LG UltraFine 5K Display Works at Lower Resolution With Older Macs Using Adapter

There has been some confusion as to whether the LG UltraFine 5K Display works with older Macs, but a new support document published today answers that question and makes it clear exactly which Macs can be used with the display and at what resolution.

At its full 5120 x 2880 resolution, the LG 5K display can only be used with Apple's latest 2016 MacBooks, which have Thunderbolt 3 support. That includes the 15-inch MacBook Pro, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar.

lg-ultrafine-5k
Using an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter and a Thunderbolt cable, the LG 5K Display can be used at 4K resolution with older iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models. A full list is below:

3840 x 2160 at 60Hz
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
- MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) and later
- MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2014) and later
- iMac (Retina, 27-inch, Late 2014) and later
- iMac (Retina, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
- MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)

3200 x 1800 at 60Hz
- Mac mini (Late 2014)

For the Mac mini and the Mac Pro, Apple recommends using the LG UltraFine 5K display as a second monitor as it might not turn on until the machines are booted into macOS. Features like Boot Picker and macOS Recovery may not work on the display when used with those machines.

Power delivery features are only available for Macs equipped with Thunderbolt 3, which means only the three newest MacBook Pro models will be able to charge through the display. Power is not delivered when connecting the display to a Mac using the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, so on older Macs, a separate power supply will need to be used.

Apple started selling the LG 5K UltraFine Display this morning. While the first orders placed offered shipping estimates of three to five days, supplies were quickly exhausted. Orders placed now will ship out in two to four weeks.

Related Forum: Mac Accessories

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Top Rated Comments

69Mustang Avatar
97 months ago
This would have been good information to have when they introduced the monitor... just sayin'.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trifid Avatar
97 months ago
I'd love to know which monitor Jony Ive uses, I refuse to believe he'd accept this travesty of ugliness.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
97 months ago
Remember the old Apple marketing slogan "There's an app for that"?

It's been replaced with "There's a dongle for that." :D
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wilson1313 Avatar
97 months ago
The Mac Pro can't support 5k resolution. Apple sure has their priorities straight... :rolleyes:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
metabob Avatar
97 months ago
Funny how they say 2014 models are "older".

My previous MBP was 2010.

I don't get out much.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wayfarer Avatar
97 months ago
Boycotting this third party travesty until Apple brings back a proper refreshed 5k Thunderbolt Display. :mad:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)