I remember the controversy around the 27" Apple Thunderbolt display: it doesn't work with a PC. Despite the fact that Thunderbolt encapsulates DisplayPort, you cannot use it with a DisplayPort connection - which is even more confusing considering Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use Mini-DisplayPort physical connectors.

The new LG Ultrafine 5K display looks very attractive - at least as far as the published specs are concerned (I'm not a fan of the 'chin' on the top of the monitor). I see that it only connects using USB-C connectors and according to Apple's published information: it uses Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C to deliver a 5K video stream by using both DP1.2 channels at once.

...but does this work with a PC? And if so, to what extent?

My current workstation has a Broadwell-E X99 motherboard which has an ASUS Thunderbolt 3 add-in card which "works" by having me connect a DisplayPort cable from my GPU's output back into the Thunderbolt card, which then combines it with the PCI-Express channels. My GPU is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 which supports DisplayPort 1.4 - I note that only DisplayPort 1.3 is necessary for uncompressed 5K at 60Hz in 24-bit color mode - but Thunderbolt 3 only supports DisplayPort 1.2 - and I can't see any other Thunderbolt add-in cards that accept two DisplayPort inputs (for dual-channel DisplayPort)

  • Can the LG Ultrafine 5K monitor be used with a PC - in any capacity?
  • Can the LG Ultrafine 5K monitor be used with a PC - in 5K 60Hz mode using a computer with DisplayPort 1.4 ports?
  • Is there also enough bandwidth to run it in 5K/60Hz mode with a Gigabit (or even 10GigE?) adapter also plugged into the monitor?
  • As an aside, does the monitor support multiple inputs? What if I attach another Thunderbolt 3 video source to another of the USB-C ports on the monitor?
  • Sorry, what does this have to do with Apple products? This seems off-topic to me.
    – Tuesday
    Dec 11, 2016 at 1:34
  • 3
    @timothymh Apple is currently the exclusive retailer of this product and clearly Mac users are the intended primary users - so this is an "Apple ecosystem" question.
    – Dai
    Dec 11, 2016 at 1:36
  • OK, I didn't know Apple had anything to do with the display. Thanks for the prompt response.
    – Tuesday
    Dec 11, 2016 at 1:37
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    The monitor requires dual DispalyPort 1.2 streams over a single cable, which only works with a true Thunderbolt 3 port. The Asus Thunderbolt card supports only a single stream, and GPUs support 5K resolution only via DisplayPort 1.3 and above, and do not support dual streams from a single port. So no, it will not work with most PCs unless they have a true Thunderbolt 3 with dual DisplayPort 1.2 stream support. It's a shame the monitor does not support DisplayPort 1.3 or it would have worked with most PCs.
    – Monstieur
    May 2, 2017 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


The compatibility of these monitors with a PC and/or Windows is unclear. Even the FAQs page has a couple of related questions, but these are yet to be answered.

However, I wouldn't recommend buying this with the intention of using it with your setup unless you get a definitive answer from either Apple or LG.

In the meantime I refer you to this info:

At this point you may have noticed that all of these specs are the same as Apple's iMacs. LG Display makes the IPS displays in the iMacs, so it's very likely if not certain that these are the same panels. Given that these monitors are targeted at users of the new MacBook Pro, it's also very likely that they do not have any sort of sRGB fallback mode, as such an option is unnecessary on macOS where there is end to end color management in any AppKit app and even in most apps that don't use AppKit. This is important to keep in mind for anyone interested in buying these for a Windows computer. The state of color management on Windows means that in nearly every application you'll be stuck with oversaturated colors and no workaround, so I wouldn't recommend it even if it can work.

While I'm on the topic of Windows support, I will say that from a technical perspective, the displays should work with a Windows computer. However, product listings for the monitor specify that you need a Mac with USB-C for the 4K model, and a Mac with Thunderbolt 3 for the 5K model. This limits the 4K model to Apple's MacBook, and the new MacBook Pros, with the 5K model only working on the latter. This also ties back to the integration with macOS. Most monitors use physical buttons for controlling brightness and volume, but the LG UltraFine displays use the integrated controls that macOS provides, meaning that it can respond to the volume and brightness keys on Mac keyboards. It doesn't look like the monitors have any buttons to fall back on, so this may be another situation where Windows users should be wary, and it definitely explains why the monitors are being marketed specifically for their integration with macOS.

Source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/10798/lg-introduces-new-4k-and-5k-ultrafine-monitors

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