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Apple upgraded its high-end MacBook Pro last week, improving its internal specifications. And the first thing to check on these upgrades is the performance of the processors. But even the most demanding professionals have more curiosities to satisfy.
And one of them, very important, is how that new MacBook Pro behaves when we connect one or more external displays to it . We saw that with the iMac Pro, so it’s time to see what happens when Apple moves the full potential of the pro Mac into the portable range.
And that potential is not bad: from Apple’s own official website we can confirm that the new MacBook Pro (remember that we are talking about the new high-end models presented in July 2018) supports up to 2 5K screens connected via Thunderbolt 3. Just what the iMac Pro is also capable of supporting, although I have no doubt that the desktop will be able to provide much more graphics performance in addition to supporting those same resolutions.
There’s an interesting extra: the new MacBook Pro is capable of using True Tone on certain external monitors in addition to its own display and the Touch Bar. Those monitors are the Apple Thunderbolt Display (using the adapter from Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2) and the UltraFine 4K and 5K monitors from LG. This is the first time that a Mac extends this support to external monitors thanks to its sensors, although as you can see the compatibility catalogue is very small.
Two 5K monitors do not equal a 10K: we do not yet have support for 8K monitors
We can deduce that MacBook Pro can support up to 4 external 4K monitors knowing that their resolutions cost less to manage than 5K monitors, although we still cannot confirm the possibility of using 8K displays . As we said in the case of iMac Pro, we’re talking about a number of pixels that is simply too high for the graphics performance of today’s Macs. However, almost no computer on the market today can do that right now. It’s still early .
Remember, you can boost the graphics performance of those MacBook Pros by using the BlackMagic eGPU, which you can connect to monitors using an extra HDMI connection. Anyone with this combination can experiment to see what their limits are, but what Apple guarantees is that you’ll be able to use two 5K displays without any problems.