Best solution for dual-monitors + MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jbischke, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. jbischke macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    Hey all. I have two 22" Acer monitors that I picked up pretty cheap from Amazon. Currently I run on my laptop with one of the monitors off to the right. Works pretty well but I'd like to do the following:

    I wanted to set it up so that when I'm at my desk I can use an external keyboard and mouse and both of the monitors side-by-side. Basically I want to be able to just close the lid on the MacBook and use it as a CPU only when I'm at my desk.

    I'm wondering what the best way is to accomplish this. I think I'd need one of those "splitters" perhaps (I think Matrox makes them, maybe others). However I'm also wondering how that would work with MBP and how easy it would be to dock and un-dock the laptop in that sort of arrangement.

    Maybe this is just too difficult to get working properly but I'm thinking there has to an option. :)
  2. flanamac macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    I agree, there has to be an option and I would think that in the system preferences area under the Energy icon, you would set the Sleep or other setting to Never, even when the lid is closed.

    This is an option under the Power Management properties for Windows laptops and many use them this way (like me at work).

  3. Airbase macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2009
    There is a solution - Turn on your mac so it's operating on the internal display. Then just plug in your external monitor and external mouse/keyboard. Then close the lid, the mac will sleep. Give the sleeping mac 5-10 seconds or so, then start pressing some buttons on your external keyboard/mouse ... the mac will wake back up and be powering the external display exclusively.

    In this mode, the mac will not respond to opening and closing the lid in any way, you could open and close it all day - the internal display is effectively "not installed" at that point. That also means all the onboard video memory is dedicated exclusively to the external display for better performance.

    I use my macbook as a "desktop tower" this way. It will sleep/wake just like always, once it's in that mode it quite literally operates like a desktop tower.

    If you want to go mobile again, just open the "dead" lid, and unplug the external monitor. The mac will sense this, and relocate to the internal display. Done.

    As far as running two external displays at the same time... if i remember correctly, then the macbook pro(like my macbook) has only a single video-out port. Unfortunately, its not possible to run two separate monitors/signals from a single port. You simply can't have two logical desktops with one port. The only possibility is to run "duplicate displays" by running the single line to a signal-splitter, but then you have two monitors displaying the exact same image (clones). The only dual display option on a laptop that has a single video-out port is to combine the external monitor with the internal one, as long as you can find a way to place the laptop screen close enough to use where the laptop's body isnt in the way. Like this:

    For reference, i have included some images of how i use my macbook 99% of the time. (see post attachments)

    Attached Files:

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