Is the d500 to slow for 4k displays.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by richard371, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. richard371 macrumors 68020

    Feb 1, 2008
    I played around with a pro at the Apple Store with the 4k monitor attached to it. I dragged Safari window around the screen and it seems choppy, Far more choppy then the retina iMac. Is this typical behavior with a macpro and 4k monitor? Will the d500 handle a thunder old 5k monitor when released?
  2. Mattstrete macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2011

    I'm running a 4K display with 2 HD displays and it's fine. Scrolling is smooth. Window resizing and mission control is jerky, as it has ALWAYS been with HiDPI in OS X.

    There has been controversy around HiDPI scaling in OS X since the rMBP was released. I know, because I bought a rMBP as soon as it was available. Things have got a bit better since. Pushing the UI to its breaking point will reveal choppiness because there are a number of things going on with UI scaling. I suspect that a lot of the scaling is still being done in software.

    I play Dragon Age Inquisition on very high settings in Bootcamp at 4K and I have no problem ... so I don't think it's a graphics hardware horsepower issue (although, granted, that's via Crossfire. I wish OS X was crossfired).


    My "no" was in answer to your first question, ie. whether the nMP with D500s can is "too slow" for 4K.

    To answer your second question: there's a LOT of controversy about 5K in OS X at the moment in relation to the nMP. There's a review of the Dell 5K display on the product's Amazon page at the moment in which the reviewer has said he tested the display with Bootcamp using the AMD Omega drivers with dual mini-display inputs and it worked. He concludes its a driver issue.

    So, Apple MAY release a 5K thunderbolt display, but provided there's a driver update for the nMP, it would ONLY work with the nMP, and only with a dual thunderbolt/mini display port input. It seems that's it technically possible, then. But whether Apple would release a 5K external display which would only work with the nMP, or whether it would wait for the DisplayPort 1.3 spec to be released across its product line to do so, remains to be seen.
  3. richard371 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 1, 2008
    Thanks. So what is the best 4k monitor for the nMP thats under $1500 and does 60hz. Something comparable to the iMac retina display.
  4. Mattstrete macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Umm, I don't work in dollars. But my Samsung 28" 4K display has been fine.
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I run a pair of 4K monitors on my nMP with D500s and they are as smooth as butter with OS X and even Apple Apps... Dragging windows, minimize to dock animations, Aperture adjustments, etc.

    However, some software struggles at 4K like a couple of photo editing apps I'm evaluating to replace Aperture, but it's been determined that they just haven't been optimized for 4K or 5K screens... It's a lot of pixels to update (say when adjusting a RAW file full screen at 4K res) and it's clear some software vendors need to take better advantage of the hardware (OpenGL or OpenCL) to smooth things out. So if possible, I would ask about the key apps you intend to use on 4K.

    The best 4K monitors right now (IMHO) are the new Dell P2715Q and P2415Q that are around $500-$600 with great specs and no real issues. There's a lengthy thread in the Peripherals forum.
  6. teeck2000 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    I played with the D500 on a 32" asus 4k monitor and the UI was pretty smooth.

    BUT, OS X Hidpi mode does seem to get choppy sometimes, especially on yosemite, if you don't use the "best for retina". Software issue, hardware is perfectly fine.
  7. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I'd say the same as VirtualRain.

    I just got a couple of the 27" Dell P2715Q's and they work great with the D300's of my nMP, so D500's will work great as well.

    As VirtualRain basically said, any general system performance issues with the 4Ks will be due to the software optimization, not the GPUs, i.e. if something doesn't run smoothly on the D500's, it's not going to run smoothly with any GPU.
  8. edanuff macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2008
    The display at the Apple Store may have been running at 30Hz and also the older Sharp 4Ks they typically have in the store aren't that great in terms of response and input lag. I'm running two P2415Qs attached to a D500 nMP and don't see any choppiness either.
  9. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2011
    This is very true. My time with the LG 31um97 and Samsung UD970 Lightroom looked amazing but ran about 25-50% slower running Lightroom 5.7 doing things like rapidly zooming 100%/Fit to screen and complex brush adjustments because Adobe hasn't added real GPU acceleration to the program. Fingers crossed they start to really utilize GPU for Lightroom 6.
  10. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Thunderbolt is highly unlikely. Thunderbolt doesn't solve the problem. Thunderbolt v2.0 only carries DisplayPort 1.2. DP 1.2 needs two separate streams on individual cables to do 5K.

    Even TB v3 is still only a carrier of DP v1.2. Still isn't going to solve the problem.

    Routing two TB daisy chains into one device is likely going to surface some Rube Goldberg "solution" even if did want to shovel all the DP v1.2 into two (or more ) Thunderbolt cables. If the chains are of unequal length I suspect it doesn't work either (timing for the two halves probably wouldn't arrive in sync).

    Apple could make a two input DisplayPort monitor like the Dell and HP models, but it would not be a Thunderbolt Display.

    More than a bit farther down stream there will be a TB v3+ controller that carries DP v1.3 (or better), but that will be hugely decoupled from the current Mac line up ( including the MP 2013 model ). Eventually the technology will evolve so there is a straightforward solution. That technology isn't in the current line up.

    There are other Macs with dual DisplayPort outputs. iMac and Mini 2014. I don't expect Apple to go for this stop gap solution though. I suspect they will kick the can down the road until DP v1.3 comes and only do external support for that. Primarily because it can be more elegantly be done with just one cable [ custom two cable bundle inside of 5K iMac aside I don't think Apple is going to want to deal with ( support ) two cables. ]

    It isn't like they have added driver support for the max number of single cable MST DP v1.2 monitors out there now. Some yes, but not all.

    From the Dell 5K side though.... they just need the two DP v1.2 inputs and DisplayID support.

    [ For now it on Macs it is only 4K support on the 5K monitor. But currently most TB v2 Macs technically have two DP v1.2 capable outputs. ]

    As the other aspect of the thread discussion outlines Apple has other performance fires to put out rather than technological stopgaps that only an extremely narrow set of monitors need.
  11. koyoot macrumors 603


    Jun 5, 2012
    I have a question that is somewhat related to the topic of thread.

    Would D500 handle 4K gaming on OSX? By that I mean League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, and in future - Overwatch.

    I know that Barefeats has a lot of benchmark results, but i was rather thinking about real world data.

    Or I should wait for next gen Mac Pro which should be just around the corner?
  12. teeck2000 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    I think it might be acceptable but not optimal. Bootcamp would work very well, since there is crossfire and games tend to run 10-20% better in windows usually.
  13. w0rd3r macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2014
    With this budget you're looking at an IPS panel I guess?
    I had the Samsung U28D490D (TN panel, about $450) but now I'm rocking 3 ASUS PB287Q (TN panel, about $500). I'd recommend the ASUS as the best bang for the buck.

    But if you want an IPS panel, try the Dell Ultrasharp.

    About the ASUS, here's the review that helped me :

  14. Mattstrete macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Yes, but on those macs, both outputs are connected to a single Thunderbolt/displayport bus. A single thunderbolt bus does not have the bandwidth to output 5K. The nMP has three thunderbolt busses, so you would have to connect each mini-displayport cable to a separate thunderbolt bus.

    Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  15. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    You're correct.
  16. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    You are wrong. The Thunderbolt bus has diddly squat to do with the solution. Thunderbolt (TB) controllers have a "pass thru" mode which is how they perform the backward compatibility with DisplayPort connections.

    There are maximum 6 DisplayPorts (DP) outputs on a Mac Pro 2013. That means each TB controller has two DP inputs coming in. That also means that it can simply just channel those same two stream right back out to the two ports the TB controller is hooked to. They do not have to be encoded into Thunderbolt protocol format at all if plug in miniDisplayPort cables.

    The hold up on the other other Macs is largely the same as it is on the Mac Pro; drivers;. Single virtual screen streamed out over two separate DisplayPort channels.
  17. Mattstrete macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2011

    Sorry, I've had trouble understanding what you seem to regard as your retort. You seem to have taken this issue quite personally.

    I referred to "a single Thunderbolt/displayport bus." The Displayport 1.2 spec does not have enough bandwidth to drive 5k. To drive a 5k display you need two Displayport 1.2 channels. Each channel's output can then be combined via MST, as in the case of the Dell display. All Macs other than the Mac Pro have only one displayport 1.2 bus. The Retina iMac can do what it does because of a custom Apple timing controller which either runs on a "new" Displayport 1.3 spec, is simply combining two Displayport 1.2 channels in some way to act like a SST rather than a MST display, or is doing some sort of compression and overclocking of a Displayport 1.2 channel.


    "the GPUs inside the new iMac are going to be limited to DisplayPort 1.2. That matters, because it takes roughly 17.2Gbps of bandwidth to drive a 4K @ 60 fps signal in a single stream (Single Stream Transport). To summarize the difference between SST and MST, an MST display creates two half-width tiles on the monitor and interleaves two different DisplayPort streams together to create a contiguous image, while an SST display functions like a standard monitor. MST and SST displays typically look identical in common applications, but some games support MST poorly, resulting in menus or functions crammed into half the monitor, or movies playing back in a squashed, half-width format.
    Critically, however, MST is the only way to drive a larger-than-4K panel. DisplayPort 1.2 has just enough bandwidth to support a single 4K @ 60 fps SST stream, but 5K is far too large for the standard. When Apple talks about a 40-gigabit TCON, it may have designed a single TCON to output to two DP 1.2 streams — that’s not technically impossible — but it’s not being done with a single stream within the DP 1.2 spec."
  18. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Everything I've read up to this point suggests displayport 1.3 support is up in the air on TB v3. I suspected it would get pushed back due to that. is there a reason you think otherwise?

    It's probably some form of MST. Displayport 1.3 wouldn't have been finalized when they were working on it. Even after a spec is finalized, it takes more time to write stable drivers.

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