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We bask in 5K glory with the Dell UltraSharp 27 UP2715K

Gordon Mah Ung | Sept. 16, 2015
Look at these adorable kittens! We walk you through the ins and outs of 5K and tell you what you'll need to run it.

No issues, but...

The Dell gave me no issues like that. I tested it with an Origin PC Millennium with three GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards in Tri-SLI, and an Alienware X51 R3 with a GeForce GTX 960 with no issues. It simply booted, and within a few moments I was at the desktop. I also tried the Dell 5K panel plugged into a 5K iMac with no issues.

One thing I’m going to point out right here, though, is you might need a second monitor handy for going into the BIOS. When in 5K mode and plugged in using the two DisplayPort cables, there’s no way to get into a system’s BIOS or UEFI settings. Dell says when this happens, break out another monitor.

I found an easier solution. though no less irritating: If you need access to your BIOS, break out a mini-DisplayPort cable and plug it into the monitor and then unplug your two full-size DisplayPort cables and plug the mDP cable into your system. Voila, you can now go into your BIOS. At least I could on the Asus board I tried it on. That mDP port, btw, maxes out at 4K.

This isn’t a great solution. You have to unhook your cables, crawl to the back of your PC and make changes, but it’s better than having a second monitor sitting on your desk just to use the BIOS.

There have been other issues since 5K was introduced, but most of them (according to this page at Dell) seem to have been fixed by drivers. After reading this Dell page, I had nightmares of my early 4K experiences, but it did go off without a hitch on no less than three systems when I used it.

What does it take to run?

Obviously, you’ll need a PC with dual DisplayPort 1.2 ports handy and a GPU that supports it. Dell’s short list includes: “NVidia Quadro series, K2200, K4200, K5200. GeForce series, GTX980, 970, 960. AMD FirePro series eg: W9100, W7100, etc. Radeon series eg: R9 295X2, HD7990, etc.”

Mac users who want to run this panel will need a Mac Pro cylinder, an iMac 27-inch 5K, or a MacBook Pro 15 with a GeForce GT750M GPU aboard and OS X Yosemite or later. 

Of course, that’s just for 2D work. What does it take to game at the Dell’s native 5K resolution? I’d recommend no fewer than two GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards, and you probably should think about three cards.

For example, I ran Tomb Raider set to Ultimate on an Origin PC Millennium with three GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards in it. The result you can see for yourself:


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