New Macbook Pro Retina 15" & 4K external display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kanelbulle, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. kanelbulle, Oct 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    kanelbulle macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    I'm an amateur photographer & videographer using primarily Aperture, Photoshop and FCP X. I'm on the market for a new Mac & a large display (27"-30"), and I would like this set-up to be a good future proof investment - both in terms of processing power as well as display quality that will cope with the current technology trends (>40 Mpix full-format sensors, 4K video, etc...)

    I initially purchased a brand new maxed-out iMac 27", a beautiful and powerful machine indeed - which I eventually returned because I was disappointed by the screen pixel density (small text looked fuzzy and uncomfortable to read)... I guess I got used to the Retina standard :)

    So I'm left with 2 options, which shall be based a better display than the currently available iMac/Thunderbolt display:
    - Maxed-out 15" rMBP 2.6GHz with Iris Pro & GT 750M + 4k display
    - MacPro + 4K display

    The MacPro setup is for sure ideal, but it is going to be very expensive - and maybe over-speced for my needs.

    So I'm leaning towards the maxed-out rMBP setup, and my question is: will the Iris Pro + GT 750M GPU combo be powerful enough to drive a 4k display via Thunderbolt 2 - and still run Aperture/Photoshop/FCPX swiftly?

    From what I read about the Iris Pro and the Nvidia 750M, it seems like it should be OK, but Apple doesn't officially confirms that. They do mention the ability to drive the Retina Screen at full native resolution + up to 2 external displays at 2560x1600. Should be enough to drive one 4K display? But again, would the apps still run quickly & smoothly?

    Moreover, the inclusion of Thunderbolt 2 is almost an implicit confirmation that rMBP should be able to drive a 4K display?

    And by the way, do we know if & when Apple is supposed to upgrade their Thunderbolt display to a 4K version (Retina at this size seeming very unlikely)? In December together with the MacPro?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback & advices!
  2. tecsi macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2008
    Same question about 4k support, but for 13 rMBP

    Since the Mac Pro announcement of Thunderbolt 2, I have been thinking that Apple would introduce a TB2 4K display when the Mac Pro ships. It would make great sense if the new TB2 rMBPs would both support such a display.

    You would have both an incredible high-res notebook and a great desktop.
  3. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I'm in the same situation as you - deciding whether to upgrade to the macbook pro or mac pro for use with a 4K monitor down the road (I have a 30" apple cinema display now). From this page it seems that the macbook pro will only power a 4K display at 30Hz which is not that great. Reviews of the last generation macbook pro with 4K display seen here reveal that to be an ill pairing. Although I feel that the macbook pro will ultimately be "able" to do it, I do not think it will do it well. As in, it won't play nicely with me editing 30MB raw image files in aperture that can now display almost every pixel of the camera raw image. If you hear anything please post.
  4. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Here ya go.

    "HDMI 1.4 increases the maximum resolution to 4K × 2K, i.e. 3840×2160 (4K Ultra HD) at 24 Hz/25 Hz/30 Hz or 4096×2160 at 24 Hz (which is a resolution used with digital theaters)"
  5. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Is the Haswell rMBP equipped with HDMI 1.4?
  6. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    You need thunderbolt 2 (NOT HDMI 1.4) to run the screen at 60Hz though which is a basic necessity if you don't want to see lag in aperture. One thing I don't get is why the retina macbook pro, although it support thunderbolt 2, doesn't support mini display port 1.2 technology (the tech that is built into thunderbolt 2 that allow 4K displays to run at 60Hz).
  7. bbapps macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Is that fixable via software/firmware update?
  8. thegreatdivorce macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2010
    Upper Left USA
    That's seriously lame. Maybe the 750m just can't handle pushing that many pixels around? Pretty unfortunate though.
  9. bbapps macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
  10. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Possibly. It depends what Display Port IC's they used. I'm going to assume it doesn't do 4K at 60Hz and never will until the next hardware revision. I think they would have stated it did 4K@60Hz in the specifications or at-least listed it sd "Coming soon with OS X 10.9.1" or something like that. The fact they don't mention it at all indicates to me it will never do 4K @ 60Hz over Thunderbolt.
  11. Chuck-Norris macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2012
    retina was jsut introduced last year for the macbooks, were not gonna see this 4k display u speak of anytime soon
  12. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    One guy got a 4K monitor working with a 2012 mbp retina by using two hdmi cables that control each half of the screen separately:

    Definitely not glamorous, but its is interesting that it works. Hopefully a more streamlined process gets ironed out in the future.
  13. keiran_harris macrumors newbie


    Jul 27, 2015

Share This Page