Does the Macbook slow down with an external monitor?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by XLcomm, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. XLcomm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #1
    In a different thread a few MB owners said that the MB can become sluggish when used with an external monitor - expose and dashboard were mentioned.

    I assume this is due to the integrated graphics card having difficulty with 2 displays.

    Does the MB become sluggish when using an external monitor with the lid closed? Or only when using both the laptop display and external monitor at the same time?
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    The MB should operate at full speed when in clamshell mode. The slow down is because the Processor is trying to run two monitors at once.

    TEG
     
  3. XLcomm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #3
    That's interesting. So if the processor is the slowdown, does this suggest that the Macbook Pro (same processor) will also be sluggish when running both the laptop and external display at the same time?
     
  4. mrtune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #4
    The MacBook Pro has a dedicated graphics card. I won't suffer the same symptoms as the MacBook does with it's integrated card.
     
  5. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #5
    My first generation macbook doesn't have any problems running a 22inch widescreen monitor alongside it's normal one. It's a bit snappier when it hasn't got to run it, but when it does it's still more than adequately fast.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it.
     
  6. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #6
    No, the MBPs displays have dedicate memory. The reason integrated graphics suck is that the CPU must deal with all the data going to and from the memory to the GPU, causing a bottleneck. It is like trying to run USB 2.0 on a G4 667, its speed is limited by the CPU, whereas Firewire (which directly accesses memory and other components without touching the CPU) runs much, much faster.

    TEG
     
  7. f1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #7
    I run a dual monitor setup at home with my Macbook which has the old GMA950, the expose and dashboard lag does occur occasionally, but everything else works fine, you won't notice any other performance issues.
     
  8. munckee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #8
    I run a Dell 24" from my MacBook (usually in clamshell mode). I notice a VERY slight lag on expose. Everything else seems fine.
     
  9. El Phantasmo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    #9
    do you notice the lag while in clamshell mode?
     
  10. yayaba macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    #10
    I have a C2D GMA 950 Macbook that I sometimes output to a 20" LCD running at 1680x1050. Under Tiger and pre 10.5.2 I did notice lag in Expose and Dashboard. But the graphics update that came out with Leopard 10.5.2 actually did help the lag somewhat.

    It's perfectly usable though... we're talking about a 10-20% decrease in framerate when you do Expose or Dashboard. Everything else is fine.
     
  11. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #11
    I wouldn't try playing games with a both an external display and the internal LCD running, but then again you didn't buy a MacBook to play games on. Just use it - it runs fine with a second display. Apps don't run any slower, files don't load any slower... while I'll agree that the Dashboard zoom effect gets slightly choppy, its not like that will really effect the Mac's usability.
     
  12. MasterMacBook macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location:
    Austarlia, W.A
    #12
    i have the macbook before penryn, (my sig)
    i always conect my MB to a 17inch LCD i dont notice any lag on any application or program.
    and i only have 1GB RAM.

    dont no hwa u guys are on about:confused:
     
  13. yayaba macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    #13
    Well, the one you have before Penryn has the Intel X3100 doesn't it? I have the one before that one and it has the GMA 950... not exactly the best integrated chip out there.
     
  14. MasterMacBook macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location:
    Austarlia, W.A
    #14
    oo soz dude.
    i dont know that type of stuff about my mac:eek:
    i know basic info.
    but not technical stuff lyk that.
    just dont need 2 really.
    anyways.
    so whens the new ACD comming out:D??
    :apple:
     
  15. fewture macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #15
    I have a new Penryn 2.4 Blackbook with 4gb.

    I don't notice any lag with clamshell shut with a 22" (its perfect). I don't use the monitors both open/on though because you can't get the right resolution on the external monitor if you do that (and its looks crap that way).

    Unless someone knows a workaround which gives you the right resolution on the external when the Macbook screen is on and open.
     
  16. ETID macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #16
    I'm not sure if this applies to a 22" but when I use my macbook with my 20" screen both at the same time, both screens are at their own best resolutions (i.e. 20" at 1680x1050). Unless I have them in mirror mode.
     
  17. mediapirate macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #17
    46" Lcd

    I have mine driving a 46" 1080p set for Itunes movies and I don't notice a huge impact in performance. I wouldn't recommend playing a video on both screens though.
     
  18. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Balderdash! I use my MacBook on a 30", although the resolution is still 1200/800ish, I have never noticed a slow-down.
     
  19. ipodtouchy333 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #19
    Good to hear it works well. I'm considering buying my first mac which would be a blackbook and 23" cinema display. I'm gonna wait till this summer to see if they update either of them, hopefully they do.
     

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