Can my 2012 macbook pro handle driving 2 displays at once?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by twilexia, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #1
    I'm thinking of connecting 2 1080p monitors to my macbook pro (mid 2012, 16gb ram and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB VRAM) and was wondering if the gpu can handle having 2 monitors running at the same time?

    My monitors will most likely be:

    LG 34UM95 34" widescreen connected via Thunderbolt: http://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronic...6013&sr=8-1&keywords=LG+widescreen+monitor+34

    BenQ 27" HDMI monitor connected via HDMI: http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-GL2760H-...d=1450556047&sr=8-7&keywords=benQ+27"+monitor
     
  2. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    In this instance, more information (screen size, Retina or not) would be helpful for the respondents because of the model overlaps in 2012.

    I think you have the mid-2012 15" Retina MBP. In which case, apple says:

    "MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012), and Mac Mini (Late 2012 and later) computers can use an HDMI-compatible device on it's HDMI port while using one Thunderbolt display, or they can use two Thunderbolt displays."

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204154
     
  3. twilexia thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3

    Good point! For my purposes, 1080p or 1440p resolution work totally fine. I don't care too much for a higher resolution. And you are right, that's the model I have!
     
  4. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I think you probably asked the wrong question - supporting two monitors is not the issue, supporting one with 3440 pixels wide is. And I think the answer to that is no - you'll probably get only 2560 pixels wide. You can start a new thread and ask if the mid-2012 Macbook Pro Retina 15" supports 3440 x 1440 using a Thunderbolt port (or the HDMI port - also unlikely).
     
  5. twilexia thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Yikes. How much GPU power is needed to support 3440x1440?
     
  6. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Officially, only the latest 15" (mid-2015) MBP supports up to two 3840×2160 (max) displays, some of the earlier (2014+) models support one 3840×2160 (max) display. But there's software (SwitchResX?) that people have mentioned. I have no idea what capabilities the software has - it may support resolutions that Apple doesn't officially support. That's why you may want to ask the question in a separate thread - it's not as cut-and-dried as the number of monitors question.
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #7
    It should work fine. One from the HDMI port and the other from the Thunderbolt port, and you should be able to use the computer's internal screen as well.
     
  8. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    snaky69, we know the mid-2012 15" MBP Retina supports two displays, the question now is whether you can drive a 3440 x 1440 display using Thunderbolt (or possibly HDMI). The official Apple spec says two 2560 x 1600 displays can be used via Thunderbolt. Are you saying a 3440 x 1440 display will work?
     
  9. dma550 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I am using an Apple 27" @ 2560X1440 via TB and a Monoprice via displayport @ 2560X1440. Both work at the same time flawlessly on my mid 2012 MBP. I have a 650m as well.
     
  10. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    To REITERATE, we've moved beyond the question of whether dual displays work or not.

    The question now is whether you can drive a 3440 x 1440 display using Thunderbolt (or possibly HDMI) or not.
     
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #11
    HDMI, no, at least not at 60Hz. You'd need HDMI 2.0 which came out after that MBP did. See here: 3.7 Version comparison

    Thunderbolt uses the Displayport standard, and I'm unsure which version that vintage MBP uses.
     
  12. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    On macrumors, it looks like people have been able to use the LG 34UM95 with the mid-2012 15" Retina MBP and the early 2013 model.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/lg-34um95-mba.1770105/#post-22180355 post #15

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/rmbp-early-2013-and-lg-34um95.1750010 post #2

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/lg-34um95-thunderbolt-ultrawide-display.1707270 post #44

    Note that the 2nd URL is using early 2013, which has the same graphics hardware as the mid 2012. The 3rd post doesn't say if he/she has early or late 2013 - the late 2013 has different graphics hardware. I don't think anybody is using dual external displays, but I'm just doing a cursory search. As snaky69 suggested, it maybe possible if one them has an a refresh rate below 60Hz although a lot of people don't find anything below 50Hz acceptable. It looks like people are not using SwitchResX to make this work, people seem to have problems with SwitchResX with the 3440 x 1440 resolution.
     
  13. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #13
  14. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Are you trying to drive traffic to this site?

    The actual URL goes to a comparison of CPU's which is useless for the question in this thread because you'd have to find the Intel CPU model# an Apple laptop uses and click to that model.

    There is a link on the main page that goes to laptops but the two Apple laptops that I looked at had the built-in screen specs and the GPU model. There was no information on what combination of external monitors a laptop could drive. From a presentation standpoint, it's a nice site with some potentially useful information. But it has less information than the official Apple tech specs do with regards to support for external displays. And the Apple tech specs are lacking because there are a lot of people who have displays or display combinations connected to their Macs that aren't officially supported.
     
  15. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    europe
    #15
    OMG…. :rolleyes:

    Sorry for posting the wrong link, but you could find any info about resolution of any GPU, eGPU to dGPU (and CPU as well) on that site. I just copied multiple URLs (also for me) and posted the wrong one here… this can happen.
    But if you fear or panic to be abused for adding one or two clicks on a website, forget it …:rolleyes:
     

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