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2013 MBA+ Apple TBD - Add second monitor

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by oester, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I have a 2013 MBA with Apple TBD. I came upon a second monitor (Dell 2212H) that I want to add - what's the best way to do that? I won't be doing anything graphics intensive or gaming. Could I just get a TB-DVI adapter and hook it up, daisy chaining it from the TBD?

  2. macrumors 68040

    You can't connect a Mini Displayport to video adapter directly to the back of the TBD because of a limitation with Thunderbolt. You would have to connect another Thunderbolt device in between the TBD and your other monitor, like a hard drive.
  3. macrumors member


  4. macrumors newbie

    Then perhaps a USB display adapter on the back of the TBD?
  5. macrumors 603


    That doesn't really work how most people think. Matrox is tricking the DisplayPort interface into thinking two monitors are really one extremely wide monitor. So he's have to have two extra monitors to attach to this, and be okay with them being side by side.


    You could try it, but reviews on that are mixed. A lot of people complain that the display is slow and laggy coming from USB.
  6. macrumors 68040

    Stetrain's advice will give you the best performance. At higher resolutions, there are still a lot of reports that USB video adapters are slow and laggy.

    Buy the "cheapest"/most useful device with thunderbolt pass-through and stick it in between the TBD and the Dell.


    MBA <-TBD <- Random TB device <- Dell

    Something like this will work, although you still need a TB cable: http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10574
  7. macrumors newbie

  8. macrumors newbie

  9. macrumors 68040

    First off, a disclaimer. I have not used any of these devices nor tested any configurations that I list. I'm simply going off of what I've read.

    The lacie eSATA hub is pretty cheap (for a TB accessory) at only $199 + cable. But it's really only useful for adding the second monitor and if you have eSATA hard drives.

    The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock is $299+ cable and adds additional GigE, FW800, USB 3.0 and Audio in/out ports to your setup. It supports TB passthrough, and can be found here: http://www.belkin.com/us/F4U055/p/P-F4U055

    Setup for the belkin would again be:

    MBA <- TBD <-Belkin <- Dell

    If you want just a hard drive, there's the Seagate Thunderbot GoFlex Hard Drive for $300. Amazon Link. Seagate actually includes a TB cable so that saves you $30-50. It's a 3TB drive with a TB Dock.

    Finally, if you are patient, there's the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station, which, although not currently shipping, is supposed to be $199 + cable. It has almost the same ports as the belkin, but drops FW800 in favor of HDMI. Personally, if this one works, I'll likely pick one up when it starts shipping.
  10. macrumors newbie

    All decent suggestions - except I already have a USB3.0 backup drive, really don't need another one... <mumble>. The monitor was a freebie, so spending another $200 on something to daisy chain it via TB seems like overkill. Cheapest overall would be the USB monitor adapter. Might give that a whirl, if I don't like the performance, I can return it. I'm not going use the Dell for anything other than maybe my message app, documents, etc. So super performance isn't required.


  11. macrumors 68040

    No problem. I completely understand where you're coming from. With thunderbolt, at some point it just becomes easier to simply buy a second TBD, as it's not that much more money. :)

    Oh. I just thought of a better solution, actually. Apple TV + Mavericks. Don't know why I didn't think of that before. In 10.9 you can set up an AirPlay monitor as a second screen, not just a mirrored screen. Of course, that doesn't solve an immediate problem, but once 10.9 is released, it might actually be the best/ cheapest solution.

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