3 monitors on new Imac possible?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 31, 2013
Hi all

i have a new i7 3.5 Imac with a Thunderbolt connected MAC monitor with it

works great

i use this for my recording studio and honestly a third monitor would help my workflow if possible and if it would not degrade the Imac performance.

i used to only use mac pro's but wanted to wait for a second generation of the new design so i got a new Imac this time around and am not as familiar with them

this does some pretty heavy duty audio and video work (final cut pro x, motion etc)

Right now on one of the thunderbolt paths i have the 27 inch mac monitor -> 2 terabyte Thunderbolt external HD -> 8 terabyte thunderbolt hard drive ->imac port

on the other Imac Thunderbolt port i have my apogee symphony system and i do not want to add anything to that run as its the heart of my studio sound

so i am wondering if i can run another monitor on the one run i have now with the other mac monitor? or will that just be to mch bandwidth used up? i need the hard drives to also function quickly

i also have external USB 3 hard drives and a couple of powered USB hubs so there is alot going on now

the imac i have is

3.5 i7
32 gigs ram
1 TB internal SSD
upgraded video card

i couldnt find much on a setup like this with an Imac so any help would be great!

thanks so much!


macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2005
You should be able to add a third monitor over USB using a device like this:


I used a much older model back in the day and it worked pretty well. You just won't be able to run anything on that screen that requires high frame rate and dragging items across will be a little laggy, but for status pages, twitter feeds, etc it can work great.

Double check the resolution and refresh rate of the monitor you intend to hook up and if you're running Mavericks I'd double check for support with the latest drivers.


macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2014
Pleasanton, CA
Watch out for 3rd Party Displays

I'm only running one external display from my 2013 iMac with Mavericks and had some issues with 3rd party displays and AirPlay. Mirroring worked fine, but using as a 2nd desktop was disappointing. I first tried an HDMI display with a MacMini and behavior was clumsy with moving apps to the 2nd display especially Windows 7 apps via Parallels.

Airplay had similar issues from my MacBook Pro to a Samsung TV. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I connected to a Thunderbolt Display that I had the behavior and performance you'd expect.


macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2013
Oregon, USA
Bandwidth is one concern, VRAM is the other. Assuming you have 2 GB, I'd contact business sales and see if you can get a loaner to try out - or buy with easy return.
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