Apple’s new MacBook Pro models have HDMI 2.0, not HDMI 2.1

Apple’s newly announced 14- and 16-inch M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models sport and SD card slot and an HDMI 2.0, not 2.1, port along with three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports with support for: Charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 4 (up to 40Gb/s), and USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s).

Apple's new MacBook Pro models have HDMI 2.0, not HDMI 2.1

The HDMI 2.0 port offers support for one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz and DVI output using an HDMI to DVI Adapter.

Juli Clover for MacRumors:

The HDMI 2.0 port supports a single 4K display with a refresh rate of up to 60Hz. HDMI 2.1 technology would have allowed the port to run a 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

It’s curious that Apple did not include HDMI 2.1 in the MacBook Pro models because the Apple TV 4K that was released earlier this year does have an HDMI 2.1 port.

MacDailyNews Take: That HDMI port is there for presentations to conference room monitors. HDMI 2.0 is fine for that. That port is there for presenters who whine and moan about having to carry a Thunderbolt (USB-C) to HDMI dongle for such use cases. The same goes for the SD Card slot.

The MacBook Pro has a much different use case for HDMI in general than an Apple TV.

While we’d rather have four Thunderbolt 4 ports than those two “built-in dongles” (HDMI and SD Card; we’d carry dongles for those if needed) we can understand why Apple chose this route and divvied up the bandwidth the way they did (resulting in the need to go with HDMI 2.20 instead of 2.1).

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18 Comments

      1. Thanks, but I’ve already spent enough on Dongles to have bought a cheap PC or Chromebook … and that’s being frugal, not for a nice ‘Thunderbolt Dock’ for $300

        What makes Dongle Hell besides the fiscal cost is that one has to carry them along too as a bag full of loose parts, which defeats the whole purpose of paying extra for a light, slim laptop.

  1. It’s good that Apple put back in the Magsafe and the SD card slot. I could do without the HDMI because I find that this connector does physically not work so well. I understand why not old USB connectors.

    1. The HDMI port is there to make it header to quickly hook up to a conference room projector. HDMI 2.0 is just fine for that purpose. The three Thunderbolt 4 ports are there for connecting to high performance external monitors. Welcome to the 21st Century…

    1. Easy. You use the UBC C to Lightning cable that is included with every new iPhone, as well as the last years model. But you knew that and weren’t just trolling were you?

    2. Really???

      You shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a Mac. You will cause Apple to raise prices across the board just to cover the cost of providing you with tech support…

  2. Dongle is not possible for HDMI 2.1 because it needs software features like VRR (variable refresh rate), ALLM (auto low latency), etc. Most of these HDMI 2.1 features are aimed at improving gaming on 4K and 8K TV. For now is not a big deal, because TV manufacturers are struggling with it and none have the full implementation even though high end LG OLED are close. TV makers will most likely still struggle with this standard for the next 2 years, so right now, HDMI 2.1 is not super useful.

    1. Yes. TODAY HDMI 2.1 is not relevant except in very limited cases. However, people buy top end MacBook Pro systems for use for 3-4 years. In that time frame HDMI 2.1 will be very relevant and common. You WILL be seeing “8K” (not the Digital Cinema Standard 8K, but the UHD variant) displays in some conference rooms. HDMI 2.0 will not drive them with a single cable.

      It’s a matter of Apple not future proofing.

      Apple has had a very sporadic track record for future proofing.

  3. I was ready to buy a monitor with 120hz with my preorder, since that is the future for displays. It sucks they got cheap on this since the system can easily do it and Apple promotes 120hz on the built in display. Bad move Apple. Would another port do 120hz?

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