Questions About 15" rMBP 4K Monitor Use

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 576316, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. 576316, Oct 17, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014

    576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    Hey lovely people of MacRumors! I hope y'all enjoyed the event yesterday. I'm here cause I need some help (shock horror)!

    I've decided I won't be upgrading my 15" 2012 Retina MacBook Pro anytime soon purely because it cost me quite a lot of money and it's a nifty machine with an awesome display. However, with Apple having just released a 5K (!!!) iMac, I've begun thinking about desktop computing. I now want to turn my MacBook Pro into a desktop of sorts...with a 4K monitor.

    Now, here's where the questions start. I've been told the rMBPs can emit a full 4K display signal via HDMI. Is this true? Will HDMI to HDMI be good enough and handle my needs? I've heard that you have to go via DisplayPort for a 4K display and, well, Apple sell an HDMI to miniDisplayPort on the store but the monitor I wanted (the Asus PB287Q) only has a DisplayPort (not mini). Does this mean I have to get an HDMI to mDisplayPort adapter and a mDisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter as well?

    Is there something really special about mDisplayPort? Could I just get a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter and be done with it?

    So many questions. What do you guys think is the best route?

    Hoping the answer won't be, "Your Retina MacBook Pro can't handle a 4K display." Because then I'll just cry. :(

    Edit: Okay, so with some extra research and the help from people in this thread, I think I've worked it out. My MacBook Pro 15" Retina will drive a 4K display via Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to DisplayPort, it'll just be a little less than 60Hz. Apparently, OS X won't allow you to run the 4K display at the full resolution. Instead, it'll scales it down to 1920 x 1080 and uses the rest of the pixels to give you 'Retina' display pixel density. So all I should need is a MiniDisplayPort to DisplayPort cable and I should be good to go.

    If you think I've gotten any of this wrong, please do correct me. I don't want to shed out £400 on a monitor which isn't then going to be compatible or worth my time e.t.c.
  2. mcarling macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2009
    You didn't write whether you have a 13" or 15" rMBP.
  3. 576316 thread starter macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    Just updated it. 15" rMBP. Original generation.
  4. mcarling macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2009
    If I'm not mistaken, your rMBP has a 650M discrete GPU which should be able to drive a 4K monitor. However, the maximum refresh rate is probably less than 60Hz. Don't use the HDMI port. Connect from your miniDisplayPort/Thunderbolt port to the DisplayPort on the monitor.
  5. 576316 thread starter macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    Okay so I should just need a Thunderbolt to DisplayPort cable. Are you able to recommend a good one? There doesn't seem to be a lot of these on the market.
  6. MxDaviD macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2012
    Can i just ask something, Does the new Macbook pro 15" retina 2014,supports 60hz via Thunderbolt port.I have IRIS PRO model without the dedicated GPU.
  7. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I am thinking about a new screen and I am surprised that the 13" doesn't support 60Hz and that there is not some hack.
  8. 576316 thread starter macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    I've heard Iris Pro is more than capable of 4K at 60Hz over DisplayPort. My issue is that I've got a Nvidia 650M which won't give me 60Hz but likely just below that. More than 30Hz though I think.

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