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4K and 5K Display Buyer's Guide for Macs

4K displays are becoming increasingly popular as they come down in prices, and even some 5K displays have been released over the past year, but there are lots of variables to consider before purchasing one for your Mac. This buyer's guide will help you determine the ideal 4K or 5K display for your MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro or Mac mini, based on compatibility, price, display technologies and

'5k displays' Articles

Apple Adds High-End 15" Retina MacBook Pro to List of Macs Supporting Dell's 5K Display

Apple has updated a support document on its website to reflect that the high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, equipped with AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics, is capable of driving Dell's dual-cable UP2715K 27-inch 5K display. Apple initially released OS X 10.10.3 in April with support for the dual-cable 5K monitor on the Retina 5K iMac and 2013 Mac Pro, but no notebooks supported the display at the time.Dual-Cable Displays Some displays with resolutions higher than 4K require two DisplayPort cables to connect the display at full resolution. With OS X Yosemite v10.10.3 or later, the Dell UP2715K 27-inch 5K display is supported on the following Mac computers: Mac Pro (Late 2013) iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014 and later) MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) with AMD Radeon R9 M370XDell's dual-cable 5K display requires more bandwidth than is currently supported over a current single DisplayPort cable, so it uses a dual-cable solution that takes up two Thunderbolt ports on a Mac. The availability of Intel's Skylake platform with DisplayPort 1.3 support later this year will enable Apple to update Macs with support for external 5K displays that function over a single cable, at which point the company could theoretically release a 5K Thunderbolt Display. The support document also lists the high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro as capable of driving most single-stream 4K displays (4,096-by-2,160) at 60Hz on OS X 10.10.3, becoming the first notebook to support single-stream 4K displays alongside the Mac Pro (Late 2013) and iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014 and later).

OS X 10.10.3 Now Supports Dell's Dual-Cable 5K Monitor on Retina iMac and Mac Pro

With the release of OS X 10.10.3 last Wednesday, Apple has expanded support for high-resolution 4K and even 5K external displays (via 9to5Mac). Most notably, OS X 10.10.3 enables the Retina 5K iMac and 2013 Mac Pro to drive Dell's UP2715K 27-inch 5K display released late last year. The display requires more bandwidth than is currently supported over a current single DisplayPort/Thunderbolt cable, so it uses a dual-cable solution taking up two ports on the user's machine. This bandwidth issue for the current DisplayPort standard has been seen as a major roadblock keeping Apple from releasing a standalone 5K Thunderbolt Display. With the Retina iMac, Apple has been able to build custom internal components to drive the massive display, but for external displays, a dual-cable solution such as that used by Dell has been considered by many to be "un-Apple like." As a result, Apple has been widely expected to wait until the release of Intel's Skylake platform with DisplayPort 1.3 support later this year before releasing an external 5K Thunderbolt Display that will function over a single cable. Whether the inclusion of support for Dell's dual-cable solution in OS X 10.10.3 is a sign Apple may be willing to adopt that arrangement for its own display and perhaps release it earlier is, however, unclear. Beyond 5K displays, OS X 10.10.3 has also expanded support for 4K displays to include "most single-stream 4K (3840x2160) displays" at 60 Hz, expanding beyond the previous support of only Multi-Stream Transport displays introduced in late updates to Mavericks. The new 4K