Shortly after the Pro Display XDR became available to order this week, Stephen Hackett of Relay FM noted that the iMac Pro was not included in the list of Mac models compatible with the display on Apple’s website.
Fortunately, video editor Thomas Grove Carter has since demonstrated that the iMac Pro can in fact drive the Pro Display XDR, but only at a 5K resolution. This is likely because the iMac Pro uses Intel’s older “Alpine Ridge” Thunderbolt 3 controller without enough bandwidth to drive a 6K display.
To use the Pro Display XDR at its full 6K resolution, the display must be connected to the new Mac Pro with MPX Module GPUs, a 2018 or later 15-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, or a 2019 iMac. To our best knowledge, all of these models are equipped with Intel’s newer “Titan Ridge” Thunderbolt 3 controller.
The Pro Display XDR also works at full 6K resolution with any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports paired with a Blackmagic eGPU or Blackmagic eGPU Pro. Those external GPUs are equipped with the “Titan Ridge” controller as well.
The Pro Display XDR is aimed at professional users, with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. It is priced at $4,999 and up.