Dual Monitor Setup for 15 Inch rMBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bkanne, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. bkanne macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    I am currently in the market for a dual monitor set up for my 15 rMBP. While I obviously love the screen, I have found that a desktop setup with two external displays can boost my own productivity quite substantially.

    Does anyone have decent suggestions for this type of set up? I'd like to keep the total cost sub $700, and I don't feel that 4k is necessary at this point in the cycle. I have already considered looking at the Thunderbolt Display but am turned off by the dated technology as well as the possibility of an upcoming upgrade.

    Clearly, the monitors would have to have the proper outputs/inputs for the rMBP, meaning an HDMI port and/or Displayports. I have done the VGA to mini Displayport adapter in the past, which was fine, but I would prefer to go the all digital route.

    No specific specifications necessary- looking for the best overall experience.
  2. Jetfire macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    You don't say what size monitors you want to use. I have a Thunderbolt Display with a Dell 27" at the end of the chain. I know you have to have a Thunderbolt device between the Thunderbolt display for the last monitor to work. I believe this isn't true for straight connection for a non thunderbolt display though. Just go to newegg and do a filtered search for what you want the display to have. You may have to get a Display-port to miniDP cable but newegg should have that too. If not checkout monoprice. I also don't think any MBP support 4k yet. I'm waiting to upgrade my 15 MBP early 2011.
  3. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    You can get a couple of displays like the Asus SonicMaster MX239H, which is a 27" 1920x1080 IPS display with nice aesthetics and a sub $300 price. They have a smaller 23" model too which is $200. Most displays in this price range are pretty similar otherwise. HP have something similar too with the 23 xi and 27 xi. Great panel quality with IPS LED, although those don't have sound like the ASUS do if that was something you wanted.

    Or you can go the route of getting a couple of 27" 2560x1440 "Korean" displays which take the panels that don't meet Apple, Dell, NEC, HP etc's needs and have been very popular with enthusiasts.

    Like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/QNIX-QX2710...4491?pt=Computer_Monitors&hash=item1e876ecd0b

    Micro Center also have one of these and it now appears to be dirt cheap if you have a store near you (in store only), but these displays (Korean ones too) often suffer from input lag, poor or no control of display settings and crappy housing.


    I love my 2560x1440 displays, but with you budget I'd go for two nice 1920x1080 ones like I mentioned at the start.
  4. bkanne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    Thank you so much for the replies. Very helpful suggestions Umbongo. The thin-bezel Asus Sonicmaster is very attractive and definitely along the lines of what I am looking to purchase.

    I am also considering grabbing one of these bundles:




    The included stand would be nice. I just wish that Dell and other manufacturers would start updating their monitors with USB 3.0...it's about time.
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Looks good - I have one of the U2412 monitors and would recommend it. 24" @ 1920x1200 is a good, economical compromise between 27" 2560x1400 and a 1080p display - and still works with single-link DVI so you ought to be able to use a passive HDMI-to-DVI cable with one of them if you don't want to occupy both Thunderbolt ports.

    As for USB3 - I guess that, on the display, USB2 is good enough for keyboards, mice and memory sticks, and leaves the 2nd USB3 on your MacBook free for a backup drive.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    They look good, hadn't seen them before.
  7. googlydoo macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2005
    Dual Monitor Setup for MBP Retina

    If you want something more portable (and continue to use your Retina as one of the screens), there are new USB3 LCD screens that make for really great dual screen setups.

    I've been using one daily for video editing. The screen is not nearly as good as a real monitor, but it works well enough to enhance productivity.

    Here's a post I did about the Asus monitor, with pics: http://alaskavideoshooter.com/a-new-era-for-portable-dual-monitor-video-editing/
  8. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I agree about the Korean IPS monitors. They're fantastic. Mine sits right next to an iMac 27", and I actually like it a bit better. I got one from Monoprice; great price and excellent customer support. No dead pixels or junk like that. You really can't beat them for the price; they lack the plethora of connections som monitors sport, and sometimes as many adjustments, but it works for you they are usually half as much.
  9. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    The updated Dell Ultrasharp 2414H monitors have USB 3.0 included, including one high power port for charging mobile devices. Really thin bezels look good also http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=860-BBCG The monitor is 1920x1080 however, instead of 1920x1200 with the older version. Sold with the dual monitor stand here http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=DU2414H
  10. bkanne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    I came across this one yesterday after I had posted, this one looks fantastic. Thanks for pointing out the difference in resolution, I didn't notice that. Hopefully that doesn't make too much of an impact. I am likely going to go with two of these plus the stand.
  11. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Ah. Progress. :mad:

    So it will be 16:9 rather than 16:10.

    There's a name for a 1080p display: a television.

    I'd rather stick with USB 2 and a thicker bezel - you can have my extra 120 vertical pixels when you prise them off my cold, dead screen.

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