The Mac Pro’s mammoth XDR display can work with your iPad Pro

You can do it, but why?


Apple’s Pro Display XDR is an impressive monitor with a $5,000 starting price to boot. It’s not necessary for most people, and there’s been doubt that some Apple computers even have the power to support it. Now we at least know the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook can, although at lower resolutions.

The biggest flex — YouTuber Jonathan Morrison posted a video to Twitter showing off the iPad Pro connected to a Pro Display XDR. It does indeed work, although there’s not much reason to do this other than to demonstrate that you have money. The iPad Pro has poor mouse support and for the price of the Pro Display XDR alone you could build a monster desktop tower with a nice 4K monitor.

Morrison also tested the Pro Display XDR with a 12-inch MacBook from 2015. It similarly worked but at a 5K resolution.

Both the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook use USB-C controllers with a bandwidth too low to drive a 6K display at full resolution. Any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 can power the Pro Display XDR but will need an external GPU to do so.

Not for us plebians — The Pro Display XDR is meant to be used with a Mac Pro or similar workhorse computer and has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio with a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. It’s aimed at professional users working on things like high-definition video and the display can quickly recalibrate itself to match requirements for different forms of production, like digital cinema or print production.