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mpc91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2018
90
1
UK
Hi there, i am aware on apples website it states that the 13" Macbook pro only supports 2 external monitors.

However i am hoping there must be a way to get it to support 3.

I am aware of an eGPU for example.

I was just wondering if anyone has had any luck just plugging in a dock to each usbc port on the laptop and powering it that way, or something simular.

thanks for your help
 

ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,417
1,139
Do you have an iPad? Is Sidecar an option?

With regards to docks, you might have luck with getting more than two displays connected, but I think it’s a hardware limitation.
 

littlepud

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2012
450
305
Hi there, i am aware on apples website it states that the 13" Macbook pro only supports 2 external monitors.

However i am hoping there must be a way to get it to support 3.

I am aware of an eGPU for example.

I was just wondering if anyone has had any luck just plugging in a dock to each usbc port on the laptop and powering it that way, or something simular.

thanks for your help

Even with a dock, the on-board IGP can only generate a total of 2 external video streams.

You would need a Display Link dock or USB adapter, but the drivers for those things are often flaky.
 

mpc91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2018
90
1
UK
Even with a dock, the on-board IGP can only generate a total of 2 external video streams.

You would need a Display Link dock or USB adapter, but the drivers for those things are often flaky.
i have gone on the display link website and there are so many to choose from do you know which one i nee to get this to work?
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,929
1,587
If you're in clamshell mode, you can do 2x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI out. I think max resolution is something like 2x displays at 2560x1440 (displayport) and 1x 1920x1080 (HDMI), but I certainly haven't tried with that many 1440 displays. I know it'll work with 3x 1080p displays, though. (I did 2x 1920x1200 and 1x 1920x1080 at work)

The 2x external monitors support is only if you connect 4K monitors, and keep the internal display running (so technically, that also counts as 3 active monitors).

More info here:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025673/graphics-drivers.html
 

mpc91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2018
90
1
UK
If you're in clamshell mode, you can do 2x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI out. I think max resolution is something like 2x displays at 2560x1440 (displayport) and 1x 1920x1080 (HDMI), but I certainly haven't tried with that many 1440 displays. I know it'll work with 3x 1080p displays, though. (I did 2x 1920x1200 and 1x 1920x1080 at work)

The 2x external monitors support is only if you connect 4K monitors, and keep the internal display running (so technically, that also counts as 3 active monitors).

More info here:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025673/graphics-drivers.html
Thanks for the reply mate so if I purchased an adapter with 2x hdmi to usbc and used that in the one port and kept my dock connected to the other port it would run 3 in clamshell mode I wouldn’t have to buy anything further.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,929
1,587
Yeah... I'm not sure if it'll work in one port for any pair of monitors, since I used 2x USB-C to displayport adapters + 1x USB-C to HDMI adapter (and the 4th port was for charging), but I can at least confirm that you can totally get it to work.

The most hassle-free way I have found is to simply get an eGPU and just connect the one Thunderbolt cable, I think. Does everything. The GPU itself doesn't even seem to matter because anything would be better than integrated Intel graphics.
 

mpc91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2018
90
1
UK
Thanks for your reply, but I only have 2 ports on the MacBook Pro 13 if u had 4 ports that’s probably why the 3 monitors worked =(
 

the suffering

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2012
5
1
If you're in clamshell mode, you can do 2x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI out. I think max resolution is something like 2x displays at 2560x1440 (displayport) and 1x 1920x1080 (HDMI), but I certainly haven't tried with that many 1440 displays. I know it'll work with 3x 1080p displays, though. (I did 2x 1920x1200 and 1x 1920x1080 at work)

The 2x external monitors support is only if you connect 4K monitors, and keep the internal display running (so technically, that also counts as 3 active monitors).

More info here:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025673/graphics-drivers.html
Hi, I know you posted this a while ago, but I was hoping you could help me figure out how you have this working? I have a 2019 MBP 13 with 4 TB ports, I hooked up 3 1080p monitors, 2 on usb c to DP adapters and 1 on usb c to HDMI, however I can ony get this to work on 2 of the 3 monitors. If I unplug one, I can get the one that was previously not working to start working. You say you have this working so Im just curious what you are doing different here.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,929
1,587
Oh, so when I tried it, I used Apple's Thunderbolt 3 -> Thunderbolt 2 adapter (x2 of these) and also Apple's USB-C Digital AV (HDMI) adapter. I've kind of learned that third-party adapters are not very reliable.

How I connected the adapters to my 2018 13" was... TB3 -> TB2 on each side of the computer (so one port on each side is connected to a TB3 -> TB2 adapter), and then USB-C to HDMI adapter was connected to the right side.

That allowed 3 external monitors.

I have even seen on Youtube that some folks were even able to get the internal display working as well (so 4 monitors all at once?). I can't recall if I tried to open the lid or not. I mostly have my MacBook in clamshell (lid closed) when I connect it to external monitors. It's become kind of a habit. I do that to my Windows laptops as well.
 

the suffering

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2012
5
1
Oh, so when I tried it, I used Apple's Thunderbolt 3 -> Thunderbolt 2 adapter (x2 of these) and also Apple's USB-C Digital AV (HDMI) adapter. I've kind of learned that third-party adapters are not very reliable.

How I connected the adapters to my 2018 13" was... TB3 -> TB2 on each side of the computer (so one port on each side is connected to a TB3 -> TB2 adapter), and then USB-C to HDMI adapter was connected to the right side.

That allowed 3 external monitors.

I have even seen on Youtube that some folks were even able to get the internal display working as well (so 4 monitors all at once?). I can't recall if I tried to open the lid or not. I mostly have my MacBook in clamshell (lid closed) when I connect it to external monitors. It's become kind of a habit. I do that to my Windows laptops as well.
Interesting, so then are you converting TB2 (mini DP) to DP from there or do the monitors accept TB2? At $50 an adapter its pricey, but definitely cheaper than a eGPU. Maybe ill wait until this quarantine stuff blows over and stores are reopened and get them locally that way if it doesnt work its a pretty simple return. I hope I can get this working, I REALLY dont want to have to invest in an eGPU just to get a third monitor.
 
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bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,929
1,587
Yeah... it was TB2 to DisplayPort. So I used Mini DP to DP cables.

eGPU would work as well, but I think you'll want to use a lower-end card. I happen to have a 5700XT in an eGPU enclosure... and let's just say the card makes sure I know it's running.
 

jaydge88

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2020
2
0
This page on Intel describes the reason why @bill-p's solution worked. This particular graphics chipset allows three external displays only if two of them are using DisplayPort. It also appears that it won't support your built-in as a fourth display, at least not officially.

This is a great find because I love the portability of my 13" MBP but I also love the productivity of having three external displays - I'm about to get two TB3->TB2 apple cables and try this out!
 

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,240
629
USA
Matrox dualhead...used to use these over ten years ago...
41iXG9m5lvL._AC_SX355_.jpg
 

Amethyst1

macrumors G3
Oct 28, 2015
9,442
11,611
Matrox dualhead...used to use these over ten years ago...
Yep, these will work just fine but present the two/three monitors connected to them as one ultrawide monitor, so it's best to have the monitors positioned right next to each other.
 

Smoovejayy

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2012
366
229
This page on Intel describes the reason why @bill-p's solution worked. This particular graphics chipset allows three external displays only if two of them are using DisplayPort. It also appears that it won't support your built-in as a fourth display, at least not officially.

This is a great find because I love the portability of my 13" MBP but I also love the productivity of having three external displays - I'm about to get two TB3->TB2 apple cables and try this out!
Just trying to wrap my head around this: so if I get two TB3 to TB2 adapters and lets say a USB C to HDMI adapter, will this work?
 
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bmwrninet

macrumors newbie
Jan 15, 2021
1
0
Oh, so when I tried it, I used Apple's Thunderbolt 3 -> Thunderbolt 2 adapter (x2 of these) and also Apple's USB-C Digital AV (HDMI) adapter. I've kind of learned that third-party adapters are not very reliable.

How I connected the adapters to my 2018 13" was... TB3 -> TB2 on each side of the computer (so one port on each side is connected to a TB3 -> TB2 adapter), and then USB-C to HDMI adapter was connected to the right side.

That allowed 3 external monitors.

I have even seen on Youtube that some folks were even able to get the internal display working as well (so 4 monitors all at once?). I can't recall if I tried to open the lid or not. I mostly have my MacBook in clamshell (lid closed) when I connect it to external monitors. It's become kind of a habit. I do that to my Windows laptops as well.
Hi.. Been trying for a week getting 3 external monitors working with MacBook Pro 13 (4 ports) unsuccessfully and seems the clearest answer.. I did manage via a Dell dock but 2 of the 3 external monitors were mirrored and could not get all 3 to be extended..

Sorry for novice question but if I follow your recommendation to buy 2x TB3->TB2 adapters and 1X UCB-C->HDMI then what cables do I need to buy from these adapters to monitors? Also will all 3 monitors work in extended mode ie. not mirrored? Thanks much
 

JMVB

macrumors regular
May 16, 2016
186
51
Honestly, no idea. IMHO Display Link is a POS.
Displaylink is pretty good solution

I'd use it to get external video in a MBP 15" 2011 with dead AMD card, and in a MBP 13" 2011-2012 to connect to 2 external monitors (one by minidisplay port, other by usb-hdmi DL adaptor)
 

thisisntmayhem

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2021
6
0
If you're in clamshell mode, you can do 2x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI out. I think max resolution is something like 2x displays at 2560x1440 (displayport) and 1x 1920x1080 (HDMI), but I certainly haven't tried with that many 1440 displays. I know it'll work with 3x 1080p displays, though. (I did 2x 1920x1200 and 1x 1920x1080 at work)

The 2x external monitors support is only if you connect 4K monitors, and keep the internal display running (so technically, that also counts as 3 active monitors).

More info here:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025673/graphics-drivers.html
Hey Bill,

Planning to try this with my 2019 MacBook pro. With this method, could I connect two thunderbolt displays daisy chained together in one plug, then a TV plugged in with an HDMI cord to an another plug? Do you think this would work? I've seen a lot of people using display link, but id rather not
 

thisisntmayhem

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2021
6
0
Just trying to wrap my head around this: so if I get two TB3 to TB2 adapters and lets say a USB C to HDMI adapter, will this work?
Did this work for you? Thinking of trying this myself. Would I be able to use this:


to plug my two daisy chained thunderbolt displays into the USB c slot, then the third display connect it to the HDMI port? What do you all think? Also, is the external gpu necessary?
 

thisisntmayhem

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2021
6
0
Hi.. Been trying for a week getting 3 external monitors working with MacBook Pro 13 (4 ports) unsuccessfully and seems the clearest answer.. I did manage via a Dell dock but 2 of the 3 external monitors were mirrored and could not get all 3 to be extended..

Sorry for novice question but if I follow your recommendation to buy 2x TB3->TB2 adapters and 1X UCB-C->HDMI then what cables do I need to buy from these adapters to monitors? Also will all 3 monitors work in extended mode ie. not mirrored? Thanks much
Any update on getting this to work? Im building my desk and would love to use 3 monitors, preferably without a GPU but I would be ok with using a hub, planning on purchasing this one. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KHP5MV8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A3HIHADV23VGU1&psc=1
 

Smoovejayy

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2012
366
229
Did this work for you? Thinking of trying this myself. Would I be able to use this:


to plug my two daisy chained thunderbolt displays into the USB c slot, then the third display connect it to the HDMI port? What do you all think? Also, is the external gpu necessary?
Hello,

I did successfully get this docking station to work with my MacBook Pro. I use two display port to hdmi adapters and use the built in hdmi port on the docking station. Connected it to the left side of the MacBook and works fine. Only thing is the Apple Watch unlocking feature does not work while docked because the screen is constantly being recorded by the displaylink software.
 

thisisntmayhem

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2021
6
0
Hello,

I did successfully get this docking station to work with my MacBook Pro. I use two display port to hdmi adapters and use the built in hdmi port on the docking station. Connected it to the left side of the MacBook and works fine. Only thing is the Apple Watch unlocking feature does not work while docked because the screen is constantly being recorded by the displaylink software.
Hey thanks for that! Do you think this would work with 2 Imac displays and 1 samsung TV?
Could I use the TOTU Upgraded Universal USB-C 4K Triple Display Docking Station with Charging Support for Macbook Pro & Windows Type C to plug my 2019 13 inch MacBook pro (with 4 ports) to 2 27inch I macs and 1 32 inch Samsung TV? I would use 2 thunderbolt 3 (USB c) to thunderbolt 2 (displayport) connected into 2 of the outs on the MacBook (leaving 2) to connect the two IMACS, then I would connect the Samsung Tv to the back of the hubs HDMI out (or the hub you linked above) I would then plug the hub into my MacBook pro (leaving 1 port open) Would this work? Ideally Id like to use the 3 displays, and put my mac in clam mode, linking with display link. Please advise, thank you!
 

pppez80

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2021
22
1
Los Angeles & New York
Has anyone else been getting this to work — if so with what resolutions?
Using only original Apple connectors and three LG screens, two connected through DL, one through HDMI — all three never work at the same time even in clamshell mode. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
 
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