Questions About 15" rMBP 4K Monitor Use

576316

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 19, 2011
4,062
2,477
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.
 
Last edited:

mcarling

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2009
1,292
179
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.
 

576316

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 19, 2011
4,062
2,477
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.
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.
 

MxDaviD

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
41
3
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.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
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.
 

576316

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 19, 2011
4,062
2,477
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.
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.