Apple is being modest about the 2015 MacBook Air’s graphics

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The new MacBook Air has more graphics power than it appears at first. Photo: Apple
The new MacBook Air has more graphics power than it appears at first. Photo: Apple

When Apple announced the new 2015 MacBook Air a couple weeks ago, there was at least a couple of disappointments.

First of all, for those of us who love the current form factor, power, keyboard, ports, and trackpad of the MacBook Air, there was no Retina Display in the 2015 model of the ultraportable.

In fact, the new MacBook Air’s Intel HD Graphics 6000 chip allegedly didn’t support Retina, with the maximum resolution it could pump out to an external monitor 2560 x 1600: a few million pixels below the 4K resolution necessary to make an argument for a desktop monitor being Retina.

It turns out, though, that Apple has undersold the graphic performance ability of the new MacBook Air.

Ars Technica has discovered that the 2015 model can easily support 4K resolutions running at 60Hz, despite what Apple says on the technical spec pages of the new models.

Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham reports:

Despite what Apple’s spec page currently says, connecting the 2015 Air to the P2415Q worked perfectly. The Mac detected the display, noticed that it was 4K, and without any extra cajoling began displaying in HiDPI mode. You get the same usable screen space as a standard 1080p display, just with sharper images and text. The BlurBusters refresh rate test verified that we were looking at 60Hz output.

Where things get dicier is running a 4K display alongside the MacBook Air’s internal display. In that scenario, performance takes a hit, which we suspect is why Apple said that the new MacBook Air can’t support 4K video. It can, but it just can’t do it if the laptop’s open.

Source: Ars Technica