Wondering what adapter or cable you need to connect your display to your new MacBook Pro’s USB-C ports? Apple this afternoon published an updated support document offering specifics on requirements for connecting 4K and 5K external displays to its new MacBook Pro models, including supported adapters and cables for Thunderbolt, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and other connections.
Apple notably unveiled LG UltraFine monitors alongside its new MacBook Pros that use USB-C to connect to the new machines. But we’ve been getting a lot of questions from users about specifics on requirements for cables and adapters necessary to drive other displays at 4K and 5K resolutions at 60 Hz refresh rates.
Here’s what you need to know:
The new 15-inch MacBook Pros support up to two 5K displays or four 4K displays (half that for the 13-inch model), but you’ll want to know a few things about what’s supported before you start buying cables and adapters…
The new MacBook Pros (late-2016) support displays over HDMI 1.4b using the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter:
-3840×2160 at 30 Hz refresh rate
-*4096×2160 at 24 Hz refresh rate (*Apple notes that mirroring is not supported at this resolution)
-60Hz refresh rates over HDMI when used with a supported HDMI 2.0 display, an HDMI Premium Certified cable, and a supported USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter.
Single-Stream (SST) displays (mini DisplayPort)
-most single-stream 4K (4096×2160) displays are supported at 60Hz
-mini DisplayPort requires a USB-C to mini DisplayPort adapter or cable– like these. (Note: Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 MacBook Pro adapter doesn’t support Mini DisplayPort, but most cables/adapters up-to-date with the latest USB specs should work)
Multi-Stream Transport (MST) Displays
-Most multi-stream transport (MST) displays at 60 Hz are supported
Dual-Cable Displays (require two DisplayPort cables)
-Late-2016 models support up to one 5K dual cable display using a USB-C to DisplayPort cable or adapter
Apple’s Thunderbolt Display
And of course, Apple’s updated support document note that the new 2016 MacBook Pro models are compatible with the LG UltraFine 5K display that is expected to launch at Apple Stores next month. The 4K version of the LG UltraFine display is also officially supported on the USB-C 12-inch MacBook.
Something else to keep in mind: Earlier today we noted that Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 MacBook Pro adapter doesn’t support your Mini DisplayPort displays, which means you’ll need to opt for another adapter or solution to connect your new MacBook Pro as noted above.