MBA i5 playing 4K on external display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sergiobaschi, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Can anyone with the last generation MBA, with the i5 CPU, please tell me how it performs handling 4K movies, displayed on an external monitor?

  2. VCRtapes macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    First, if you haven't yet upgraded to Yosemite, don't. It will not recognize a 4K display as being such because the MBA doesn't support 4K output natively. To drive 4K from your MBA (running Mavericks), you will need to download SwitchResX and input the settings for 4K manually in the "Custom Resolutions" tab. Even then, your MBA will only drive 4K at around 15Hz, which doesn't look very good at all, but is adequate for simple and fairly static display tasks like word processing and web browsing. For video output though, it certainly isn't optimal.

    You may be able to sidestep the pixel clock issue (which is what creates the 15Hz limitation) by implementing the information that can be found in this thread. There's lots of talk there about a patch that will remove the pixel clock limit, but I never tried it myself. I plan on restoring Mavericks on my MBA this weekend so that I can get back to running 4K. At that point I'll try that patch myself and see if using it will allow me to run at least 30Hz 4K to smooth out video playback.

Share This Page