External Monitor for Imac 27

Dec 1, 2020
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Does a 5K external monitor for an Imac 27 through a Thunderbolt 3 port actually give you 5K resolution? Or is it only 4K?
There seems to be disagreement about this and I have even called Apple Tech support and they do not know. And there is no point in spending the extra $500+ on a 5K if I am only going to get 4K.

Also any recommendations for an external monitor for my Imac 27 (4K or 5K depending on the answer to the above) would be appreciated.

Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

It is my understanding that a 5K display isn't actually 5K resolution, since there isn't any 5K content yet, as 4K is the actual top of the video food chain. The 5K monitors just have more pixels than a 4K, but a 4K video source will look pretty much the same on a 5K or 4K.

Here is an article from 2015 about it: Pixel problems: Living with a 5K monitor isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (yet)

I guess the decision is yours, depending on budget and usage. Personally, I would go with a 4K for now. The LG Ultrafines are very nice.


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