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macsplusmacs

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 23, 2014
623
4,121
I was reading this:


especially this part:

"The improvement is possible thanks to the iPad Pro's A12X Bionic chip and ProMotion, which allows refresh rates up to 120Hz."

So it kinda struck me that maybe with Apple Silicon macs will support current gaming 120hz displays (for PCs) at full speed.



Do you see this as a trend/purchase for Apple Silicon users?


Anyone want to comment on this?
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
5,147
5,756
There's plenty of Windows computers with 120, 144, 240 or even higher refresh displays so I don't think its an absolute prerequisite for bringing ProMotion to Mac. What it will probably benefit is to make it easier to implement features like variable refresh rates when Apple are designing their own timing controller.
 
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MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,518
1,185
It's possible that Apple is waiting on the LTPO support to be ready before they support it on both iPhones and Macs. Here's the source: https://www.macrumors.com/2020/07/01/iphone-12-no-promotion-display/

There's also the rumors of miniLEDs support across all hardware next year. I think there's going to be a major display update next year with miniLEDs and Promotion support. For this year, I don't think there will be any external changes, just an internal switch to Apple silicon with next year is going to be new designs like 14.1 rMBP redesign.
 
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ek9max

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2011
201
24
30” 5k iMac with 120hz. Take my money (hopefully not all of it)
 
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theorist9

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2015
681
363
30” 5k iMac with 120hz. Take my money (hopefully not all of it)
I don't think they will do a 30" 5k, because this would be "sub-retina" with respect to pixel pitch. They've kept all their Mac displays (MacBook and larger) at ~220 ppi, which they consider "retina" resolution for this range of display sizes. This requires 4k@21.5" (small iMac), 5k@27" (large iMac), and 6k@32" (Pro Display XDR).
 
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leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
13,050
8,491
"The improvement is possible thanks to the iPad Pro's A12X Bionic chip and ProMotion, which allows refresh rates up to 120Hz."

So it kinda struck me that maybe with Apple Silicon macs will support current gaming 120hz displays (for PCs) at full speed.

The problem is not the GPU, the problem is display technology. It’s still very difficult to make large 120hz panels. That’s why gaming machines limit them to lower resolution and worse color accuracy.
 
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theorist9

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2015
681
363
The problem is not the GPU, the problem is display technology. It’s still very difficult to make large 120hz panels. That’s why gaming machines limit them to lower resolution and worse color accuracy.
I don't know much about gaming monitors, but I just did a quick search on NewEgg, and both Asus and Acer offer large (43") 120 Hz 4k gaming monitors:

ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q 43" 3840 x 2160 4K Resolution 4ms 120Hz
Acer Predator CG437K 43" Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 4K 1ms (VRB) 120Hz

So unless I'm missing something it seems they are quite doable. They are, however, a bit pricey: $1100 and $1500, respectively.

And given that such monitors are available, if the machine's GPU has the capability to drive them, what would be the rationale to artificially "limit them to lower color resolution and worse accuracy"? I.e., why limit the machine's video capability to be less than that of its GPU? Something's not adding up for me here.

I would think, if you own one of these 4k 120 Hz monitors, the main limitation to driving them isn't the display technology, it's GPU technology, since most GPU's don't have yet have this capability.
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
5,147
5,756
The problem is not the GPU, the problem is display technology. It’s still very difficult to make large 120hz panels. That’s why gaming machines limit them to lower resolution and worse color accuracy.
Well, gaming at 4k120 is still in its infancy as the mainstream cards that can support it are only just appearing now - that's an extreme case as gaming is taxing in itself, running an OS at 4K120 probably isn't quite so difficult, but drawing that many 4K frames per second isn't a cakewalk and it's still going to tax the GPU meaningfully. A big problem for MacBooks with switchable graphics if it means the dGPU kicks in too often and battery life takes a hit (or desktops if they are aiming for cool and quiet operation). If Apple's chips are specifically optimised for it (e.g. variable refresh rates) rather than just throwing raw power at it, that should help a lot.
 
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theorist9

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2015
681
363
Well, gaming at 4k120 is still in its infancy as the mainstream cards that can support it are only just appearing now - that's an extreme case as gaming is taxing in itself, running an OS at 4K120 probably isn't quite so difficult, but drawing that many 4K frames per second isn't a cakewalk and it's still going to tax the GPU meaningfully. A big problem for MacBooks with switchable graphics if it means the dGPU kicks in too often and battery life takes a hit (or desktops if they are aiming for cool and quiet operation). If Apple's chips are specifically optimised for it (e.g. variable refresh rates) rather than just throwing raw power at it, that should help a lot.
At least on my older (2104) MBP, even if you have a standard (60 Hz) 4k external monitor connected, you don't switch back and forth between the iGPU and dGPU; rather, the dGPU is used continuously. I suspect, if future MBP's retained the iGPU/dGPU system (which they may not -- see last para), and had the capability to drive 4K@120 Hz, they would likewise be running the dGPU continously rather than switching.

Also, I assume if someone is using a 4k@120 external montior to game with an MBP (whenever MBP's offer such capability), one is probably going to be plugged into an outlet -- I don't expect anyone would reasonably expect to be doing this on battery for any extended period of time.

I have read that Apple plans to elminate the iGPU/dGPU system, replacing it with a large iGPU with a scalable number of operational cores: using a few cores when on battery, thus giving it iGPU-like power-saving characteristics, and all the cores when maximally stressed and connected to power, thus giving it dGPU-like capability.
 
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leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
13,050
8,491
I don't know much about gaming monitors, but I just did a quick search on NewEgg, and both Asus and Acer offer large (43") 120 Hz 4k gaming monitors:

ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q 43" 3840 x 2160 4K Resolution 4ms 120Hz
Acer Predator CG437K 43" Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 4K 1ms (VRB) 120Hz

So unless I'm missing something it seems they are quite doable. They are, however, a bit pricey: $1100 and $1500, respectively.

Sorry, I now realize that my post was badly formulated. I meant to say that the tech is not yet ready for laptops. The power consumption is still too high etc. I quickly looked at reviews of the ASUS monitor for example and it seems it suffers from poor color accuracy and bad viewing angles. But this tech is definitively coming.
[automerge]1593973570[/automerge]
Well, gaming at 4k120 is still in its infancy as the mainstream cards that can support it are only just appearing now - that's an extreme case as gaming is taxing in itself, running an OS at 4K120 probably isn't quite so difficult, but drawing that many 4K frames per second isn't a cakewalk and it's still going to tax the GPU meaningfully. A big problem for MacBooks with switchable graphics if it means the dGPU kicks in too often and battery life takes a hit (or desktops if they are aiming for cool and quiet operation). If Apple's chips are specifically optimised for it (e.g. variable refresh rates) rather than just throwing raw power at it, that should help a lot.

There is no shipping Mac laptop that can handle gaming at 4k@120hz and there won’t be one for a while :) Desktop composition is another matter though. The big benefit of high refresh rates for me is smooth scrolling of text...
 
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JCCL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
954
1,060
If you are seriously looking at gaming, I wouldn't look at a Mac to begin with.
 
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theorist9

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2015
681
363
I quickly looked at reviews of the ASUS monitor for example and it seems it suffers from poor color accuracy and bad viewing angles. But this tech is definitively coming.
For gaming, these might be closer to workable than your characterization suggests. Color accuracy and viewing angles are important to me, but I'm not a gamer. And from the reviews I've read on Amazon, the gamers seem to consider these downsides minor compared to the major benefit of 120 Hz refresh and 4k resolution. [The color part doesn't suprise me, since I assume most games don't have natural colors to start.] For gaming-specific use, it's got 4.5 stars.

I'm guessing if the gamers wanted to upgrade this panel, they'd pick 144Hz and faster refresh before better color accuracy or viewing angle. I couldn't find a 43" 4k version with 144 Hz, but did find a 27" 4k 144 Hz which (everything else being equal) will be even more of a challenge to drive:

 
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Kjs100

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2020
202
184
I don't think they will do a 30" 5k, because this would be "sub-retina" with respect to pixel pitch. They've kept all their Mac displays (MacBook and larger) at ~220 ppi, which they consider "retina" resolution for this range of display sizes. This requires (as MikhailT posted): 4k@24", 5k@27", and 6k@32".

A 24" screen, as Kuo expects, at 4k, would be 196ppi dropping from the 219ppi of the 21.5 inch. If Apple release a 24" how will they explain dropping their ppi? Apple like to shout about improvements. Or will they just not mention that?
 
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theorist9

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2015
681
363
A 24" screen, as Kuo expects, at 4k, would be 196ppi dropping from the 219ppi of the 21.5 inch. If Apple release a 24" how will they explain dropping their ppi? Apple like to shout about improvements. Or will they just not mention that?
You're absolutely right, 4k@24" would not give retina resolution. I'll edit my post to correct.

Hence a 24" screen would need to be >4k.
 
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