Dual Monitor solutions for 2010 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aperturevx, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. aperturevx macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    Hi there, I am currently using a mid 2010 MBP (15", 2.67GHz Intel i7, 4gb RAM etc) and I'm looking to add a second external monitor to my setup. I currently have a HP ZR22w widescreen monitor running at 1920 x 1080 and was hoping to add a second identical monitor (mostly cause it would look awesome). I know that the Mini Display Port doesn't natively support two independent external displays, so I was wondering what solutions you would suggest? I've been looking at several graphics expansion modules and I guess my biggest concern is whether or not I need one that has a built-in video card. It seems that most GXMs out there (such as the Matrox DualHead2Go module) are USB powered and use your computer's GPU... while I have no shortage of processing power, I'm using the stock video card (nVidia GeForce 512mb) and I'm not sure if it'll be able to run things smoothly across 3 displays (including the laptop screen.) I don't do a ton of gaming or video editing etc but I like to have the option of playing Starcraft etc without lag. That being said, all the gxms with a built in video card that I've seen are outrageously expensive ($1400+)

    Any recommendations?
  2. secondhandloser macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Wash, DC/ HSV, AL
    Unfortunately I can't help, but I'm also curious.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    You won't be able to game using a MatroxDualHead2Go, the USB connexion is much too slow and you'll get horrible lag.

    There is currently nothing that would suit your purpose if you intend to game as well.
  4. Inopia-Vi macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    Lost in space
    Maybe you will need a wifi monitor connected to a client...

    MBP 2010-)Wifi-)Other Computer running a screen sharing program-)Monitor
  5. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    Something like this might be better (USB2 displays are definitely not game-able): http://www.startech.com/AV/Displayp...Port-to-DVI-Multi-Monitor-Adapter~SP123DP2DVI

    The best solution for your current macbook IF it has an expresscard slot might be one of the VillageTronic solutions or something like the above at reasonable resolutions. An ideal solution that's claimed to be worked on would be a Thunderbolt -> expansion chassis, possibly with discrete video card, but I'd expect it to be $$ and doesn't apply to earlier models regardless..
  6. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Can you game on a 27" ACD (Thunderbolt) connected to a 15" MBP... (in other words is there any lag on the external monitor?)

    (any lag on dual 27" ACD's (Thunderbolt) for that matter?)
  7. aperturevx, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

    aperturevx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    I've never had lag issues gaming on my 22" external monitor that's currently hooked up. I imagine it wouldn't be a problem with a slightly larger screen. That being said I go out from the mini display port to a VGA adaptor. (don't have thunderbolt)
  8. aperturevx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    Just to clarify, the Matrox GXM I referred to still uses the MiniDisplay Port from the Macbook and goes Display Port out to the two external monitors. It's just USB powered in the sense that it doesnt have an external power supply.


    (The model I'm referring to is the "DP" or display port edition, farthest right column)
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I don't see why you couldn't game on one, apart from the fact that your graphics card would be pushing nearly twice the resolution, so any lag would be coming from that, not the fact that you're connected to an external.

    Dual ACD's would work just fine using thunderbolt, though I wouldn't expect good gaming performance at all using that setup.

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