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Preview not in realtime after purchasing 4k external monitor.

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Ian Dillon
Preview not in realtime after purchasing 4k external monitor.
on Feb 5, 2020 at 8:23:40 am
Last Edited By Ian Dillon on Feb 5, 2020 at 8:28:13 am

I own a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) and I just purchased a 4k external monitor (4K UHD 3840 x 2160 Resolution) to replace my dead Apple Cinema Display (1920x1080). Suddenly I can't get consistent realtime playback in After Effects, even though my frames are fully buffered. I'm running AE version 16.1.3.

I am using the MacBook Pro's HDMI output to the new monitor's HDMI input and have experimented with using different scaling sizes in the Mac display preferences (even low resolution scaling sizes). I was considering purchasing a mini display port to HDMI adaptor, but from what I can tell from the specs below, 3840 x 2160 at 30hz should work fine with the HDMI output.

Please help. I can't work like this and can't afford a new MacBook Pro. Besides experimenting with a mini dp to HDMI adaptor, the only other thing I can think to do is exchange this 4k monitor for a 1920x1080 monitor. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013):
"This model supports a simultaneous maximum resolution up to 2560x1600 on two external displays via Thunderbolt. Alternately, it can support a single display up to 2560x1600 via Thunderbolt and a single 1080p display at up to 60 Hz, 3840x2160 at 30 Hz, or 4096x2160 at 24 Hz via HDMI."

Thanks in advance,

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Preview not in realtime after purchasing 4k external monitor.
on Feb 6, 2020 at 5:41:20 pm

Try installing the newest version of AE. (17.0.2). There is an option in the CC app that you can set so that it won't interfere with your old version when you install a new one. (I have, like, 7 versions installed on one of my machines - no issues.)

See how the newer version behaves.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Ian Dillon
Re: Preview not in realtime after purchasing 4k external monitor.
on Feb 7, 2020 at 5:07:25 am

Thank you for your suggestion. I'm holding off on doing that big update because my MacBook is so old (Late 2013). Turns out, however, that I think the problem is that my MacBook will only run a 4k monitor at 30hz instead of 60hz. I assumed 30hz would be fine but it seems that may be the reason everything slows down. I finally talked to a guy at B&H that knew is stuff and he said only MacBook Pros 2015 and after can run 4k external monitors. I am returning it and getting a 2.5k monitor my Mac can run at 60hz.

24 Year After Effects User
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