LG’s UltraFine 5K Display Will Work on Older MacBooks, But There’s a Catch


With the LG UltraFine 5K Display officially available from Apple’s website, consumers must be under the impression that the monitor has only been made for the new MacBook Pro family right? Wrong, the 5K Display is also made for previous-generation MacBook Pro and iMac models, but there’s something that you will have to purchase along the way.

The LG UltraFine 5K Display Is Compatible With Previous-Generation Machines, But You’ll Have to Purchase a Thunderbolt Adapter

Purchasing the UltraFine 5K Display will present some hurdles for you but it isn’t anything that the purchase of a Thunderbolt adapter will not be able to accomplish. To make the display compatible with the previous list of MacBook and iMac models (list given below), you will have to purchase a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter, which is available on the company’s website for the price of $39, which is a cheap investment for you to use your previous Apple product with the LG display.

Another thing you should keep in mind that is that the monitor will not be able to display the native 5K resolution on these machines, but a 4K one instead, which is a bad trade-off, but you’re more than welcome to purchase the 4K Display instead and save yourself a ton of money in the process. Keeping your notebook and other machines up to date is also crucial for the monitor to be compatible. Apple recommends that you are running macOS Sierra 10.12.1 or later (macOS Sierra 10.12.2 or later is recommended by the company). We have also listed which models are compatible with these displays so make sure that you do your research before proceeding to make a purchase.

Give below are the products that can run at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 at a refresh rate of 60Hz

  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) and later
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2014) and later
  • iMac (Retina, 27-inch, Late 2014) and later
  • iMac (Retina, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)

Give below are the products that can run at a resolution of 3200 x 1800 at a refresh rate of 60Hz

  • Mac mini (Late 2014)