dual external monitors with new MBP - my solution

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by whitehexagon, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. whitehexagon macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    The hardest thing moving away from my 2.4MBP was losing the ability to use two external monitors. Previously I'd been using a Matrox Digital TrippleHead2Go, driving 2 1600x1200 SyncMaster 214T. So I was pretty upset to suddenly be part of the 'Display Port' nightmare that Apple have inflicted upon us. And not just display port, but Mini display port.

    Anyway, I was glad to see last week that Matrox had everything back in stock again to finally resolve this issue. 'DualHead2Go DP Edition' sounded like the perfect solution, well almost... Of course I needed a mini DP to DP cable on the input side, and since most sensible monitors still use DVI, I needed 2 DP to DVI connector cables.

    2 days later the package arrived. My first disappointment was the cables, 70EUR for three 20cm cables. Wow, that's being really mean. Fortunately the kit includes a DP->DP cable of a bit more reasonable length (50cm?) which allowed me to just get the box under the desk. Although of course the 20cm output DP->DVI cables were never going to reach 2 monitors, no matter how I balanced the box. So 2 DVI->DVI cables later and the whole thing was connected.

    On the software side I didn't bother with the included CD since I wanted to ensure I had the latest drivers - (running on firmware 1.0.38).

    The software itself was better than my last experience of a head2go product, at least this time I didn't need a windows machine to configure the device! But I did spend some time double checking the specs that my GT330M was actually supported. It seemed only to offer me 800 or 1024 based display resolution. In the end I picked 1024 anyway just to try it, this seemed to trigger the head2go into detecting my actual monitors! although it still took quite some clicking back and forth between the Apple display settings (eventually set to 3200x1200), and the Matrox GXM software.

    So once again I'm a happy user of 2x 1600x1200 externals + 1680x1050 MBP :)
  2. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Wow that sounds like a convoluted set up, but whatever works :D

    The 20cm cables sound like a piss take though, that's ridiculously short!
  3. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    How funky is the setup with this new product when you power up your system? i.e. do you have to futz around with it to get it working every time or was the setup a one-time deal.

  4. whitehexagon thread starter macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    yes it seems to suffer from the same wake-up issues as the last generation. It's still early days but so far I've had it forget one display, lost 'Arrangement' setting, dialogs sometimes centered on the dual screen and sometimes on the laptop, and a few other glitches that required going through some of the settings again. Mostly I use my MBP as a desktop, so it's not much of a deal to tweak things occasionally, but a little disappointing.

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