Following the release of OS X 10.9.3 yesterday with improvements for driving 4K displays, Apple has updated its support document detailing the new features and what hardware is officially supported. It also outlined how to optimize Macs that support 4K displays to get the best experience.

Apple notes that with Mavericks version 10.9.3 or higher, it now officially supports the following displays via DisplayPort at 30Hz using single-stream transport (SST):

  • Sharp PN-K321
  • ASUS PQ321Q
  • Dell UP2414Q
  • Dell UP3214Q
  • Panasonic TC-L65WT600

Some Macs— the MacBook Pro (Retina, Late 2013) or Mac Pro (Late 2013)— are also capable of using 4K displays at 60 Hz, but Apple notes users will have to configure manually to use the necessary multi-stream transport (MST) protocol. Here’s instructions on configuring straight from Apple:

  • Sharp PN-K321: Choose Menu > Setup > DisplayPort STREAM > MST > SET
  • ASUS PQ321Q: Choose OSD menu > Setup > DisplayPort Stream
  • Dell UP2414Q and UP3214Q: Choose Menu > Display Setting > DisplayPort 1.2 > Enable
  • Panasonic TC-L65WT600: Choose Menu > Display Port Settings > Steam Setting > Auto

Previously Apple only listed support for the Sharp and Asus DisplayPort displays and MacBook Pros were only capable of a maximum 30Hz operation.

Apple says Macs running 10.9.3 will automatically detect one of the MST-enabled displays mentioned above, but some might require a software update to operate at 60Hz.


Apple also detailed instructions for optimizing or scaling the resolution through system preferences (pictured above), which we previously noted includes improved options for viewing at a pixel-doubled “Retina” resolution.

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23 Responses to “Apple details new 4K display support in OS X 10.9.3”

  1. Does anyone know if a 13″ could drive a 4k monitor at 1920×1080 doubled (like how the retina’s do it)? And if not, why not? I thought it could be done under Windows, why couldn’t it be done under OS X?


    • mikhailt says:

      The weaker Intel’s GPU on 13″ may not be capable of driving such a resolution at 60Hz within reasonable frame rates.

      OS X doesn’t scale resolutions like Windows does (I think it may have started in 8.1). In OS X, it has to double-scale the resolution off-screen and then downscale it to fit the screen, that’s a lot of pressure on the GPU side.

      For an example, the native 3200×1800 resolution means that the GPU will render it offscreen at 6400×3600 and then downscale it to 3200×1800.

      For 1920×1080 option, the GPU has to render it at 3840 x 2160 and then downscale it to fit the 1920×1080 resolution. If the GPU can’t handle such a resolution properly without slowing down the system, Apple is just not going to provide that support. They care more about responsiveness and performance than providing something that can technically work but with many issues.


  2. This might be important to some people running their Macs through a 4K display…


  3. Would 4k work on Early 2011 2.2ghz MBP?


  4. Andyy Hope says:

    What keyboard is that?


  5. cypressfx says:

    How does OSX look like on a 4K monitor? Is it from the quality like the MacBookPro Retina ?? I just hadnt the opportunity yet to look at one , maybe somebody cann tell. Thanks


  6. 4K supported by OSX 10.9.3 with a few great 4K monitors all looks wonderful, but I’m waiting to for a new Apple Thunderbolt 4K display.


  7. No correct support of Samsung U28D590 4K monitor. With 10.9.3 there is now a larger tearing area on the right-hand side of the monitor.


  8. So, is there any hope for all the owners of rMBP mid 2012 with nvidia 650m?
    Can 10.9.3 update help, or the problem is with bandwidth and weak graphic card ?


  9. Javier Prato says:

    If you have a SAMSUNG U28D590D 4K UHD Display and OS X 10.9.3 get ready for a nightmare. Screen blinks constantly and on the right side there’s a large line that doesn’t go away. 10.9.3 really screw things up with mac.