3 monitors 1 Macbook Pro

macmaster007

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 15, 2009
6
0
Recently I obtained a 23" Apple Cinema Display, and I already have a smaller 15" monitor (non-Apple), so my question is how would I drive the extra monitor? I have been researching it, and have come to the conclusion that the simplest (and cheapest) way to add another monitor is through a USB Videocard adapter. Essentially my question is, will it be powerful enough to be driven by USB? The 15" monitors resolution is 1024x768, so it's pretty small. From what I can tell, it may not be the best solution, only USB 3.0 has the bandwidth for full speed (at least for high-end monitors).

Basically, my plan is to use my main monitor and the external 23" (both 1920 x 1200) as work monitors connected normally, while the third monitor (15" 1024x768) connected via USB is used for say, Facebook chat, Skype, and quite possibly watching a movie. The movie is my main question, will it be smooth enough? I have heard mixed reviews on it, but all of those reviews are for a monitor twice the resolution.

Another idea is that I use my Macbook Pro's Expresscard slot to power a USB 3.0 videocard adapter, but there is no current driver for USB 3.0 videocard for Mac (not even Diamond). Ideas? Solutions?

Computer specs: Macbook Pro 4,1 17" (1920x1200), 2.5Ghz (penryn), Nvidia Geforce 8600M GT 512MB. 4GB RAM, 750GB (7200rpm) HD. Mountain Lion (had it since Beta1) :apple: all the way. :cool:

(I am aware of the Vidock, I wish I could get it, but it's simply to much to fork over for another monitor.)

(Please move this to a correct forum section if it is needed.)
 
Last edited:

gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
what model MBP do you have...what graphics card is in it. I think some of them can split the mini-display cable 2 ways to accomadate 3 displays.
 

macmaster007

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 15, 2009
6
0
what model MBP do you have...what graphics card is in it. I think some of them can split the mini-display cable 2 ways to accomadate 3 displays.
...Macbook Pro 4,1 (I mention the specs in the post). 4,1 is pre-unibody stage, it has a built in Dual-link DVI-D which can power resolutions up to 2560 × 1600 on the right side. (Duel-link doesn't mean duel display.)

As a recap, here are the specs again.
Macbook Pro 4,1 17" (1920x1200), 2.5Ghz (penryn), Nvidia Geforce 8600M GT 512MB. 4GB RAM, 750GB (7200rpm) HD. Mountain Lion.
 

macmaster007

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 15, 2009
6
0
Have you looked into the ViDock?
Grr! Please read my post before you reply... I said above "(I am aware of the Vidock, I wish I could get it, but it's simply to much to fork over for another monitor.)"

My question is, will USB 2 be powerful enough for watching a movie on a monitor with a resolution of 1024x768? :confused:
 

InuNacho

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2008
1,434
575
In that one place
Grr! Please read my post before you reply... I said above "(I am aware of the Vidock, I wish I could get it, but it's simply to much to fork over for another monitor.)"

My question is, will USB 2 be powerful enough for watching a movie on a monitor with a resolution of 1024x768? :confused:
Sorry, my bad should have read better. A while back (2008 or 9) I did use a USB to VGA adaptor for a little on a 1280x1024 monitor and it was shakey at best. There was some lag with the cursor and expose displayed exactly two frames, it before it started and when it showed everything. Maybe they've gotten better since then but I wouldn't touch them.
Here's a thread that might help you.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1203625

Honestly I can't recommend much outside of the Vidock, sorry.
 

macmaster007

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 15, 2009
6
0
Sorry, my bad should have read better. A while back (2008 or 9) I did use a USB to VGA adaptor for a little on a 1280x1024 monitor and it was shakey at best. There was some lag with the cursor and expose displayed exactly two frames, it before it started and when it showed everything. Maybe they've gotten better since then but I wouldn't touch them.
Here's a thread that might help you.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1203625

Honestly I can't recommend much outside of the Vidock, sorry.
Alright, thanks for the help. =) Maybe whenever full support of USB 3 via Expresscard comes out, I'll try it.