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View Full Version : Triple Displays Possible with Mac OS X!!!


noahslater
Oct 4, 2004, 04:03 PM
After weeks of researching and no mention of triple monitor suport on the Mac website I finnaly took the risk and bought my third Apple display. The third one is driven by a flashed ATI Radeon 7000 64MB PCI from eBay.

So there you go, it IS possible! See attachments for pictures.

edesignuk
Oct 4, 2004, 04:07 PM
Of course it's possible!

Looks freakin fantastic though BTW *green with envy* )

noahslater
Oct 4, 2004, 04:36 PM
I was so unsure if it was possible because there was no documentation about more than two display and I could not find any user reports on the net.

In the end it involved the following process:

1. Hook up two monitors to the AGP card pre-installed.
2. Buy a Mac compatable PCI card and flash it to be more powerfull

BTW this involved buying a discontinued card from eBay as I could not find any compatible card for sale new.

3. Hook up third monitor to PCI card

BTW, at this point Quartz grinded to a halt an simple things like drag and drop and expose stopped working.

4. Install http://pages.cthome.net/zacks/pciextreme.sit to get Quartz working again
5. Speeded up the card using http://mapage.noos.fr/campahunta/software/ATIccelerator_1.1.2.dmg.bin

Not exactly plug'n'play!!! :)

Peyote
Oct 4, 2004, 04:39 PM
You can afford 3 Apple displays, but can't afford anything other than a picnic table to put them on?


Just kidding man....looks really fun to mess around on. Nice setup :D

noahslater
Oct 4, 2004, 04:45 PM
I'll have you know that the table in question is a 500 frosted glass dining table from Habitat actually!!! ;)

Peyote
Oct 4, 2004, 04:49 PM
I'll have you know that the table in question is a 500 frosted glass dining table from Habitat actually!!! ;)


Yah, I noticed the glass...helluva lot better than my desk! I've got a giant wooden door sitting on two cabinets that usually go in kitchens. It's all painted up purdy though

noahslater
Oct 4, 2004, 04:52 PM
I'm not actually just some rich dude with more money than sense...

I could only afford all that kit (about 7-8K) because I got an inheritance... god I don't even want to think about how long it would take for me to save for that on my regular pay packet!!!

Peyote
Oct 4, 2004, 05:00 PM
I'm not actually just some rich dude with more money than sense...

I could only afford all that kit (about 7-8K) because I got an inheritance... god I don't even want to think about how long it would take for me to save for that on my regular pay packet!!!


No, if you were one of those guys, you'd have twin or triple 23" screens on VESA mounts. Or the 30 inch displays if they were available yet.

Still, props to ya homie...definately a very cool setup

noahslater
Oct 4, 2004, 05:02 PM
I do find it a little amusing, if not satisfying, to know that the combined cost of all three displays was less than the 30" display by itself.

I know what I would prefer! :)

Macmaniac
Oct 13, 2004, 09:07 PM
That is so hot, nice job man, I wish I could have a second or even third display on my computer, unfortunately I have an iMac so I'm not lucky like you. Good job!

Mr. Anderson
Oct 13, 2004, 09:37 PM
Very nice set up - bastard! :D

So what exactly are you doing that you need three screens? :D

D

Mechcozmo
Oct 13, 2004, 09:43 PM
Oooooooh. Shiny.

I so wish I could do that...just wondering: if the PCI card has 2 outputs, can you drive 4 displays total?

That would be even nicer. Not that 3 displays is bad, y'know. It is, in the immortal words of Homestar Runner, "Fweakin Awesome!"

cb911
Oct 13, 2004, 10:03 PM
oh sweet!!! :D

could you post some larger pics though? i wanna see them in all their glory.

do does it really drag OS X down having the 3rd screen? is it still usable?

you're going to have to search for some 3 screen wallpapers now. i know Mandoulx has dual screen walls, but good luck finding 3.

aswitcher
Oct 13, 2004, 11:38 PM
An off side question...a new G5 dually with one of those really exy cards for the 30"...since its a "dual dual" could it support FOUR 23" apple monitors...?

Mechcozmo
Oct 13, 2004, 11:41 PM
An off side question...a new G5 dually with one of those really exy cards for the 30"...since its a "dual dual" could it support FOUR 23" apple monitors...?

No, there are only two outputs. 2 30" displays, though. The Dual DVI refers to the DVI connection using all the pins on it, instead of just half. If you got a PCI video card, however, then you might be able to...dunno. Any filthy rich people out there willing to try it? ;)

BrianKonarsMac
Oct 13, 2004, 11:50 PM
Mac OS X can support as many monitors as:

1. you have outputs for.
2. you have bandwidth for.

with only one AGP slot, it's hard to get a 3rd or 4 monitor without a PCI GPU or some form of splitter (none that i know of). a better card than your discontinued 7000 would have been the 9200 (which costs about the same) with it's 128mb of VRAM and improved components/functionality. I think it might have tv output as well, so you could even go to TV as well for a 4th pseudo-monitor.

the 6800 can only drive two monitors, no matter how small they may be. it would be difficult to attach 4 monitors with only 2 connections. add a PCI card and get a VGA to DVI adapter and you could probably get 4 monitors going...a 30" would look much nicer and save real estate/power draw.

MacNut
Oct 13, 2004, 11:55 PM
How does it look when playing a dvd, Does it spit the movie on all 3 screens or would it be too stretched out to watch comfortably.

neut
Oct 14, 2004, 01:31 AM
of course you can. :) You can even put 3 monitors on a Powerbook (sidecar (http://www.digitaltigers.com/sidecar-plustwomac.shtml)).

i like what i see. Flash dev.? Video?


peace.

cb911
Oct 14, 2004, 02:42 AM
yeah, can you post a small video of those 3 monitors all in action? :D that'd be sweet!

the future
Oct 14, 2004, 05:34 AM
of course you can. :) You can even put 3 monitors on a Powerbook (sidecar (http://www.digitaltigers.com/sidecar-plustwomac.shtml)).

If you "only" need 2 additional displays for a PowerBook, there is a much, much cheaper solution: http://www.villagetronic.com/e_pr_vtbook.html

russed
Oct 14, 2004, 07:44 AM
mmm ... nice (i will go any wipe the druel off my desk now!), seriously, i'm envious!

Fender
Oct 29, 2004, 10:00 PM
I'll have you know that the table in question is a 500 frosted glass dining table from Habitat actually!!! ;)

Do you know the exact name of the desk? That's exactly what I've been looking for. I'd love to get 2.

zakee00
Oct 29, 2004, 11:52 PM
wow dude that is SO awesome...you even have the little blue wheel thingy ;)
so what DO you do with those monitors? And btw, i heard that you can get a dual-dvi splitter, splitting one dual link port into 2 regular dvi ports. therefore, a 6800 ultra can have 4 regular dvi outputs. is this true? that would be cool, then get a 9200 and have 5 monitors :D

solvs
Oct 30, 2004, 12:50 AM
Yeah, if you hooked up another couple of monitors to a 9200 you could have a really nice setup. :p I heard awhile ago someone hooked up like 10 monitors to a Mac. This was on OS 8 or 9. Always been there. OS X just makes it better. Pretty much limited only to the # of PCI slots (I think the Performa 9600 had like 6), and even then you could get an external box to run more PCI devices.

Bit expensive though.

Buckaroo
Oct 31, 2004, 12:55 AM
I've always new that Macs would support multiple monitors. I only have two of my monitors hooked up to my G5 and the other two are connected to my PowerBook and a Windows machine.

I suppose since I don't fire up the windows machine or the PowerBook that often, I could pop in another video card. That would really expand my desktop.


http://home.earthlink.net/~spacebuckaroo/images/desk4a2.JPEG

IDANNY
Oct 31, 2004, 03:21 AM
I've always new that Macs would support multiple monitors. I only have two of my monitors hooked up to my G5 and the other two are connected to my PowerBook and a Windows machine.

I suppose since I don't fire up the windows machine or the PowerBook that often, I could pop in another video card. That would really expand my desktop.


http://home.earthlink.net/~spacebuckaroo/images/desk4a2.JPEG

dude thats crazy, nice but insane.
Really though that is a amazing set up.
I thought I was tripping.

Macs R Us
Oct 31, 2004, 07:12 AM
Great lets all get the 30 inch LCDs and get 3 and have 90 inches :D :rolleyes: :cool: ... Well I have 4 17inch ones on a 9650/350 before...

Mechcozmo
Oct 31, 2004, 11:02 AM
I've always new that Macs would support multiple monitors. I only have two of my monitors hooked up to my G5 and the other two are connected to my PowerBook and a Windows machine.


http://home.earthlink.net/~spacebuckaroo/images/desk4a2.JPEG

Oh... that is an amazing set up...... I want it ;)

Mord
Oct 31, 2004, 12:59 PM
you could run a powermac 9600 with a 1GHz upgrade with 12 screens connected to 6 9200's, but i'd still rather have a g5 with a 6800 running 4 23"ers (i'd like to see if one of those splitters actually work) and 3 9200's with 6 23" apple panels connected to them (you can use them on the vga socket with a vga-dvi converter (expensive buggers))

drool 10 23" apple lcd's

Wyvernspirit
Nov 2, 2004, 01:50 PM
you could run a powermac 9600 with a 1GHz upgrade with 12 screens connected to 6 9200's, but i'd still rather have a g5 with a 6800 running 4 23"ers (i'd like to see if one of those splitters actually work) and 3 9200's with 6 23" apple panels connected to them (you can use them on the vga socket with a vga-dvi converter (expensive buggers))

drool 10 23" apple lcd's

You would only be able to use 2 9200s in that G5 as the 6800 takes up the AGP and one PCI slot. Hoever if you scale the First video card back to a 9800 and then you could use 3 9200s.

toezter
Nov 10, 2004, 10:12 AM
I've always new that Macs would support multiple monitors. I only have two of my monitors hooked up to my G5 and the other two are connected to my PowerBook and a Windows machine.

I suppose since I don't fire up the windows machine or the PowerBook that often, I could pop in another video card. That would really expand my desktop.


http://home.earthlink.net/~spacebuckaroo/images/desk4a2.JPEG


oh man, get a KVM asap!! or a KM (if they even make those).

TorbX
Nov 10, 2004, 11:21 AM
I've always new that Macs would support multiple monitors. I only have two of my monitors hooked up to my G5 and the other two are connected to my PowerBook and a Windows machine.

I suppose since I don't fire up the windows machine or the PowerBook that often, I could pop in another video card. That would really expand my desktop.


http://home.earthlink.net/~spacebuckaroo/images/desk4a2.JPEG

WOAH!!

I see you are building stuff there, whats the plan?

ashon3611
Nov 10, 2004, 12:05 PM
wow! that makes my toaster oven look like its from the stone age.

Jeroen_
Dec 30, 2004, 11:37 AM
Hi Noah,

Can you also run those 3 screens in a 2+1 setup (2 extended desktops +1 mirrored)? I'd really like to know!

Forced Perfect
Dec 30, 2004, 12:44 PM
How does it look when playing a dvd, Does it spit the movie on all 3 screens or would it be too stretched out to watch comfortably.

DVDs don't play on more than one screen. Full screen will only expand the video to fill whatever screen the viwer is on and you cannot manually strech the window.

It's better that way anyway, you can have a movie going on one screen while working on another. I'm watching Aliens on DVD right now. hehe

Mord
Dec 30, 2004, 05:09 PM
You would only be able to use 2 9200s in that G5 as the 6800 takes up the AGP and one PCI slot. Hoever if you scale the First video card back to a 9800 and then you could use 3 9200s.

you could replace the cooler with a thinner louder one.

or wait until the x800 is out.

whocares
Dec 30, 2004, 05:39 PM
drool 10 23" apple lcd's


Any volunteers to make the 2.3 10^7 pixel desktop picture? :eek: :eek:

And how the hell will such a desktop be posted on one of the MR desktop threads?

bigdz68
Jan 10, 2005, 03:30 AM
Jeez I wish I would have seen this thread earlier! I finally got my setup running nice. Using the ATI 9200 PCI to run a 3rd monitor and it works like a charm! Have a 23" Apple Display and 17" Samsung runnin on the NVIDIA 6800 and the 3rd is a Samsung 17" runnin off the ATI card! It sure works nice! Where Im located right now I didnt have room for another 23" otherwise I would have two 23" and then the two 17"s on the outside! One can never have enough real estate! :D

mr.copacetic
Apr 17, 2005, 06:28 PM
Is it possible to run two external displays with a 15" Powerbook?

Mord
Apr 17, 2005, 06:33 PM
http://www.welovemacs.com/vtbook.html

yeah powerbook + one 30" and one 23" would be so sweet.

SpaceMagic
Apr 24, 2005, 05:25 PM
im so confused.. i thought the 6800 could have Dual Dual displays.. as in four??

This card includes dual-link DVI connectors to deliver up to 2560 by 1600 resolution over each port. Even better, with two connectors, or Dual dual-link (DDL), you can drive two 30-inch displays, for the ultimate creative canvas.

from apple's site.

Ok.. so why have they written dual dual link? then say only two 30inch?

Mord
Apr 24, 2005, 05:30 PM
the 6800 has two dual link DVI ports, not two lots of two DVI ports, regular DVI ports cannot drive the 30" they need dual link DVI ports which double the number of active pins on the ports hence the confusing name

SpaceMagic
Apr 24, 2005, 06:01 PM
the 6800 has two dual link DVI ports, not two lots of two DVI ports, regular DVI ports cannot drive the 30" they need dual link DVI ports which double the number of active pins on the ports hence the confusing name

AHH! Thank you!

revenuee
Apr 24, 2005, 06:10 PM
oh sweet!!! :D


you're going to have to search for some 3 screen wallpapers now. i know Mandoulx has dual screen walls, but good luck finding 3.

or just make a 3 screen wallpaper -- i mean if you are working on three screens you probably have the skills to do it ;)

azrussell132
Apr 24, 2005, 09:15 PM
3 screens in Tiger !!!! looks I just might have to sell the Emac and buy a G4 afterall. In the meantime...I've sort of accomplished the same thing with one Emac and one PC with dual screens. The Emac is in the center and the pc flatscreens are on each side (with Mac desktop screens). I use the Emac 90% of the time and the two pc screens are for viewing TV or using iTunes since the pc is hooked to the Stereo system. What does a person do with 3 screens you may ask?? Anything and everything they want and ALL at the same time without flipping programs back and forth to find what the want. It's ALL on the screen and within reach of your mouse.

840quadra
Apr 24, 2005, 09:28 PM
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/images/products/large/A0390980.jpg

We have 4 of these at work, and 1 at my desk :)

I am talking to our Purchase account manager to see if I can get our discount on this detup.

If I get Final Cut Pro, this will be a nice monitor setup, they are nice, bright, and have good visibility.

dornoforpyros
Apr 24, 2005, 09:32 PM
3 monitors is nice......but THIS (http://www.go-l.com/monitors/athens/features/index.htm) is the mightiest set up of all!

dotdotdot
Apr 24, 2005, 10:30 PM
3 monitors is nice......but THIS (http://www.go-l.com/monitors/athens/features/index.htm) is the mightiest set up of all!

Or...

"Dead Pixel Heaven"

Platform
Apr 25, 2005, 04:40 AM
3 monitors is nice......but THIS (http://www.go-l.com/monitors/athens/features/index.htm) is the mightiest set up of all!

That don't fit on my desk :p