Dual monitors

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Krispy1919, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Krispy1919 macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    Hello everyone,

    I apologize if this topic was previously discussed, but I just ordered a 27 inch iMac and I wanted to have multiple monitors set up. So essentially, the iMac would be in the center and there would be one monitor on the left and one monitor on the right. My question is which cables and method would I need to hook up these external monitors? My iMac is the 2010 version with the mini display port. I just wasn't sure how exactly to hook 2 external monitors since the iMac on has 1 of these mini display ports. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :D
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You will need a USB video adapter or something like Matrox DualHead to achieve this.
  3. Krispy1919 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011

    Thanks for the response. I'm assuming that Matrox company is my only option? I'm just asking because I didn't realize how expensive they are for one of those things :(
  4. Dewroo macrumors regular


    Jul 28, 2010
    Tilton, NH.
    the way i do it it silly.
    one old ass monitor to the left connected via Mini display port to VGA
    then an app called Air display for my iPad so it becomes a monitor.
    thus; three screens.
  5. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The 27" iMac can support two 27" Apple Thunderbolt displays (one from each of the two TB ports).

    I have one ATD with my 27" iMac (the ATD is the main display and the iMac is to the right as a secondary display). I would think you could arrange the iMac in the middle and then one ATD on either side.

    Very expensive, but it would match nicely (since they use the same display and glass cover).
  6. Krispy1919 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011

    Well my iMac actually doesn't have the thunderbolt ports (its a 2010) so I'm guessing that I would have to go with the Matrox adapter that was previously mentioned. It sure would be nice to have the apple cinema displays on each side, but I'm planning on 2 Dell monitors (one on each side of the iMac). The apple cinema displays are quite pricey as you mentioned. :rolleyes:
  7. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    Just so that I can understand. The 2010 iMac was released in May of 2010. The 2011 iMac was released in July 2011. You ordered 2010 iMac 27 in October of 2011?

    You want to have 2 additional monitors connected to your system, which the 2011 iMac does this very easily and beautifully but you still ordered the 2010?

    Assuming that the above is true, I'd guess that you using existing monitors, which probably will not match the quality or resolution of the primary monitor. If you haven't tried anything like this before, I would suggest trying it with just one monitor to start. An iMac 27 is a LOT of screen screen real estate. You might find that you don't need a second monitor. Otherwise, you might find yourself on a very frustrating path with a 2010 iMac and 2 other random displays.
  8. Krispy1919, Oct 7, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

    Krispy1919 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    Yes i ordered the 2010 iMac 27 in October 2011. This was the i7 2.93 iMac that macmall was selling through their website for $1499. Since I wanted to stay in the $1500 price range, it made more sense for me to buy this computer opposed to a current i7 that sells for considerably more, don't you think?

    The other 2 monitors are Dells. As you mentioned, while it's certainly not a necessity to hook them up, it wouldn't hurt to do so since I already have the monitors. Both Dells are the same model number and are only a few years old and while they may not put out the same picture quality as the iMac, they still have a great looking picture (and they are matching). Again, this setup of multiple monitors was not a necessity, but since I already have the monitors I figured it would be a fun setup. It's just something to try since I am not familiar with the dual monitor setup with macs
  9. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    It's hard to say if it makes more sense without knowing the application mix that you will be running and without knowing how long you plan to keep it. If you plan on keeping it a few years, you may regret not having Thunderbolt. It's not a big deal now but, when the periphials really start showing up it will be pretty damn nice to have one cable to connect your monitor, network, multiple hard drives and every things at 10 Gbps.

    Overall, I'd spend the extra $200 (1499 vs 1699) and get the Sandy Bridge 2.7 Quad Core i5. I'm not a CPU guy but I bet the current i5 is as good as the 2010 i7 in most cases. That is purely my personal opinion though.
  10. Krispy1919 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    I see what you're saying, but considering that I do video work, it made more sense for me to get the 2010 i7 (I'm still throwing some more ram in it when i get it). Although the current 2.7 i5 you mentioned is an excellent computer, the 2010 i7 I ordered would still out perform it.

    The benchmarks here are a good example. http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/05/imac-benchmarks-mid-2011/

    So that along with the fact that the 2010 is $200 cheaper makes it more appealing. As for thunderbolt, It's still too early for anything good to be used with it and since I sell my computers every few years (I just sold my 2008 iMac), I really don't mind being without that option.
    But you said it....everyone has their own opinion.

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