4k display support for MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pragmatous, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    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:
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Only Macs with Thunderbolt 2 support 4K.

    And only the 15" late-2013 rMBP and nMP support 4K at 60 Hz, officially.
  3. pragmatous thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    thanks still sad news :(

  4. CaffeinatedNoms, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014

    CaffeinatedNoms macrumors member


    Jun 8, 2014
    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
  5. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    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:

    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.
  6. kwijbo macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2012
    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.
  7. natshaw macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014
    Yes, it does. Non-retina: 4k@30Hz. Retina: 4k@60Hz over dual (MST) cables, monitor must support MST.

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