I've tried quite a few settings and haven't been able to get it to display anything better than 3840*2160 14hz, while I've ready about quite a few people that have their MacBook Pros working with the Seiki 4K pretty easily.

So I ask: what exactly are your settings with yours or how do I get mine to work?

Using a Belkin Thunderbolt-HDMI adapter (and have tried plain HDMI as well), have SwitchResX installed (but haven't gotten 3840*2160-30HZ to be accepted by the computer) with an Intel HD 4000 graphics card.


You will need an active adapter that converts the DisplayPort 1.1 signal coming from your Thunderbolt port to an HDMI 1.4 Signal. The UltraAV Mini DisplayPort 1.1 to HDMI 1.4 Active Adapter for example. The regular (passive) adapters will not give you the HDMI 1.4 that is required for your resolution.

Also, make sure your HDMI cable is High Speed certified (sometimes it's called a Category 2 cable), and that you use the right resolution, refresh rate and color depth.

HDMI resolutions

HDMI Standard    1.3a                 1.4                   2.0 
HDMI cable       Standard/Cat1        HighSpeed/Cat2        HighSpeed/Cat2
Resolution       2880x576  2560x1600  3840x2160  4096x2160  4096x2160
Max Refresh Rate 50 Hz     75 Hz      30 Hz      24 Hz      60 Hz
Max Color Depth  48 bpp    30 bpp     36 bpp     48 bpp     30 bpp

Mind the maximum color depth, although 24 bits per pixel should suffice for most uses. On the Mac, 24 bit is sometimes called "millions of colors".

  • I have that active adapter in my possession but haven't been able to get it to power the Seiki at 30Hz. I'm using the HDMI cable that came with the monitor assuming that it's capable of powering the TV - do you think that's a reasonable assumption? I was able to get 14hz at full resolution so I believe it is.
    – JohnAllen
    Feb 17 '14 at 17:36
  • How do I adjust the maximum color depth? This is one thing I haven't tried adjusting at all.
    – JohnAllen
    Feb 17 '14 at 17:40
  • Unfortunately, there are only shareware apps. You could try Display Maestro.
    – Duvrai
    Feb 17 '14 at 22:45

The HD 4000 isn't a "graphics card" it's a GPU built into the Ivy Bridge processor. You may well find 14Hz is all you can get out of it.

The people who succeed in getting 3840 by 2160 at 30HZ are on MacBook Pro's that were released later and have the Intel Iris GPU built in to the Haswell processor.

Given even 30hz looks pretty bad you might be best to drop the resolution back to that of a 30" monitor such as 2560 x 1600 or similar.

  • I've seen multiple reports of people using their late-2012 MacBook Pros with same GPU with this monitor at full resolution, albeit slower speeds, which I'd be thrilled with right now.
    – JohnAllen
    Feb 14 '14 at 1:04
  • And yes, I've tried contacting those to confirm their setup etc. at Amazon in reviews and another forum where multiple people had 2012 Retina MacBook Pros working with it.
    – JohnAllen
    Feb 14 '14 at 1:09
  • 1
    Yes, you can use it at the 14Hz rate, you might even be able to tweak it up a bit higher but you won't get 24 or 30hz at that resolution out of that chip. The math don't work. Feb 14 '14 at 2:38
  • Like I said, I've read many reports of 2012 MacBook Pro Retinas working. Even MacBook Airs as well.
    – JohnAllen
    Feb 15 '14 at 23:58
  • For instance: forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1681560
    – JohnAllen
    Feb 15 '14 at 23:59

You're getting that framerate because your Thunderbolt-HDMI adapter supports only 2 PCIe lanes - the specs say 10Gb/s, with a little 'b', and there's 10b/8b error correction.

That's just not nearly enough bandwidth for raw 4K.

@Tony William's answer is fundamentally the better one though, because you'd never be happy with the output even if you soldered the connection to the logic board without a dedicated GPU. I'm not even sure the integrated graphics in Haswell are sufficient. Probably with Broadwell come 2015.


I finally got this to work on my 2012 macbook pro retina (although I hear that non-retina versions work too). Its a stock MBP with the Intel 4000 chip. I used SwitchResX and created a custom resolution, set 3840x2160 at 18 Hz using CVT-RB. Then rebooted, then opened up my display settings and clicked on 3840x2160 and viola, it works.

No need for an active displayport to HDMI whatsoever. I'm using the HDMI that came with the Seiki.

  • At what speed/Hz does it work? 18Hz? I had gotten mine to work at that speed but I couldn't really tolerate that speed.
    – JohnAllen
    Jul 14 '14 at 17:01
  • 1
    yea, mine is 18Hz. I'm just happy I can get at least that. It took awhile just to get this far. Going to keep trying to see if I could push beyond 18hz
    – Kevin
    Jul 15 '14 at 6:13
  • Odd, mine (2012 macbook retina) just says "no signal" using the HDMI port connected to the Seiki through a cable only...any hints?
    – rogerdpack
    Mar 11 '16 at 0:48

I managed to get full 3840×2160 @30Hz on my late 2012 rMBP (intel HD4000) using just a mini-displayport to displayport cable and an app called SwitchResX. The only possible difference is that I used the AOC U2868PQU 4K display which uses MST and I think your display is only SST. Anyway Here are my custom settings, you need to reboot the machine to apply them:

enter image description here

As a word of warning, this does make things eye-bleedingly small. (Pretty cool though - full-size)

enter image description here

Personally, I found the ‘scaled’ resolution of 1920×1200 to be the best for me because it uses HiDPI to give you that retina feel you’re used to. It will look like 1920×1200 but actually use more pixels to paint it. Here are the settings:

enter image description here

This is much more sensible (although I would like it smaller to be honest). The downside is that you lose some of the screen down the sides. Let me know if you have any better suggestions.

If you find the colours going a bit funny, I used SwitchResX to change the color profile to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 like this:

enter image description here

For more details, go to my blog post here: http://www.mattburns.co.uk/blog/2014/09/30/running-the-4k-aoc-u2868pqu-and-intel-hd4000-graphics/

  • Thanks Matt. Would you mind posting a picture of what your entire screen looks like with a few windows open using the scaled resolution? How's the performance of your computer with the monitor setup like this?
    – JohnAllen
    Oct 1 '14 at 17:29
  • Hi @JohnAllen, I'm afraid I've now sent the monitor back. It was annoyingly temperamental one when it would detect DP source after sleeping. Also some flashes of randoms blocks on bottom quarter of screen would force me to reboot (may have been a driver thing). Performance wasn't noticeably slower. I noticed the refresh rate lag when moving the cursor dragging windows etc but not a big enough problem. Editing photos in Lightroom was a pleasure. I mostly used the 1080p HiDPI mode most which was too chunky really but the quality was great. There are rumours of a 5k iMac which would be awesome
    – matt burns
    Oct 9 '14 at 9:37

I've just bought a 4k Acer CB280 to pair with my rMBP Mid-2012.

I can achieve any resolution at 30hz fine, forcing 60hz results in text looking distorted as if the Macbook hasn't turned on its retina settings.

The only resolution I seem to be able to have 60hz and full crystal clear looking text & imagery is 720p :S (The monitor supports 60hz - I know my Macbook doesn't at 4k but thought I lesser resolution would be handled...the search continues)

  • It doesn't answer the question but it is helpful nonetheless.
    – JohnAllen
    Feb 26 '15 at 20:21

only works with nvidia graphics card and 1G vram I believe

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