Apple's remaining surprise....4K at 60Hz.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacVidCards, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I have been dealing with the details of running a current gen 4K display.

    The one I got is identical to the one Apple has shown in photos with Mac Pro. (Sharp PN-K321, I have Asus PQ-321).

    A little detail that hasn't been mentioned much is how these displays run. In order to get to 4K with today's parts, the displays actually run as 2 separate panels, each one is 1920x2160.

    When you get boot screens, the right side half fires up, then the left. The speed of the pixel clock maxes out on one connection and requires this dual wide setup. Windows drivers make up for this using multi-display tech. AMD has called this "Eyefinity" and Nvidia has their own name. The driver looks at the PQ-321 as 2 displays but links them. This way they are able to run the display at 60HZ. You can do this with either a single DP 1.2 connection, or by "doubling down" on the HDMIs. Either way, the drivers compensate invisibly.

    In OSX 10.9 there is currently NO WAY to run the display at 60Hz.

    So, as it stands, 4K is kind of NOT READY for OSX yet. At 30Hz, you can see the mouse "hopping" across the screen. Boot into WIndows at 60 Hz and it smooths out nicely.

    In effect, the whole 4K package isn't "gelled" yet. I imagine that future 4K displays will not require this kludge. There is no way that serious editing folks are going to settle for OSX 4K being half as good as booting into Windows.

    I was thinking about this last night, and it hints at something.


    1. Apple is going to "one more thing" us and have a 4K display announced for shipment in near future. It will be designed for Mac Pro and will solve this 60Hz dilemma.

    2. Apple is going to include a 10.9.1 update for nMP that includes something akin to "Eyefinity" for the Dx00 cards to enable this monitor to run at 60Hz.

    I have tried using ChangeRes-X without results. Part of it is I can't understand how to use the app, but Marcel wrote me back, he thinks there is a max pixel clock supported by OSX and running at 60Hz would exceed that.

    So, either new display in the wings, or OS support for a Windows feature that we previously haven't had...or Apple is going to go stone deaf and pretend they don't hear all of the "Pros" complaining about being stuck at 30Hz in OSX.

    Next 45 days will be interesting.
  2. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    Do I infer correctly from your post that there will be a "just for Apple" 4K monitor? If so, what does this imply for other brands?

    I like my 30 ACD, but frankly, my NEC is a much better display.
  3. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    This is the one thing that's stopping me from grabbing a 4k monitor for editing. I want/need fluid motion for video playback and UI. Thanks for the info.
  4. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I have to say that currently the bleeding edge is a PITA.

    Cross booting from OSX & Win is the biggest issue.

    The lack of 60hz support in OSX is biggest problem. This is exacerbated by the goofiest, most poorly thought out controls imaginable on the display.

    But currently, if you are working in Win and decide to switch to OSX you end up with half a display. Literally.

    The left half is running at 1920x2160 and the right is black.

    So to use DP in OSX, you have to switch back to SST from MST. It is between 6 and 8 button presses in precise order to do this. Then you get comfy and decide to switch back to Windows.

    BANG you end up on an oddly compressed and distorted desktop.

    The two OSs seem to battle with neither caring for how the other deals with 4K.

    I think I will sit down and do some screen shots and engage community, hopefully there is some way to use 4K at 60hz in OSX.
  5. nol2001 macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2013
    Preview users

    I can't believe that the photographer who they said used 4K new Mac Pro at the keynote was not using 60Hz
  6. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I would assume the mac pro will support 60Hz, just not the rMBP at this time.
  7. nox-uk macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2012
    Did anyone spot what monitor he was using?

  8. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    If the new Mac Pro cannot output 4k at 60 Hz, then I shall eat my hat. I don't have a hat, so I am going to buy one and then eat it.
  9. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    It was the Sharp version of the Asus I got.

    I believe it is quite possible and hopefully true that it was running at 4K /60Hz.

    I am just pointing out that with current equipment that is capable of outputting at 4K/60Hz, the Apple drivers currently don't allow it.

    So, hopefully Apple is going to have an OS update at same time and allow this. The new rMBP came with much bragging about "4K" but can only do 4K at 30 Hz. Maybe it will gain it at same time.

    Currently the Windows drivers that permit 4K/60Hz are using MST which is basically taking advantage of "Eye-Finity" style desktop bonding. So two completely separate monitors are linked via drivers. We have no such support in OSX currently, this is why I am very eager to see what nMP does and how it is done.
  10. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    It's clear that Apple already has a custom version of Mavericks for the nMP and will support think otherwise is ludicrous, particularly considering that Apple is at the leading edge of creative markets.
  11. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    Haven't seen it mentioned once on the website for the rMBP or the keynote.
  12. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I imagine OS X 10.9.2 will support this.

    .1 is due out soon, and .2 is being seeded internally at the moment too, which will probably be released with the new Mac Pros.
  13. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Didn't they say only 2 4K displays would be supported off of one Mac Pro?

    That leads me to think they are doing some sort of Eyefinity thing where basically they're throwing an entire GPU at each 4k display.
  14. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    They say "up to three".
  15. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    It's mentioned in three places:

    1. Apple's specifications page for the rMBP
    2. The apple thunderbolt page
    3. This specific page addressing 4K and the rMBP
  16. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    TB2 supports DP 1.2 so there is no reason why, from a hardware point of view, the new Mac Pro (and the 2013 rMBP) should not be able to support 4K at 60Hz using the TB2 ports. Hopefully this is fixed via a software update in the new future.

  17. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    That is HDMI video output. I thought you meant they touted rMBP for 4K display workflows like they did with Mac Pro. They didn't. It says

    "Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays, both at millions of colors"
  18. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    No... the 2nd link clearly refers to 4K support through thunderbolt. As the previous poster mentioned, the thunderbolt 2 chip support mini displayport 1.2 technology which support multi-stream video output which supports 4K resolution at 60hz through the THUNDERBOLT/MINIDISPLAY PORT, NOT the HDMI port.
  19. Mike777 macrumors member

    May 1, 2010
    As IF the retina macbook pro has 2x2gb fire pro cards which are especially designed to handle large resolutions and data sets.

    Not even sure why thread exists.
  20. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Because 4k is the future

    Because the hardware to do it already exists in Mac Products

    Because it is currently turned off in software

    Because it will obviously be turned "on" in software very soon.

    Need any other reasons?

    How about it's more interesting and relevant than next "squawking birds" IOS release?
  21. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Holy crap, is that coming out soon? I hope they change the icon colors again!
  22. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Yes, the other port it isn't supported through.:

    I don't think I have articulated the meaning of this well.

    Currently several Macs have hardware that is capable of 4K at 60Hz.

    As of right this second, I don't think there is any way to USE the hardware like that unless you BOOT INTO WINDOWS.

    To enable this ability requires that Apple change how display drivers work in a fundamental sense. So it is possible that there is an Eyefinity type display support coming with nMP.

    I am not just typing because my fingers need the exercise. There is something else around corner that we don't know about and "changes" things. Either an Apple 4K display, or a new way to run displays in general. There is currently no framework in OSX that permits 4K at 60Hz.

    Several poeple have typed in "but DP 1.2 does"...yes, it does...WHEN YOU BOOT INTO WINDOWS. So currently, if you want bleeding edge tech in a Mac, you need to BOOT INTO WINDOWS. Unless they are content leaving 4K support a joke whilst simultaneously bragging about it, SOMETHING NEW IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER.
  23. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    Yes, I know... I wrote the post you referenced me too :)
    DP 1.2 is supported hardware wise, just not on os x side.
  24. Not That Future macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    Now this is something to look forward to! Thanks for the heads up OP, I am nearly 100% positive Apple will be releasing new Thunderbolt displays alongside the nMP. Wasn't the first TB display released alongside the premier of Thunderbolt 1, on the rMBP I believe?

    As everyone's pointed out, it would be backwards and utterly stupid for Apple not to put out a new display. I still have my doubts of 4K coming from them this year (simply because of costs, display manufacturers, availability, etc), but a refresh/redesign is vastly overdue. Apple would be shooting itself in the foot if they didn't deliver on new displays...
  25. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    yeah i highly doubt a new 4k display will be released by Apple this year. but hopefully soon next year

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