Triple-screen, which mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by blaaat, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. blaaat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm looking for a solution to have 3 screens running on a mac.
    I currently own a macbook, and i love osx,
    So i want to replace my windows desktop with a mac.

    I'm currently using 3 20" monitors (each 1400*1050).
    i've looked into the matrox triplehead2go's, but they don't support the resolution.

    Will a mac pro with 2 videocards work?
    Is there an other solution? extra videocard in an iMac/or something for my MB or an MBP?

    I'm using the system for webdeveloping so i don't really need the power of a Mac Pro.

    So what to do?
     
  2. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #2
    If you do a custom build in apple.com one of the configuration options for video cards is 3 x NVIDIA Geforce 7300 GT cards, so I assume this configuration would work for ya.
     
  3. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    From http://www.apple.com/macpro/graphics.html - I get the impression that 3 graphics cards would allow you to run 6 monitors


    So can you set the displays up in an "array" format, or do they have to be in one big long line?
     
  4. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Little grey, chilly island.
    #4
    I'm pretty sure that your only option for three displays is a mac pro. This of course is where a mid-range tower would be very useful, however no such product is forthcoming and remains the subject of much discussion on forums.

    I would say two graphics cards as somebody mentioned earlier would allow for up to four displays. You could always reduce the processor to dual 2.0Ghz if you wanted to reduce cost.
     
  5. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    Nagoya, Japan
    #5
    I believe you can drag around the monitors into any arrangement in the OS X display preferences. That's how it works with my Macbook Pro and external display.
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    Mac Pro... refurbished unit.

    All you need for 4 displays is 2 ATI cards or 2 NVIDIA Geforce 7300 GT cards.

    Just don't mix the two card brand types, since the drivers tend to conflict with each other during some uses -- resulting in problems for some applications.

    Used to be a problem, don't know if Apple has the driver issue fixed yet. I didn't expect them to.

    Note: You are limited to 2 ATI cards due to them being high wattage cards.

    So if you need more than 2 graphics cards it would probably be easier to stick with the low wattage geforce 7300 cards.
     
  7. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    BXL
    #7
    A Mac Pro isn't your only option though.

    There are (or very soon will be) expresscard to PCI or PCI-E adapters available.
    Using one of those you could run a graphics card in an external enclosure, connected to a MBP. Giving you 3 external screens plus the MBP screen itself to work on.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #8
    But to be fair to Apple, the market of people with 3 displays isn't exactly a market hole that Apple has a dire need to fill, and almost anyone who needs 3 displays is definitely a pro of some sort.
     
  9. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #9
    I run a Mac Pro with the stock 7300 card plus an ATI 1900XT. Three dual-link ports are great for multiple monitors and I haven't seen any driver issues b/c of mixing brands.
     
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #10
    you'll actually get this screen below when you have two video cards installed. The system only supports so much bandwidth total. I wouldn't recommend 3 of the 7300 cards -- the ATI is far more powerful. (After this utility ran, I changed the 7300 card to slot one to get 8x speeds.)

    [​IMG]
     
  11. blaaat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #11
    Thanks for your replys.

    I will wait for NAB/new macpros.
    And then get a mac pro with 2 videocards.
     
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #12
    Some people have experienced some issues under both the PPC and Intel versions of the drivers, not something everyone runs into.

    But they have caused reduced frame rates, stuttering video, and somebody actually ran into kernal panics with the apps he was running.

    Edit: Just something to be aware of and consider when buying cards.
     
  13. robbh66 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    #13
    Any more info on this?

    @ blaat

    Belkin makes a docking station that might help you out if you want to expand to two or three displays off a laptop. Whether or not you can use both display outputs, as well as a laptop's output, all at the same time- you'd have to ask them.


    Do you have any more info on any of this this? I'm not sure how much of a market for such products there is but I for one would LOVE to buy an external enclosure that could turn my laptop into a beast for gaming.

    In reality, however, I'd love an external enclosure that functions not only as an external graphics card, but also a HDD enclosure and docking station. It would d be great to come home and reboot using the external enclosure and turn a fast machine into a bat-out-of-hell laptop.
     
  14. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #14
    do you have any more info about this? i've never heard of this b4 but it sounds interesting.
     
  15. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    BXL
    #15
    http://www.mobl.com/expansion/
    Their PCI solution allows multiple cards and or HD's in one enclosure.
    PCI-E is one card only.
    If I had money to spare, i'd buy one right now :)
    Asus XG
    This should be released soon.

    Cheers
     
  16. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    #16
    In the FAQ on this web site they also state that the supported operating systems are Windows XP and Windows Vista. Mac OS isn't mentioned at all. So I guess this no option (yet?) for Macs.
     
  17. robbh66 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    #17
    who knows. Neither my ExpressCard SATA adapter or memory card adapters support OS X but both work almost flawlessly (sleep issues with the memory card reader). The ExpressCard slot connects directly to the southbridge of an intel compatible system. I'm not an expert but I'd be willing to bet that if the dock can work without drivers that it will work withThe dock however does have a lot of extra stuff so who knows if it will work or not.

    Also, after a little research, I found that the MBP only has a 1x PCI-e lane to the ExpressCARD slot which will make external Graphics Cards like the Asus XG less useful than I'd hope. The power will still be under the hood but the bandwidth, unfortunately, won't- at least for mid to top end cards. :(

    This however is all assuming that they support OS X which in reality they probably won't as I'm not aware of any Asus products that has support with OS X drivers.
     

Share This Page