Using a 4K monitor on a MacBook Pro

rowdt1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 18, 2015
192
67
The Netherlands
Hey guys,

I've been reading a lot of threads lately but I yet have to find an answer to my question, so I hope you can help me out.

I'm rocking a MacBook Pro 13" Retina late 2013 2,4GHz i5 model and the screen real estate is sometimes bugging me, so I've been looking at 4K screens *a lot* lately. However, I can't find anywhere if this is a really good combination, and then especially in terms of lag. I hate to see the mouse cursor lagging on the screen.

Is there anyone here with first hand experiences who can advice me on this? Just for the record: I've found some affordable Dell 4K monitors at around $500 but I'm willing to spend more if it provides for a better experience.

Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,026
New York City, NY
Based on the Apple Support page, you should be able to run a 4K display at SST 60Hz. You should not experience any lag.

By the way, I use a 27" Dell 4K display with my Mac Pro and absolutely love it.
 

Halbertus

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2015
21
0
My experience is, that even with a Retina MacBook Pro 13" Early 2015 there is a heavy load on the integrated graphics chip. You will definately run into lags und sluggish performance repeatedly, when using HiDPI scaled resolutions. I have been running a Dell UP2414Q (MST) and a Samsung U32D970Q and was very disappointed.

Apart from the Retina MacBook Pro 15" with dedicated graphics (since rev. Late 2013) there is no mobile Mac Computer that is capable of rendering Ultra HD's 3840x2160 pixels with sufficient frame rates on Yosemite.

I see the added "Retina" sharpness of 2x scaling is very attractive, but up to date I can not recommend driving a 4K display with any MacBook apart from the High-End models.

Most anyone should be better of with a decent 2560x1440 panel.

Just my 2 cents, you might be less sensible for lags in UI than I am.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,536
2,368
Shropshire, UK
My experience is, that even with a Retina MacBook Pro 13" Early 2015 there is a heavy load on the integrated graphics chip. You will definately run into lags und sluggish performance repeatedly, when using HiDPI scaled resolutions. I have been running a Dell UP2414Q (MST) and a Samsung U32D970Q and was very disappointed.

Apart from the Retina MacBook Pro 15" with dedicated graphics (since rev. Late 2013) there is no mobile Mac Computer that is capable of rendering Ultra HD's 3840x2160 pixels with sufficient frame rates on Yosemite.

I see the added "Retina" sharpness of 2x scaling is very attractive, but up to date I can not recommend driving a 4K display with any MacBook apart from the High-End models.

Most anyone should be better of with a decent 2560x1440 panel.

Just my 2 cents, you might be less sensible for lags in UI than I am.
I'd sort of agree with you - I've got a Mid 2014 15" rMBP with 16GB Ram and 2.5Ghz i7 and even that struggles with smoothness at times when driving a 4K screen retina scaled to 2560x1440. However, under DP1 of El Capitan, it's wonderfully smooth all the time so all hope isn't lost yet :)
 
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