Apple's rumored 5K display could come with a built-in graphics chip

Apple Thunderbolt Display

Apple may be readying a new 5K resolution (5120 x 2880 pixels) Thunderbolt Display with a dedicated graphics chip just in time for WWDC 2016.

Apple will include a dedicated graphics processing unit (GPU) inside the refreshed Thunderbolt Display in order to power such a pixel-dense display, anonymous sources tell 9to5Mac.

The current 27-inch Thunderbolt Display is getting long in the tooth, with its lowly 2560 x 1440 resolution and absurd $999 (£899) price. Customers are having trouble finding the current Thunderbolt Display as well, which may mean Apple is clearing out inventory for a new model.

While more powerful Macs like the Mac Pro or iMac can power a 5K display without problems, less powerful Mac laptops will struggle to pump out that many pixels. The GPU inside the Thunderbot Display will expand compatibility with as many of its future Mac computers as possible.

9to5Mac's sources say the company is working to update OS X as well in order to support graphics card switching. This means a Mac could automatically switch and use the more powerful GPU inside the Thunderbolt Display when connected. The operating system and the graphics cards will allegedly transition seamlessly, without requiring a reboot.

Apple featured graphics switching on its older MacBook Pro laptops in the past, but this would be the first time the company built a graphics chip into a display.

The display will most likely be similar to the 5K display that currently ships with the 27-inch iMac. This means you can expect the same DCI P3 color gamut for color-accurate work.

We won't know what Apple's really planning until WWDC, which thankfully, is only a couple of weeks away.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.