Apple may launch a new ultra-high definition 27-inch monitor later this year, according to LCD market research firm WitsView (via Digitimes). The firm claims that the display will boast a 5120 x 2880 resolution, which would be significantly higher than the 2560 x 1440 resolution found on the current Apple Thunderbolt Display.

applethunderboltdisplay_sep14
However, it is unknown as to how exactly Apple would power such a high resolution display with the current DisplayPort 1.2 standard used in Thunderbolt 2. A number of Apple's computers including the Mac Pro (late 2013), 27-inch iMac (late 2013), and Retina MacBook Pro (late 2013 and mid 2014) are able to power 4K displays with one Thunderbolt port, but can only do so at designated refresh rates.

It is more likely that Apple would release a new monitor with a "Cinema 4K" resolution of 4096 x 2160, which is the maximum supported resolution by the DisplayPort 1.2 standard. Such a monitor would also be able to take advantage of the 20 Gbps data transfer rate of Thunderbolt 2 to stabilize performance at a high resolution.

An 27-inch 5K ultra high-definition monitor from Apple would also come after Dell's 5K display, which was announced last month and boast a 5120 x 2880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch. It is also unknown as to what technology Dell with use to power the monitor, although AnandTech speculates that the company may use Multi-Stream Transport (MST) to stitch together two 2560 x 2880 panels in order to provide 5120 pixels horizontally.

Apple's Thunderbolt Display debuted nearly three years ago, although it is hard to predict when the company will unveil a new monitor based the erratic upgrade cycle of past displays. In addition to a higher-resolution screen, a new Apple display would also likely feature an iMac-like design and USB 3.0.

Related Roundup: Apple Pro Display XDR

Top Rated Comments

Pakaku Avatar
86 months ago
Meh... Let me say it again.. Meh... I've really no interest in getting a 4k or 5k screen that is so hard on the graphic's card that it can hardly play any games.

I'm getting my LG 34UM94 (not the 95, thats old, had issues, only 1 year warranty) - It's an awesome UltraWide 34" 3440 x 1440p screen with 3 year warranty. As a bonus it has two Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 HDMI, 1 Display port, three USB3 and is only 30% harder to run than a standard 27" 1440p screen.

This should last me years to come....

You're not the intended audience if you think a few-thousand-dollar 5K screeen is for gaming...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
86 months ago
Meh... Let me say it again.. Meh... I've really no interest in getting a 4k or 5k screen that is so hard on the graphic's card that it can hardly play any games.

Lol this screen isn't for gaming haha
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
86 months ago
I hope they keep the current 27-inch around but cut the price in half. It is over priced right now.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
86 months ago
Meh... Let me say it again.. Meh... I've really no interest in getting a 4k or 5k screen that is so hard on the graphic's card that it can hardly play any games.

I'm getting my LG 34UM94 (not the 95, thats old, had issues, only 1 year warranty) - It's an awesome UltraWide 34" 3440 x 1440p screen with 3 year warranty. As a bonus it has two Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 HDMI, 1 Display port, three USB3 and is only 30% harder to run than a standard 27" 1440p screen.

This should last me years to come....

Can't believe this is the top comment. Most Apple users aren't Apple users for gaming, and most Thunderbolt Display (and Cinema before them) purchasers are graphic designers, video editors, photographers, etc. We buy quality monitors not for the fast refresh rate or anything else but for the quality of the image on screen. With us designers having to make higher and higher pixel density graphics assets for all of these retina devices, the extra pixels are definitely worth the money to professionals.

Anyway, the main reason I'm holding out on upgrading my Mac is that I'm waiting to see how this whole situation shakes out. I don't want to buy something that won't be able to run these next-generation displays. I can't wait to get them, but I just hope they don't cost a whole lot more than the current one does. Ideally a new Mac Pro and TB2 Display will be out by this time next year and I can upgrade then. Could one of the things delaying this launch be requiring Thunderbolt 3? The current Thunderbolt displays also run USB, ethernet and other stuff you can plug into the back. Can Thunderbolt 2 handle an upgrade to 5K (cinema 4K or whatever) and several USB 3.0 ports? We might need to upgrade to that 50Gb/s or 100Gb/s fiber optic Thunderbolt stuff Intel has been working on for a while now. But that's just speculation on my part.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
solamar Avatar
86 months ago
Meh... Let me say it again.. Meh... I've really no interest in getting a 4k or 5k screen that is so hard on the graphic's card that it can hardly play any games.

I'm getting my LG 34UM94 (not the 95, thats old, had issues, only 1 year warranty) - It's an awesome UltraWide 34" 3440 x 1440p screen with 3 year warranty. As a bonus it has two Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 HDMI, 1 Display port, three USB3 and is only 30% harder to run than a standard 27" 1440p screen.

This should last me years to come....
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
repoman27 Avatar
86 months ago
...The firm claims that the display will boast a 5120 x 2880 resolution, which would be significantly higher than the 2560 x 1440 resolution found on the current Apple Thunderbolt Display (ttp://www.macrumors.com/roundup/displays/)...
Or, you know, exactly 4x the resolution.

However, it is unknown as to how exactly Apple would power such a high resolution display with the current DisplayPort 1.2 standard used in Thunderbolt 2 (https://www.apple.com/thunderbolt/). A number of Apple's computers including the Mac Pro (late 2013), 27-inch iMac (late 2013), and Retina MacBook Pro (late 2013 and mid 2014) are able to power 4K displays (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6008) with one Thunderbolt port, but can only do so at designated refresh rates...
Well, not so much designated as simply limited by the available bandwidth of the interface used.

It is more likely that Apple would release a new monitor with a "Cinema 4K" resolution of 4096 x 2160, which is the maximum supported resolution by the DisplayPort 1.2 standard. Such a monitor would also be able to take advantage of the 20 Gbps data transfer rate of Thunderbolt 2 to stabilize performance at a high resolution...
There isn't really a set maximum resolution for DisplayPort, just limits to the maximum available bandwidth. If you drop the color depth and refresh rate down, you can go way higher than 4096 x 2160. Even if you're talking about 24 bpp, 60 Hz, DP 1.2 can still do 4096 x 2560. And seriously, what does that last bit even mean!!!

An 27-inch 5K ultra high-definition monitor from Apple would also come after Dell's 5K display (https://www.macrumors.com/2014/09/05/dell-5k-display/), which was announced last month and boast a 5120 x 2880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch. It is also unknown as to what technology Dell with use to power the monitor, although AnandTech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/8496/dell-previews-27inch-5k-ultrasharp-monitor-5120x2880) speculates that the company may use Multi-Stream Transport (MST) to stitch together two 2560 x 2880 panels in order to provide 5120 pixels horizontally...
Most people power monitors with electricity...

Although Ian over at Anandtech revised his speculation at least once due to a math derp, I'm pretty sure he never implied that two panels would be used, merely that the panel would be driven as multiple tiles in the same way that pretty much all current 4K displays are. And despite mentions of MST in the comments section, the article clearly states that two DP 1.2 connections were most likely. MST or no, a single DP 1.2 / Thunderbolt 2 port cannot drive a 5120 x 2880 display at 24 bpp, 60 Hz. DP 1.2 only goes up to 17.28 Gbit/s and HDMI 2.0 up to 14.4 Gbit/s, whereas a single 2560 x 2880, 24 bpp, 60 Hz tile would require just over 11.6 Gbit/s. This display would need two cables to support 60 Hz operation.

Can't make a retina Air this year? Yet making a 5K display for this year already?

I'll have to see it to believe it. None of those mobile CPUs / GPUs in the current iMacs can run 5K with multiple displays while simultaneously editing 4K content smoothly.
Good thing the new $1099 21.5-inch iMac is the only iMac to ever use a mobile CPU, and the 27-inch is available with up to a Core i7-4771 and GTX 780M (mobile GPU yes, but certainly no slouch).

Meh... Let me say it again.. Meh... I've really no interest in getting a 4k or 5k screen that is so hard on the graphic's card that it can hardly play any games.

I'm getting my LG 34UM94 (not the 95, thats old, had issues, only 1 year warranty) - It's an awesome UltraWide 34" 3440 x 1440p screen with 3 year warranty. As a bonus it has two Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 HDMI, 1 Display port, three USB3 and is only 30% harder to run than a standard 27" 1440p screen.

This should last me years to come....
Well, see that's exactly why you do want a 5120 x 2880 resolution, so you can game at 2560 x 1440 which the GPU can handle and then scale effortlessly to the display's native resolution. 2D stuff is not an issue at these resolutions, so you can enjoy super sharp text and UI elements with no aliasing at any scaling factor when you're not gaming.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
parallels windows 10 arm mac

Parallels 16.5 Can Virtualize ARM Windows Natively on M1 Macs With Up to 30% Faster Performance

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:00 am PDT by
Parallels today announced the release of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full support for M1 Macs, allowing for the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and ARM-based Linux distributions to be run in a virtual machine at native speeds on M1 Macs. Parallels says running a Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview virtual machine natively on an M1 Mac results in up to 30 percent better performance compared ...
iphone 13 pro render rear

iPhone 13 Pro Rumored to Be Thicker and Feature Larger Rear Camera System

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Tech blog 91Mobiles has obtained 3D renders of what it claims will be the iPhone 13 Pro, revealing a largely familiar design with a few notable changes, including a smaller notch and a significantly larger rear camera system. Following renders of the standard iPhone 13 model from MySmartPrice yesterday, which showed a new diagonal rear camera layout, these renders of the 6.1-inch iPhone 13...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...