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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple in 2016 removed all of the ports from its MacBook Pro models except for Thunderbolt ports, a design that persisted for years -- until today. The newly announced 2021 MacBook Pro models include an SD card slot and an HDMI port alongside three Thunderbolt ports.

2021-MBP-Profile-Feature-Yellow.jpg

As noted in Apple's technical specifications for the new machine, the HDMI port is unfortunately not top of the line -- it is an HDMI 2.0 port instead of an HDMI 2.1 port.

The HDMI 2.0 port supports a single 4K display with a refresh rate of up to 60Hz. HDMI 2.1 technology would have allowed the port to run a 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

It's curious that Apple did not include HDMI 2.1 in the MacBook Pro models because the Apple TV 4K that was released earlier this year does have an HDMI 2.1 port.


With the Thunderbolt 4 ports, the M1 Pro MacBook Pro models overall support up to two external displays with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz. The M1 Max MacBook Pro models support up to three external displays with up to 6K resolution and one external display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz.

Article Link: New MacBook Pro Models Include HDMI 2.0 Port Instead of HDMI 2.1
 
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WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,638
1,824
They don't want customers buying these and cannibalizing their Apple TV sales.

Anyway, isn't the point of HDMI out to be a sort of "plug it into the conference room projector/TV monitor" kind of quick-and-dirty solution? Won't the TB4 ports do DisplayPort 1.4?
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,638
1,824
The use cases for the two devices are so completely different that this can't possibly be the reason.

"Huh, I can buy a $180 Apple TV or a $2K laptop... YEAH I'LL BUY THE LAPTOP!!111one"
I know, I was being silly. Still wondering how big of an issue this really is. To me HDMI on a laptop is just to quickly throw your PowerPoint presentation up in the conference room.
 

bierdybard

macrumors member
Apr 16, 2014
67
316
Completely a bandwidth based decision.

There are almost certainly 4 TB4/PCIe4 channels. The fourth one is likely split between the SD card and the HDMI port (and perhaps a couple other peripherals, we'll have to see what System Information says next week). HDMI 2.1 utilizes up to 48Gb, TB4 has a 40Gb channel. You do the math. Even with the SD card using only a lane or two, a lot of the HDMI 2.1 benefits wouldn't be there.

On a side note, this is a good example of "you get what you ask for". Instead of having the fourth TB4 port and the flexibility to do what we want with it, the dongle-haters have prevailed and now we lose the flexibility. SMDH.
 

another.reader

macrumors newbie
Aug 20, 2021
11
41
Every device, every year... something is held back so they can entice customers to upgrade to the next model.
It's annoying but I guess it makes money.
Exactly this! You have to remember Apple is not only a tech company but a business marketing monster. Of course they’re not going to release all the top features at once! What would they use as bait to sell next year?

Watch out for faceID or center stage and HDMI 2.1 next year for sure (along with many other upgrades).
 

zakarhino

Contributor
Sep 13, 2014
1,743
4,373
Berkeley
It's more than enough for what a lot of us use HDMI on our Macs for: presenting and plugging into TVs on the fly, most of which are not 120Hz or 8k.

At home usage on 4k 120 or 8k displays isn't really a huge deal for me considering I use a thunderbolt dock or DisplayPort over USB-C which is better than HDMI anyway.

For that reason I see the built in HDMI as a quick display connector, not as the primary port for at home or at office desk connecting.
 

JamieLannister

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2016
565
1,385
Go to a party in a tuxedo but wearing crocs

Invite everyone to a fine $2million wedding except the parents

Make a delicious ham sandwich but smother it with mayonnaise

last but not least you create a $2k laptop with a fantastic display, plenty of outputs but leave a notch on top and gimp out the hdmi for a savings of $0.30 tops.

Tim Apple at the helm folks. At least we got rid of thin jony ridiculousnesses.
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2002
5,503
6,223
Vancouver, BC
Completely a bandwidth based decision.

There are almost certainly 4 TB4/PCIe4 channels. The fourth one is likely split between the SD card and the HDMI port (and perhaps a couple other peripherals, we'll have to see what System Information says next week). HDMI 2.1 utilizes up to 48Gb, TB4 has a 40Gb channel. You do the math. Even with the SD card using only a lane or two, a lot of the HDMI 2.1 benefits wouldn't be there.

On a side note, this is a good example of "you get what you ask for". Instead of having the fourth TB4 port and the flexibility to do what we want with it, the dongle-haters have prevailed and now we lose the flexibility. SMDH.

Good response. The whiners can't see both sides of the coin. It's give-and-take. Technology has limits.
 
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