2015 MacBook Air Can Drive 4K Displays at 60Hz

The recently refreshed 2015 MacBook Air can drive 4K external displays at a refresh rate of 60Hz, as confirmed by Ars Technica. The report claims that Intel's new Broadwell processors with integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 support 4K output at 60Hz using a DisplayPort 1.2 cable, whereas previous-generation notebooks with Haswell processors were limited to lower resolutions at 30Hz.

MacBook Air
Apple's tech specs page for the new MacBook Air lists the notebook as capable of supporting one external display at up to 2,560×1,600 pixels, which clearly is not the case. Apple may be electing not to advertise 4K support for the new MacBook Air on purpose, however, as performance can still be somewhat laggy or jerky and the company has a shortlist of supported displays and configurations.

"Given that the Air is using one of Intel’s integrated GPUs, general OS X user interface performance isn’t too bad while driving the Air’s internal display alongside the 4K display. Dropped frames are clearly visible when entering into Full Screen mode or using Mission Control, and of course you’ll never want to try playing games or doing heavy 3D work at native resolution. But things are more than smooth enough for desktop use."

The new Thunderbolt 2 port included on the refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is compatible with the DisplayPort 1.2 spec, meaning that Single-Stream Transport is possible using one cable. Meanwhile, 4K over HDMI remains restricted to a 24Hz refresh rate due to the limitations of the current 1.4 spec. Multi-Stream Transport should also be possible using DisplayPort 1.2, although the number of displays will be limited and performance will likely be impacted.

Update: Apple has now updated its tech specs page for the new MacBook Air to note that it supports external displays up to 3840 by 2160.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

BCWorld Avatar
119 months ago
Thanks. How bout a new quad core mac mini i7 with a new 5k TB Display Please. :)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
119 months ago
It was the first thought that came to mind when it was announced that the MacBook had USB 3 type C. The larger pipe on USB 3 type C could both connect MacBook to an upcoming Apple retina display as a second screen and power it with just one cable.

you're thinking the retina macbook. this article is about the macbook air, which i do not believe has a usb-c port.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OriginalMacRat Avatar
119 months ago
It was the first thought that came to mind when it was announced that the MacBook had USB 3 type C. The larger pipe on USB 3 type C could both connect MacBook to an upcoming Apple retina display as a second screen and power it with just one cable.

No no no.

You're supposed to spew hate on the MacBook for not having all the ports of the MacBoo Pro Retina!! :p
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
autrefois Avatar
119 months ago
2015 MacBook Air Can "Drive" 4K Displays at 60Hz

So this is what all the rumors about an Apple Car were really about. :eek:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr Fusion Avatar
119 months ago
Not surprising... When the 2015 MacBook Air only has to drive a 2010 MacBook Air's display, it should have plenty of extra GPU power.

Upgrading the internal display would make too much sense and satisfy too many customers. :rolleyes:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MikhailT Avatar
119 months ago
Thanks. How bout a new quad core mac mini i7 with a new 5k TB Display Please. :)
5K Cinema (TB) Display is not happening until a new TB standard with the next DP revision support is released via Skylake CPU coming later this year or early next year.

Either Apple releases a 4K monitor with (3840×2160 at 60Hz) spec that TB2/DP1.2 support or they wait until the CPU/GPU comes with the required ports.

----------

It was the first thought that came to mind when it was announced that the MacBook had USB 3 type C. The larger pipe on USB 3 type C could both connect MacBook to an upcoming Apple retina display as a second screen and power it with just one cable.
No, USB type C on Macbook does not have a wider "data" pipe. It is still limited to 5Gbps (USB 3.0 or as they now call it, USB 3.1 Gen1), and Retina 5K display is not going to fit 40Gbps+ worth of data down a 5Gbps pipe. Don't you think Apple would've released it by now with TB2 support that's much faster with 20Gbps?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis,...
iPad And Calculator App Feature

Apple Finally Plans to Release a Calculator App for iPad Later This Year

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:08 am PDT by
Apple is finally planning a Calculator app for the iPad, over 14 years after launching the device, according to a source familiar with the matter. iPadOS 18 will include a built-in Calculator app for all iPad models that are compatible with the software update, which is expected to be unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple's annual developers conference WWDC on June 10. The lack of ...