New AUO display panels spark speculation of 4K UltraHD Apple displays

“When Apple gave its full unveiling of the new Mac Pro at last month’s media event, many observers were disappointed that the company did not also announce new higher-resolution displays to complement the radically redesigned professional desktop, which Apple touts as being able to support up to three 4K displays simultaneously,” Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors.

“But the recent introduction of new 27-inch and 32-inch 4K display panels from AU Optronics (via Reddit and AmongTech) is sparking speculation that Apple could yet have a display announcement in the relatively near future,” Slivka reports. “Both panel sizes offer 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which could use the new Thunderbolt 2 connectivity standard to support either much larger desktops than with the 2560 x 1440 resolution of the current Apple Thunderbolt Display or high-quality ‘Retina’ sharpness at an equivalent of 1920 x 1080.”

Slivka reports, “In question is whether Apple would even use 16:9 3840 x 2160 panels for a 4K display, as some have suggested that the company may prefer to push Thunderbolt 2 to its limit and support the wider 4096 x 2160 ‘Cinema 4K’ standard.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Yes !!! FINALLY !!!

    If you think of it, Apple, offer 3 sizes. All Mac products should be available in small, medium, and large. There’s no better way to cover the possible market space. iMac owners want screens that match closely to the ones they have, and true pros will love the >30″ models if the image quality is there.

    Make it happen, Apple.

  2. It won’t happen, but, as I’ve posted here many times, I wish Apple would come out with a 2560×4096 display at about 32′ diagonal (for about 150 ppi) with the full Adobe RGB color gamut and a < 6 ms gray-to-gray switching time. That would be THE killer display.

  3. Everyone,

    This is slightly off-topic but related to the discussion about displays. Can anyone tell me whether the new Mac Pro, via some type of adapter, will allow the use of older Apple Cinema displays to be connected? Any information regarding this issue is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. You don’t say how old your Apple Cinema Display is, or what I/O ports it offers. But Thunderbolt 2 (20 Gbps) is backwards compatible with Thunderbolt (10 Gbps) and Mini DisplayPort, so that is readily available out of the box. If you have to go back even further, you can buy adapters:

      Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
      Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter
      Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

      Some people have reported difficulty achieving a reliable and high quality image using various combinations of computer, adapter cable, and display. But you are more likely to have a good experience since you are connecting an Apple computer to Apple Cinema Display. Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

  4. King Mel,

    Thanks for the info. As my desktop computer I’m using the last of the pre-Intel Macs — a G5 quad core PowerMac that I purchased in November 2005. I needed a new machine at that time and didn’t want to wait until the Intel Mac Pro’s were released (it was another year, as it turned out). Of course, I’m now limited to running OS 10.5.8 on that machine. I bought a second dual video card back then and have 4 monitors connected — two 30″ (ca. 2005), a 20″ ca. 2003 Apple Cinema Display and a 22″ Apple Cinema Display (ca. 9/2001 — this came with my original “Quicksilver” dual 800 MHz PowerMac I bought when I made the switch from Windows). The oldest two displays require Apple Cinema Display-to-DVI adapters. I have since 2005, of course, replaced the internal HD’s to increase storage capacity and have upgraded the RAM from its original 512MB to 12.5GB.

    This past May, however, I had my first HD crash ever (mechanical failure). Fortunately, my data was backed up via Time Machine. I purchased a new 3TB internal HD for the PowerMac. Four times I’ve restored my Mac via my Time Machine backup, and four times my computer won’t reboot after a Restart or a Shutdown. In September I performed a manual reinstall of all my data NOT using the Migration Assistant utility. This seemed to solve the problem — I was able to reboot via the Restart command or after a Shutdown — until this past weekend when, after shutting down my machine to replace my cable modem, it wouldn’t restart (again!). This AM, the Mac restarted normally. When it doesn’t restart, the initial white screen with the gray Apple logo appears and gets stuck there. I have had no problem, however, selecting my older internal HD #2 (via holding down the Option key on reboot) and rebooting into Tiger.

    Anyway, sorry for the long-winded explanation but this gets me to my original question about the older displays: I’d consider purchasing the new Mac Pro once it’s available but I hesitate to do so because I’d rather not have to buy new monitors at the same time if a solution exists to allow use of the old monitors with the new Mac Pro.

    If you see this post and can offer any more advice, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

    1. Apple declares that Thunderbolt “provides native support for the Apple Thunderbolt Display and Mini DisplayPort displays. DVI, HDMI, and VGA displays connect through the use of adapters.”

      The digital video signal is essentially identical on DVI, ADC, DisplayPort, HDMI, and Thunderbolt. Here’s the description of each of the adapters Apple produces:

    2. Another thought, which you’ve likely thought about in great length, is the huge leap you’re going to make in applications going from a PowerMac machine to the latest and greatest Intel machine. The sad truth is that not all great Classic apps made the leap. You’ll find functional replacements, but watch out for file compatibility.

      The good news is that OS X 10.9 can more or less be wrangled into an appearance reminiscent of the more attractive non-flat 10.5 by turning off a lot of the fluff. But again, don’t assume that default apps are direct replacements for what you know. Apple has completely re-architected some apps, like Mail, so while data transfer is absolutely possible, you’ll want to take the time to do it right. Just because there’s an Apple symbol on both machines doesn’t give a 100% guarantee that everything will “just work” exactly as you want it to.

      For convenience of data import/conversion — as well as being preemptive in avoiding another hard drive mechanical with your old drives — it would be wise to NOT buy a Thunderbolt peripheral in which you stick your old drives. Instead buy all-new Thunderbolt peripheral hardware that works with the newest Mac. If you need a drive that is compatible with both machines, any USB 3 hardware is reverse-compatible with your old machine. Then take your time in transferring your data before you decommission the old Mac.

      Also, keep an eye out for sales on Apple’s aging 27″ Thunderbolt Display. This current model is several years old and will likely have to be replaced soon with 4k resolution displays. If you want a solid bump in display performance from what you have now, and you don’t really need 4k resolution, and you find the idea of plunking down $30 for a stupid adapter that Apple should hand out for free, then perhaps a Thunderbolt display or two would make you very happy.

  5. Mike,

    Thank you very, very much for all your insight. You are correct, also, and that I have thought about what will happen when I make the jump to 2013 software to accompany the new hardware. We have a few other Apple computers in the house, all Intel-based. I’ve kept myself limited to Snow Leopard just so I can have backward compatibility with my main desktop machine. You’re right, also, in that I have experienced frustration upgrading to new or updated versions of some of my favorite programs. I still prefer iMovie HD to the newer versions of iMovie released the last few years, for example.

    I would keep going with my old machine as I have for now if it wasn’t for the unreliability of The rebooting process following backups. I’ve never experienced this before. I’ve replaced the hard drives to larger capacities four or five times in the last eight years. I’m thinking that maybe some of the systemboard circuitry may be going bad. Is that possible? I reversed the drive bay positions of my new hard drive and the older hard drive number two in my Power Mac. The older drive always boots up no matter what drive bay it’s located in.

    I will explore the adapter options once the new Mac Pro is out. Your suggestion about buying an older thunderbolt display or two (or three?!!) is also a good idea. I’m not a professional graphic artist but do usually upgrade to as powerful a machine as I can, hoping it will last me for many years. At least you’ve given me some hope!

    Thanks again,


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