According to the official technical specifications for Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro computer, creative professionals can connect up to four 4K displays or two 6K displays simultaneously using the four Thunderbolt 3 ports on their notebook.
Apple’s support document acknowledges this as well, explaining that owners of the 16-inch MacBook Pro can connect as many as four displays in the following configurations:
- Two 6K displays with resolutions of 6016 x 3384 at 60Hz
- Two 5K displays with resolutions of 5120 x 2880 at 60Hz
- Four 4K displays with resolutions of 4096 x 2304 at 60Hz
- One 5K display at 5120 x 2880 at 60Hz and three 4K displays at 4096 x 2304 at 60Hz
This is an improvement over the 15-inch MacBook Pro that the new 16-incher has replaced.
That discontinued model could drive four external 4K displays, in addition to its built-in Retina screen, but it couldn’t connect to a pair of 6K displays, such as Apple’s upcoming Pro Display XDR that launches next month, because it lacked the necessary memory bandwidth.
You can also connect multiple LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays to the 16-inch MacBook Pro:
- Two LG UltraFine 5K displays configured at 5120 x 2880 10bpc at 60Hz
- Four LG UltraFine 4K displays configured at 4096 x 2304 8bpc at 60Hz
- One LG UltraFine 5K display connected to one side of your Mac and two LG UltraFine 4K displays connected to ports on the opposite side
For those wondering, “bpc” stands for “bits-per-color,” defining the display’s color depth aka the number of bits used for each color component of a single pixel. An 8bpc display is capable of rendering 16.7 million colors while a 10bpc display maxes out at around one billion colors.
Finally, Apple explains the Thunderbolt 3 ports on both sides of the computer are not the same in term of the busses, which affects how you connect external monitors to it (emphasis ours):
Your MacBook Pro has two busses for its four Thunderbolt 3 ports. Each pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports (on the left and right sides of your Mac) are different busses.
Whenever possible, connect your displays to different busses to maximize performance. Don’t connect more than two displays to either bus.
If you connect a 6K, 5K or multi-cable 4K display, use a different bus for each display.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s first notebook rocking an adjustable refresh rate. What that does is let you switch between different refresh rates on the built-in Retina display on the fly. This is great for professional workflows like video editing. For instance, you can set the display’s refresh rate to match the frame rate of the video you’re editing or viewing.
You can choose between the 47.95, 48, 50, 59.94 and 60 Herz.
While Apple’s ProMotion display technology on the iPad Pro permits the tablet to adjust its refresh rate automatically, no other Apple device or notebook supports an adjustable refresh rate.