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antibolo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 27, 2017
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444
Hello all, I'm considering the purchase of a used pre-trashcan Mac Pro (either a 5,1 or flashed 4,1) because I'd like to have a Mac I can actually tinker with. However I'm wondering what is the current situation on the market for 5K displays, and how compatible they are with whatever GPUs can be installed in a Mac Pro?

I know Apple's recommended solution for external 5K is that one LG 5K monitor they sell on their store, but it appears to be Thunderbolt only, which I assume is a non-starter for connecting to a Mac Pro 5,1...

I currently own a iMac 5K that I would like sell off if a Mac Pro can replace it completely, but I really enjoy 5K resolution (especially in Lightroom) and would be pretty sad to let it go...
 

mattspace

macrumors 68040
Jun 5, 2013
3,240
2,906
Australia
I currently own a iMac 5K that I would like sell off if a Mac Pro can replace it completely, but I really enjoy 5K resolution (especially in Lightroom) and would be pretty sad to let it go...

How important is Lightroom to you - are you just messing about, or is photography a serious application?

Of the 5K panels that exist, or have existed, Dell, Philips and HP produced actual true 10-bit panels. The iiyama XB2779QQS-S1 is an 8 bit, and all Apple panels, as well as the LG thunderbolt display are 8bit plus frame rate control to simulate 10 bit.

Check out Displayspecifications.com for any of those monitors, and scroll to the bottom, you'll find them in comparisons with each other. Again, if photography (and accurate colour) is the main concern, I'd go with a 4k screen, scaling to 1440p, that is true 10 bit & has a proper directly addressable LUT.

5k dual displayport connections seem to be a bit hit & miss as to whether they work reliably - i don't think it ever got to the stage where it was turnkey reliable.
 
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antibolo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 27, 2017
270
444
How important is Lightroom to you - are you just messing about, or is photography a serious application?

Of the 5K panels that exist, or have existed, Dell, Philips and HP produced actual true 10-bit panels. The iiyama XB2779QQS-S1 is an 8 bit, and all Apple panels, as well as the LG thunderbolt display are 8bit plus frame rate control to simulate 10 bit.

Check out Displayspecifications.com for any of those monitors, and scroll to the bottom, you'll find them in comparisons with each other. Again, if photography (and accurate colour) is the main concern, I'd go with a 4k screen, scaling to 1440p, that is true 10 bit & has a proper directly addressable LUT.

5k dual displayport connections seem to be a bit hit & miss as to whether they work reliably - i don't think it ever got to the stage where it was turnkey reliable.

Does macOS even support 10bit displays? I was under the impression that Apple never bothered to add support for it. Or did that recently change?
 

mattspace

macrumors 68040
Jun 5, 2013
3,240
2,906
Australia
Does macOS even support 10bit displays? I was under the impression that Apple never bothered to add support for it. Or did that recently change?

Yes and No. It supports 30 bit colour / 10 bit display natively on Apple-provided displays, and on LG's Thunderbolt display. With SwitchResX you can enable it on any other 10 bit display. THEN your apps need to be capable of outputting 10 bit colour. For example, Preview will show a proper 10 bit gradient in a file, Finder's quicklook preview of the same file, will not. Affinity Photo, No. Aperture, No. New Adobe CC, I suspect it will.
 

antibolo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 27, 2017
270
444
Yes and No. It supports 30 bit colour / 10 bit display natively on Apple-provided displays, and on LG's Thunderbolt display. With SwitchResX you can enable it on any other 10 bit display. THEN your apps need to be capable of outputting 10 bit colour. For example, Preview will show a proper 10 bit gradient in a file, Finder's quicklook preview of the same file, will not. Affinity Photo, No. Aperture, No. New Adobe CC, I suspect it will.

OK, that doesn't sound like it's worth the hassle for me (Lightroom is just a hobby).

In any case I guess I won't get a Mac Pro after all, I've become used to 5K too much to downgrade, and the external 5K solutions aren't looking too good.
 

bookemdano

macrumors 68000
Jul 29, 2011
1,513
844
The LG 5K monitor is Thunderbolt 3. That's not the same thing as USB-C. Yes, Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB-C connector but it's a whole lot more than just USB under the hood.
 
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