2013 Mac Pro & Multiple Monitors?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Bnorton, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Bnorton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    #1
    I need to to run 3 monitors. But I can not afford 3 thunderbolt displays.

    I want to run one Thunderbolt display and two additional monitors using some form of adaptor. There two additional monitors need to be in the 24"/27".

    Any recommendations on what monitors will work best, since I will need to use a thunderbolt adapter?
     
  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #2
    Use any monitor you wish, just make sure you have the right mini display port (which is compatible with Thunderbolt) adaptors.

    The 2013 Mac Pro has six Thunderbolt ports, so you should be able to plug six non-Thunderbolt monitors in with mini display port adaptors.

    You've also got one HDMI to work with as well, but I'd trust the adaptors more.
     
  3. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Easiest thing is to get DisplayPort monitors then you can just use a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter. If you can't find displays you like with DisplayPort then get Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapters.

    You need to consider how much you have to spend on both, do you want 27" physical size, whether you want to run these extra displays in portrait mode, do they need to sort of match Apple's style or are you happy with chunky black displays.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5918
     
  4. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #4
    This seems to be a popular choice based on $/quality - Asus PB278Q
    Has DisplayPort; get a few DisplayPort -> miniDP cables, no other adapters needed.

    There are many other options out there - do some searching on 27" IPS 2560x1440. Personally I would skip the Apple TB display altogether and get three of the Asus (or similar.) I'd order just one of them to start (from somewhere with a decent return policy) to make sure you like it before getting the other two.
     
  5. Kryckter macrumors 6502

    Kryckter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #5
    Keep in mind that a lot of times if you are not using thunderbolt monitors, you will have to get Active adapters. Just search amazon or somewhere for them. You can only have 2 monitors until you have to run active adapters...
     
  6. MacProCard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #6
    If you plan on hanging the monitors on arms, then the Apple TB displays aren't the best choice. Very heavy compared to say, the LG 27" IPS monitor. With that said I do have both my TB displays on swing arms but not sure if I would have went with them again though. I do love that I don't have to use adapters and no problems so far with the monitors.
     
  7. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #7
    May need active if you are adapting from DVI, but as long as the monitors have Displayport I can't imagine needing an active adapter to go from Displayport to Thunderbolt. (is there even such a thing?) My MacPro is not in front of me at the moment, I'll try plugging in a pile of DP monitors to it later...
     
  8. Kryckter macrumors 6502

    Kryckter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #8
    Hmm, I was under the impression you had to regardless if they were not thunderbolt. I have 3 displayport monitors and have 1 hooked up through an active adapter to dvi... Wouldnt that be funny if it wasnt needed.
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #9
    I don't think monitors connected via Displayport need active adaptors at all. Thunderbolt can carry a DP signal, so aside from the physical plug, I don't think you actually need any active adaptation.

    I've also hooked several DVI monitors up via passive adaptors on Thunderbolt. Active adaptors are only needed for the higher end resolutions.
     
  10. Kryckter macrumors 6502

    Kryckter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #10
    Interesting. I have 3 Dell 24" monitors with 1920x1200 resolution. Using Thunderbolt to DVI cables, only 2 will work passive. I had to get an active adapter to get the third to work.

    And then 10.9.3 came along and broke all sorts of stuff :mad:
     
  11. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #11
    I've never tried to hook three together at a time. There is some guidance that ATI cards might require the third display to be on an active adaptor, but I'm not sure on the specifics about that.
     
  12. Kryckter macrumors 6502

    Kryckter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #12
    I think that is the standard practice with ATI. At least on the windows side it was. And I had a 2010 Mac Pro that was the same...
     
  13. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #13
    To verify, I plugged in 3 27" displays running at 2560x1440. One Auria EQ276W (from Microcenter) and 2x HP ZR2740w, all via DisplayPort to miniDP cables. They seem to work as expected in both 10.9.3 and Windows 8.1. Was able to set up an Eyefinity group at 7680x1440 if anyone is into that for gaming...
     
  14. sebseb macrumors 6502

    sebseb

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    #14
    The Mac Pro is really picky when it comes to 3 Displays and there's many topics that clarify how to fix it!

    You can connect up to 3 Cinema Displays or TB displays with no issue but since u don't want those then we'll move to other displays.

    You can connect up to 3 DisplayPort Displays without any sort of special adapter, only a mini to normal DisplayPort will do, that's because it's just a connector change, not a peripheral.

    Now since most displays are DVI and you can find good deals for 27 inch models. Now you can connect up to 2 DVI displays using a normal mDP to DVI adaptor, if you try a third one with this adaptor it will not work. As stated by Apple, you need to use 2 active adaptors and the third adaptor can be passive.
     
  15. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #15
    Up to 6 displays according to Apple.

    I plugged in an HP ZR30w for giggles (in addition to the three above) - worked fine as well. (4 total via DP -> miniDP cables.)

    The cheapest 27" Korean imports are DVI-only, but for a few bucks more there are plenty of options that add DisplayPort.
     

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