2 Macbook Pros share 1 LED cinema display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mazuma, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. mazuma macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2005
    I'm going to buying a new mac soon. I'm currently using a 2008 mac pro with a 21" cinema display. And, a 2012 macbook pro with a 27" cinema display. I'm going to be replacing the mac pro. I'd like to gain some desk space and utilize just the single LED display. I've gone back and forth on what to get. I think I've settled on another macbook pro.

    Has anyone used 2 macbook pros with a single display? I believe it can be done through a Kanex SnapX switch. I'm not sure how external drives will pan out. I'm assuming you can't use the connections in the back of the display? When you switch from one to the other it will disconnect any drives? So, drives would need to be plugged in directly to each macbook. Is this correct?

    I also thought about getting an iMac and using it as the second display. But, I'm not sure that works all that great. I'm a little confused on how you use the iMac when not using the macbook. I don't think it goes to sleep. And, you can't use the facetime camera on the iMac when using the macbook.

    Anyways, if anyone has done this before with the two MacBooks, i'd be curious to hear how well it works or doesn't. Or, if anyone has better ideas, pass those along too. Ultimately, I'm trying to get down to one display and two systems.
  2. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Just move the cable around as needed. Much simpler.
  3. mazuma thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Not sure what you mean here. If I'm actively using both laptops, that seems to be a bit of pain. I need to be able to use both fairly frequently. If I only was going to use one on a rare occasion, then I guess that could work.
  4. durkkin, Dec 10, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013

    durkkin macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2013

    Edit: I didn't read you initial post before posting the link to a project you already mentioned. My b. With the Kanex SnapX you would have to attach the drives to their respective MBP since the switch doesn't just move displays but it also changes the data over as well.

    Using an iMac isn't a bad idea. Your 2012 MBP will work with the iMac as an external screen perfectly. Using Cmd + F2 you can switch the iMac back and forth from target display mode to regular. As soon as target display gets disabled the MBP will detect it and switch back to single display mode so you won't have a "hidden" secondary display. The iMac doesn't sleep when in target display mode, so switching back it'll be in the same state as when you left it. If you're not looking to keep the data on both in sync this seems to be a great option IMO.
  5. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    The best solution is to get a Dell Ultrasharp monitor or something similar and sell your current monitor. They have multiple inputs, and you can just swap around to each computer with a button press.

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