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I'm interested in purchasing a Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor (UP2715K), but while looking for graphics cards to buy, I'm unsure how I could determine whether they support a resolution of 5120x2880.

The monitor is driven by 2 display port connectors, and ideally I'd like to run it from a single graphics card.

I've seen some graphics cards (GeForce 9800 GTX for example) which support dual DVI with resolutions of 2560x1600. Would such a card put out that resolution per DVI port, or is that the total resolution supported?

To be clear, I'm not specifically asking for shopping recommendations, but rather what specification of hardware can support a 5K display.

  • There is hardly cards on the market that support 4k let alone 5k currently. I can guarantee you that the 9800 GTX won't be able to handle 5k considering it can't even get close to handle 4k resolutions. – Ramhound Nov 26 '14 at 15:55
  • @Ramhound So it's really to early to even ask this question? If so then I'll remove it... Thanks for leaving the comment :-) – David Kirkland Nov 27 '14 at 20:19
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    @slhck Not sure how this question is off topic. I'm asking a genuine question about which hardware can support a 5K monitor. I understood that Superuser was the correct site to ask hardware questions on. My reason for asking is that I found the current information on the internet, regarding this topic, to be vague, so I thought I'd field the question to experts (I'm no hardware expert ;-) ). Can you suggest a way to rephrase in order to make the question "on topic"? – David Kirkland Dec 1 '14 at 20:22
  • Sounds good, but if you look at the existing answers, this is precisely what we want to avoid. – slhck Dec 1 '14 at 20:38
  • @slhck Thanks for the edit. I agree with you about the need to rephrase... – David Kirkland Dec 1 '14 at 21:42
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You need a card with two DisplayPort 1.2 outputs. DVI connections are not used by this monitor.

Edit: this monitor connects with two DP cables and each cable appears as a single logical screen (there is no MST involved). So there is no requirement for the card to support more than two logical screens (which can be problematic for some Nvidia cards). Any card with two DP1.2 will be fine, therefore.

Many go on about how current video cards don't have the raw power for 5k, but unless you are gaming this is a non-issue. (Or unless you have other specialized 3D requirements, but if so you know what they are.) For ordinary use (which includes programming, web browsing, productivity applications, mail and so on) there is absolutely no performance issue with any recent video card. (I drive two UP2715Ks from one Nvidia NVS 510 card, which doesn't have a high-powered GPU.)

The problems are not in the number of rendering pipelines, GPU clock speed, etc. but just in whether the card has the right DisplayPort 1.2 outputs - and, perhaps, a smart enough driver to tile together two outputs into one desktop. If it has them, it will be adequate in other respects too.

Photo editing does need more power for higher resolutions, but this depends more on the resolution of the input file than on the monitor you're using (and in any case is usually CPU-bound not GPU-bound).

Dell says "Supported cards include: NVidia Kx000, NVidia x200 series, and AMD Wx100 series.". These are all professional cards and so cost more than a GeForce, without necessarily better performance, but the K2000 and K2200 are reasonably inexpensive. The NVS 510 also works (my experience). The same Windows driver from Nvidia handles all of these NVS and Quadro cards. (The NVS 310 is tested working but only at 30Hz refresh.)

Nowadays, though, the prices of the low-end Quadro cards have fallen so it may not be worth bothering with the slower NVS ones. I'm currently using Quadro M2000s on one machine and a Quadro P600 on another.

Although the NVS 510 card works perfectly to drive one or even two UP2715Ks at full resolution, I had the experience that Nvidia's support desk denied that any cards supported 5k -- even though support for it was mentioned in the release notes. That was in 2015 or so and has surely changed now. But it underlines the general point that what works and what Nvidia (or any company) calls 'supported' are not the same thing. You may also get one part of a company disagreeing with another part about what's supported.

(Slightly off topic: Note that if you want to drive 4k displays not 5k ones, the number of them you can drive from a Nvidia card usually depends on whether the display uses MST or not. A card like the NVS 510 with four outputs can drive four displays, but only two if each display uses MST to appear as two logical screens. This applies to some older 4k monitors like the Dell UP2414Q.)

  • RE the NVS 510 -- that board looks great. The specs say it can can drive 3840x2160 at 60 hz. nvidia.com/object/nvs-510-graphics-card.html#pdpContent=2 Do those specs mean 3840x2160 PER VIDEO PORT (e.g. 4 displays, each at 3840x2160 ) or PER BOARD (meaning ONE display at 3840x2160 for the board) ? – Sam Jones Sep 27 '15 at 17:59
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    Not sure about NVS 310, I succeded with two 4k monitors in 30Hz so far. Officially NVS 310/315 doesn't support 4k - nvidia.com/object/nvs-product-overview.html , but NVS 510 does. – IgorK Nov 4 '16 at 9:13
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    Can confirm the NVS 310 does NOT work. When the second DP cable is attached it tries to switch to 5K 30Hz, but the output is only the right hand side stretched to fill the screen. It's impossible to get any working 5K image from the 310, even at 30Hz. The only NVS card listed as supported on the Nvidia driver help page for 5K is the NVS 510. – Luke F Sep 14 '18 at 23:41
  • Disregard my previous comment, after receiving an NVS 510 and testing it, I encountered a similar issue to the 310. It turned out to be a bad cable. I can confirm the NVS 310 IS capable of 5K, but only at 30hz. – Luke F Sep 19 '18 at 11:15
  • Moderators -- please can you review the comments and delete those which have now been incorporated into the answer. – Ed Avis Sep 19 '18 at 14:35
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You need to have two DisplayPort 1.2 connections in order to run at 5120x2880 with 60Hz refresh rate.

A GeForce GTX 960 is currently the cheapest way to get proper support for 5K on this Dell monitor. As mentioned, as long as you only want to use it for everyday work (CUDA acceleration in certain Adobe applications such as After Effects or Premiere may want some extra power), you'll be fine for GPU power.

  • Maximum output resolution is listed on the Nvidia website: geforce.co.uk/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gtx-960/… – Calum_54321 Feb 6 '15 at 21:34
  • I suggest the Nvidia NVS 310 is cheaper than the GTX960 (about $80 vs $200) and I believe it will also work to get 5120x2880 @ 60Hz. – Ed Avis Feb 12 '15 at 16:37
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    @EdAvis Not according to nVidia themselves... – Jason Feb 13 '15 at 4:55
  • That page is not correct. The NVS 510 works fine to drive the UP2715K, despite a "max digital display support" in that page of 3840x2160. Also, the NVS 310 works fine to drive 4k monitors such as the UP2414Q, despite the page saying its max is 2560x1600. Since the page is wrong about those things, I would caution against using it to determine whether the UP2715K will work with the NVS 310. My hunch is it will. – Ed Avis Feb 13 '15 at 9:45
  • @EdAvis did NVS 310 work in 4k 60Hz for you? 30Hz only for me :( – IgorK Nov 4 '16 at 9:14
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Nvidia announces 5K-ready GeForce GTX Titan Z graphics card

From TechRadar report

  • Wow - look at the price tag on that! – David Kirkland Nov 26 '14 at 16:58
  • A quick check of the specs shows that the GTX 980 supports the same output resolution (4096x2160). Granted, it won't deliver the same frame rates when gaming, but am I right in assuming that in could support a 5k monitor? – David Kirkland Nov 26 '14 at 17:18
  • Checks the product specifications; if it supports 5k resolution; that should answer your question. – Ramhound Dec 1 '14 at 20:46
  • 4096x2160 isn't 5k though; so that should answer your question; its 4k btw – Ramhound Dec 1 '14 at 20:47
  • @Ramhound Yes, 4096x2160 isn't 5K. I am unclear how things are affected by the dual display-port outs, which was really the root of my confusion. I obviously need to visit Tom's hardware to research things a little more. Thanks for the clarification. – David Kirkland Dec 1 '14 at 21:47
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This thread has not been updated for couple of years. Likewise with the related thread. Driving two Dell UP2715K monitors

The latest GPUs from Nvidia [1060/1070/1080] sport 3x DP(1.4) & 1x Hdmi(2.0) ports. So it seems likely they they can only run 1x 5k monitor each (via MST).

Likewise with the latest GPU set from AMD [460,470,480]. However these are a bunch cheaper & lower-spec.

The Apple iMac(2015)27"(Retina) uses the previous generation AMD 380/390/395/395X cards. And all of these run one external 5k monitor (via MST). So all of the AMD/4 cards should be Ok.

The Nvidia Quadro M2000 & M4000, with 4x DP ports, would also seem to be good options - & possibly able to run 2x 5k monitors. Thou the official specs say Not. Which is unfortunate.

They recommend the Quadro P5000 & P6000 cards. Which can run 2x 5k monitors each. But they are VERY expensive!

We need to run 4x 5k monitors - for business uses, not gaming. So the best choice would probably be the AMD/480/8Gb cards, one per 5k monitor. This goes against the standard principle of - One strong CPU is preferable to multiple lesser cards.

However, it would seem to be the cost-effective solution. Even thou the PC would need to be slotted to accommodate so many cards, with extra power supply, Mb capacity etc.

Perhaps other punters can improve on this. Would be curious to hear of user experience with the NVS-810, released late 2015, which has 8x DP.

  • At work, I currently run two UP2715Ks from a single Quadro K2000 card. (A second K2000 in the same machine drives one more.) At home I am using K4000 cards, one per UP2715K. Please don't make the mistake of fixating on the 'supported' resolution according to Nvidia. It is rarely the limit of what is possible. – Ed Avis Nov 5 '17 at 15:30
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In my opinion u can use the AMD R9 M295X but this is the same one which is already implemented in 5k display in the new iMac.

  • Thanks for this. It seems like this card cannot handle 5K without modification, as described here: extremetech.com/gaming/… – David Kirkland Nov 27 '14 at 11:01
  • oh ok, I wasn't sure with this one but thanks for the lesson. – StefanS Dec 3 '14 at 11:16
  • Please delete this answer. – vharron Jun 26 '17 at 17:34

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