2 Monitors on Late 2011 MBP

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ourcore, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. ourcore macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2012
    Hey, guys,

    I have a 13" late 2011 MBP, which only has 1 Thunderbolt port. I'm considering a USB to VGA/DVI adapter like this one, but I'd prefer to leave an extra USB port free. Is it possible to get video through FireWire instead? If not, can anyone suggest any reliable USB adapters? My aim is to extend both displays, not mirror.

  2. larrysing1963 macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2014
    So you just want to attach a single external monitor at 2560x1440?

    MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011) - Technical Specifications:

    Connectivity includes AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, a Firewire "800" port, two USB 2.0 ports, audio in/out, an SDXC card slot, and a "Thunderbolt" port that is backwards compatible with Mini DisplayPort and, likewise, supports an external display at 2560x1600 and passes an audio signal.

    Thunderbolt digital video output
    Native Mini DisplayPort output


    Can't you just use the one TB port as the mini-DisplayPort output? Then you don't use any other ports. It should power any monitor with an mDP input and you could even use an mDP-to-DP cable to go to any monitor with a DP input.

    If you are talking about using TWO external monitors plus the laptop display, then you'd be smart to just use the HDMI port to send to a 1920x1200 monitor, in addition to the 2560x1440 monitor on the TB port. That's how I would do it.
  3. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2012
    I'm already connecting one monitor with a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. My question is for a second monitor.
  4. SGeeFree macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2015
    I am in the same position as you right now. I currently have one 27" 2560x1440 high resolution monitor and am looking to drive a second. You can follow my thread here if you like:


    But mainly your options are to drive the 2nd monitor through USB (and I'm sure there are FireWire adapters available, but I have not looked into them). You can buy any number of adapters to do so, and you can either VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, etc. I would suggest an adapter that uses the DisplayLink protocol and graphics as they have excellent support and the drivers are updated regularly.

    Take a look at my attachment and you can see the basic adapters that StarTech provides in different outputs. They vary in terms of connection, screen resolution, and more.

    Keep in mind that since the bandwidth of USB 2.0, or 3.0 for that matter, is less than the Mini DisplayPort on your computer you will have lower performance and frame rates on the 2nd monitor.

    Attached Files:

  5. SGeeFree macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2015
    Unfortunately he is working with a cMBP and not a rMBP, so he only has one MiniDisplayPort to use and no HDMI port. But otherwise, what you are saying would work in theory :)
  6. larrysing1963, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015

    larrysing1963 macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2014
    Oh, yes, I misread the specs on his computer. It mentioned HDMI but it was in regard to using an mDP-to-HDMI adapter. :confused:

    Too bad no one came up with a video adapter which works through FireWire.

    I found another thread in which someone was having your same issue:

  7. ourcore thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2012
    I looked at a StarTech adapter on Amazon earlier, but the comments/reviews for Mac connections weren't very reassuring. Are you personally using anything at the moment? I'm leaning towards getting this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004MS0DIK/. I'm not too concerned with video playback since I'd have no problem restricting that to my MDP monitor--I just want the second for peripheral programs.

    EDIT: Would it be possible to get both monitors (extended, not mirrored) out through my single MDP with an adapter that uses DisplayLink? I'd be willing to pay more for such an adapter if I can spare a USB port (and gain performance at the same time).

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