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Reader Question: Update Coming for Apple Thunderbolt Display?

Buying advice on the new iMac 5K and iMac 4K.

See also display reviews at

Alan T writes:

I just happen to be checking out your post on the new iMacs and the 4K displays and wondered about an update to the Thunderbolt display.

Looked around and didn’t see it listed at all anywhere on the Apple site any longer. You can get to it thru a google search, and I believe still buy one, but it’s not generally found on the existing site.

Do you think they are releasing a new Thunderbolt 27” display with 5k, USB3, dual Thunderbolt-3, HDMI, DVI in time for Christmas?

Thanks for so much great work in info. Saves me a ton of leg work in my photo biz!

MPG: A new Thunderbolt display is doubtful, as it would be a 5K display and at present there is no Mac that supports an external 5K display ( not even the late 2015 iMac 5K) without using dual Mini DisplayPort cables; see the MPG review of the Dell UP2715K 5K Display. The use of dual cables is not a clean or reliable solution and with only two Thunderbolt ports on an iMac, not particularly attractive from a port perspective either. So I do not expect Apple to release a 5K Thunderbolt display until HDMI 2.0 is supported (and Thunderbolt 3 also), which affords enough bandwidth to drive a 5K display with a single cable.

It might also be that Apple will wait until it is possible to go straight to 8K display. 5K is just an interlude with 8K the right target.

Any new display really must have USB-C, and even the just-announced iMac 5K lacks USB-C, which shows that its is a plain vanilla refresh with worthwhile but incremental improvements, not a new design

I’m glad to save people time and money. Readers can help me by buying through the advertiser links on this site and/or subscribing to my photography publications and/or engaging me in consulting.

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