2012 MBP Struggling with 2nd Display

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ecdc, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. ecdc macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2013
    I've got the first-gen MBP w/ Retina mid-2012. I'd love to upgrade but we're a year or two out on that front so... I did just do a clean install and manually transferred basic files (think mp3 files, Word docs, etc.)

    I've got an older Samsung HDTV, roughly 32" 720p, connected HDMI to HDMI as a second display (not mirrored). Almost the moment it's plugged in the MBP's fans go berserk and within a few minutes the machine is sluggish to the point of unusable. I'd love to blame it on the Catalina beta I installed but it did this before on Mojave. I'm not using crazy programs or doing video editing; it's for writing and having a Safari browser open, Ulysses, and a PDF file...pretty simple.

    Is there a different way I should be connecting the 2nd display? Is there a better display option altogether? I need a second display and I'm up for anything that'll actually work. Thanks!
  2. ruslan120 macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2009
    Sounds like it's time for an external graphics card!

    Having one will allow you to use additional monitors (all of the extra ports on the graphics card you choose).

  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I think the above advice isn't particularly cost effective or efficient for a machine that old. You might as well put the money towards a new computer.

    In answer to your query, that isn't normal behaviour and I suspect the GPU's on its way out. Your model had a repair program at the same time as the 2011s but that's since expired I'm afraid.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It shouldn't have any issues with two displays, especially since you run them on resolution this low. What does Activity Monitor say?
  5. pshufd macrumors 65816

    Oct 24, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I've run an external WUXGA display off of my 2008 17 inch MacBook Pro with no problems and certainly the fans don't come on. Have you changed anything like upgrading the operating system? Is the discrete graphics required for the external monitor? You might consider a 2014 as an interim step if you want to upgrade as the 2014s and 2015s are both coming down in price in my area. The 2014 can drive 4K displays though I see some lag with the integrated video.
  6. ecdc thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2013
    I was afraid of that. Based on this and other replies, sounds like it has nothing to do with the kind of display or connection. Perhaps I'll take it into the Apple Store to get checked out, but I suspect they'll tell me the same thing.
  7. tam3r macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2015
    Plugging in an external monitor activates the 650m. Given that the CPU and the dGPU are cooled by the same heatsink, and also the fact that your machine is 6-7 yo, it is safe to assume that the thermal paste may need to be replaced.

    Also, the symptoms you described are not dissimilar to overheating. Needless to say my 2012 retina was perfectly capable of running a second 3440x1440 screen back when I had it.
  8. Frieg macrumors member

    May 9, 2017
    Yep, thermal paste would also be my first guess. I'm typing this on my MBP 13" mid 2012 in clamshell on my 1440p monitor, Netflix running in pip in the upper right and the MacBook is dead silent. mine and yours both have the hd4000 i think. no difference if I open it up and have the internal display on.
  9. ecdc thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2013
    The more I look into this and try other things, I think thermal paste is the most likely candidate. I've ordered some and I'll replace it and hope it buys me another year or two with this machine. It's been an absolute workhorse and, until this issue, it ran like it was brand new. Thanks for the great advice!

Share This Page

8 July 25, 2019