I am planning on buying a 4K monitor. I currently have a mid-2012 Non-retina Macbook Pro. I know I won't be able to run on the 4K monitor full-res. I don't mind. I was thinking of using SwitchRes (a software that allows you to scale up and down your mac resolution), to run in 2K resolution on that 4K monitor.

Would it work? Will I be able to run at around 60hz in 2K resolution on a 4K monitor?

The reason I'm not buying a 2k monitor, is that I'm planning on upgrading my computer in 1 or 2 year. And that computer will have a better graphic card and compatibility with 4K displays, so I'm thinking long term here.

But I need to know if I can do what I'm planning with my current macbook pro and that 4K monitor, or if it won't work.

Thanks a lot!

  • Technically it's not supported, but I don't know if that means it won't work. support.apple.com/en-us/HT206587. I also don't know if you could just send a lower resolution to the 4K screen and it would work. But Apple does not support your computer with a 4K screen
    – NoahL
    Jun 7, 2016 at 4:47
  • Thanks Noah. Still wondering if that would work since I'm not sure I wanna buy a 4K Monitor anymore. It does not seem very clear wether it's possible or not. Maybe buying one, trying it out and returning the monitor if that doesn't work would be the best thing to do.
    – larin555
    Jun 7, 2016 at 13:05
  • 1
    I'd take your laptop and a cord and go to a store that sells 4K monitors and see if they'll let you test it out
    – NoahL
    Jun 8, 2016 at 15:22
  • I'll try that out. Thanks! If anyone else knows it this would work, let me know!
    – larin555
    Jun 8, 2016 at 17:44
  • According to the interwebs it will work but you may not like the result depending on the monitor, but @NoahL has the right idea. You may find you like the result a lot better by simply getting a 1080p monitor at a great price. May 4, 2017 at 7:23

4 Answers 4


I tried to watch a 4k resolution movie on the same model MB Pro non-Retina you've got. There's no chance to watch it smoothly. I also tried to send it to an 2k display which I've got at home. I'm going to try out the one at my family's place which has 4k capability

  • Well obviously a 4K video on a not even 1080p screen won't look as good. Tell me if you can use that 4K monitor once you know ;) Thanks
    – larin555
    Jun 14, 2016 at 12:41

I have just connected a LG 43UN700-B to a non-retina MacBook Pro 2012 (with NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB video card). Using a Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter, the screen maxed out at 1080p (60Hz), which really wasn't very useable for a screen this size. However, with a 4k capable Mini Displayport to Displayport adapter and cable, I was able to run the screen at 4k (30Hz) and a range of other sizes/refresh rates by pressing the alt/option key while clicking on the "Scaled" button in the display resolution window in System preferences.

Even though this MacBook Pro model is officially limited to 2564x1440, it can run 3840x2160 at half the refresh rate. This might not be ideal for gamers, but for general web browsing and text editing, it's great!

Display preferences


I happen to have a 2012 non-Retina MBP 13 and a 4K monitor and I just tested this. You can run both displays and the monitor will max out at 1080p @ 60 Hz. You can game on it at that resolution as well but there are noticeable frame drops.

So yes, it should be possible. I was using a Mini-DP to HDMI dongle in between as well.


Looking around on the web trying to find people having the same question led me to this post. i have a Mbp 15-inch mid-2012 non retina. upgraded ram to 16gb and running on a SSD. Currently i'm on my 30-inch Dell 3007WFPHC 2500*1600 This mbp has a NVidia GeForce GT 650M with 1GB. and i belive an intel GPU on the motherboard/cpu.

i'm looking to upgrade my screen because this one is getting a bit old and showing it's age. it's connected true a active dual-dvi to displayport adapter from apple $99. i'm going to get the 4k "LG 43UN700-B" from LG. my wife has the previous model "LG 43UD79-B" that is the same 43inch 4k display. Yesterday i connected my mbp non retina to it using a displayport to mini-display port cable no need for anything fancy like active adapter i figured it's going from mini-dp to regular dp. and it worked fine. Running osx Catalina 10.15.4 and scaled the resolution to 3000*1692 equivalent i believe the config screen says looks like "3000*1692" and give the warning "using a scaled resolution may effect performance". i use a great app from VMI Studios "Temp Monitor V1.4.2" to keep an eye an everything on my mac temp of every piece of hardware on this mbp. it's also my fan controller. i use my machine as a test lab running 3 vm's most of the time. as i did yesterday.. only thin i did notice was my machine running a bit hotter then usual. But this is also due to the old cooling paste on this machine. i have read that people did have good results re pasting older macbooks so i bought sum Kryonaut thermal Grizzly and as soon as i gather enough courage to completely disassemble this machine i'm going to apply it. To sum up.. up-scaling to "3008* 1692" and watching 1080p youtube and doing day to day tasks so no gaming, no graphics design just sum sys admin work studying reading is perfectly fine.. reason i'm going to get the second model of LG is that it's cheaper then getting a 30-inch 2560*1600 the native resolution this macbook pro can run without up-scaling. problem is i know i'm going to be upgrading my computer so it's not logical to pay more for less desk space in my use case. Just wanted to share this might help anyone thinking of doing the same. good luck,.

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