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Retina MacBook Pro Can Run Three External Displays Simultaneously

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot




    Other World Computing posted this picture on their blog showing a MacBook Pro with Retina Display hooked up to a pair of iMacs serving as Thunderbolt displays and a third monitor via HDMI. This setup powers four screens with a total of 15,680,000 pixels.

    The writer of the post, OWC Mike, seemed impressed with the performance of the MacBook Pro:
    Apple officially supports hooking three monitors into the Retina MacBook Pro, noting in the Thunderbolt ports FAQ in its Support Knowledge Base:
    This makes the Retina MacBook Pro the first Mac -- other than a tower-based workstation like the Mac Pro -- to natively power four displays simultaneously.

    Article Link: Retina MacBook Pro Can Run Three External Displays Simultaneously
  2. macrumors 68030


    That's incredible. So much power in such a thin computer.
  3. macrumors 6502

  4. macrumors 6502a

    I thought Thunderbolt was supposed to be powerful enough to support up to 10 monitors...
  5. macrumors 6502


    who would want to?
  6. macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    It's the future right now :D
  7. macrumors newbie

    That's nice...but you're leaving out how hot it gets after doing so?
  8. macrumors Pentium


    Display output bandwidth was the last great obstacle to pushing pixels. VRAM amounts and GPU power to push out frame buffers have been sufficient for years. Thunderbolt x 2 + HDMI gives plenty of output bandwidth for displays. DP 1.2 would be even better, especially 2 seperate ports.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Adding three extra displays, including two ACDs, increased the number of pixels powered by the rMBP by 6%. ;)
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Thunderbolt can do things that the actual computer may not be able to do. In the case of monitors, while Thunderbolt can support 10 monitors, the hardware capabilities of a given computer may not be able to.
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member


    I want to push to get a couple of these to kill some dead Dells in our NOC at work :) .
  12. macrumors 65816


    Wow that is an amazing amount of pixels for a computer so thin and light.
  13. macrumors 6502

    I can do this with my Dell laptop at work as well. Granted when I tested it they monitors were smaller (27, 19, 19). But I streamed 4 different March madness games at once.
  14. macrumors demi-god


    Monitors have their own power supply.
  15. macrumors member

    Hell. Yeah. That's it i'm getting one. My video editing station will bring the boys to the yard.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Thats awesome :D but those are iMac's not thunderbolt displays? How did they do that?
  17. macrumors newbie

    Unfortunately my wallet can't power four displays.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Could a traditional 15" MacBook pro also do this with daisy-chained thunderbolt monitors?
  19. macrumors 603


    Very interesting... but I prefer to keep all my things together on a single, large screen.

    Is it possible to shut off the main display (even close the lid?) and rely on an external screen, keyboard, and trackpad, instead?

    Thus I'm using all the internal components of the rMBP, but using entirely external I/O?

    (The idea is I'd like to replace my iMac and MBA setup... the rMBP replaces my MBA, and I just buy a new screen to replace the iMac's.)
  20. Nostromo, Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012

    macrumors 65816


    This shows the huge potential of the retina MBP. The HDMI input was just a great idea! No more adapters!

    (Too bad you can't just fold up the three displays and put it into your pocket just like the retina MBP ;) )

    And no delay on simultaneous video playback on all monitors - very good!
  21. macrumors 68030


    They still have thunderbolt ports.
  22. macrumors 68040


  23. macrumors 68030

  24. macrumors regular

    Does "entirely external I/O" imply booting from external source too? I assume you just mean using the MBP in a docked fashion. This was always a fine scenarior with MacBook Pros (maybe all macbooks). Haven't seen anything to suggest it's changed.

    There have even been third party docks in the past.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    The new Airs finally can run Two external displays simultaneously as well!!

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