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Is a 4K display a possibility for next MBP?

Yoms

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2016
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Hi all,

Any rumors pointing to such a screen?

Lenovo, MSI, Acer already have such laptop. Would the next release of the MBP, at least de 15", be the one that includes it as well?
 

throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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Maybe. But there's not really any point, unless it's a physically much larger macbook.

"4k" is a tick box that OEMs can put on the box that looks good. It's pointless on a screen as small as a macbook pro though. Apple doesn't do feature tick-boxing for the sake of it. And it's hilarious on windows machines anyway as huge parts of the OS and plenty of apps just don't work very well at all with high-dpi displays.

That said, if all the display vendors start making 4k in that size then Apple will likely use whatever panel is on the market that is "retina or better", and scale the desktop to suit, as they do with retina today.
 
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Tolien

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2005
31
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With OSX's pixel doubling, a 4K display is effectively 2k — 1920x1080@2x in a 15" would be nice, or even just matching the 1680x1050 in the 2011 HiRes 15"…
 
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throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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Perth, Western Australia
With OSX's pixel doubling, a 4K display is effectively 2k — 1920x1080@2x in a 15" would be nice, or even just matching the 1680x1050 in the 2011 HiRes 15"…

There's no reason you couldn't do either of those "looks like" resolutions via scaling on a retina 15" display today; other than the fact that maybe(?) apple haven't put them into the OS. I can do "looks like" 1680x1050 on my 13" retina today. Not sure what the 15" does.

Retina doesn't just do pixel doubling, it's a little more complicated than that...
 
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jclardy

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Oct 6, 2008
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There's no reason you couldn't do either of those "looks like" resolutions via scaling on a retina 15" display today; other than the fact that maybe(?) apple haven't put them into the OS. I can do "looks like" 1680x1050 on my 13" retina today. Not sure what the 15" does.

Retina doesn't just do pixel doubling, it's a little more complicated than that...
If you want a pixel perfect display all it can do is doubling. The scaled resolutions are more taxing on the GPU because it is essentially super-sampling - rendering to a larger virtual display then scaling it down to the actual pixel dimensions.

Personally I hope they put a 14" display in the 13" body (Less/no screen bezel) and give it a 3360x2100 display, giving it a "retina" usable resolution of 1680x1050. Also this will allow the smaller rMBP to have a scaled resolution of 1920x1080 (Although you can probably already do it via SwitchResX I imagine.)
 
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throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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If you want a pixel perfect display all it can do is doubling. The scaled resolutions are more taxing on the GPU because it is essentially super-sampling - rendering to a larger virtual display then scaling it down to the actual pixel dimensions.

Personally I hope they put a 14" display in the 13" body (Less/no screen bezel) and give it a 3360x2100 display, giving it a "retina" usable resolution of 1680x1050. Also this will allow the smaller rMBP to have a scaled resolution of 1920x1080 (Although you can probably already do it via SwitchResX I imagine.)


When the dots are small enough (i.e., retina) no, you don't need to do doubling to get "pixel perfect". You seem to think that an integer scaling factor is required, but because it's high enough res (And rendered at 2x before scaling back down) it just doesn't matter.

Yes, in theory the scaling may be more taxing on the GPU but in reality i can't see any significant performance impact running 1680x1050 vs 1280x800 "looks like" resolutions on my 13" Retina.
 
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Yoms

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2016
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60
Hi,
Thanks for your inputs so far.

Well, I don't see why Apple GPU wouldn't handle a 4K display in a forthcoming MBP. if I'm not mistaken, iMacs use mobile GPU too and it's able to handle 5K.

As for the interest/use of it, I see 3 reasons:
First, I buy a new computer every 6-7 years and when 4K content will be available for real in say 2 years, I'll be quite happy to have them displayed in the native resolution without any sort of scaling/interpolation and without having to change laptop.

Secondly, the most important reason for me would be for photography. I'd like very much not to end with just a fragment of the picture when zooming in at 100%. 4K would still be far away of 36MP Raw files produced by a Nikon D810 DSLR, but would still be a nice step forward. Many photographers need a laptop, especially on the go (and not an iPad).

Final reason may sound pretty stupid, I admit, but as other brands have already started to make such laptops, can Apple just stay behind?
 
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emilioestevez

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Aug 25, 2015
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iMacs use much more powerful graphics cards, like the AMD M395X with 4GB of vRAM. Those cards require much more power as well.
 
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omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
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I think for the vast majority 3840x2160 on a 15" won't be visibly different than 2880x1800 -- as others suggest, other manufacturers are just for bragging rights, since drain on battery to support more pixels doesn't seem worth it.

I actually run my rMBP 15" unscaled/native, but it's right at the edge of my visual acuity and if I'm tired its hard to read. Now if apple would release a 17" 3840x2160, that might be interesting.... :)
 
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Yoms

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2016
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I think for the vast majority 3840x2160 on a 15" won't be visibly different than 2880x1800 -- as others suggest, other manufacturers are just for bragging rights, since drain on battery to support more pixels doesn't seem worth it.

I actually run my rMBP 15" unscaled/native, but it's right at the edge of my visual acuity and if I'm tired its hard to read. Now if apple would release a 17" 3840x2160, that might be interesting.... :)

As for me, I'd rather have 4K in a more compact size, i.e. 15" instead of 17". But that's just me (and probably a vast majority of photographers )
 
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Closingracer

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2010
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Apple's mobile graphics can't handle 4K.

4K = reduced battery life.

Retina's good enough.



Didn't know Apple is in the chip making business ( it isn't). Intel graphics used can handle 4k on the windows side with lower graphics than the Intel iris 6100 and whatever will be in the newer Macbooks. The Intel 520 and 540 can handle 4k so the new skylake chips in the Macbook pros can handle it as well


Also retina isn't a screen resolution just an Apple gimmick to name it something just like Dell infinity display and etc
 
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Yoms

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2016
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But I guess the answer to my initial question is no: there's no rumor pointing to a 4K panel, right?
 
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kevinkyoo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
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But I guess the answer to my initial question is no: there's no rumor pointing to a 4K panel, right?

No rumors, and I doubt we'll see 4K. As other people here have said, it goes against two main things of Apple's laptops: Price for the consumer (And for Apple - a cut in profit margins), and battery life loss.
 
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Yoms

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2016
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Any chance though to see an improvement that doesn't concern resolution? Such as the P3 panel found in the iMac 5k scaled down to MBP sizes?
 
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