3-screen iMac. Possible?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MattBaker, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. MattBaker macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2008
    I need to put together a 3-screen desktop system. Each screen is running different content. One will display video; the other two won't be doing anything graphics intensive (but they're two different displays, not the same display mirrored).

    Can I do it with an iMac and two external monitors?

    If not, does that mean I have to go up to a Mac Pro?

  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    The only way you might be able to pull that off is with one of the new USB to video converters. I don't know how well it can handle all three displays though, you may find it's not really worth running.

    The Mac Pro (with extra video card) could of course pull it off without breaking a sweat.

  3. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
  4. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
  5. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    If you need a system like that I would go for a used Mac Pro.
  6. iFirmware macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2009
    i think that it is only the mac pro that can handle 3 simultaneous screens
  7. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    iMac can drive an internal display + one external with full video acceleration.

    For the third monitor, you would need a USB -> video converter, like this.
    It won't do any 3D or video, basically, but will do text just fine.
  8. 65kid macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2008
    DisplayPort does support daisy-chaining, so you could, in theory, connect 2 monitors to a single DisplayPort. But I'm not sure whether the iMac supports this, let alone if there's any monitor available that has 2 DisplayPorts, one for input and one for output.
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    I second this.

    The Matrox device basically shows up to the computer as one single monitor (either double wide, or double tall,) and it just splits the signal between two monitors. For the latest Macs, they even make a native DisplayPort version that plugs right into the mini DisplayPort on the Mac (with a full-size to mini DP cable,) and has two DisplayPort outputs that can both be passively converted to DVI and/or VGA with proper cables.

    Finally, they even make a "TripleHead2Go" that supports up to three 1680x1050 displays. (Both the DoubleHead2Go and the TripleHead2Go support up to two 1920x1200 displays.)

    The Analog-only dual head version is $170 (but only supports 1280x1024 on each monitor;) the digital dual-head versions (either DVI or DisplayPort) are $300. The analog triple head is also $300 (supports two 1680x1050 or three 1280x1024,) while the digital triple head are $330.

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