1 Thunderbolt Port w/ 2 External Monitors

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KELLES, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. KELLES macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    #1
    Hello everyone, i am currently using os x mavericks with one external monitor connected to my 21.5 inch Mac through the Thunderbolt port using the monoprice Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter.

    Everything runs smoothly, couldn't be happier but now i want to add another monitor to my mac, therefore i will have 2 external monitors in total. however is it possible to run two monitors through one thunderbolt port?

    Thank you
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    If your iMac supports 3 displays your other display would have to be an Apple Thunderbolt Display. If the $1000 is more than you want to spend, then any further research doesn't matter.
     
  3. KELLES thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    #3
    No i do not want to spend $1000 for a 3rd display. So thats the only way to have 2 external monitors?

    Actually i am aware about the USB/DVI adapter solution but people reported a laggy monitor when using this configuration, for that reason i am looking fro something better
     
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #4
    Well another choice might be a Thunderbolt dock that has a HDMI port on it. I'm not sure if there are any issues going Mac->Thunderbolt Dock w/HDMI port->mDP/HDMI adapter.
     
  5. KELLES thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    #5
    Yeah the dock Thats another expensive solution.

    So there is not any device with Thunderbolt to 2 HDMI sockets?

    Or maybe if i use thunderbolt to HDMI>HDMI to 2 HDMI sockets...
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    Mo. And if the second exists it will give you 2 identical displays.
     
  7. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #7
    The only way to run three displays off any iMac, short of using a USB-video adapter, is if one is a Thunderbolt display (iMac -> TBD -> Display Port monitor).

    I do not know if the Thunderbolt docks like the Matrox DS1 with HDVI or DVI can be used to connect one monitor, then have a 2nd Display Port monitor connected to it via the outbound TB port. A quick email to their sales or tech support people may answer that question.
     
  8. KELLES thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    #8
  9. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    #9
    I didn't think you could add a thunderbolt display to a thunderbolt display on the iMac. I always thought they had to go to a dedicated port on the iMac itself. Know this for sure?
     
  10. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #10
    I believe it can be done with a TB device between the monitors.
     
  11. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    #11
    I've heard that as well but also heard it does not work by Apple people. I'd like to hook up 3 thunderbolts to a new iMac but don't want to be the guinea pig.
     
  12. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #12
    The iMac definitely won't support 4 monitors (internal + 3 TBD like you mentioned), but I believe it will support two external. I could be wrong, but I think that's correct.
     
  13. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    #13
    Ok thanks, that's what needed to know. However crazy how my Mac Pro can support 4 combining a 256mb and a 512mb card, but a 4gb iMac can only do 3.
     
  14. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #14
    Your iMac has one mobile-class GPU which has a limit to how many displays it can support. The Mac Pro you describe has two separate desktop GPU cards which each appear to support two displays. Add another card and you could add another two (or more) displays.

    The downside to the iMac is that it's not designed with internal expansion. The upside is a smaller, cooler, quieter machine with an integrated display.

    Honestly, in my humble opinion, once one starts requiring 3 or more displays, the iMac is no longer the right computer choice.

    If your iMac has a thunderbolt port, you can consider an external PCI expansion slot and video card. Fairly expensive and you may not get the performance you're looking for, but better (performance-wise) than a USB to video adapter. But expensive and the money would likely have been better used towards a Mac Pro and not upgrading an iMac beyond its intended use.
     
  15. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    #15
    Nicely put. I get it.
     

Share This Page