“One slightly surprising spec in the new 15-inch MacBook Pro line-up is that even the base model got an AMD GPU,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “Previously, Apple has offered only integrated GPU in the base model, reserving discrete graphics for the higher-specced models.”
“John Gruber noticed that the ArsTechnica review explains this: it was the only way to allow the machine to drive two 5K monitors,” Lovejoy reports. “And the reason for that is that Apple had to use something of a workaround to achieve it.”
When you hook one of LG’s 5K monitors to one of the new MacBook Pros, what you’re actually seeing on the screen is two pictures stitched together to make a single seamless image. This is because the version of the DisplayPort spec supported by Intel’s GPUs and almost all monitors these days — version 1.2 — doesn’t have enough bandwidth to drive a 5K display at 60Hz all by itself. This will change with DisplayPort 1.3, which is right on the cusp of going mainstream, but it’s not here yet. Apple is actually pushing two DisplayPort 1.2 streams to the monitor over the single Thunderbolt 3 cable. — Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Which, of course, adds to the base MacBook Pro’s sticker price.