I'm wondering if an early 2013 macbook pro retina (so two thunderbolt 1 ports, each supposedly outputting up to 10gbps) can have both thunderbolt ports plugged into a Dell or LG 43 inch 4k monitor as two separate inputs to drive 4k @ 60hz.

Online, it says that these monitors support multiple inputs, so half of the screen can be driven by one computer and the other half by another. Although thunderbolt 1 alone can't output 4k @ 60hz, I'm wondering if I can use one port to output 4k @ 60hz to the top half (or left half) of the monitor and use the other port for the other half, and thereby put two pieces together.

Has anyone tried this? Is it even theoretically possible given the data transfer rates with thunderbolt 1 and the data necessary for 4k @ 60hz?


  • I plug my 2015MBP into a 4K asus monitor over HDMI. I connect to a 1440p dual-link monitor on the other side over one Thunderbolt port. 60Hz might be the difference though, I think my Asus is 30
    – frumbert
    Mar 29 '18 at 4:49

This is only possible on monitors that require two cables to run at full resolution. As far as I know this is only the Dell 5K monitor (http://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/cty/dell-27-ultrasharp-ultra-hd-5k-monitor-up2715k/spd/dell-up2715k-monitor).

Even if you were to connect a 4K monitor that supports multiple inputs to your MacBook, it would connect as two separate monitors with two separate spaces, so you'd see the menubar twice.

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