Tripple thunderbolt retina 27" custom gaming pc

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Brom953, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Brom953 macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    Hi, I am looking at building a custom pc and I want a tripple retina 27" thunderbolt display setup (when they come out). Number 1: is this even possible? I'm looking at something like an asus motherboard that has thunderbolt. Number 2 if this is possible what am I looking at for a graphics card or multiple graphics cards, if I have no budget and will be playig AAA games accross all three at once and/or 3D rendering? If this could be answered that would be great. If I have to wait for the parts to be released then so be it.
  2. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    It's possible to use Thunderbolt display with a PC, but it requires Virtu GPU software on the PC that redirects GPU output to the TB ports on your motherboard. The motherboard TB ports otherwise will only use the onboard graphics. Note that this arrangement only enables the display. The other functionality of the ATD will not be usable (USB ports, Ethernet, iSight camera, etc). Therefore, if the displays will only be used with your gaming PC, then I think it would be better just to get the Dell-equivalent displays with HDMI ports for lower cost.
  3. rabidz7 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2012
    Why not just connect the thunderbolt to the GPUs display port.
  4. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    I know that you can send displayport signals out of a Thunderbolt port on a Mac, but as far as I know, you can't receive a displayport signal INTO an Apple TB Display.
  5. mm201 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    You could be waiting a very long time for 27" Retina Thunderbolt Displays since not even DP1.2/TB2 will drive the required 5120x2880 resolution.
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Apple never specifies that double resolution is required to be "retina". Since the New Mac Pro being released this fall can handle 4K displays (which TB2 supports), one can assume that a possible "retina" TBD is just around the corner. I can't imagine Apple releasing a desktop and touting 4K displays and then not having one themselves.... Telling people that they only way they can use 4K is to go somewhere else seems like a marketing miss don't you think?
  7. mm201 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    A 27" 4K display would make objects bigger than they are on the current ATD. (Compare it to the extreme hugeness of objects on a 1920x1080 27" screen.) It's more realistic to anticipate them releasing a separate 4K "pro display" alongside the current ATD.

    I can imagine a new product lineup of 21.5" and 27" loDPI cinema displays, alongside a 24" 4K "Apple Retina Display" or "Apple Pro Display." Maybe it would be anodized black. :D

    A 32" 4K display like Dell's seems unlikely to me since it has 138DPI, which is right halfway between low and high DPIs, leading to content being either way too big or way too small.

    Still "triple 27" retina" is a tall order.
  8. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
  9. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    That is a tall order.. 3 TBD's will cost as much if not more than the highest end desktop computers.
    Next, I'm not versed in this very well but how do you plan on delivering the image to the screen? You NEED a GPU to deliver that kind of performance and I know of no GPU's with thunderbolt built into the card. I'm sure it's possible to get an adapter, but then comes the complication of software configuration.

    You're looking at a resolution of 11,520 x 2160 (or so). You'd need 770 SLi or more to pump out a stead 60FPS or more. This is educated speculation, I may be wrong.
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Hold on though, even on the current retina displays, they do "non-native" scaling. You can run (for example) the 15" rMBP so that the screen "appears" to have upto a resolution of 1920x1200 even though the "native" or "best" resolution would actually be 1440x900. There is no reason Apple couldn't go 4K and just give the user the decision if they want a "1920x1080" or "2560x1440" display. Is it ideal? No of course not, but I think it's more realistic than to expect 5120 x 2880 don't you? Especially since the entire television and computer industry is heading in the 4K direction. I'm not aware of ANY connector that can run a 5120 x 2880 display are you?

    Besides, 4K is already pushing over 8 million Pixels, and a 5120 x 2880 is almost TWICE that. The GPU alone to use such a display would be ridiculous.

    I full expect Apple to release a 4K TBD at some point (possibly along side the Mac Pro) and use their "Larger Text" -> "Best" -> "More Space" scaling that they use currently in the rMBP's.
  11. mm201 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Of course not, that's why I said the OP has a tall order. :p

    Downscaled 5K could happen. A native 1.5x scaling mode would be even better. It just doesn't seem consistent with their product line to go that way, so a separate product to be sold alongside the ATD/ACDs seems more plausible to me.
  12. Brom953 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    Ok so I reallised from the begining the whole thing was ridiculous bit I'm just tossing up ideas. I'd buy the mac pro but the only thing is you can't upgrade it. Having said this components start to show their age after only a couple of years. So for a custom pc ATD doesn't seem like a fantastic idea. I really don't care about the price I was really just wondering if it was worth it. Three GTX Titans could power the 5K displays since they are similar to the FirePro that the Mac Pro uses. I will be using the computer for rendering and game development though, So whatever. If it's not worth it it's not. If it's worth a shot then good.
  13. mm201 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Maybe in 2016, triple 5K displays will be a reality. Also, the ATD continues to be a compatibility headache for PCs. Very few motherboards support piping discrete graphics to the thunderbolt port.

    Chances are whenever 5K displays turn up, you'll want to go with a screen that takes the latest DP/HDMI specs, whatever will support that resolution, not Thunderbolt.

    Personally I'm patiently waiting until I can build a dual 24" 4K setup.
  14. gatortpk, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014

    gatortpk macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2003
    Melbourne, FL
    Triple Retina 27 inch display?

    What is triple Retina? I notice some posters interpreted this as three 27 inch displays. Others seemed to lean toward something more than a single regular Retina display.

    (Since writing this post, I noticed the title of the original poster "Triple thunderbolt retina 27"," this would indicate Three Displays, but the first paragraph was written "triple retina 27" indicating a single very high resolution display.)

    I would interpret triple Retina as either tripling the linear resolution (instead of doubling as in all current Retina products). This would mean, in the case of the current 27" display, going from 2.5K to 7.5K (7680x4320 pixel resolution). In this case 7.5K is actually called 8K (when not referring to 8192x4320 pixel display, true 8K). 7680x4320 is actually four times full HD (1920x1080)

    Another way of interpreting "triple Retina", is doubling the linear resolution twice (4 times). So this would be 2560x1440 --> 5120x2880 --> 10240x5760 pixel display! This would be 59 MP (MegaPixels).

    This 10K display would be more pixels than THREE 5K displays (Retina 27" at 14.7 MP). But FOUR 5K (27" Retina) is exactly the same number of pixels as a 10K display.

    The current Mac Pro can support three 4K displays, which is 24.9 MP, therefore it can easily handle a single 5K (27" Retina) display.

    We have GPUs today that can handle a single 27" Retina display, but the connector is the problem. ThunderBolt 2 isn't enough (at 60 Hz), and ThunderBolt 2 didn't even double the total bandwidth of ThunderBolt 1, it just aggregated the channels. Therefore a ThunderBolt "3" connecter would really be a change in the total bandwidth that may require different cables, possibly only optical fiber. Copper may not be compatible. Originally when ThunderBolt was being designed it was codenamed LightPeak and was intended only for optical fiber, but they found that less expensive copper would work. It's not a stretch to think that if they thought that copper may not work for ThunderBolt 1, it may not work for ThunderBolt "3".

    I think "Double Retina", or "Retina 2" would be a better way to describe quadrupling the linear resolution of the original display, giving it 16 times the number of pixels. That's what 8K is to Full HD. 10K would be a "Retina 2" display of the original 27" Apple ThunderBolt Display (or 27" iMac). A "Retina 2" iPhone (2272x1280) with a 4.8 to 5.5 inch display is far more plausible than a "Retina 2" 27 inch display.

    I can see stuffing 8K into 27 inches because that would give you exactly 326 ppi just like the Retina iPhone pixel density, though this is not needed, as we do not usually look as closely to a 27" display as we do to our iPhones. Therefore a "Retina 2" 27 inch display is out of the question, unless the number of pixels becomes trivial in 10-15 years. Then an entire wall with GigaPixels would be nice. For now this is just fantasy and beyond the scope of this thread.

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