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Thread: I want to buy a laptop. How can I tell it will be able to use a 4K external monitor?

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    I want to buy a laptop. How can I tell it will be able to use a 4K external monitor?

    I recently bought a 4K monitor (Dell S2817Q). I tried to connect my laptop to it with an HDMI cable and I wasn't able to do 4K resolution...only 1080p.

    I am planning to buy a new laptop soon. How can I tell in advance if it will be able to support 4K? There are so many different display standards out there (HDMI, micro HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.) and so many different input types to my monitor that I don't know what combination works. Will any HDMI 2.0 output support 4K, or does it depend strongly on the specs of the laptop?

    My monitor has the following inputs:

    2xHDMI (MHL), DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort

    Thanks and apologies for not really knowing what I'm talking about.

    -Ricardoman

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    Re: I want to buy a laptop. How can I tell it will be able to use a 4K external monit

    You need to check the specifications of the laptop you are looking to buy. If it's 4K, the specs will say so.
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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: I want to buy a laptop. How can I tell it will be able to use a 4K external monit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardoman View Post
    ... Will any HDMI 2.0 output support 4K ...
    HDMI 1.4 can carry 4k, but only at refresh rates up to 30Hz. HDMI 2.0 can carry 4k at up to 60Hz. If a laptop claims to have HDMI 2.0 then it should be able to drive a 4k monitor at 60Hz, but as with most things in tech YMMV. It's also worth checking whether both HDMI ports on your monitor can support HDMI 2.0.

    AFAIK Displayport 1.2 can also handle 4k @ 60hz, so that would be an option too, although I suspect it's easier to find a laptop with HDMI than with Displayport.

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    True Blue! silent's Avatar
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    Re: I want to buy a laptop. How can I tell it will be able to use a 4K external monit

    i would assume it depends on the gpu on board or descrete gpu outputs as well as the hdmi type.

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