How well does the new, 2018, MBP 13" (i5) handle 4K?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JohnS13, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. JohnS13, Oct 2, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018

    JohnS13 macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2018
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hi, I'm waiting for my 2018 MBP to arrive and I'm thinking of getting a 4K monitor to go with it. Because I don't have much experience with newer laptops, using a MBP 13" from 2009, I'm not sure what to expect. I know from specifications what the new ones can/will handle, but not how good.

    For my case I wonder if the fans will go wild or if the experience will by laggy for normal tasks and 4K YouTube videos, Netflix. I don't think I could stand the fans going wild for such things.

    I don't have the possibility to visit an Apple store, so if there is anyone here with this combo, MBP 13" i5 2018 + 4K monitor. How is your experience?

    Any input is appreciated, thanks!
  2. Giano macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2013
    I'm interested as well! That will be my configuration in a month or so.
  3. buran-energia macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2017
  4. WickedPorter macrumors regular


    Sep 28, 2012
    In my home office, I use a Caldigit TS3 dock connected to a 1080p external display and a 32" 4K external display (so three displays running at the same time if you count the macbook display)... I have the 2018 13" MBP i5/16GB. I haven't had any issues, it works fine. Note that various encoding and compression algorithms, video players, etc. exert load differently on the CPU. Regardless, no issues and no noticeable fan noise.
  5. benobi macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2016
    I have yet to do extensive 4k editing on my MBP. I have the 2018 13"/i5/16 as well. However, I suffered extreme slowdown attempting to edit on my previous 2016 13". I was working with GH4 and GH5 4k (no proxies) in Premiere. It was a slugfest just playing back watchable material in the timeline.

    That being said, there are several new factors to consider besides just the spec bump to quad core in 2018.

    1) Final Cut X supposedly runs circles around Premiere as far as performance goes on a Mac. I have heard people editing 4k video on a 2016 Macbook (not Pro, Macbook) with Final Cut and raving about the buttery smooth experience and relatively fast export times.
    2) Premiere Pro was updated earlier this year to be more optimized for the Mac, which has improved playback performance dramatically (but still not close to FCPX)
    3) I still think codec plays a huge factor. If you can convert your 4k footage to ProRes or similar NLE-friendly codec, it will improve performance dramatically. A small anecdote, I recently needed to make a very small alteration to a feature-length 2k Prores file. I had to add something to the end and re-export. So really, it was only 2 clips joined at the end. Despite the material being almost 100 min in length, it only took 45 min to export on my 2018 MBP in Premiere. I was pretty impressed.

    All that to say, I can't say with full confidence that this will handle most 4k projects with ease, but if you think about it, the processors in the 2018 13" are more powerful than just about any 15" MBP that came before 2018.
  6. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    I use my 2016 13” with a 4K monitor about half the time. Works great. Looks amazing.

    I haven’t tried watching any 4K content or done any editing though
  7. JohnS13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2018
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thank you for your input, I appreciate it. Sounds promising.

    Thanks for the input! Maybe I wasn't specific in my original post, I don't plan to do do any 4K editing, just watching. (English is not my main language) Other than that, mostly programming and reading PDF's :D

    Thanks for the input! I'm not interested in editing, just consuming.

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6 October 2, 2018