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Hi Res Monitor for Late 2013 MBP in Clamshell Mode

kong85

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2011
32
2
Singapore
Hi all,

I have the 15 inch retina MBP (Late 2013) which is still going strong and have recently hooked it up to a standard 23 inch 1080p screen via HDMI. The definition / pixel density is pretty awful compared to the retina screen, so I'm looking for a new screen that I can run at higher resolution. Looking at the specs, I could run higher resolutions on HDMI, but sacrifice refresh rate:

Support for 1080p resolution at up to 60Hz
Support for 3840-by-2160 resolution at 30Hz
Support for 4096-by-2160 resolution at 24Hz

Or I could go via Thunderbolt:

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
From: https://support.apple.com/kb/SP690?locale=en_GB

I guess the best option is a QHD screen via Thunderbolt / DisplayPort? Does anyone have any experience or suggestions on well priced QHD screens?

Many thanks in advance!
 

PeterJP

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2012
657
422
Leuven, Belgium
I work on a late 2013 13" MBP with a 2560x1440 as we speak. And not in clamshell, but using the internal display at the same time. Works fine. Connected via DisplayPort. I don't know how much Hz I'm getting, but it's rock solid. This is a Dell U2711, so a bit old. It was €600 back then but you can get the same quality for half the price now.
 
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bill-p

macrumors 68020
Jul 23, 2011
2,219
660
You can look on eBay or Facebook Marketplace for used Apple Thunderbolt Display. I just bought a used one for $180 and it's the best option for that line of MacBook IMO.

The 2015 MBP line supports up to 4K @ 60Hz but it's a sub-optimal solution either way. You really need one of the more recent Macs in order to get reasonable performance at 4K.
 
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profcutter

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2019
468
200
I ran a 4k monitor off my 2013 mbp in clamshell mode for years. Should run at 60hz as long as you’re using Thunderbolt.
 
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kong85

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2011
32
2
Singapore
Thanks guys, that's all really good to know! I was thinking I had to bring my laptop to the store just to be sure but sounds like it should be able to run 4k in clamshell via Thunderbolt. Will check out the Dell U series and Apple Thunderbolt display. I'm in Singapore so a littler harder to get good second hand deals here but you never know.

Has anyone tried the ultra wide displays from Dell, Samsung, LG?
 
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kong85

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2011
32
2
Singapore
I ran a 4k monitor off my 2013 mbp in clamshell mode for years. Should run at 60hz as long as you’re using Thunderbolt.

Thanks. That's good to know. I actually found someone who posted in this thread saying the same thing so I may give the 4k display a go. What cable did you use to achieve this? Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort?
 
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kong85

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2011
32
2
Singapore
Guys, quick update. Got the Dell U2720Q (4K) and works a charm in clamshell mode. Can't believe how well my (almost) 8 year old MBP is handling it.

Thanks for the advice!
 
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Manos86

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2020
1
0
Guys, quick update. Got the Dell U2720Q (4K) and works a charm in clamshell mode. Can't believe how well my (almost) 8 year old MBP is handling it.

Thanks for the advice!

Hi. Would you confirm that your 15 inch retina MBP (Late 2013) runs with Dell U2720Q (4K) in 60Hz?
If so, what cable/configuration did you use?

I want to buy the same monitor for my 13 inch retina MBP (Late 2013)
 
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kong85

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2011
32
2
Singapore
Hi. Would you confirm that your 15 inch retina MBP (Late 2013) runs with Dell U2720Q (4K) in 60Hz?
If so, what cable/configuration did you use?

I want to buy the same monitor for my 13 inch retina MBP (Late 2013)

Can confirm it works. I used the thunderbolt port (mini DP to DP cable). Handles it very well.

My MBP config is the 2.3GHz i7 DG so not sure if that makes a difference:
 
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profcutter

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2019
468
200
Yeah, more to the point, from Everymac:
Late 2013 13 inch
Dual/Mirroring* 2nd Max. Resolution: 2560x1600 (x2*)
Details: *This model supports a simultaneous maximum resolution up to 2560x1600 on two external displays via Thunderbolt. Alternately, it can support a single display up to 2560x1600 via Thunderbolt and a single 1080p display at up to 60 Hz, 3840x2160 at 30 Hz, or 4096x2160 at 24 Hz via HDMI.
 
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