Why can't the late 2013 rMBP 13' output 4k 60Hz yet the Surface Pro 3 can?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SSD-GUY, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    London, UK
    Hi guys

    Looking to get a 4k monitor but I've just found out that my rMBP 13 can't output 4K 60HZ yet the Surface Pro 3 can?

    Don't they use the same class of haswell processors?

    And is it true that if I bootcamp into Windows 8, this will enable me to output 4K at 60HZ on my rMBP 13' late 2013?

  2. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sounds like from what I'm reading it should be possible, in theory. The Surface Pro 3 uses lesser graphics (HD4400 or HD5000), but with the correct drivers (as in, not one ones provided by or supported by Microsoft) it appears to work. So I dunno... if you experiment with some drivers provided by Intel, it could be possible.
  3. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    London, UK
    Drivers within Mac OS X?
  4. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Apple makes crappy hardware. The reason why you buy a mac is for the OS not for the hardware. I learned this recently when my mac began creaking.
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    You have it backwards. Apple makes great hardware, and their software is user friendly and super intuitive. However, their software is not of the same caliber of Microsoft's, which is why you get things like a lack of 4k output.
  6. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    "Began creaking" ... after you took it apart and put it back together.

    Ironic also, because this could be a "software" issue, and not a "hardware" one. The anecdotal evidence suggests as much ... certainly more than the latter at any rate.
  7. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014


    And to OP, I've heard the hardware is limited not software.
  8. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    It is a hardware limitation of the Intel chips and chipset in the 2013 Haswell models.

    Not sure where you are reading that you can output 4k from a Haswell U series processor (the chip in the Surface Pro 3). But as far as Intel's specifications are concerned it is not possible.



    No, it is an Intel hardware bandwidth thing with the chips these computers use.
  9. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
  10. vetman35 macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2010
    The surface pro 3 with an i5 or i7 CPU does support 4k 60Hz.[1] No, your 2013 rMBP does not.[2] If you want a 4k monitor, grab a new 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 13 and migrate your data over Thunderbolt in minutes. Sell the 2013 as it still has great resale value. Plus then you will have the new haptic feedback touchpad... :) I know it's a pain and costs a few bucks to switch, but Apple sure makes it easy to migrate to a new machine.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Surface_Pro_3
    [2] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202856
  11. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    London, UK
    Thanks for your replies

    So is it an Intel Hardware limitation or is it a software problem within Mac OS X?

    Some are saying that surface pro 3 can output 4k at 60hz whilst some aren't?
  12. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    Even with the SP3, it depends on the monitor and the cable being used.

    It certainly is possible to run 4K @ 60Hz on the SP3, but you can't do it at a resolution higher than 3440x1440. So, just taking any 4K monitor and trying does not guarantee that it will run at 60Hz.

    Assuming all related hardware pieces being equal between the MBP and SP3, it would continue to suggest that software is the differentiation.
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The SP3 cannot output true 4K, which is 3840x2160.

    So long story short, the SP3 still can't output 4K at 60 Hz because of the Haswell-U limitation.
  14. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    It creaked because you took it apart. The hardware is just fine. Stop trolling.
  15. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    London, UK
    And I'm guessing, as the rMBP 2013 13' also used a has well U processor, it too can't output 4K at 60Hz?

    To the other poster that recommended upgrading to Broadwell, I would rather wait for Skylake and a potential redesign of the rMBP. If they can make it as light as the Dell XPS 2015 at 1.2KG, then I'm sold. I don't see why they can't do this as they both essentially pack the same hardware (high-res display, same class of processor etc) - The rMBP can feel a bit heavy, especially when in a case and carrying it around campus all day
  16. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    I think he finished his homework for the evening so decided to troll the MR forums again.

    Although to be fair, "I took my laptop apart and didn't have the skill to put it back together and now it creaks so that means Apple makes rubbish hardware" is imaginative at least. It's a cut above "apple suckzorz". Slightly.
  17. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2013
    It can do 4K UHD at 51 Hz though Just like the 13" rmbp haswell. Also it can do "true" 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24 Hz as well
  18. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The limitation is in the graphics card of the Haswell chips. Haswell U supports a maximum resolution of 3200x2000 on three separate lines. However this can be split in different ways. http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/cs-033714.htm

    So, the Surface Pro 3 can drive a 4k 3840x2160 monitor at 50hz, in fact it can drive two of them if you use the dock. (I have this setup myself - and have tested with two monitors), as while the total resolution is greater than 3200x2000, the 50hz keeps the total bandwidth under that which is available.

    If you buy a monitor that uses the two MST lanes to drive the panel, rather than for providing the ability to daisy-chain monitors, the Surface sees it as two separate 1920x2160 monitors and it can drive that monitor at 60hz, as it uses two of the three available lines to drive 'two' monitor lines that are under the 3200x2000 limit.
  19. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The fact that you aren't skilled enough to take apart a few screws and put them back in correctly makes me think you should not judge whether hardware is good or not.
  20. Hieveryone, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015

    Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Well if you think it requires a genius to take apart a few screws and put them back on, maybe you should visit the Apple Store?


    To the OP, the Haswell models can run at 52 Hz at 4k which isn't bad. You will have to download 3rd party software. If you're serious about 4k, then get the 2015 model.
  21. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    Why are you still viewing this forum when you are so unhappy with the 'creaking' AFTER you disassemble/assemble your MacBook?

    Just get a cheap Window PC.

Share This Page