Will we ever get retina external monitors to rMBP?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mortenjensen, May 26, 2015.

  1. mortenjensen, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015

    mortenjensen macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2012
    #1
    Hi all,
    I am waiting for the right upgrade for my MBP 2011 - but since I use it almost all the time with an external monitor (24'' Dell), I am hoping to get a new setup with retina-like resolution on an external screen.
    Will this ever happen?
    Is it too difficult for the rMBP's onboard graphic card to run?
    Or why has apple not released a new monitor with retina resolution?

    Any insights on this?

    Morten

    NB: Maybe I am asking out of ignorance, but is it possible to buy a retina monitor (non-apple) for a rMBP that would work through the thunderbolt-connection?
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    All the MBP's currently made (with the exception of the cMBP from 2012) can output to a 4K screen (and the new top end 15 inch with dGPU can do a 5K screen).

    Apple don't make any new external screens but you can certainly use one made by someone else. You'll need a 4K monitor with a Display port input and a thunderbolt to display port or mini display port to display port cable (these will need to be of a certain spec I think, 1.2 or 1.3 designation)
     
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #3
    I've just got myself a 4K monitor for my 15" rMBP and it works brilliantly through DisplayPort @ 60hz (it's an AOC U2868PQU that cost a ridiculously low price of less than £300 and supports DP1.2).

    I'm running it at "looks like 2560x1440" scaling and it looks as smooth as the native retina display and much better than the Apple thunderbolt display at 2560x1440 native does
     
  4. mortenjensen thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2012
    #4
    Thx, Phil,

    I am interested in learning more about this:
    - if your 4K screen should output full 2x-resolution (where every pixel is doubled), what would the resolution be then?
    - what are you at when running 2560x1440? 1.5 or so?

    Am I correct in assuming that it is only when you have a full 2x-doubling of the pixels that you see a crystal clear retina resolution - or does that kick in before?

    I am running 1920x1200 on my Dell, which is ok - but the text is clearly not sharp - so what I would like is a "retina 1920x1200".

    Is that possible now or does it demand more resolution than 4K - and more than the present rMBP can deliver?

    Morten
     
  5. dagamer34 macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

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    #5
    The Dell UP2415Q will give you a "Retina-like" experience on a 24" external monitor. Available for $430 from Amazon. Late-2013 models and after with a dedicated GPU have the ability to drive 2 of them at a single time, though when I tested the mid-2014 model, plugging in the 2nd display caused the fan to ramp up a bit.
     
  6. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #6
    The native resolution of the monitor is 3840x2160 so if you want true pixel doubling it only does that at 1920x1080. However, the scaled modes are like the ones on the rMBP itself (i.e. doubled first then scaled so it's rendered using the full resolution of the screen): it's not fuzzy at all and looks crystal clear to me.

    To see what it looks like, try changing the resolution of your rMBP built in panel to "looks like 1680x1050"
     
  7. mortenjensen thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2012
    #7
    Thanks,

    Would it by any chance be possible to connect a 4K-screen to a 2011 mbp with dedicated graphic card? I know my MBP will not do retina-resolution - but will the screen it self double the pixels on a 1920x1080-resolution and this in the end be much sharper than my present screen?

    Or is the "retina-doubling" done in the MPB and thus not possible from a non-retina?

    Morten
     
  8. Phil A., May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015

    Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #8
    I believe the maximum resolution that machine will support is 2560 x 1600 so it should support 2560x1440 but it won't support the high-res retina style display modes (they're done by the machine, not the monitor): It would be scaled and look quite blurry I would think: You'd be far better off with a native 2560x1440 monitor in that case

    I've just tried switching between the "looks like" 2560x1440 resolution and a true (what apple calls low resolution) 2560x1440 and you can definitely tell a difference - it's nowhere near as clear and looks like what you'd expect a monitor running at it's non-native resolution to look, whereas with the scaled "retina mode" 2560x1440, it looks perfect

    As far as the 1920x1080 resolution is concerned, the text would probably look OK, but thing about the retina resolutions is the OS on an rMBP renders images at full resolution rather than the scaled resolution so they look brilliant: With a standard MBP this wouldn't happen and they'd look blurry
     
  9. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #9
    - Officially, yes. Or two Apple Thunderbolt Displays at 2560x1440.
    I've seen reports of 3440x1440 ultrawide monitors working via Thunderbolt, though.
    But it won't do 4K - both due to GPU limitations and due to bandwidth limitations of DisplayPort 1.1
     
  10. mortenjensen thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2012
    #10
    So: to sum up, I need:
    - one of the newest rMBP, which handles thunderbolt to display port 1.2 (1.3 is not needed?).
    - a 4K monitor that runs 60 mhz.
    - and of course a thunderbolt to display port 1.2-cable, which is quite expensive, right?

    I would be very interested in getting suggestions from others on which screen to by. The AOC is cheap, alright, but probably not an IPS-panel as my present Dell. I understand that to be the best for text.

    Also: What would I gain from waiting on a 5K screen?

    Morten
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    5K screens are great if you edit 4K video, it means you can run them at full resolution while editing and still have all your menus and editing tools on screen with the video at the same time. If that is not your thing then I can't see it making too much difference.
     
  12. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #12
    1. For 15", Late 2013 or newer. For 13", Early 2015 or newer. DisplayPort 1.2 is needed for 4K, DisplayPort 1.3 is needed for 5K (but no monitors or Macs that use it currently exist).

    2. Make that 60Hz, without the 'mega'. :)

    3. Most monitors will come with the DisplayPort cable you need. Dell, for instance, ships theirs with a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable, which plugs straight into any recent Mac.

    Also, Thunderbolt isn't involved in any of this.
     
  13. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #13
    You are correct that the AOC is a TN rather than IPS panel: It doesn't really affect the display quality but does affect the viewing angles (IPS panels have a bigger range of viewing angles). Having said that, I can't fault the AOC display at all - it has stunning picture quality and I haven't noticed any issues at all with it being a TN display

    It came with every cable you could think of except a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (the one I needed!), but I got one from Amazon at the same time I got the monitor for less than £10 so I wouldn't call that expensive :)
     
  14. AlexVc macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2014
    #14
    I can confirm that I can run LG 3440x1440 ultrawide at 60Hz from white MacBook using mini display port to display port cable. This is ancient unibody MacBook with Core2Duo CPU and some nVidia GPU.

    I am in situation where I have early 2013 15' rMBP and it does not support 4K at 60Hz. I am currently using LG ultrawide @ 60Hz and Seiki 39' 4K @ 30Hz.

    I saw mentions that some 4K displays supports Picture by Picture mode where screen divided on two parts and each part can be driven from separate input. So it may be possible to connect older MacBook to 4K display using two cables. Such display should be recognized as two displays 1920x2160 @ 60Hz. Some software support will be needed to stitch two such "displays" in OSX to have one 4K display. Somebody heard about/tried such combination?
     
  15. lennydoes macrumors newbie

    lennydoes

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    Jul 20, 2015
    #15
    Hi Phil, which rMBP do you have? Was hoping to use this monitor, but heard it may not fully work with 15" rMBP late 2013. Thanks!
     
  16. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #16
    Mine's a 15" mid 2014 so don't know about whether it will work with yours unfortunately
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #17
    Mac Pro owners have been waiting/hoping for years now. I do not see why apple doesn't roll these out, either get out of the monitor business or at the very lest keep current.
     
  18. Niarlatop macrumors member

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    May 13, 2015
    #18
    On Late-2013 15" rMBP, you need a MST (multi-stream transport, it's a protocol used to stick two panels into one in this case) 4K monitor to run at 60 Hz. I can only think of the Dell UP2414Q.

    Newest 4K monitors use SST, no "two panels in one" hack needed to display 4K at 60 Hz, but only the Mid-2014 and newer 15" rMBP can run them. Oh, and the new 2015 13" rMBP is compatible with 4K/SST/60Hz too.
     
  19. lennydoes macrumors newbie

    lennydoes

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    Jul 20, 2015
    #19
    Yep thanks Phil and Niarlatop, looks like this this Mac will be 4Kless.
     

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