MacBook late 2008 with 4K monitor

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Easyone, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Easyone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    #1
    Hello,

    I have a late 2008 MacBook upgraded with 4 GB memory and a good SSD.

    I used to have a 27 inches secondary display in QHD resolution (2560x1440) over a mini displayport to displayport cable.

    I just bought a 28 inches 4K monitor (3840x2160) but it is not supported by the MacBook GPU (GeForce 9400M): the screen goes black, but MacOS still keep it as a valid display. Thus I can't rollback to a supported WHQ resolution (the window is on the black screen I think).

    Do you know any way to use this new monitor as a secondary display at a WHQ resolution? Or should I simply buy a new Mac?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rapicell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    #2
    One question: Why would you buy a monitor that your current macbook can't even take advantage of?
     
  3. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #3
    Does your monitor support any kind of pixels doubling (like retina Macbooks)? This way you could use your 4K display in a lower resolution, but still getting "retina like" results.

    ----------

    Are you sure it can't take any advantage? Usually displays have a settings menu where you can configure it to accept lower resolutions. Hopefully an expensive 4K display does something smarter than just applying bilinear interpolation over the input.
     
  4. Easyone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    #4
    Well, apparently this 4K Monitor is quite good and OSX is supposed to present five scaling options.

    The MacBook does not present those five options but the classical list of resolutions. The 9to5mac article linked says I need a mini displayport to displayport 1.2 cable.

    Living in France, I can't find this kind of cable on Amazon.fr or usual french resellers. I will try Ebay or Amazon.com import.

    ---
    I use this screen as my gaming PC main display, but I'm used to work on my Mac.
     
  5. YanniDepp, Jul 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

    YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #5
    The 2008 plastic MacBook doesn't have a mini DisplayPort. it has Mini DVI. Plus it can only drive an external monitor up to 1920x1200. Plus it has the old Intel GMA graphics chips, which were horrible even by 2008 standards. So performance will probably be terrible.

    If you have the unibody MacBook, you have mini DisplayPort, but only at 2560x1600. It has the nVidia 9400 graphics chip, which is a lot better than the Intel GMA, but still not enough for 4K.

    There's a 'Gather Windows' button on the System Preferences screen that lets you choose resolution. It'll move the window to the Mac's built-in display.
     
  6. Easyone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    #6
    Well, the displayport 1.2 cable does not help.

    I have the late 2008 unibody Macbook which I used with a 2560x1440 monitor without any issue. Gathering windows enables me to change the resolution of the monitor but I still have a black screen.

    Does anyone know if and how I can configure SwitchResX to use the u28d590d monitor in a 2560x1440 resolution ?
     
  7. RobertD33 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #7
    I'm not sure if you'll see this, but I was able to get this monitor to work with my unibody MBP (mid 2009). My MBP has both the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT graphics card in it. I remembered seeing your post, when I was trying to figure out if my mac would work, so I went ahead and tested the u28d590d with the 9400M graphics card. I was able to get it to work with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1440. Use the button on the back of the monitor to access the menu. From there make sure that your DisplayPort version is set to 1.1 and not 1.2. When I had it set to 1.2, I could only see a black screen like you experienced. Also, as I mentioned in my thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=19525057#post19525057), I was only able to fill the picture on the monitor by using my MBP in clamshell mode. Unless you do that, there will be black bars on each side of the picture. Hope this helps.
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    A 2008 computer is starting to be "long in the tooth". I think you are in the grey area when you need to decide if it is time to let go of the machine and pass it on to someone in the family or a charity for a tax break.

    You can run both Mavericks and Yosemite on that machine; but, it may not be able to run the 2016 OS release. No way to know that right now. Personally I would not invest time or money in anything older than a 2010 machine, if the budget allows for a new Mac in the near future.
     
  9. Easyone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2014
    #9
    Thanks for the tip, I answered your topic.

    Yes, I will certainly have to buy a new Mac in a near future. A six year old computer is a pretty good performance though, even if Macintoshs last longer that PC equivalents. But the 2008 Macbook stills quite decent with a solid state drive and 4GB ram memory.
     
  10. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #10
    I notice a performance difference in the 2010 machines between 4GB and 8GB. You might want to consider that upgrade.
     
  11. RobertD33 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #11
    I second jumping from 4GB to 8GB if your Mac can support 8GB. My 2009 Macbook Pro came with 4GB. I found that while starting Mavericks up fresh (not from sleep), 3.1GB out of 4GB were already being used. I installed a 512 GB SSD into it the other day and bumped the RAM up to 8GB. Best decision ever. I can see it lasting a couple more years (I have converted it to a desktop in clamshell mode).
     
  12. Easyone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2014
    #12
    I'm afraid the late 2008 Macbook (not Pro) does not support more than 4GB. I will certainly wait until spring/summer 2015 and buy a new MacBook (air or pro, not sure yet).
     
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    With the 2010 Macbook 7,1 you can up in up to 16GB. My take is that if you running something that takes 16GB, you need a far more powerful Macbook as the base.
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...-13-polycarbonate-unibody-mid-2010-specs.html


    With the 2009 Macbook 6,1 you can do up to 8GB. Strikes me that is good enough. If you need more....you need a more recent Macbook as the base.http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...13-polycarbonate-unibody-late-2009-specs.html


    The 3 2010 MacBooks I am refurbing for my brother and two friends all have 8GB and a Samsung EVO 840 500GB SSD. Compared to boot times with 2GB and a 5400rpm HD, these now behave like a Mac Pro. :eek:

    OK, these refurbed machines are not nearly like a Mac Pro. ;) But boot time dropped from around 1 minute to less than 20 seconds and apps start in 1-3 seconds depending on the app. These machines are a now a great way to get someone started with OS X and an Apple ecosystem. I will move all of them to Yosemite before I send them out to their new homes.
     
  14. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #14
    False, Late 2008 MacBooks (aluminum ones) do support more than 4GB and up to 8GB of RAM. Source: I have one with 8GB right now.

    That said, like many others have stated, the 9400M GT does not support any higher than 2560 x 1440 for external monitors.
     
  15. RobertD33 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #15
    The biggest improvement that I noticed was boot up speed and reducing the time it took to load apps. I'm not sure if you are comfortable doing this, but I also replaced the thermal paste on my MBP which reduced the idle temperature by 10 Celsius. I'd highly recommend you look into the status of your thermal paste after 6 years of usage.
     
  16. Easyone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2014
    #16
    According to this page, late 2008 aluminum MacBooks are limited to 4GB of memory. Are you sure you have this model ?
     
  17. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #17
    That's just what Apple wants you to believe. I've had 8GB RAM in my Late 2008 MacBook (2.4GHz, model 5,1) since 2011 and it has been flawless. I bought some from OWC.

    In fact, they show it right here
    [​IMG]

    The reason for this is that originally in 2008 it only supported 4GB, but in Late 2009 there was an EFI update that among other things allowed 8GB of RAM along with Snow Leopard or later.

    Details here.

    This is one reason why there is a difference between Apple's max and the actual max. This happens on many models. Apple's kind of known for it.
     
  18. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #18
    That page also says max memory for 2010 white Macbook 7,1 is 4GB. Totally bogus. My niece has one I put 8GB into. I have 3 more sitting at my house with 8GB running Yosemite beta.

    Use the Everymac page for a given model to find out the reality of real world testing using later OS releases.....not the OS releases that came on the Macbook.

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...-2.0-aluminum-13-late-2008-unibody-specs.html
     
  19. Easyone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    #19
    Great, thank you both for the tip!

    I checked the firmware and the Mac can use 8GB. I guess I can buy it on any website, not just OWC. Living in France, this should do it, right?

    Thanks again.
     
  20. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #20
    Crucial 8GB Kit (4GB x 2) DDR3 1066 MT/s (PC3-8500) CL7 SODIMM 204-Pin Mac Memory CT2K4G3S1067M


    I use the above on the Macbooks I refurb. They are around $75 on amazon.
     
  21. RobertD33 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #21
    That is what I used on my Macbook Pro. However, the crucial memory is 14 euros more on amazon France than the cheapest option.
     

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