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New Mac Pro struggles with spotty 4K monitor support

 Apple’s latest Mac Pro, like those before it, is a powerful desktop built for people who work in professional, technical fields like digital graphics and movie editing. Many of these individuals would no doubt like to hook up a big, beautiful and expensive 4K display to their new Pro – but it turns out they may in for some trouble.

AnandTech’s review of the Mac Pro has found that current 4K support is not exactly reliable. Having connected a Sharp 32” 4K display that Apples makes available through its own store, reviewer Anand Shimpi expected it to, well, work.

Instead he found the display’s 3840 x 2160 native resolution wasn’t supported and up-scaled 2560 x 1440 had to be used instead. The result was “a bit of a blurry mess” as smaller interface elements, like icons and text, were distorted and difficult to read.

This is a bit puzzling given the success Apple has had with scaling on the MacBook Pro with Retina, but it appears that the techniques used in those laptops aren’t applied when the Mac Pro is connected to a 4K screen. To make matters worse, the same result occurred with a 24-inch Dell Ultra HD display, exactly the kind of monitor professionals love to use with a workstation computer.

Anand Shimpi summed up the experience by calling OS X’s 4K support “a bit of a wild west,” but also noted that these issues are due to software, not hardware, and will likely be fixed in the future. For now, though, anyone planning to use a 4K monitor with the Mac Pro should wait until an update is released.

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