Whew. That headline was a mouthful, but there’s really no other way to describe it. This is a workaround for people who want their Cintiq Pro 16 to run at 4K via DisplayPort while keeping an external monitor connected. This assumes you’re on a Mac with a DisplayPort and HDMI connection. I haven’t tested this for PC as I don’t use the platform, but this might work on Windows too.

The problem

Wacom, in their infinite wisdom, released the Cintiq Pro 16 at 4K, but if you’re connecting via their DisplayPort breakout box and not via USB-C then you’re stuck slumming it at 1440p instead of 4k. That means you’re missing out on a lot of pixels the Cintiq is capable of pushing. Which seems like a big deal for a piece of kit that costs this much, but Wacom didn’t ask me before they made that boneheaded decision.

Some enterprising individuals discovered a shockingly simple workaround. The DisplayPort cable Wacom shipped with the Cintiq Pro 16 wasn’t 4K capable. If you buy a 4K capable DisplayPort cable on Amazon then you can get 4K via the DisplayPort/USB breakout box.

Great, right? The only problem is if you want your Cintiq Pro 16 to run at 4K and run an external monitor at the same time.

The second monitor problem

A lot of people reported that they still couldn’t get the Cintiq Pro 16 to run at 4K if they had an external monitor connected. I ran into this same issue on my MacBook Pro. If I connected just the Cintiq Pro 16 then it worked at 4K with no issue. If I had an external monitor connected via DisplayPort the Cintiq would switch to 1440p. Talk about annoying. Writing is my main work and that second monitor is sort of more important to my workflow than the Cintiq.

The second monitor solution

The fix I found was amazingly simple. I was connecting my external monitor and my Cintiq via the two DisplayPort/Thunderbolt ports. My MacBook also has an HDMI port. I plugged my external monitor into the HDMI port and magically the Cintiq started putting out 4K even with the external monitor connected.

Talk about amazingly simple. So far it’s worked every time I’ve powered up the Cintiq without issue. If you’re running anything but the latest MacBook Pro, which describes a lot of creatives out there, try this workaround and see if it does the trick for you too.

Again I’ve only tried this on my Mac. I don’t use PC for all that much anymore so I didn’t bother to dust off my old laptop. It’d be worth a shot if you’re running a Windows machine though. Comment and let me know how it goes!