Can the MBP power dual 34" 4K monitors?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Apple!Fre@k, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Apple!Fre@k macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Hey guys, currently in a dilemma and could use some help. I own a mid-2012 27" iMac and a mid-2012 15" MBP. I use the MBP while I travel and the iMac at home. But the latest iMac came out today and I was planning to upgrade my iMac, but then I got to thinking... I'd love to run dual 34" screens, so maybe a new iMac isn't the best option. Looked into a Mac Pro, but the price seems high for the performance you get.

    So I'm wondering:

    Would a new MBP be able to solve all my needs and I could replace both machines with a new MBP and buy the dual displays?

    The latest 15" MBP tops out at 2.8GHz i7 with 16GB RAM and 1TB flash. My current iMac has a 3.4GHz i7 with 32GB RAM and 3TB Fusion. If I got the new iMac, it would be 4.0GHz i7 with 64GB RAM (supposedly only goes up to 32GB, but don't the Skylark processors support 64GB so I can put in 4 16GB chips and it would work?) and 3TB Fusion.

    So the question is: could the highest-spec MBP work for me and replace both my current MBP and my iMac?

    I'd have to live with the reduced RAM (probably possible).

    I'd have to live with less processing power. But how much, really? Real world every day usage, is there a massive difference between the 2.8GHz i7 in the MBP and the 4.0GHz i7 in the new iMac 27?

    But perhaps the biggest thing is the storage capacity. I'm already using 1.7TBs on my iMac, so I'd have to throw a solid terabyte worth of stuff onto an external drive on my desk hooked up to the dock I would slip the MBP into (or throw it into the cloud/Dropbox it in folders that don't sync to my machine).

    One of the biggest questions though is: can the current 15" MBP easily drive dual 34" 4K screens? I'd be getting two LG 34UC97-S displays with Thunderbolt that I would need the MBP to drive.

    Thanks for all of your help in helping me make this decision!
  2. porkrind macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2015
    Apple says:

    • Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840 by 2160 pixels on up to two external displays, both at millions of colors
    Note that the LG monitor you called out is not actually 4K though.
  3. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Ah, great info and good point. Where did you find that quote from Apple? Also, does that mean it will run both at 60Hz?

    And great point about the LG monitor I referenced not being 4K. Somehow I missed that. Do you know if there are any curved 34" 4K displays out there? I was to do dual 34" curved displays. :)
  4. OneZweiThree macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Also note, that the actual size of the display shouldn`t have any impact on the performance. It´s just about the resolution.
  5. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2013
    I would think there would be a significant processing difference under CPU heavy tasks considering that the MBP is in a thermally limited casing while the iMac isn't. If anything the iMac shouldn't need to worry about throttling.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    And the laptop has a severely TDP limited 45W mobile processor (albeit just about the best one available) and the iMac has a desktop processor.

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5 October 13, 2015