Best Mac for 2 or 3 monitors?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by redmeister, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. redmeister macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2007
    Hi all, searched through this forum and got some great insight but wanted some up to date opinion on the matter given the refreshed/updated models. I need to use 2 30" monitors (ideal) or 3 24" monitors as a back-up plan. Will be mainly used for finance applications (streaming data) & lots of heavy web usage.

    I know the Mac Pro seems to be the best option.

    But the Mac mini has 2 display ports so it can technically run 2 monitors. But can it run 2 30"? I was under the impression they needed multiple graphics cards?

    Can you hook up other monitors with an iMac as well? (1 iMac, 1 external monitor)

    Lastly, I recall that you cannot hook up 2 monitors to a Macbook Pro, correct? Only 1 external monitor there?

    Sincere thanks for any insight/opinions!
  2. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    From Apple's tech specs, the MDP port can output 2560x1600 while the HDMI can only do 1920x1200. That'd be a pretty low res 30" display, plus my guess is the GPU would lag if you tried using both at the same time (no personal experience though). The iMac can output to another monitor (2560x1600) and drive them both. Probably should upgrade the GPU on the iMac if you want to use both the 27" built in and a 30" external. Only one external for all of Apple's notebooks.

    With all of that, if you want more than two or the choice of which two, you'll need to go Mac Pro. From your uses, it sounds like you wont be taxing the system much besides monitor output. Definitely check out the refurb site as you can get a very good deal on the 2010 base MP (or any other machine you choose).
  3. JaHull macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2009
    Hi, the Mac mini does have 2 display ports. The mini DisplayPort can support a 30" monitor at its full 2560-1600 resolution but the 2nd display port which is a HDMI port can only support upto 1920-1200 resolution so you wouldnt be getting the most out of 2 30" monitors with a mac mini.

    The iMac on the other hand can handle both its internal screen and a 30" monitor with 2560-1600 resolution hooked upto it, so i presume that you will be getting the 27" imac + a 30" display since you are wanting 2 high res displays. if you chose this setup the imac monitor has 2560-1440 resolution which is a few less pixels that 2 30" monitors due to its 16:9 aspect ratio

    Your 3rd option which you said before is the mac pro. I personal think is probably a bit overkill but either the ati 5770 or 5870 card in the mac pro are both capable of supporting 3 30" displays.

    My opinion if you dont already have the 2 displays go for the 27" imac and do note that if the monitors you are getting which are 30" with 2560-1600 you will need a mini displayport to dual-link dvi adapter sold separately

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