Thunderbolt Display (two-up, MacBook Pro)

Apple is said to be releasing a 27-inch iMac with Retina display and a new high-resolution 27-inch Thunderbolt Display by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Friday citing a report from Taiwan-based display researchers WitsView.

The upcoming Thunderbolt Display should feature a 5K resolution of a whopping 5,120-by-2,880 pixel versus the 2,560-by-1,440 pixel resolution on the current Thunderbolt Display.

As MacRumors points out, the current DisplayPort 1.2 standard used in Thunderbolt 2 only supports a maximum “Cinema 4K” resolutions of 4,096-by-2,160 pixels.

Therefore, it’s unclear how the existing 4K-enabled machines such as the late-2013 Mac Pro, late-2013 27-inch iMac and late-2013 and mid-2014 MacBook Pro with Retina display might support a 5K resolution.

iMac 8G (two up, left angled, right angled)

These machines can only power 4K displays with one Thunderbolt port and at designated refresh rates only, leading MacRumors to speculate that the rumored Retina Thuderbolt Display would actually support the aforementioned “Cinema 4K” resolution rather than the 5K one.

“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,” author Richard Padilla opines.

On the other hand, Dell recently introduced a 27-inch 5K display with a 5,120-by-2,880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch (pictured below), making this panel a likely candidate for Retina-enabled iMacs and monitors.

Dell 5K monitor (image 001)

According to AnandTech, Dell may have actually stitched together two 2,560-by-2,880 panels to provide 5,120 pixels horizontally.

Lending further credence to the notion that Apple is about to update iMacs with Retina-enabled models, 9to5Mac recently discovered references to 5,120-by-2,880 resolutions in OS X Yosemite code, along with other Retina scaling options like 6,400-by-3,600 (3,200-by-1,800 HiDPI), 5,760-by-3,240 (2,880-by-1,620 HiDPI) and 4,096-by-2,304 (2,048-by-1,152 HiDPI) resolutions.

Back in May, the OS X 10.9.3 Mavericks update brought out improved support for external 4K displays on the late-2013 Mac Pro and late-2013 MacBook Pro with 15-inch Retina Display, with refresh rates of 60Hz

The existing Thunderbolt Display launched in July of 2012, making it ripe for a refresh. Display vendors are increasingly seeing most demand for 27, 28 and 32-inch Ultra HD monitors, with the Ultra HD LCD monitor penetration rate in 2014 pegged at approximately five percent.

WitsView (UHD screens)

However, the rumored release of a Retina-enabled iMac all-in-one desktop and a dedicated 5K Thunderbolt Display is expected to spur demand as the company mainstreams Ultra HD displays.

Apple currently offers Retina screens on the MacBook Pro family. The ultra-thin MacBook Air notebook has been rumored to go Retina later this year, too.

Do you care about an ultra-high resolution iMac or Thunderbolt Display?

[DigiTimes, Press release]

  • josemunozmatos

    I have been waiting for the updated Display!!!

  • Alatoerka

    5k Thuderbolt? That must be 5K Thunderbolt.

  • Sean Clark

    Nah….the only 5K screen out there has a $2500 price tag. They won’t sell an iMac with one included for awhile. The current upper-tier Mac is $1999. I don’t see them passing $2999 and I frankly would expect them to aim for something like $2799 to avoid crossing over into the price range of the Mac Pro.

  • 4K isn’t even mainstream and companies are already making 5K displays?

    • Guest

      Company* Only Apple;)

      • Chris Gaunt

        Really? Something tells me a Dell might.

      • You’re right. Dell is the only company making displays greater than the quality of that of 4K displays. Apple should just buy Dell 😛

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Lol if you think of it, Apple could easily buy a lot of it’s big competition. They have like 600 billion dollars in total. For instance they could buy Google, Samsung, Spotify and they could implement all their products (Android, Samsung phones, Spotify streaming service) in that of their own so that the competition would drop with like 60% and their sales would rise with 350%.

        PS: I know it sounds stupid and it will never happen but just think about it.

      • Kurt

        haha when you said to me you don’t like choice you really meant it lol

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Yeah ahahahahah:P

      • Rowan09

        It would be good for movie producers

      • Kurt

        I really wonder how the icon would look within adobe products. It’s great we are moving to higher and higher pixel count on displays.

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    I’m hoping for the Air/MacBook Pro hybrid with black glass bezel, ultra portable and with retina display. Huge battery would hurt either

  • abdullah575


  • Matt

    I mean an iPhone with that display would be nice

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      That’ll be 28.000 dollars please. Would you like to pay in cash or by credit card?

    • Rowan09

      Why? I don’t understand if no video on the web plays that resolution it would be just useless.

      • Matt

        Because 4k (and higher) will be mainstream soon, so when and as smartphone cameras start to be able to shoot 4k, I would like to view the videos. Just need to fix the extreme battery usage first

      • Rowan09

        We are about 2-3 years from 4K being a standard in televisions. I don’t know of any cable network that offers 4K streaming.

  • Any news on updated MacBook Air

  • lakinen69

    I really don’t like this crazy display resolutions and all the trends with it, my video collection would look soooo bad on it, and I spent so much money on that stuff, bluray movies and such.

    • thomas

      welcome to technology

  • Albert


  • 4pp1e

    scratches will easy noticed on Black aluminium that why apple avoiding making them

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      Yeah that’s true, maybe they’ll make Space Grey Macbooks… (a rumor recently said the new Macbook Air with Retina will feature Silver, Gold and Space Grey versions!).

  • blastingbigairs

    Touch screen iMac please!!!!!