Will current iMac (2012) drive 4K displays?

wmy5

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2012
224
4
upstate NY
Hi guys, if Apple release new TB displays, 4K or higher (27" retina, 5120x2880) resolution, will current iMac, with 680MX graphics, support it?

Thanks a lot.
 

forty2j

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,585
2
NJ
Depends on what you try to do on it... it should be fine for playing a 4K video, but don't expect too much in terms of real-time 3D rendering.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
Hi guys, if Apple release new TB displays, 4K or higher (27" retina, 5120x2880) resolution, will current iMac, with 680MX graphics, support it?

Thanks a lot.
I do not believe the current (and previous iMacs with Thunderbolt) will support a 4K display. I think that is one of the features of Thunderbolt 2.

Depends on what you try to do on it... it should be fine for playing a 4K video, but don't expect too much in terms of real-time 3D rendering.
You answered a hardware question with a software answer.
 

forty2j

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,585
2
NJ
I do not believe the current (and previous iMacs with Thunderbolt) will support a 4K display. I think that is one of the features of Thunderbolt 2.

You answered a hardware question with a software answer.
TB(1) has the bandwidth to drive a 4K display. (It can't, though, drive 3 of them at the same time, like TB2 can).

"Support" means different things to different people. If I say "Yes, it supports it", but what that means is, "Yes, you can make the connection and get a picture, but all you can really see is your wallpaper and a slowly painting application", many people would say "then why did you say it supports it?"
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
33,693
23,120
Behind the Lens, UK
Hi guys, if Apple release new TB displays, 4K or higher (27" retina, 5120x2880) resolution, will current iMac, with 680MX graphics, support it?

Thanks a lot.
If you can currently drive 2 Thundebolt 27" screens wouldn't one 4K screen be less pixels? In my head that makes it possible. Not sure about running 2 though!
 

Shane1905

macrumors regular
May 21, 2012
203
0
UK
If you can currently drive 2 Thundebolt 27" screens wouldn't one 4K screen be less pixels? In my head that makes it possible. Not sure about running 2 though!
One 4k display would carry 2.25 times the pixels of the current Thunderbolt Display, 3,686,400 pixels vs 8,294,400. It could definitely power it's own 4k display if apple were so inclined :rolleyes:
 

mrmarts

macrumors 65816
Feb 6, 2009
1,051
0
Melbourne Australia
To run a thunderbolt 4k display, you will need the newly revised thunderbolt 2 port only found on the Mac pro atm. in terms of software i'am not sure whether Mountain Lion supports 4k resolution.

Your safest bet is to it give a couple of years when the technology will become adopted more rapidly and the prices drop, also there is no content in 4k unless you want to watch home brew movies. If you desperately want a 4k wait for the macbook retina to get thunderbolt 2 ports and than get yourself the rumoured 4k thunderbolt monitor.
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,023
1,590
Lincoln, UK
iMac tech specs say it will drive an external monitor up to 2560x1600.

4K needs Thunderbolt 2 or HDMI 1.4, neither of which are on the current Mac.

4K also needs GPU support, which the HD4000 spec does, but the drivers do not, probably an OS limit (but OS X must be changing with Mavericks to support the new Mac Pro and possibly others).
 

rei101

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
976
1
Why someone would need 4K? Ok, it looks good, but do not be a technology junky. Spending more in things you do not need or will ever use.

I work on TV, HD is ok but then you compress the signal big time and just one other network has the capacity to fully show HD. 4K... for get about it.
 

mellofello

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2011
1,238
500
I personally can't wait for 4k support. I'm anticipating ditching my 2012 imac, for a 32 inch 4k panel, and mac mini, next year sometime.:D
 

Muscle

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2010
170
3
Although the late 2012 iMac does not support a 4k display, will I be able to use a 4k display at a different resolution when connected via thunderbolt?
 

Muscle

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2010
170
3
Ok Thanks. Don't know why I asked about a 4k display when I'm looking to connect a Dell U2715H monitor to my late 2012 iMac.

[edit] Also, since the U2715H monitor only comes with a mini display / display port cable. Does anyone know if I can use this cable to connect to my iMac's thunderbolt port for the monitor?
 
Last edited:

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Ok Thanks. Don't know why I asked about a 4k display when I'm looking to connect a Dell U2715H monitor to my late 2012 iMac.

[edit] Also, since the U2715H monitor only comes with a mini display / display port cable. Does anyone know if I can use this cable to connect to my iMac's thunderbolt port for the monitor?
Yes you can.
 

michaelsammler

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2015
1
0
Can someone explain a bit more to me?

I am looking at the Cintiq 27QHD with 1440p, which sounds like it should be fine using ether HDMI or display port from a 27inch late 2012 iMac with the MX680 Nividia card through the TB port using an adapter.
But maybe not the HDMI? Nividia says the MX680 has HDMI 1.4, but above in this thread, it says the late 2012 imacs do not support HDMI 1.4.

I have been saving up all year, and christmas is almost here :)
 

Hotseat_Expert

macrumors newbie
Feb 5, 2018
1
0
So, I recently picked up a Samsung UHD display and the 2012 iMac will drive 3840x2160 @30Hz with an Active Mini Displayport - HDMI Adapter. I'm running OSX 10.10. It's a pleasant surprise considering my buddies MBP 2015 only has an HDMI 1.4 port and can only run 4K-30 as well.