For quite some time now, there has been some debate on whether or not the LG UltraFine 5K Display is compatible with older Mac models. Thankfully, the debate is finally laid to rest today as a newly published support document answers the question on everyone’s minds. The support document clarifies which specific Mac models are compatible with the display and at what resolution.
According to the document, the LG 5K display can be used with the latest 2016 MacBooks released by Apple; thanks to its 5120×2880 resolution.
Since these MacBook models come with Thunderbolt 3 support, they are compatible with the display. This means that you can use it with the 15-inch MacBook Pro and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with and without a Touch Bar.
In addition, the LG 5K Display can also be used at 4K resolution with older Mac models such as the iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models. This can be done by using an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter along with a Thunderbolt cable.
The resolution for older Mac models are:
3840×2160 at 60Hz
- MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014) and later
- MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) and later
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
- iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac (Retina, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac (Retina, 27-inch, Late 2014) and later
3200×1800 at 60Hz
- Mac mini (Late 2014)
Apple recommends that the LG UltraFine 5K display be used as a secondary monitor for the Mac mini and the Mac Pro as these devices might not turn on until they have been booted into macOS. Not to mention, certain features like macOS Recovery and Boot Picker might not be compatible on the display once used with these models.
Since only the three latest MacBook Pro models are equipped with Thunderbolt 3, it means that they are the only models that can charge through the display.
When connecting to a Mac using Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, power is not being delivered. This same concept applies on older Mac models. In such cases, a separate power supply needs to be used.
The first batch of LG 5K UltraFine Display began selling early today with orders to be shipped from three to five days. But since these were quickly depleted, the orders placed now will start shipping in two to four weeks.