Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

pragmatous

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 23, 2012
1,378
99
I can't seem to find any information about it but does anyone know if the classic MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) supports 4k display? :apple:
 

CaffeinatedNoms

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2014
73
1
Northeast England
It's important to remember that, especially with integrated graphics that share system memory, a 4k image will take a lot of memory to process, not to mention the 28gigabit data throughput just to keep the image in sync on the screen.

Even when you drop the refresh rate to 30fps, you still need 14gigabit throughput, which is higher than Thunderbolt's 10gbps - thus the requirement for 20gbit Thunderbolt 2 devices.

Edit: sheesh, and I thought having 1mb of VRAM in my old PowerMac was cool. 800x600 @ 16k colours <3
 
Last edited:

TheIguana

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2004
678
492
Canada
Only Macs with Thunderbolt 2 support 4K.

And only the 15" late-2013 rMBP and nMP support 4K at 60 Hz, officially.

It has nothing to do with official or not, it is a straight hardware limitation on the Intel hardware side of things for other models. From Intel's official documentation:

Code:
H-Processors: 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz (Ultra-HD)
U-Processors: 3200 x 2000 @ 60 Hz, 3840x2160@30Hz
Y-Processors: 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz

All 13" rMBP have U class processors, all 15" rMBP have H class processors.
 

kwijbo

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2012
249
131
It's important to remember that, especially with integrated graphics that share system memory, a 4k image will take a lot of memory to process, not to mention the 28gigabit data throughput just to keep the image in sync on the screen.

Even when you drop the refresh rate to 30fps, you still need 14gigabit throughput, which is higher than Thunderbolt's 10gbps - thus the requirement for 20gbit Thunderbolt 2 devices.

Not quite, if a 4k stream is 28 Gbps then it wouldn't work even on TB2 devices like the Mac Pro and 15" Macbook Pro. A 4k60Hz stream is ~12 Gbps and 30Hz ~6 Gbps.

The limitation for the particular model mentioned by the OP comes from its connection, TB1. TB1 uses the DisplayPort 1.1a protocol which has a max throughput of 8.64 Gbps so 4k60Hz is beyond its capabilities, however it has enough raw throughput to potentially transfer 4k30Hz. See slide 18 here (per VESA)*.
*Note that they use full 4k x 2k resolution vs 3840 x 2160 which most if not all of the consumer models available currently use so their data rates are higher than most are seeing in practice.

I don't have the means to test this but I'd guess if the OP had a 4k monitor and tried to display 4k30Hz it wouldn't work in OS X due to lack of driver support (maybe with SwitchResX?) but in Windows where the machine would transmit using pure DP protocol through the port there's evidence to believe it may work.
 

natshaw

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2014
11
4
I can't seem to find any information about it but does anyone know if the classic MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) supports 4k display? :apple:
Yes, it does. Non-retina: 4k@30Hz. Retina: 4k@60Hz over dual (MST) cables, monitor must support MST.
 

abhinnav

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2019
1
0
I tried to connect my MBP mid-2012 non retina to a 4K external display however, the display was not detected. How do I make it work?
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
6,001
1,101
I can't seem to find any information about it but does anyone know if the classic MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) supports 4k display? :apple:

With SwitchResX, I could achieve around 37Hz on the HDMI output and 42 Hz over DisplayPort on the early 2013 15" rMBP, which has the same graphics subsystem as the 2012 rMBP. The difference between even 37Hz and 30 Hz is huuuuge. Get the trial version and give it a try. Make sure you test tweaking both DP and HDMI.
 

silegnav

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2009
5
0
I have a new Samsung display WQHD 34" (3440x1440) @ 60hz working natively with my mid 2012 non-retina 15" macbook pro. It's not quite 4K but I'm going to assume full 4K would work. I had to use a mini display port to full display port cable to get the full resolution, HDMI wasn't having it. I'm running the latest Catalina update. Link to the cable I'm using. Some webpages can be a little laggy to load all the elements, i.e. Newegg, and I wouldn't streaming 4K content from Netflix doesn't look as crisp/sharp as I'd hoped, but is looking as crisp as I hoped, but no crashes or strange artifacts. I'd say performance is fine for general usage with apps and productivity, but since I don't game I can't speak to that use case. I'm just glad I can still get some life out of this 9.5 year old clunker.





Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 2.59.01 PM (2).png
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.