iMac Pro Works With Apple's New Pro Display XDR, But Limited to 5K Resolution

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,727
8,944



Shortly after the Pro Display XDR became available to order this week, Stephen Hackett of Relay FM noted that the iMac Pro was not included in the list of Mac models compatible with the display on Apple's website.


Fortunately, video editor Thomas Grove Carter has since demonstrated that the iMac Pro can in fact drive the Pro Display XDR, but only at a 5K resolution. This is likely because the iMac Pro uses Intel's older "Alpine Ridge" Thunderbolt 3 controller without enough bandwidth to drive a 6K display.


To use the Pro Display XDR at its full 6K resolution, the display must be connected to the new Mac Pro with MPX Module GPUs, a 2018 or later 15-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, or a 2019 iMac. To our best knowledge, all of these models are equipped with Intel's newer "Titan Ridge" Thunderbolt 3 controller.

The Pro Display XDR also works at full 6K resolution with any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports paired with a Blackmagic eGPU or Blackmagic eGPU Pro. Those external GPUs are equipped with the "Titan Ridge" controller as well.

The Pro Display XDR is aimed at professional users, with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. It is priced at $4,999 and up.

(Hat tip to Myke Hurley!)

Article Link: iMac Pro Works With Apple's New Pro Display XDR, But Limited to 5K Resolution
 

Canada420

macrumors member
Mar 16, 2012
69
68
Nope. Working in a degraded state from its peak performance is not best described as simply "working". That the iMac Pro can't push any flavor of 6k to their own external Pro display, just a huge flop and egg on Tims face.

Keep in mind the 16" MBP can drive the full 6K. Apple has some explaining to do to iMac Pro customers.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,829
405
In my imagination
Now this is excellent information to have. I haven't used a desktop Mac in a long time but may pick up a MacPro over an iMac Pro. My Apple laptops stay current, though, and the BMD eGPU Pro is a no brainer. I wasn't planning on buying an XDR for the home office but maybe I can convince the lady of the house to forgo the closet renovations.

Nope. Working in a degraded state from its peak performance is not best described as simply "working". That the iMac Pro can't push any flavor of 6k to thier own external Pro display, just a huge flop and egg on Tims face.
I know this solution stinks since it adds another $1k to your price, but you can drive the XDR from the eGPU plugged into the iMac Pro. It seems it's high time for an updated iMac Pro.
 

iBluetooth

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2016
172
216
I have the 5K LG monitor, but when I connect it with the Windows computer with Thunderbolt 3, I can only get 4K, guess this is similar issue. Apple is utilising the newest standard and that may not work with older CPU's / equipment.
 

recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
2,593
2,149
That sucks. I wonder if Apple will release a "normal" 5k display that would pair nicely with the iMac Pro/iMac and the mac mini.
I'd be very interested in the same panel they put on the iMac sold as an external display.
I bet it wouldn't be cheap, but as a good display can last for a decade I'd be willing to spend a good amount of money on it and I guess tons of Mac Mini and Macbook users would love to buy that product at a reasonable price.
The new display is simply too much expensive and developers like me cannot justify buying it just to write code, we need a big display with 5K resolution just like the iMac but don't need crazy high brightness and XDR
 

retta283

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2018
1,435
1,136
Kingman, AZ
Nope. Working in a degraded state from its peak performance is not best described as simply "working". That the iMac Pro can't push any flavor of 6k to their own external Pro display, just a huge flop and egg on Tims face.

Keep in mind the 16" MBP can drive the full 6K. Apple has some explaining to do to iMac Pro customers.
There's not really any explaining needed. The Thunderbolt spec for 6K wasn't included on the iMac Pro, so it wasn't possible. Not a scam or anything. They will need to update it in the next model, I am certain it will support the 6k display if they release a new model.
 

x-evil-x

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,661
2,398
I'd be very interested in the same panel they put on the iMac sold as an external display.
I bet it wouldn't be cheap, but as a good display can last for a decade I'd be willing to spend a good amount of money on it and I guess tons of Mac Mini and Macbook users would love to buy that product at a reasonable price.
The new display is simply too much expensive and developers like me cannot justify buying it just to write code, we need a big display with 5K resolution just like the iMac but don't need crazy high brightness and XDR
What is xdr :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: Marekul

adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
1,663
2,472
No one expected Apple to update its iMac Pro often but I do think Apple's "Pro" iMac should be able to drive their "Pro" display. They really should update it with new GPU & CPU options by Spring if they can. I would also love to see a "baby XDR" put into the iMac Pro. Further differentiate the iMac Pro from the iMac by sticking with 5K resolution but adopting some of the XDR's backlighting & anti-reflective finish on the iMac Pro.
 

recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
2,593
2,149
What is xdr :p
I meant the nanotexture glass, color calibration and stuff.
I get it is a really impressive display but who needs it? The 5K iMac would be more than enough, and they sold the 27'' display in the past, I wonder why they don't sell it now that they have revamped the Mac Mini and the iPad supports and external display
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlexGraphicD

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,829
405
In my imagination
as a good display can last for a decade I'd be willing to spend a good amount of money on it and I guess tons of Mac Mini and Macbook users would love to buy that product at a reasonable price.
The new display is simply too much expensive and developers like me cannot justify buying it just to write code, we need a big display with 5K resolution just like the iMac but don't need crazy high brightness and XDR
I agree. I don't know if I'd want to keep any monitor that wasn't top end for more than 5+ years, but having the option to upgrade, or to keep and use the 32" I have now would be lovely.

The XDR is a sweet monitor, 6k and high spec'd for $5000 is nice given a decent amount of midrange reference displays start at $7000, but I'd be sleeping in the garage if I brought one home.

well if apple updated the intrenals of the imac pro around the same time this wouldnt be a problem. imac pro with decmeber 2017 specs and asking for 4000+. come on
This is very true. At $4000 I'd wait for the upgrade. We keep asking the world of Apple, they just updated the cheese grater Mac Pro (since the trashcan is really just a MacMini Pro) and released the XDR, a few weeks ago it was a 16" Macbook Pro that actually gave us what we wanted, and soon it'll be the iMac and iMac Pro.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AxiomaticRubric

nexusrule

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2012
481
444
Nope. Working in a degraded state from its peak performance is not best described as simply "working". That the iMac Pro can't push any flavor of 6k to their own external Pro display, just a huge flop and egg on Tims face.

Keep in mind the 16" MBP can drive the full 6K. Apple has some explaining to do to iMac Pro customers.
Or maybe you should understand how technology works before talking about it. iMac Pro customers bought a product that by its own spec is able to drive displays up to 5k, so I really doubt they expected it to drive a 6k display. Hardware specs are fixed, they don’t magically auto update when a new product it’s released. I don’t expect my MacBook Pro model 2015 to drive a 5k display just because now there are 5k display on sale.