Tech Briefing

| 4K on Mac

Mac Format - - RATED -

Cur­rently, of­fi­cial sup­port for 4K res­o­lu­tions on Macs is sparse: Ap­ple states the only two mod­els to sup­port it are the new Mac Pro and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and newer). That’s partly be­cause th­ese are the only Macs to sup­port Dis­playPort 1.2, which is the pro­to­col needed to sup­port 3840×2160 at a re­fresh rate of 60Hz. Even th­ese Macs don’t sup­port 3840×2160 at 60Hz over HDMI, though – you’re limited to 30Hz, mean­ing animations and move­ment in OS X ap­pear less smooth. In all cases, you have to specif­i­cally en­able Dis­playPort 1.2 sup­port on the mon­i­tors. How­ever, de­spite its of­fi­cial sup­port, we did have a prob­lem with the Mac Pro run­ning at 60Hz over Dis­playPort 1.2 – it has some sort of driver er­ror with its graph­ics cards that caused dis­play er­rors on the right edge of ev­ery dis­play ex­cept the Dell. It was fine at 30Hz, and the Retina MacBook Pro was fine at 60Hz. Hope­fully, this will be ad­dressed soon.

How­ever, don’t aban­don hope for 4K if you don’t have a 15-inch MacBook Pro or new Mac Pro. You won’t be able to get 60Hz on other ma­chines, but we tried other Macs with the dis­plays, and many were ca­pa­ble of sup­port­ing the res­o­lu­tion at 30Hz, in­clud­ing the lat­est 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros. It’s not just newer Macs – the old­est we tried suc­cess­fully was a Late 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro. How­ever, older Macs and newer ones with low­per­for­mance GPUs (in­clud­ing a Late 2012 MacBook Air) did suf­fer from a few dis­play glitches when con­nected, which could af­fect us­abil­ity.

One thing you’re likely to find if con­nect­ing one of the un­of­fi­cially sup­ported Macs to a 4K screen is that pixel-dou­bled ‘Retina’ mode may not kick in, as it does with the sup­ported mod­els, mean­ing that OS X’s in­ter­face will be tiny. You can man­u­ally ac­ti­vate a Retina mode to 4K screens, though, so the in­ter­face ap­pears at 1080p size (but with dou­ble the de­tail).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.