Apple’s most recent MacBook Pro models use an HDMI 2.0 port instead of the more efficient HDMI 2.1 protocols, severely restricting the ability to connect to an external display.
First time in the past five years, the Apple MacBook Pro supports digital video output via the HDMI port, allowing connections to external TVs, displays, and other devices. Before this, it was necessary to use the use of one of Apple’s infamous dongles.
As reported by Tapbots creator Paul Haddad, however, the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros depend on HDMI 2.0 and can only support one 4K display with 60Hz of a refresh. A more flexible HDMI 2.1 standard introduced in 2017 can transfer information at speeds of up to 48 gigabits per second. Enough to support displays with 4K resolution with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
MacBook M1 Pro and M1 Max
The reason why they didn’t integrate the faster bandwidth protocol into Apple‘s new flagship Macs is not clear, but certain people believe the M1 Pro and M1 Max bus bandwidths may be to blame. Alongside only one HDMI port, 2021 MacBook Pros comes with 3 Thunderbolt 4 ports that can charge, DisplayPort, and data transfer that can reach 40Gbps with the compatible Thunderbolt 4 or USB 4 peripherals.
The proof of a bottleneck in the throughput is an Apple TV 4K, which was released earlier this year and came with the HDMI 2.1 connector.
Despite the HDMI hardware issue, the Apple M1 Pro chip can handle up to three external displays at 60Hz simultaneously, and M1 Max can handle up to three displays at 60Hz simultaneously. M1 Max adds support for another display with a 6K resolution and a 4K monitor at 60Hz. The two MacBook Pro models also support DVI output, but customers will need to pay for the HDMI for a DVI adapter.
The final MacBook Pro to offer HDMI ports was released in the year 2015. Apple switched to a Thunderbolt 3 model that was all-Thunderbolt in 2016, a move that required separate adapters for specific requirements for data and video.