MBP w/o Touch Bar: can't get full res on external display

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by eurobum, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. eurobum, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017

    eurobum macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012
    Hey all.

    I have a MBP late 2016 without touch bar. It should, according to specs, be able to output up to 5K 60 Hz resolution via HDMI.

    I have a Dell U2711 display with a maximum resolution of 2560x1440. On my old (2011) MBP it ran full resolution via DisplayPort.

    Currently, the 2016 MBP will only output 1080p on the Dell display via HDMI. Both the Genius I talked to when buying the MBP and specs on Apple's support page state it can run up to 5K via HDMI.

    The HDMI cable is 2.0 and only about 20" long. 2.0 should support 4K (4096x2160 at 60 Hz)

    Anything I'm missing?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    What adapter are you using to connect to USB c??
  3. eurobum thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012
    Thank you, forgot about that:

    Apple's own: USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

    It has a USB-C in, HDMI out, normal USB in
  4. Samuelsan2001, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017

    Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
  5. eurobum thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012

    So it should at least be able to get 1440p at 30 Hz
    --- Post Merged, Mar 16, 2017 ---
    Annoying. Thanks for the answer. Will take it back today and see what they say

  6. eurobum thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012
    Frustrating. Went and they offered my money back. I opted to try one more and if that one didn't work they'd offer me a full return. Guess what, didn't work either.

    Now I've ordered an identical adapter but from a different brand. Chances that's bunk as well?

    $2K for a brand new laptop and already issues out the box. Terrible costumer experience.
  7. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Why are you trying to use HDMI? Why not use the DisplayPort as you did before? A lot less grief with that port.

    There have been reports with some devices that one must press option to get the resolution choices. Don't know if that applies here.
  8. eurobum thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012
    Tried pressing option in the displays settings. A lot more resolutions appeared but they were all lower ones.

    I want HDMI because I have to get it anyways for a projector that I use with the computer. Worst case, I will have to get both an adapter for HDMI and a USB-C to DisplayPort cable like you mention ... what sucks about the latter is that I can't find a "dongle" that has USB-C to DP plus an additional USB-C input for power.

    Two USB-Cs on a $2K laptop is ridiculous. I need the dongle/adapter to have power because the other USB-C port will be used for a USB hub

    Some courageous design choices they've made

  9. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Have you tested the HDMI cable to ensure it will work at the desired resolution? That may be the problem. Which cable is it?

    The machine you bought is the bare-bones version. All the others have more ports, but a lot of people will do fine with just two. You will too, most likely, when you manage to get working parts.
  10. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    It's a quirk with your monitor. A quick Google pulls up thousands of people with the same issue.

    It looks like for 1440p via HDMI that monitor requires you to force a custom 1440p resolution input. It defaults to 1080p on the HDMI port, but is not technically limited to that. I'm not sure how you'd achieve that on a Mac - possibly SwitchResX?
  11. eurobum thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012
    Thanks. Gave it a go, SwitchResX, didn't work. Seems like 1440p is an option, but can't choose it

  12. eurobum, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017

    eurobum thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012
    How can I test it? The vendor says it's high speed HDMI 2.0, which should support 4K/60 Hz.

    I just received a similar adapter from a different brand -- it still will only go to 1080p. Must be an issue with connecting to this specific display.

    Next month I'm probably getting a 4K display: http://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/BDM4037UW_93/brilliance-4k-ultra-hd-lcd-display-with-multiview/overview ... if HDMI won't work on that I guess I'll have to get a DisplayPort to USB-C cable. I don't see any USB-C splitters/hubs, which would be nice in this case
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2017 ---

    Got 1440p working with SwitchResX, however the output on the screen doesn't look "smooth" like it's supposed to
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2017 ---

    The above link suggests the display simply can't output 1440p via HDMI but only DisplayPort. Not really an issue, since I'll be getting that new display soon.

    Any way to see if it's the same for the (newer) Philips one I'm getting? Specs here:


    Optimal resolution is 3840x2160 @ 60 Hz. It doesn't say anything specific about what inputs yield what resolutions. It does have two HDMI inputs where one is 2.0 -- doesn't that indicate it should be able to output 4K/60Hz with the proper cable + adapter?

    - cable, according to vendor, is good for 4K/60 Hz
    - HDMI adapter is good for up to 5K/60 Hz
    - new MBP from late 2016
    - 4K display with HDMI 2.0

    It does have 2 x DisplayPort as well, so if all fails I'll just try that, but HDMI would be a more practical solution for me
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2017 ---
  13. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Remember when you had separate HDMI and DisplayPort sockets on a laptop?
  14. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Tell me about it.

    I have a rMB and the Apple USB-C to HDMI adapter, no problems pushing 60Hz to my Acer 27" using HDMI or DVI

    But now my desk looks like this:

    VGA/DVI Acer 22" Monitor
    DVI/DisplayPort/HDMI Acer 27" Monitor

    Then I have a ThinkPad T420S, 12" 2015 rMBP, 13" 2013 rMBP

    You should the see the pile of adapters I have now. DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI...

    I can plug any of my screens in but it was nice when I just had one cable to worry about, or even just VGA/DVI and MiniDP/DisplayPort back in the day.
  15. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    You mean movements of the cursor and scrolling aren't smooth? May only be at 30 Hz. You need 60. If you mean the fonts don't look smooth, that's a different issue.

    Yeah, should be fine.
  16. eurobum thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2012
    No not jerky, movements are fine (including video) so not a refresh rate issue -- you can also set the refresh rate in SwitchResX quite easily. I'm away from home at the moment, so I can't check with the display connected, but I'm pretty sure it was 60 Hz. Everythng just look like it's not supposed to be this resolution. Not crisp like normally with this display at that resolution. If I take a screen shot and look at it from the MBP's retina display it looks completely normal -- as it should, so it's just how the display outputs it

    I guess it's understandable seeing the display is five or so years old. Really hope you're right about the other one


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15 March 16, 2017