitchResX on my 15".

I did not now it was SST on U28d590d, I was sure it has To be MST to support 60Hz 2160p...

Anyway, as you can see I do plan To use it with u28d590d
 

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w0rd3r

macrumors regular
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Jun 4, 2014
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Interesting.

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) or Mac Pro (Late 2013) also support 60 Hz displays using multi-stream transport (MST).
So what about SST?

With OS X Mavericks v10.9.3 or later, the following DisplayPort displays are supported at their default 30 Hz using single-stream transport (SST).
Nothing on this page about SST and 60Hz.

And yes, my setup is quite nice I guess (it is only a mac mini under the desk and a 15" rMBP on the desk next to a 28" screen :D), I've been looking for a 4K display for a while, and I am very happy with my purchase. Totally worth the €500. The drawback for me is only 1 DP (2HDMI 1.4 are pretty useless since the max output is 30Hz).
 

jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
15
Yeah... that is what Apple says, but I think they're just ignoring the UD590 since it's not in their list of "supported displays." When that was written there weren't any Apple "supported" displays on the market with 60 Hz over SST!

That being said, others have reported the Samsung display to work at 60 Hz on the 2013 15-inch rMBP and the 2013 Mac Pro, so SST must be working on DisplayPort 1.2 equipped macs at 60 Hz...
 

jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
152
15
Also, here's some further support for the refresh rate I'm getting on this machine if this makes you feel more comfortable!
 

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jonisign

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
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Ah, interesting! Just out of curiosity, if you open switchresx what pixel clock do you get under Display Information? For the 13-inch I see 20-450 MHz listed as the range.
 
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