Thunderbolt display, 5K Retina iMac and MacBook Pro late 2013

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by maustin1979, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. maustin1979 macrumors newbie

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    Brighton
    #1
    I keep reading that it is not possible to use the new 5K iMac as an external display for any of :apple:'s current hardware line-up, due to inadequate graphics power (what about Mac Pro?) and possibly a need to update DisplayPort version.

    Firstly would these be required hardware upgrades or would they be possible in software upgrades?

    Secondly, the iMac has it's own onboard graphics processing hardware. Would it be possible to update Yosemite to allow for some (or all?) of the graphics resource requirements to be offloaded to the iMac...?

    Thirdly, ...or indeed a new Thunderbolt Display. Same case, same panel, presumably there would be room to keep some onboard GPU hardware within this product to work in the same way?
     
  2. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 30, 2011
    #2
    No the 5K iMac cannot be used as an external display, known as Target Display Mode. Due to the design requirements to even get 5K internally, this feature was deemed impossible to implement. As for the other questions, I'm not sure what you are asking.
     
  3. maustin1979 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for reply.

    Essentially I'm asking why isn't this possible in all of my other questions. Can you be more specific about what design requirements restrict the hardware and/or software, and what would therefore be necessary in future hw/sw to make it work?

    I'm also kinda asking "do i really have to think about shelling out loads of money at some point in the future to get a 5k screen to work with my macbook"?!
     
  4. larrysing1963 macrumors regular

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    Aug 16, 2014
    #4
    Apple used some special hardware tricks to get the 5K out the door.

    I think they intentionally made it so that people would not start buying the device just for the external monitor capability.

    The simple answer is that there's no port that can properly drive 5K yet. The current Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro use DisplayPort 1.2 and max out at 4K. To drive 5K, we'll need Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort 1.3. That's coming with Intel's Skylake platform... which is coming after Intel's Broadwell platform... which is coming... eventually.

    My guess is that Apple comes out with a 5K monitor in.....2016
     
  5. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

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    #5
    There is no single port right now that can send enough data to power a 5k display at 60hz smoothly.

    The dell 5k monitor uses two ports to supply enough data. Apple drivers do not support this on any device.

    So it can be a software upgrade to support 5k, but if Apple releases a new thunderbolt display i doubt they will use the dell method, so it will require a hardware upgrade.
     
  6. maustin1979 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    hmmm, so it is really a hardware problem.

    Sounds expensive!! Sounds like a new laptop and a new display then... one day!

    Does anyone know if the current 5K iMac could have Target Display Mode enabled through a firmware update once capable laptops do arrive - it's gonna happen this decade!!

    Or does TDM rely on actual hardware that's missing from the 5K iMac?

    Thanks
     
  7. larrysing1963 macrumors regular

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    Aug 16, 2014
    #7
    The tech info I have seen indicates that an Apple 5K monitor released today would not be compatible with ANY current Mac computers, even with the 2013 Mac Pro, because TB 3 and DP 1.3 are going to be required.
     
  8. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #8
    I need to revive this thread since I have the same question.

    What exactly prevents :apple: from building a 5k thunderbolt display that is compatible with any thunderbolt mac?
    Could't they just integrate a gpu into the display in which case the macbook wouldn't have to put 5k through tb, since it would be processed internally in the display.
     
  9. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #9
    For 5K display via one cable, Apple needs to release Thunderbolt 3. So we may hear at WWDC about TB3 updates to Mac Pro, rMBP, Mini....etc. Then it would make sense for Apple to introduce a 5K Thunderbolt Display. If you have a Mac with TB2, you should be able to use the 5KTD at 4K resolution.
     
  10. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #10
    It's actually Intel that needs to release TB3.
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #11
    Yes it is a given that Apple has to get CPUs and chipsets from Intel. Intel seems to be stumbling these days. I hope we don't have to wait until 2016 for TB3 and single cable 5K video.
     
  12. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #12
    Why is thunderbolt 3 necessary,if the gpu is integrated into the display? What data would the macbook need to push through the cable that couldn't be processed in-display?
     
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #13
    GPU in monitor has not been part of any Apple plans anyone knows about. So until if/when Apple does that paradigm shift, I would assume the GPU stays in the main unit where it can support X number of attached cheaper monitors.
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    That does not answer my question.
    As I see it, it should be possible to run extremely high resolution displays (5k and even higher) with any thunderbolt mac by simply integrating the necessary gpu into the display. An integrated gpu would make a lot of sense, since all the current macbooks and even the Mac Pro are not capable of driving 5k displays. It would also cause an amazing compatablity with even older macs.
     
  15. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #15
    Today there one CPU resource (1 or multiple chips), talking to one GPU resource (usually one GPU but can be a pair) connected to one or more monitors.

    How would the OS and apps deal with one CPU resource having different types of GPU chips in the local machine and in the connected monitors? What happens if one monitor does not have a GPU and another does?

    My point is I don't think the OS, chipsets, services and apps are designed for such an open ended architecture. But I have been wrong before and will be again. :D
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #16
    Lots of people have already connected external gpus via tb and obviously it works for them.
    So technically it is possible.

    For the last few years :apple: seems to have gone increasingly modular. Putting gpus in the new tb display would make a lot of sense and me happy :)
     

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