Is the Macbook12 early 2016 compatible with a LG UltraFine 5K 27"? If yes, at which resolution and hz will it run? Will the Macbook be charged while connected to the Monitor?

I found this post: https://9to5mac.com/2016/12/21/lg-ultrafine-5k-mac-compatibility/ however, it does not specify if the MacBook12 is compatible.

(Usually an iMac 2019 is connected to this monitor, which works great, the Macbook12 will be used with this monitor just from time to time...)

  • 1
    There are two models of LG 27. The thunderbolt only doesn’t work with usb and the new model works at lower resolution with USB and full resolution with thunderbolt. Do you have an older display in mind or the new one apple sells now? – bmike Aug 22 at 23:36
  • Thank you very much for your comment. It is a thunderbolt only model. – captcoma Aug 23 at 0:14
  • Bummer, you're stuck then. Need a different display or a different Mac. : - ( I have that model at work and it's pretty sweet - not the greatest, but well above average. – bmike Aug 23 at 1:18

For starters, no, the LG UltraFine 5k 27" display will not power the 12" MacBook (Early 2016) models.

As for being able to out put video to the LG UltraFine 5k 27" display, this is not officially supported by Apple. See Use the first gen LG UltraFine 5K Display with your Mac and Use the second gen LG UltraFine 5K Display with your Mac

However, it may be possible by getting a USB 3.1 Gen 1 digital video output to Thunderbolt 3 adapter (or a combination of adapters to achieve that outcome) and then running the LG UltraFine 5K 27" display at lower resolutions.

The problem you're going to face (besides the cabling involved) is that your MacBook is capable of external resolutions of:

  • up to 3840 by 2160 pixels at 30Hz
  • up to 4096 by 2160 pixels at 24Hz

The LG UltraFine 5k 27" display, on the other hand, is designed to work in the 48Hz to 60Hz range (although all its recommended resolutions are specified at 60Hz). See below table for Signal Timing specs:

As you can see, trying to find a sweet spot to run the LG UltraFine 5k 27" display from your MacBook looks challenging and probably not worth the time, effort and money to try as it'll most likely result in failure anyway.

However, over the years I have seen people far exceed what is officially supported by Apple in terms of various MacBook models and the displays they're connected to, so if you're happy to invest the time etc, it may be a fun project.

  • 1
    No to the adapter idea, great info that can be updated with the new LG model that runs any USB / DisplayPort at lower resolutions and refresh rates. LG UltraFine 5K Display store.apple.com/xc/product/HMUB2LL/A – bmike Aug 22 at 23:38
  • Thank you for your taking your time. The MacBook 12 (early 2016) runs at home with a LG 27UD69P-W (over an Club 3D Type-C to DP 1.2 adapter) with 3840x2160 at 46 Hz like a charm. At work, the iMac 2019 runs with the first gen LG UltraFine 5K like a charm. It would be just too nice If the MacBook 12 could be connected to the first gen LG UltraFine 5K from time to time. What is the magic behind the second gen? Is there such an USB 3.1 Gen1 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter "implanted"? :D I would like to try an adapter solution, (probably DP 1.2 to Thunderbolt 3), do you have any suggestion? – captcoma Aug 23 at 2:09
  • 1
    There’s no magic in the new gear, @captcoma , the controller just can sense both protocols and switch how it uses the physical pins based on whether identifies an USB-C connection or a Thunderbolt 3 connection. They are vey different protocols with identical connectors and pinouts. – bmike Aug 23 at 2:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .