2018 MacBook Pro Models Feature Intel’s Newest Thunderbolt 3 Controller

The recently-released 2018 MacBook Pro models feature Intel’s newest Thunderbolt 3 controller.

As discovered by iFixit earlier this week, the brand-new 2018 MacBook Pro packs Intel’s new JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller. Intel introduced the controller earlier this year as part of what it calls its “Titan Ridge” family.

MacRumors reached out to Apple for clarification on the controller’s compatibility with DisplayPort 1.4, as it relies on graphics, which, of course, vary between MacBook Pro models:

  • The new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models support DisplayPort at High-Bit Rate 3 (HBR3), a signal standard of both DisplayPort 1.3 and DisplayPort 1.4. Apple says the dedicated Radeon Pro graphics can drive up to two 5K displays at 60Hz, each over a single stream.
  • The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models support DisplayPort at High-Bit Rate 2 (HBR2), a signal standard of DisplayPort 1.2. This is a limitation of the Iris Plus Graphics 655 in these models, as Intel’s integrated GPUs do not support DisplayPort 1.4.

According to the report, this information means that while the new 15-inch MacBook Pro does actually support DisplayPort 1.4, it still does not have the capability to run an 8K display. MacRumors says that this could theoretically be possible with VESA’s lossless Display Stream Compression standard, but this might be several months down the road.

Additionally, MacRumors learned that both the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models have the same external display compatibility as previous models: “up to two 5K displays or up to four 4K displays on the 15-inch model, and up to one 5K display or up to two 4K displays on the 13-inch model.”

Comparatively, both the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models feature Intel’s last-generation DisplayPort 1.2-supported JHL 6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller.

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