iMac Pro Works With Apple's New Pro Display XDR, But Limited to 5K Resolution

Shortly after the Pro Display XDR became available to order this week, Stephen Hackett of Relay FM noted that the iMac Pro was not included in the list of Mac models compatible with the display on Apple's website.

apple pro display xdr roundup header
Fortunately, video editor Thomas Grove Carter has since demonstrated that the iMac Pro can in fact drive the Pro Display XDR, but only at a 5K resolution. This is likely because the iMac Pro uses Intel's older "Alpine Ridge" Thunderbolt 3 controller without enough bandwidth to drive a 6K display.


To use the Pro Display XDR at its full 6K resolution, the display must be connected to the new Mac Pro with MPX Module GPUs, a 2018 or later 15-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, or a 2019 iMac. To our best knowledge, all of these models are equipped with Intel's newer "Titan Ridge" Thunderbolt 3 controller.

The Pro Display XDR also works at full 6K resolution with any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports paired with a Blackmagic eGPU or Blackmagic eGPU Pro. Those external GPUs are equipped with the "Titan Ridge" controller as well.

The Pro Display XDR is aimed at professional users, with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. It is priced at $4,999 and up.

(Hat tip to Myke Hurley!)

Related Roundup: Apple Pro Display XDR
Buyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

tevion5 Avatar
18 months ago

Apple has some explaining to do to iMac Pro customers.
"the iMac Pro uses Intel's older "Alpine Ridge" Thunderbolt 3 controller without enough bandwidth to drive a 6K display."

So I guess the explaining would be technology improves over time?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
18 months ago
That sucks. I wonder if Apple will release a "normal" 5k display that would pair nicely with the iMac Pro/iMac and the mac mini.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nexusrule Avatar
18 months ago

Nope. Working in a degraded state from its peak performance is not best described as simply "working". That the iMac Pro can't push any flavor of 6k to their own external Pro display, just a huge flop and egg on Tims face.

Keep in mind the 16" MBP can drive the full 6K. Apple has some explaining to do to iMac Pro customers.
Or maybe you should understand how technology works before talking about it. iMac Pro customers bought a product that by its own spec is able to drive displays up to 5k, so I really doubt they expected it to drive a 6k display. Hardware specs are fixed, they don’t magically auto update when a new product it’s released. I don’t expect my MacBook Pro model 2015 to drive a 5k display just because now there are 5k display on sale.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Canada420 Avatar
18 months ago
Nope. Working in a degraded state from its peak performance is not best described as simply "working". That the iMac Pro can't push any flavor of 6k to their own external Pro display, just a huge flop and egg on Tims face.

Keep in mind the 16" MBP can drive the full 6K. Apple has some explaining to do to iMac Pro customers.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
retta283 Avatar
18 months ago

Nope. Working in a degraded state from its peak performance is not best described as simply "working". That the iMac Pro can't push any flavor of 6k to their own external Pro display, just a huge flop and egg on Tims face.

Keep in mind the 16" MBP can drive the full 6K. Apple has some explaining to do to iMac Pro customers.
There's not really any explaining needed. The Thunderbolt spec for 6K wasn't included on the iMac Pro, so it wasn't possible. Not a scam or anything. They will need to update it in the next model, I am certain it will support the 6k display if they release a new model.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamjackson Avatar
18 months ago
No one expected Apple to update its iMac Pro often but I do think Apple's "Pro" iMac should be able to drive their "Pro" display. They really should update it with new GPU & CPU options by Spring if they can. I would also love to see a "baby XDR" put into the iMac Pro. Further differentiate the iMac Pro from the iMac by sticking with 5K resolution but adopting some of the XDR's backlighting & anti-reflective finish on the iMac Pro.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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