(2) Thunderbolt Displays on a 2012 13" Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CAD-MAC, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. CAD-MAC macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    I own and operate a small Engineering firm and have been using AutoCAD on Mac for the last 2 years. I have been very happy with it, so I have decided to transition my small firm to Mac. But I have some questions.

    I have a 2012 13" MacBook Pro with 2.9Ghz i7 and 8gb ram. I am thinking about hooking it up to (2) Thunderbolt displays (with the MBP in clamshell mode) and I wanted to know if the graphics card will be at its limit? I am curious because I am wanting run Revit in Parallels or VM. I know Revit or AutoCAD doesn't use the GPU very much but when I'm in a 3D view will I see massive issues?

    I really want to be able to use dual monitors so I can have AutoCAD and Revit Running at the same time. My business is taking off right now so I do have the luxury of other options but I don't want to go super crazy. Another option is to possibly hook a Mac Mini up to one of the monitors... Or get an iMac instead one of the thunderbolt displays...

    Any feedback or comments are well appreciated.

    Thank You Guys.
  2. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    I think it might be taxing the graphics card pretty hard on that machine. The thing I would do is buy the displays, and just return them if you don't like what you see (pun intended). That gives you at least two weeks to test them out and see if the performance is to your liking.
  3. foodle macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    For what you are trying to do, I would suggest a 27" iMac and another 27" Cinema display. The 27" iMac is actually a great deal considering you get a 27" Cinema display in the cost of the machine. The iMac will have a lot better CPU and graphics performance than your 13" MBP also.

    The rumor is that the iMacs are about to get refreshed, so you can either get a bleeding edge machine, or buy the current generation (soon to be the previous generation) for cheap on closeout/outlet.
  4. TRAV9614 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2012
    Another thing you could do is sell your current mbp and buy a top spec 15" cmbp so it can drive both displays easily and that way you still have portability.
  5. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    That seems quite reasonable. Or take the 15" rMBP if you need the portability. You can of course also do so once you have those thunderbolt displays, as this is what you're intending to work on, and see whether speed, temperature and noise still fit your requirements.

    In any case I'd wait for someone who has actual experience in it.

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