2015 MBP 13" support 3 displays?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by violetcrumble, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. violetcrumble macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011
    Talked to an Apple senior support guy for a long time today on an unrelated issue and in the lulls got his input on my overdue need for a whole new system. Old one is a 2009 iMac w 2.93 GHz Intel 2 Core, 8 GB RAM.

    Main need is for a little more speed and power to manage my stock trading activities and its multiple data feeds for charts and such. I use a Parallels virtual PC environment to run my trading platform. I don’t do video editing or other power-hog activities, nor do I need hi-res displays. And 16 GB memory is more than enough.

    He argued strenuously that the 2015 new 13-inch MBP had all the zip I need and that, although its processors are nominally slower (2.7, 2.9) than my current iMac, any MBP will actually be faster and noticibly better overall. He also convinced me that using it with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and either of my G-drive external HDs would work fine. If he is right, one issue remains:

    What I want to do is power three Dell U2412M monitors (1920x1200 res, 36-bit color), which have DVI & DisplayPort but no HCMI. Specs say the MBP will support two, but there’s some discussion on various forums that with adapters and maybe daisy-chaining, a MBP can do the three without overheating or other problems. It sure would be a dream solution, for a many reasons.

    So, three questions:
    Is he right that the 13” MBPs have much greater speed and power than my iMac?
    Can it be made to support my three monitors?
    And, if so, what adapters or other config would it take?

    Many thanks for any expertise you can share.
  2. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    The i5 2.8GHz in my mid-2014 model benchmarks about 2.5x the speed of your Core 2 Duo. Plus you get flash storage with about 20x the throughput of a mechanical hard drive. It'll fly.

    As for multi-monitor support, you should be able to do at least two with mini-DisplayPort to DVI adapters while running the built-in display. A third external display may overtax the GPU, at least if the same holds true with the current models as with the original Retina models. I haven't been able to find anything on the current model, but if the MacBook Air will run a 4K display, a MBP running three 1080 monitors isn't out of the realm of possibility.
  3. yangchewren macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    From what I've read so far, the 13" retina (from 2013 onwards) is able to support 3 displays in total (inclusive of internal display).

    That is either:

    2 external displays and the internal display


    3 external displays while in clamshell mode (internal display is off)

    There are other suggestions of how an active mini dp converter is needed for a 3 external display setup, but I think you need other users to chime in or to do further research.

    The 15" rMBP on the other hand should be able to support up to 4 displays (inclusive of internal display):
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The i5 in the 13" rMBP will greatly outperform the C2D in your old iMac.

    For a triple external display setup, you most probably have to place your MBP into clamshell mode to deactivate the internal display, because the internal display is also counted as a display.

    It can support 3 monitors (two daisy-chained TB/mDP monitors and one HDMI/VGA/DVI monitor).
  5. lavrishevo macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2007
    I would get the 15". Especially, since they are discounting them.
  6. violetcrumble thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011
    Huge thank you to each of you. I'm investigating display possibilities, including this one from OWC http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/VIDU2DVIA/ .

    The more I learn, the more I see I need to learn more. I have a 15" Lenovo laptop now, and while I like the extra screen real estate, there are times I've wished I had a smaller, lighter machine. And, the question lingers of laptop vs desktop: Would I find a laptop underpowered generally. I currently use the iMac side by side with two Dell monitors, and the warm>cool color differences, which I've never been able to adjust to match (like US vs Japan TVs), do bother me.

    I'm in the final phase of a major work deadline. For that I will be dark for a few days, but I'll report back, both with what I learn and what I decide.

    Really grateful for my expanding knowledge!

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