4K 144Hz over USB-C from MacBook Pro?

Well, I have given up on HFR from my MBP but now I’m running into different problems. Every day so far now, my USB accessories have stuttered or stopped working with my MacBook Pro. I have a keyboard, mouse, and USB-C webcam plugged into one spectrum and an ethernet adapter and wireless USB headphones (Astro A50, specifically) plugged into the other (via a USB 3.0 hub).

What can I do to troubleshoot this? Unplugging and replugging the devices does not make them work, nor does turning off or unplugging Spectrum from power or from the MBP – I have to reboot my MBP to get the accessories working again.

So you were able to use 4k120 via a thunderbolt dock? Which dock? I assume it would only support one monitor at a time at that res, right?

I’m almost certain at this point that it is not possible to output 4k144 over a single USB-C cable from MBP without a dock or adapter of some variety. It’s not clear to me whether that is a MacOS or port hardware limitation. I’m also certain that it IS possible to output 4k144 via a USB-C to DisplayPort 1.4 cable, at least prior to Big Sur. I’m not sure why Big Sur didn’t like that configuration, but I’m aiming for a single-cable solution anyways so USB-C → DP is automatically a deal breaker. It’s also possible to output 5k/60 and even 6k60 over a thunderbolt cable to a thunderbolt-compatible monitor such as LG’s UltraFine 5K or Apple’s Pro Display XDR. Those imply the ability to output 4k/144 over a single thunderbolt cable – I’m not sure what the distinction would be though and why a USB-C device isn’t able to achieve the same rates.

I didn’t need to do this from my 16" MBP (2019) to get 4k/144 over USB-C → DisplayPort, FWIW. So YMMV, I suppose.

That cable will only do 4k60 in my experience. To get 4k144 from MBP you need a USB-C to DisplayPort 1.4 cable. If you’re cool with 4k60, then yes: with that cable you can power/charge your macbook pro and use it with the laptop closed (this is called clamshell mode).

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Hi,

thank you

is clamshell mode possible with a USB-C to DisplayPort 1.4 cable ?

I have used Kensington thunderbolt 4 dock, but all TB4 dock should work since all of them are exactly the same from reference design. Also any TB3 dock that is using DP1.4 with Titan Ridge chip. Such as HP’s TB3 dock. Some dock like Plugable won’t work since they hardware limited the bandwidth on DP 1.4 for absolutely no reason. And yes, it only support 1 monitor since TB3/4 full bandwidth is 40Gbps. TB3/4 is just tunneling the DP signal, it shouldn’t be the reason why it work. I am also running 4K120Hz without the dock by connecting the DP-> USB C cable to my MBP.

LG UltraFine 5K and XDR is using 2xDP 1.2 signal tunneling through thunderbolt. It’s a entirely different mechanism. DP 1.4 alt mode is utilizing USB’s quad lane, hence 8.140.8 (overhead), DSC on the other hand I am not sure how that work with lane / tunneling USB C signal, since 4K144Hz require DSC to work without reducing the to 4:2:2 color.

Great info and explanation! Interesting stuff. Frustrating that this isn’t simpler though :frowning:

Yes, but you’ll need to have power into the laptop as well from an AC adapter or other source. Clamshell mode is available when both power and an external display are connected.

On an M1 Macbook Air, with this thunderbolt cable → only getting 60Hz. I ordered the Apple TB3 cable and will test that next (since @pj3s said that one works for him).

Charging and 4K60Hz work flawlessly though!

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I have a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) running Big Sur 11.5.1 (20G80) and can only get 30Hz over USB-C, it’s awefully laggy. I purchased a new USB-C cable via Amazon that looked like it should do the job, but still no dice… can’t seem to switch out of 30Hz :frowning:

The cable was a “YIWENTEC USB4 5K Cable M/M USB-C Compatible with TB 3 5K/4K 60Hz Video 40Gbps Data Transmissions Rate 20V 5A 100W Power Delivery 3in1 USB-C Cable for Monitors External SSD eGPU (1.2M)

Anyone know how two fix this, and get at least 60Hz via USB-C on an Intel Mac? (never had an issue with USB-C monitors with this laptop before. I have a 4K dell and it works great at 60Hz over USB-C.

P.S. Gaming PC is running buttery smooth at 144Hz via DisplayPort.

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I know for sure that both 15.4 / 16 MBP is capable of doing 4K 120Hz, but not sure about having DP 1.4 DSC with 4K144Hz with Eve spectrum. This seems to be a firmware issue on the monitor it self. If this issue can be solved, I am for sure to get at least 1 or 2 monitor for my workstation.

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It may be a firmware issue. There is also an issue with MacBook Pro 2017 only going up to 30hz instead of 60, and having issues in 4K 144 priority mode.

How do we get someone from Eve to chime in here on this? I can only imagine this is going to be a bigger issue as more people get their monitors…

Right now, I can’t use my new monitor with my MacBook :frowning:
Working great with the PC though :smiley:

Purchased a ludicrously expensive Apple Thunderbolt 3 Cable, and still no dice, the 4K Eve Spectrum is still running at 30Hz from my 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Anyone got there’s working at 60hz with the 16-inch MacBook Pro?

UPDATE! The Thunderbolt 3 cable actually worked. I just had to switch over to USB-C Bandwidth Priority, “USB 2.0 & 4K @ 144HZ”

FYI: I can’t run it any faster than 60hz at a decent resolution, but this is all I need to get some work done :slight_smile:

So, if you have an Intel MacBook Pro you might need to get a Thunderbolt 3 cable (not USB-C) and switch the USB-C Bandwidth Priority — Hope this helps future MBP users experiencing this issue.

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My Spectrum should be arriving with the type C cable that Eve were selling as an accessory. It’ll be interesting to see whether it’s capable of doing high refresh rates with my work MacBook Pro.

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Fwiw, based on the photo, your firmware is outdated. With the latest public firmware 102 rev. 875 (2021-07-12), those two values for the “USB-C bandwidth priority” option are:

  • “High refresh rate”;
  • “High USB data speed”.
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@zachr further up got 4K@60Hz to work with a regular USB-C cable, so I’m going to doubt this statement and suggest that just switching the USB-C Bandwidth Priority is enough and Thunderbolt 3 is not necessary.

I’ve also got it running 60Hz on a 2017 15" MBP on a standard USB-C cable

@NZgeek Can you recall the specs (data transfer rate, power charge rate) of the Eve USB-C cable? I can’t seem to find it anywhere!

I don’t remember seeing any specs on the cable. I went to try and find more information but couldn’t find anything. All I remember is that they were supposed to be “high quality”, but that doesn’t say whether they’re 20Gbps (HDR@60Hz) or 40Gbps (HDR@120Hz).

My Spectrum arrived today, and I’m currently using the same USB-C cable that was plugged into the LG monitor I’ve been borrowing from work. I’m currently getting 60Hz on it with HDR. I didn’t end up getting cables in the box, and have been told they’ll arrive later in August.

Just in case it matters, my Mac is a 2019 MacBook Pro 15.6" with Radeon 560X graphics.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Eve cable can do when it arrives. I’m ok with 60Hz for now; it’s my Windows gaming rig where I really want the high refresh rates. But I gotta order a DP cable for that.

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4K144 on M1 MacBook Air :partying_face::rocket: - here’s the cable I bought from Best Buy. Just make sure to set the bandwidth priority to 4k144 on the OSD and it works like a charm!

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I purchased the Thunderbolt 3 5A cable from Apple and it flat out doesn’t work. My 2019 MBP doesn’t see the spectrum at all when I plug it in. Either USB C port on the Spectrum will charge the laptop, but no display signal at all.

Anyone know what the problem is here?

My MBP spec:

The following are the cables I use:

The refresh rate has no 120/144 Hertz option after I test both cable USB C<->Display Port 1.4 and “Thunderbolt 4 USB C<->USBC” with Eve Spectrum


Not sure is the firmware issue or MBP issue. Looking for someone here can found the solution and root cause.

@Chade Use the USB-C port next to the DisplayPort port (I couldn’t get mine to work with the side USB- connection). Make sure you select the USB-C input with the OSD joystick.

Okay, so it turns out you just need a “high-quality” USB-C cable, TB3 cables also work.

Write-up here that should help anyone else experiencing low refresh rates:

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That’s exactly what I’m doing :slight_smile:

I’m using the USB-C cable that I borrowed from work along with an LG screen. I don’t know what this cable is rated for, and it might only be 10Gbps or 20Gbps.

The cable has to be plugged into the bottom USB-C port (next to where the power plugs in) otherwise you won’t get a video signal. This is also the port that outputs 100W USB-PD, and I’m using that to power the MacBook.

I’ve set the USB input source to USB-C, and the bandwidth priority is set to High refresh rate. I know that at least the USB input is working correctly because my mouse is plugged into the Spectrum.

I decided to order a USB-C cable from Amazon that’s meant to support 40Gbps. That arrives next week, and it’ll be interesting to see if the cable makes a difference here.

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hi
im using usb c that came with mac book pro to charge,
but i cant able to connect to spectrum ,macbook charging but no display, i selected input type usb type c
and im connecting usb-c that under the spectrum ,

do i need special usb-c cable to connect ?