2 Monitors on Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by nickos94, May 9, 2012.

  1. nickos94 macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2011
    I did some searching on the internet, but between my horrible searching skills and bad luck I couldn't find the article I was looking for.

    Would it be possible to connect 2 displays to my macbook pro if one of them were an apple thunderbolt display and the second monitor one that I hook up to my mini display port?

  2. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    you can daisy chain thunderbolt displays, is that not an option?
  3. nickos94 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2011
    I heard it is not possible to do that because you can only run one at a time, I could be wrong though
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yes and no. First off, it depends on the model of Macbook Pro. For the 2011 models, only the 15" and 17" can do this because they have a discrete GPU. The 13" ones can only drive one display. I know this, because my 2011 MBA can drive one, but my early 2011 MBP 15" can drive 2 (I can not speak to MBP's prior to 2011 as I never tried running more than 1 external display to my 2009 MBP).

    If you have a 2011 15" or better, then you can either drive 2 thunderbolt displays by daisy chaining them or you can run 2 DVI/HDMI displays by using something like the Zotac Mini-Display to dual HDMI splitter. I have used the latter option to drive 2 LG 23" IPS displays via the Zotac HDMI splitter. Worked just fine. On my 2011 MBA, all it does is display the same image on both screens (kind of pointless).

    I hope this helps.
  5. nickos94 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2011
    Yeah, just one question.

    So I do have the early 2011 15 inch Macbook Pro with the 2.0ghz cpu and hd6490m. I already have it connected to a 1080p monitor through my mini display port, but I was wondering if it was possible to also attach the thunderbolt display to my macbook pro as well. So essentially I would be running one monitor through the mini display port and the other through thunderbolt. Is that possible?
  6. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    You would go MBP -> Thunderbolt (via thunderbolt cable) -> "other" display (via the second thunderbolt port on the thunderbolt display.) This works because thunderbolt allows daisy chaining.
  7. nickos94 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2011
    Well I don't have the money to purchase 2 thunderbolt monitors, so I would want 1 thunderbolt monitor, then a secondary DVI monitor (which I own) to go through my mini display port. Is that possible?
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    What he is saying, is that you hook the Thunder bolt display up to your MBP via the Thunderbolt port (i.e. mini displayport). The Thunderbolt Display will have a second Thunderbolt (mini displayport) on it that you then hook your DVI monitor to via a Mini displayport to DVI cable.
  9. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    As far as I know, you cannot hook a second non TB display to the 1st TB display. The ONLY way you can do that is to place a TB peripheral between the two displays, and place the non TB display at the very last of the chain. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  10. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    That is correct, and what I was trying to say.
  11. nickos94 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2011
    I wouldn't be connecting it to the TB display. Let me explain this really clearly:

    On my Early 2011 15 inch Macbook Pro I have TWO possible ways of connecting monitors two. One of them is the ThunderBolt Port which I can connect the Apple TB Display to, and I also have the Mini-Display Port, which with an adapter I can connect a DVI monitor to.

    Now my question is:

    Is It Possible to connect an Apple Thunderbolt Display through the ThunderBolt Port, and at the Same Time have a DVI Monitor connected to the Mini-Display Port? To clarify, I would have 1 monitor per port, not doubling up on either port.

    Does that make sense?


    Oh dang it I feel like a retard now.

    Thunderbolt is the same as the mini display port. I'm such an idiot :p :rolleyes:
  12. Jhowland macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2012
    As has been previously said you can plug the thunderbolt display into your MacBook Pro then plug a thunderbolt peripheral (hard drive, hub, LaCie e-sata hub ect.) into the thunderbolt display and THEN plug in your mini display port monitor into the second thunderbolt port on your peripheral. The reason for this is that you cannot plug another (third party) monitor directly into the thunderbolt display.
  13. MrDeeds macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2010
    This is only partially correct. The 2011 13" macbook pro can drive 2 thunderbolt displays only the 13" and 11" air can't.

    I've got the 13" on dual thunderbolt displays as i type but my 11" can't do the same, hopefully we'll be getting better gpus on the next air refresh.
  14. parish, May 21, 2012
    Last edited: May 21, 2012

    parish macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2009
    Wilts., UK

    The MacBook Pro Tech Spec page states:

    The fact that it describes it as "native" implies that you can drive a DP/MDP monitor directly :confused:
  15. ray648 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2008
    Seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread.

    Thunderbolt and Mini Display Port use the same connector. In regards to macbooks (pro/air) you will have either a Thunderbolt port, or a Mini Display Port (if you macbook is too old to have thunderbolt).

    A Macbook Air can run 1 external display

    A Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt can run 2. The 13" can not do this at the same time as running its internal display. You need to disable the internal display to have both external ones work. The 15"/17" ones can run 2 external displays as well as the internal one.

    To run 2 external displays at least one of them must be the apple thunderbolt display, and the second one either a second thunderbolt display (plugged into the first), or any other display (plugged into some other thunderbolt device, which is plugged into the first display).
  16. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    This has nothing to do with what the discussion is about. Obviously a MBP with Thunderbolt can drive a DP LCD natively. However the issue is how to daisy chain 2 displays together (1 of which is a ATD). The only way to do that is to go MBP -> ATD -> something TB device -> the 2nd display.
  17. garstudios macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    sorry to drag this thread back up, but...

    why is everyone totally overlooking the fact that the OP is claiming his macbook pro has a thunderbolt AND a mini display port, rather than just one thunderbolt port which ALSO supports mini display port....????


    i found this thread while searching my self, for sort of the same thing. I have a brand new 2012 non-retina 15" macbook pro with one thunderbolt/mini display port. I was wanting to hook up 2 additional displays, but i just have the 23" aluminum cinema displays, which are dvi. from my understanding, i can only hook one up, unless i have a thunderbolt display. What i want to know is, why isnt there a thunderbolt hub that can drive two non-thunderbolt displays? as in, what is preventing a company from making that?
  18. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    I think you overlooked the OP realized that the TB and MDP is one and the same in his/her last post.
  19. dannyb12345 macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2010
    Using both ports worked like a breeze


    I can imagine your frustration in this thread. I was wondering the exact same thing. I just got a new macbook pro 15 inch and a thunderbolt display. And I had my existing monitor with the dvi port. So I have one monitor connected via thunderbolt, and the second using the adaptor for the display port. I am now able to use all three screens side by side no problems.
  20. kemo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2008
    Are you? And where did u connect the DVI display, please?:eek:
  21. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    The only way for him/her to do this would be a rMBP where it has an HDMI port.
  22. bbb543 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013
    Matrox Dualhead2go or Triplehead2go will allow you to do this. You can use your laptop monitor along with 2 or 3 additional monitors via MDP, TB, DVI, or VGA.

    But, what it does it basically turn 2 (or 3) monitors into 1. It just stretches the screen across the monitors.(poor qualit, but see image)

    This is what I'm using now and it works just fine.

    But my question is: is there a better alternative to run 2 additional monitors AND have the computer recognize them as being individual monitors?

    --- 2.5Ghz i5 Mid '12 model MBP running 10.9 Mavericks.

    Attached Files:

  23. Jarbo macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Similar / Related question...

    I have a MBP with a single thunderbolt out and a 27" Cinema Display, Pre-Thunderbolt (Integrated Mini-display in and 3 USB ports).

    I'll like to put together a dual monitor setup that includes a second monitor with HDMI-in.

    I gather the daisy chain would have worked if my Cinema display had been thunderbolt.

    But as it isn't, it would seem I need some kind of thunderbolt hub.


    –> Thunderbolt Out –> Hub

    –> Cinema Display
    –> HDMI Display

    Pretty sure this will work.

    Anyone have a reco. on a hub?
    (preferably on the inexpensive side).

Share This Page