Report: Apple 5K Retina Thunderbolt Display In Development, Sports a Discrete GPU
Word around the Internet is floating that Apple’s 27-inch Thunderbolt display, which is available for $999, is running out of stock and Apple does not intend to replenish its inventory. A report suggests that the company is developing “Apple 5K Retina Thunderbolt” display featuring 5K resolution and a discrete GPU, however, which GPU will be used is unknown.
To be honest most of us when heard this, our first thought was “Is Apple gone mad”, why does it need to put a graphics card inside a monitor, however, it not as nonsensical as it sounds.
Given that this Thunderbolt monitor features 5K resolution, so it requires a serious graphics card to actually be able to output some decent Hz. 5K resolution amounts to over 14.7 million pixels, which is 2 million more pixels compared to standard full HD 1080P display. Apple’s current Thunderbolt has a resolution of 2560×1440, which is little less than 3.7 million pixels.
Maybe Apple thinks that if it integrates a GPU powerful enough to drive 5K display in the monitor, then it will not have to tweak graphics performance for its thin and light designs of MAC systems in the future. This will also make sure that Apple 5K Retina Thunderbolt display will be compatible with as many MAC systems as possible, regardless of their specs.
This would also require some changes to OS X, because when the this 5K Thunderbolt monitor will be connected to a MAC system, the OS will have to decide to use the GPU of the system or the discrete GPU inside the monitor, as both GPUs can’t work at the same time. But it can bounce between the GPUs depending on the workload.
Other than the GPU, this new Apple 5K Retina Thunderbolt display will be similar to Retina iMac. Expect to see a DCI P3 color gamut and overall quality, more pixels and a different physical design.