If you’re wondering which are the best 5K monitors for Macs, we’ve looked at the best 5K displays for all models of Mac including MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Studio and Mac Minis.
Currently there are nowhere near as many 5K monitors on the market as there are 4K displays but they are increasing in popularity especially for those in graphic design and video editing.
- What Is A 5K Monitor?
- Why Buy A 5K Monitor?
- Which Macs Support 5K Monitors?
- How Many 5K Displays Can You Connect To A Mac?
- 5K Scaling Issues On Macs
- 1. Apple Studio Display
- 2. LG Monitor 27MD5KL-B 5K Ultrafine 27″
- 3. LG 34BK95U-W 5K UltraFine 34”
- 4. Samsung Odyssey G9
- 5. LG 40WP95C-W 40” UltraWide Curved WUHD
- Best 5K Monitors For Mac Comparison Table
- New 5K Monitor Releases In 2023
What Is A 5K Monitor?
5K refers to monitors that have 5120 horizontal pixels and a true 5K monitor has a resolution of 5120 x 1440.
However, it can also include monitors with 5120 x 2160 resolution which is frequently referred to as 5K2K in the monitor world.
Why Buy A 5K Monitor?
5K2K are ideal for those that are multi tasking such as video editors and graphic designers that are working with multiple time lines and menus.
5K also provides much higher definition than 4K although the difference may be difficult for the human eye to perceive.
Just because a monitor is 5K doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better than a 4K monitor though. A lot depends on the quality of the color reproduction and picture quality that the monitor is capable of.
Which Macs Support 5K Monitors?
You can use 5K displays at full 5K resolution with the following Macs:
- Mac Studio from 2022 onwards
- Mac Pro from 2019 onwards
- MacBook Air from 2018 onwards
- Mac Mini from 2018 onwards
- MacBook Pro from 2016 onwards
- iMac from 2017 onwards
- iMac Pro
How Many 5K Displays Can You Connect To A Mac?
The number of 5K displays your Mac will support depends on the model of Mac you’ve got.
It should be noted that Macs with the base level M1 and M2 can only support one external display although there are workarounds to this.
This restriction does not apply to Macs with the M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips.
The number of 5K monitors Macs can support are as follows:
- Mac Studio: Up to four 5K displays
- MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip: Up to two 5K displays
- MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip: Up to three 5K displays
- MacBook Pro with Intel chip Intel 15-inch and 16-inch: Up to two 5K displays (one via the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port on the left side of the MacBook Pro and the other via the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port on the right side)
- MacBook Pro 13 Inch: One 5K display
- Mac Mini: One 5K display
- MacBook Air: One 5K display
- iMac: One 5K display
- iMac Pro: Up to two 5K displays but must be configured as dual-link SST 5120×2880 10bpc at 60Hz
- Mac Pro: Up to six 5K displays but depends on the graphics card
5K Scaling Issues On Macs
If you get the 5K Apple Studio Display then you’ll have no resolution scaling issues when connecting it to a Mac as it supports 218 Pixels Per Inch (ppi) which is similar to the resolution supported by the MacBook Pro Retina display depending on which model you have.
The same goes for the 27 inch LG UltraFine which also supports 218 ppi.
However, there are scaling issues with non Apple displays below this pixel density that may make text look small, fuzzy or hard to read when connected to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with retina displays.
There are solutions to these issues however using third party software and you can check out our guide to resolution scaling issues on Macs for more on this.
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With this in mind, here are the best 5K monitors for Macs of 2023.
1. Apple Studio Display
If you’re looking for a display that can take full advantage of your Mac then the best 5K monitor for Macs is the stunning Apple Studio Display.
If you’re looking for an Apple product that just works with Macs trouble-free, then the Apple Studio Display is the best monitor for any Mac.
Although it can’t compare with the Pro Display XDR’s specs, the Apple Studio Display is easily the best value Apple monitor for a MacBook Pro starting at $1,599 compared to $4,999 for the Pro XDR display.
Like the Pro XDR, the Apple Studio Display supports 218 PPI and can handle a maximum 5K 5120 x 2880 resolution and around 6.5 billion colors more than a 4K display.
The Apple Studio Display supports 600 nits of brightness although this isn’t quite as high as 1600 in the XDR which only professional video editors need for added brightness in HDR video playback.
The Apple Studio Display has features only Macs can use too such as an automatic sRGB mode which calibrates color perfectly for your applications.
The Apple Studio also comes with True Tone Anti Reflective Coating but is also available with nano-texture glass like the XDR.
There are also some technical advantages to the Studio Display over the Pro XDR.
The Apple Studio Display has a 12 MegaPixel Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage thanks to a powerful internal A13 Bionic chip.
It also has a music studio quality three-mic array which makes it definitely the best monitor for music production on a Mac.
This includes a six speaker sound system with Spatial Audio.
Finally, the Apple Studio Display also comes with a tilt and height adjustable stand although you’ll have to add a VESA mount adapter if you want to add swivel to it.
The Apple Studio Display retails at $1,599 from Apple although you can currently buy them refurbished for $1,399.
There are also some excellent alternatives to the Apple Studio Display worth checking-out if the price is out of your budget.
You can check out our full Apple Studio Display review for more.
- Much cheaper alternative to the XDR Pro
- Up to 5K resolution
- 218 ppi
- 600 nits of brightness
- 3 Thunderbolt ports
- 12MP camera
- Three-way microphone
- Automatic sRGB color calibration for Macs
- No 6K support
- 600 nits brightness support compared to 1600 in Pro XDR
- Maximum size is 27 inch
- Thunderbolt/USB-C only no HDMI
- No HDR support
2. LG Monitor 27MD5KL-B 5K Ultrafine 27″
The 5K LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 inch monitor is marketed at Mac users as it offers excellent compatibility and quality compared to most when used with a Mac.
The LG UltraFine 5K display offers an impressive maximum of 218 pixels per inch (PPI) which is the same as both the Apple Pro XDR display and Apple Studio display.
The LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 has a 16:9 Aspect Ratio and 500 nits of brightness. The 27 inch wide-Screen features a flat-panel IPS Monitor with DCI-P3 99% color gamut.
There’s also a built-in camera and a speaker plus Thunderbolt 3 Port with up to 94W power delivery and 3 x USB-C ports.
The Thunderbolt 3 connection on the LG 27MD5KL-B can transmit 5K video, audio and data simultaneously to any Mac.
The LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 inch monitor only has a 60Hz refresh rate but it still performs very well fine for gaming and fast moving media such as when video editing.
You can read our full LG 27MD5KL-B 5K UltraFine 27″ monitor review for more.
- 5K quality resolution
- Wide P3 gamut
- 218 ppi
- Built-in web camera
- Built-in speakers
- Supports volume and brightness control from Mac
- Internal speaker quality is poor
- Webcam quality isn’t great
- Doesn’t support High Dynamic Range (HDR)
3. LG 34BK95U-W 5K UltraFine 34”
If you want a 5K display that’s a bit bigger than the Apple Studio Display, then the superb LG UltraFine 34 inch offers 5K resolution on a bigger 34 inch screen with 163 pixels per inch (ppi).
In fact, outside of Apple’s monitors, we think the 5K LG UltraFine 34 inch monitor is the best 34 inch 5K display for Macs and an excellent bigger alternative to the Apple Studio Display.
LG monitors are some of the best displays you can get for Macs and Apple even helped LG develop the UltraFine display as it contains a very similar panel to the 27 inch 5K iMac display.
You get full 2K5K 5120 x 2160 resolution with the LG 34BK95-W which is great for video editing and graphic designers that need large canvasses.
Unlike the Apple Studio Display, the LG UltraFine 34 inch display even supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) which, like Dolby Vision, makes bright and dark parts of an image incredibly intense and contrasted.
You can change the tilt and height on the stand that comes with the LG34BK95U-W UltraFine but if you need swivel, you’ll have to add a VESA stand mount connection.
In terms of ports, apart from the standard HDMI there’s a dedicated Thunderbolt 3 port with 85W of power to charge MacBooks which also offers DisplayPort Alt Mode.
You can read our full LG 34BK95U-W 34 inch 5K monitor review for more.
- 5K resolution with 5K2K support
- 163 ppi
- 3 USB-C ports plus Thunderbolt port and HDMI
- Huge screen estate
- 3 year LG guarantee
- Supports HDR
- Sound or brightness can’t be controlled from Mac keyboard
- Swivel requires mounting a stand
- No internal webcam
4. Samsung Odyssey G9
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is one of the biggest 5K monitors on the market and with a maximum refresh rate of 250Hz is clearly aimed at gamers.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is a super ultrawide monitor which supports 5120 x 1440 resolution and has a huge 49-inch curved screen.
Although ideal for gaming on a Mac, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is an interesting option for professional video editors, music producers or designers that need lots of space for multitasking such is the size of the screen.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 also has a very high 240Hz refresh rate designed for the most demanding of games although Mac users can only enjoy a maximum of 120Hz which is more than enough for most games.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 offers very high brightness levels and with anti-glare to reduce reflection in brightly lit environments.
The disadvantage of the Samsung Odyssey G9 for Mac users is that there’s no Thunderbolt or USB-C port but you can use an HDMI to Thunderbolt/USB-C adapter to connect it to your Mac.
It also only supports a maximum of 109 pixels per inch (ppi) which means you may have scaling issues especially when connected to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with retina display which support well over 200 ppi.
If you’re looking for a 5K display for your Mac with the biggest possible screen size and a high refresh rate, then the Samsung Odyssey G9 is definitely looking at.
- 49 inch screen
- 5K resolution
- Up to 250Hz refresh rate (120Hz on Macs)
- Excellent for gaming
- No USB-C/Thunderbolt port
- Adaptive sync can cause flickering on Mac if activated
- Only 109 ppi
- No webcam or speakers
5. LG 40WP95C-W 40” UltraWide Curved WUHD
The 40 inch LG 40WP95C-W is a great choice for those that have the budget for an Apple Studio but want a considerably bigger screen size.
The LG 40WP95C-W has a 5120 x 2160 resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio which gives you plenty of space for toolbars, palettes and working space.
The sRGB mode is automatically calibrated for excellent color accuracy and it even supports HDR for video editors.
One of the big attractions of the LG 40WP95C-W for Mac users is that it also has two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt 4 which will provide 95W of power to charge the battery of any MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.
Other useful features in the LG 40WP95C-W include Picture-by-Picture mode which can display images from two sources simultaneously, 2 built-in 10 watt speakers and a stand with tilt/height/swivel motion.
On the downside, the low pixel density of 140 ppi will cause some scaling issues when connecting to the retina displays of MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs.
The low level maximum brightness level of 300 nits is also not suitable for very well lit environments either.
- 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports
- 40 inch screen
- 5K resolution
- Up to 72Hz refresh rate
- Excellent for gaming
- Supports daisy chaining monitors
- Adaptive sync can cause flickering on Mac if activated
Best 5K Monitors For Mac Comparison Table
To see how these displays compare in terms of specification and price, here’s a side by side comparison of the best 5K monitors for Mac.
New 5K Monitor Releases In 2023
At CES 2023 in January 2023, Samsung revealed the new 27 inch 5K Viewfinity S9 which looks set to be marketed as a cheaper alternative to the Apple Studio Display.
The Viewfinity S9 is an update to the S8 and will have a 5120 x 2880 display with a wide color gamut that will cover 99% of the DCI-P3 spectrum.
It will also have HDR600 support to improve shadows and highlights, a 4K webcam and Thunderbolt 4/USB-C connectivity.
Pricing is not available yet but it looks like an interesting release for Mac users looking for a 5K monitor comparable with the Apple Studio Display.
At the same time, Samsung also announced new Odyssey gaming monitors including a new neo G9 which is a 57-inch, 32:9 super ultra-wide curved display with 7680 x 2160 resolution, DisplayPort 2.1 and a 240 Hz response rate.