What CPU to drive a 5k monitor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mais78, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Mais78 macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2014
    With the latest updates now pretty much all Macs can drive a 4k monitor at 60hz (notable exception the Mac Mini).

    Question is: are these 5th gen Intel CPUs able to drive a 5k monitor like the Dell UP2715k at any refresh rate? I understand that so far that monitor needed two mini/dp buses to work. Not sure if a more powerful CPU/GPU can make up for that (Skylake?) or whether the bottleneck is the connectivity.

    I think 5k 27" is where eventually I would like to end up.
  2. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    I think being able to drive a 5k monitor is more dependent on the graphics card than the CPU. At the moment, no notebook is officially able to run 5k external monitors, based on apple's spec.
  3. Mais78 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2014
    Yes, I said CPU because I have the ones with integrated graphics in mind. I am not sure where the bottleneck is (GPU, connectivity?). It would be nice to run one of those at least at 30hz with the new MBP 13.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013

    Currently no there is not the connectivity, nor the ability to get round it.

    And considering the performance issues on the 27 inch imac i'd not like to try with a slim light laptop...

    As far as I can tell only the mac pro in apples line up will run it at all...
  5. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    The integrated GPU on the new broadwell processors will not be able to run 5k.

    As per apple's website:

    Support for 1080p resolution at up to 60Hz
    Support for 3840-by-2160 resolution at 30Hz
    Support for 4096-by-2160 resolution at 24Hz


    The nMP's currently out will not be able to run 5k either. Their displayport is still 1.2 which does not have enough bandwidth to transfer 5k on a single cable. One will probably have to wait until the next gen to get released with displayport 1.3
  6. Mais78 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2014

    This is in reference to HDMI only and a bit misleading, and gets many people confused. New Mac DO support 3840-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz, via mDP/thunderbolt. Nevetheless you are right 5k support is not there.

    Are you sure? As far as I know the Mac Pro should be able to run the 5k Dell, by using two thunderbolt ports at the same time.
  7. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    Oh you might be right on that. I haven't seen a 5k hooked up with two TB ports. My bad.
  8. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The bottleneck is not in the GPU nor the CPU, it's in the Displayport 1.2 standard that maxes out at 21.6Gbps bandwidth - just enough for full 4k@60hz. This is why the retina iMac can't act as a target display - until the release of Displayport 1.3 there is no commercially available cable capable of driving that resolution (short of possibly bundling multiple cables as described above).
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My guess (and it's ONLY "a guess") is that full 5k support is a generation or two of Macs "ahead"...
  10. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
    So at present even only these newly refreshed 2015 rMBP 13" can handle 4k at 60hz for monitors that take dual thunderbolt? Eh
  11. bradleyjx macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Clarifying this a bit:

    - Thunderbolt 2 can push signals out using either HDMI 1.x or DisplayPort 1.2. Both of these can display 4K video (though somewhat restricted), and cannot display 5K.

    - In order for the Dell 5K display to work at full resolution, it currently needs to behave more-or-less like it's two displays side-by-side, using two different connectors to drive those halves, then combining it into the full display.

    - the 5K iMac handles this instead by using custom hardware to connect the display to the motherboard; since it doesn't need to use a cable to connect, it doesn't need to follow an established protocol, and thus can use whatever means work best internally to make the display work.

    - Last September, DisplayPort 1.3 was finalized, whose protocol allows for 5K video to be able to be passed through a cable. For Macs, this means Thunderbolt 3 will be the time that 5K displays can become supported.

    - Thunderbolt 3 will be first supported at a chipset level with Intel's Skylake processors, which look to be released in the second half of this year, going into 2016.

    - (speculative) Odds are good that a 5K external will be released from Apple once Thunderbolt 3 begins making it's way into products, as until that time, there really isn't a single-cable consumer protocol out there to drive a display of that bandwidth.
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yep that is what I thought

    Yep taht was what I had gathered 5K on two thunderbolt ports and 2 graphics cards as well should run great...


    A brilliant post you said it much better than I did...
  13. douirc macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    i've been asking the same question in other forums and here's the conclusion i've come to.

    i don't disagree the specs say 2x4k monitors but the UP2715K actually uses two dp cables to drive two 2560x1440@60hz displays into one monitor. knowing the macbook pro 13 has two dp ports and can handle 4k@60hz on each port simultaneously, i would think that means it could easily drive the UP2715K.

    i don't think the question is if iris 6100 can handle the UP2715K. i think the question is if apple will update yosemite video drivers to work with the UP2715K just like nvidia and amd did with their drivers.

    that said, mac pro users can use the UP2715k, but i think that's because the AMD drivers support it...doesn't have anything to do with yosemite, right? so for the macbook to work apple would have to update yosemite, right?

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