Apple reportedly preparing 5K external display with its own graphics processor

Thunderbolt Display
Thunderbolt Display (Image credit: iMore)

Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a new version of its Thunderbolt Display, one that will feature 5K resolution like its most recent iMacs. In order to drive all of those pixels, the new display will reportedly feature its own dedicated GPU, supposedly for compatibility with future Macs.

From 9to5Mac:

At first, the idea of Apple including a GPU in the external display may sound crazy. Our sources explain that the reason for it is primarily for compatibility with as many future Macs as possible. Due to the immense graphics needs required to push 5K worth of pixels, normal super high-resolution displays require connected computers to include significantly powerful GPUs.

Macs connected to the display will reportedly automatically decide whether or not to use their own graphics processor or the one in the display. The other graphics processor will reportedly become inactive if it's not chosen.

There is no information just yet on how this display is supposed to connect to your Mac. While its seems unlikely that Thunderbolt 3 would be sufficient to power such a display, perhaps Apple could unveil another solution.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.