External Monitor with speakers

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
2 part question

I dont have room on my desk for external speakers i own a great pair but dont currently use them, I dont need to blast the sound out of my MBP

First question is do i need an external monitor with built in speakers if i plan on using MBP in clamshell mode? or will the sound still come out of the mbp with the lid close good enough


If it will be really bad and my only choice is to buy a monitor with built in speakers can anyone recommend a good one, I've noticed in my searching its obviously narrowing my choices if built in speakers are a must
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,168
1,212
NYC
No you do not need external speakers. Although a bit muffled, the speakers do work in clamshell mode.

No need to buy speakers, use headphones if you need sound. Now if you must get sound, just use the great pair of speakers you already have or buy a pair to sit next to your monitor. If you lack space, consider a mount for the monitor either via an Ergotron desk mount or a wall mount. By mounting the monitor, you gain desktop space for speakers.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
No you do not need external speakers. Although a bit muffled, the speakers do work in clamshell mode.

No need to buy speakers, use headphones if you need sound. Now if you must get sound, just use the great pair of speakers you already have or buy a pair to sit next to your monitor. If you lack space, consider a mount for the monitor either via an Ergotron desk mount or a wall mount. By mounting the monitor, you gain desktop space for speakers.
thanks for the input, i guess those built in speakers on monitors are not that great so if the audio is that bad in clamshell mode i will look into a different setup to make room for my speakers

the mounts sound like a great idea

since where on external display talk how to i find out the max resolution my mbp can display on an external monitor? based on the specs in my signature
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,168
1,212
NYC
since where on external display talk how to i find out the max resolution my mbp can display on an external monitor? based on the specs in my signature
2560x1600, which is the resolution on 30" monitors.

If you buy a regular monitor and it supports DisplayPort, you can buy a miniDisplayPort to DisplayPort cable to connect the monitor to your computer. If the monitor does not support DisplayPort, check to see if it's DVI Single or Dual-Link; if it's single link you can buy cheap miniDisplayPort to DVI adapter (around $30); if the monitor you use is Dual-Link (ie: 27" and 30" monitors, 2560x1440 and 2560x1600 resolutions, respectively), you need what is called an active miniDisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter. A good alternative is you buy the 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display, that has built-in speakers, can charge your computer, etc. and you can buy the VESA mount for it to mount it on the wall or a desk mount.

Just a heads up, if you plug in an external monitor, you must use the dedicated video card.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
2560x1600, which is the resolution on 30" monitors.

If you buy a regular monitor and it supports DisplayPort, you can buy a miniDisplayPort to DisplayPort cable to connect the monitor to your computer. If the monitor does not support DisplayPort, check to see if it's DVI Single or Dual-Link; if it's single link you can buy cheap miniDisplayPort to DVI adapter (around $30); if the monitor you use is Dual-Link (ie: 27" and 30" monitors, 2560x1440 and 2560x1600 resolutions, respectively), you need what is called an active miniDisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter. A good alternative is you buy the 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display, that has built-in speakers, can charge your computer, etc. and you can buy the VESA mount for it to mount it on the wall or a desk mount.

Just a heads up, if you plug in an external monitor, you must use the dedicated video card.
thanks for your help, I dont see you mention HDMI if that is on the monitor should i still use dvi?
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,168
1,212
NYC
thanks for your help, I dont see you mention HDMI if that is on the monitor should i still use dvi?
You would need an adapter either way; if your monitor has HDMI you can use it (since HDMI would support sound passthrough usually). If this monitor does not have sound, I would recommend using DVI instead as I find usually there are some sort of sync issues when the computer thinks the monitor is a TV.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
You would need an adapter either way; if your monitor has HDMI you can use it (since HDMI would support sound passthrough usually). If this monitor does not have sound, I would recommend using DVI instead as I find usually there are some sort of sync issues when the computer thinks the monitor is a TV.
Thanks for all the info
 

bdodds1985

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2011
867
0
Tartarus
A good alternative is you buy the 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display, that has built-in speakers, can charge your computer.

Just a heads up, if you plug in an external monitor, you must use the dedicated video card.
good to know. I was wondering about the speakers using TB as well. I see it a lot so I'm guessing that it doesn't cause many issues running dual TB displays as far as the graphics card goes? and if using dual monitors only one will have speaker capability right?
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
2560x1600, which is the resolution on 30" monitors.

If you buy a regular monitor and it supports DisplayPort, you can buy a miniDisplayPort to DisplayPort cable to connect the monitor to your computer. If the monitor does not support DisplayPort, check to see if it's DVI Single or Dual-Link; if it's single link you can buy cheap miniDisplayPort to DVI adapter (around $30); if the monitor you use is Dual-Link (ie: 27" and 30" monitors, 2560x1440 and 2560x1600 resolutions, respectively), you need what is called an active miniDisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter. A good alternative is you buy the 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display, that has built-in speakers, can charge your computer, etc. and you can buy the VESA mount for it to mount it on the wall or a desk mount.

Just a heads up, if you plug in an external monitor, you must use the dedicated video card.

question about dedicated video card, what one would that be for me the AMD or the Intel?
 

Xcallibur

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
515
1
Manchester
question about dedicated video card, what one would that be for me the AMD or the Intel?
It would be the AMD Radeon HD 6490M, so it would drain your battery faster; to be fair though the Intel graphics chip can handle at least one external display, so it wouldn't need to rely on the AMD.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,331
9,381
Vilano Beach, FL
It would be the AMD Radeon HD 6490M, so it would drain your battery faster; to be fair though the Intel graphics chip can handle at least one external display, so it wouldn't need to rely on the AMD.
If you're running an external monitor, you have to use the discreet GPU (vs. the integrated Intel).

Using gfxCardStatus with an external 24" and and my integrated display, switch to integrated, the external shuts down (same when we output to a TV like we did last night).

Close the MBP lip (i.e., "clamshell mode"), and run just the external, and gfxCS disables switching from discreet.

Basically, "built in" display = your choice (or auto switching mode), external = discreet GPU only
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
It would be the AMD Radeon HD 6490M, so it would drain your battery faster; to be fair though the Intel graphics chip can handle at least one external display, so it wouldn't need to rely on the AMD.
The intel 3000HD is not wired in any way to the TB port, so you cannot use it to plug into an external monitor except on the 13" MBP as it is the only graphics card in that model.
 

GuitarG20

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2011
1,020
1
It would be the AMD Radeon HD 6490M, so it would drain your battery faster; to be fair though the Intel graphics chip can handle at least one external display, so it wouldn't need to rely on the AMD.
not if you're using the TB port... if you are, the ATI card is the only one that is wired to it, so you have to be using it to do anything with TB.
 

Xcallibur

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
515
1
Manchester
not if you're using the TB port... if you are, the ATI card is the only one that is wired to it, so you have to be using it to do anything with TB.
I presumed that if the AMD is manually disabled, the Intel HD would take over as the provider of external screens, just like the 13" does.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
I presumed that if the AMD is manually disabled, the Intel HD would take over as the provider of external screens, just like the 13" does.
The 13" MBP only has the intel 3000HD, thus in its case, it is wired to the TB port.

The 15's and 17's can only run an external using the ATI card.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,331
9,381
Vilano Beach, FL
I presumed that if the AMD is manually disabled, the Intel HD would take over as the provider of external screens, just like the 13" does.
See my post above ... I even outlined using a 3rd party tool to manage the GPU(s) and how it operates :)

The only time this is slightly a bummer is when you want to use an external on battery power, which [at least for me] isn't a common usage scenario. It was last night, just because I didn't feel like coming back down to my office to get my power supply :D
 

Xcallibur

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
515
1
Manchester
The 13" MBP only has the intel 3000HD, thus in its case, it is wired to the TB port.

The 15's and 17's can only run an external using the ATI card.
See my post above ... I even outlined using a 3rd party tool to manage the GPU(s) and how it operates :)

The only time this is slightly a bummer is when you want to use an external on battery power, which [at least for me] isn't a common usage scenario. It was last night, just because I didn't feel like coming back down to my office to get my power supply :D
Yeah, fair enough! Now I know!
 
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