Finally, dual monitors possible?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by metallic07039, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. metallic07039 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    #1
    Finally the new Macbook Pros are out and I want one, but not if I can't get dual monitors on it.

    I've been searching the web to figure out how to do it and it seems like buying an adapter it the only way - is this true? My co-workers seem to think that all I need to do is to plug each monitor into each Thunderbolt plug - is this true?

    Can anyone really tell me how I can do this without any clunky adapters?

    EDIT: I'd like to run these as extended desktops, NOT mirrored.
     
  2. justin216 macrumors 6502

    justin216

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #2
    You could possibly power 3, plus the internal screen. 1 in HDMI, and 1 in each Thunderbolt port via mini displayport cable or one of the adapters.

    ----------

    Of course, if you have Thunderbolt monitors (like Apple's TB Display), you could chain 2 together on each port, plus HDMI, plus internal screen, and have 6 screens from a laptop -- kind of crazy and expensive, but should work.
     
  3. metallic07039 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 8, 2009
    #3
    That is what I had thought too, but then I see threads like this: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4628872?start=30&tstart=0

    People are talking about DualHead2Go, display link driver from Diamond, etc. Perhaps that is for the non-Retina MBPs?
     
  4. justin216, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    justin216 macrumors 6502

    justin216

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    #4
    Correct. The old MBPs only had one video output, the current retina models have 3 dedicated outputs.

    Edit -- I should clarify, you don't need any special hardware or software to run multiple monitors on a Retina MBP, since it has 3 outputs. That link you posted was started for a 2011 MBP, which only had one output, so they had to use third party boxes to add more screens.

    You'd still need Thunderbolt adapters for your monitors if you don't have mini-displayport cables (I think they're $29/ea from Apple, you can sometimes find cheaper on Monoprice). I have mini-displayport cables for my monitors from Amazon, so I just plug both into my rMBP to get dual monitors. Works right out of the box.
     
  5. metallic07039 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 8, 2009
    #5
    Got it! Thanks. That makes more sense. Since you do this already, any idea if this would also work well with one of those "docking stations" as well?

    Alex
     
  6. justin216 macrumors 6502

    justin216

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    #6
    Depends on the type of dock. Some docks use USB, and may work if the manufacturer supplies drivers. If you go this way, I'd look for one that did USB 3.0, so you could get more bandwidth and reduce chance for lag and such.

    If you're not opposed to spending money for a Thunderbolt dock, though, that's the way to go.

    Example:
    http://www.belkin.com/us/F4U055-Belkin/p/P-F4U055/
     
  7. metallic07039 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    #7
    I saw that Belkin one too. Looks nice and you're right, pricey.

    Anyways, I'll look into it further now. Thanks again for your help!
     
  8. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #8
    Don't forget in Mavericks you can now also extend with Airplay instead of mirroring. So you can have another extra screen without even plugging anything into your computer. I think that makes for a total of 5 screens right out of the box with no adapters. Not sure how well that would work though.
     
  9. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #9
    If your monitors have a Displayport input (most Dell Ultrasharps and similar monitors do these days) then you don't need an adapter, just a Mini-Displayport to Displayport cable.
     
  10. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #10
    I have a early '13 rMBP and have been running dual monitors off it is since the beginning. I use one of the TB ports and then the HDMI to do it since I need the 2nd TB port for the ethernet adapter.
     
  11. mtmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2012
    #11
    If you want a clean system with 2 monitors, you can daisy chain 2 ATDs to the rMBP and still have an extra TB port available on your computer. A single cord would need to be hooked up to power and TB port. I think it's highly likely that a new TBD will come out in early December along with MacPros & MacMinis. I'd wait for the new TBD and have the second monitor either the old (current) TBD or any third party display. Or spend the big bucks if you like the look of two matching monitors and get 2 new TBDs.
     
  12. mtmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2012
    #12
    Plus I should mention, it's not finally, it's been like this for a long time. I believe all TB enabled Macs have been able to run dual TB Monitors. I believe even my last generation Air can run 2 TB monitors as extended desktop along with the laptop monitor. Or buy a new MacPro and you can run three 4k monitors!
     
  13. durkkin macrumors regular

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    Sep 23, 2013
    #13
    Not quite... There is a limit to the amount of pixels the GPU can push. For the 13" rMBP I believe the limit is 2 external screens before the internal display shuts off. As soon as you plug a 3rd one in, internal goes black, and a 4th display won't work at all. I'm not positive about the limit on the 15" rMBP, I believe it is 5 external overall (2x2 Thunderbolt daisy chain and 1 HDMI) or 4 plus internal display. But also the amount of lag with a setup like that will probably be insane.
     
  14. dgdosen macrumors 65816

    dgdosen

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    Dec 13, 2003
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    Seattle
    #14
    Any knowledge of daisy chaining two display port (non ATD) monitors? I want to say that's in the Thunderbolt 2 spec, but does it work in practice?
     
  15. justin216 macrumors 6502

    justin216

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    #15
    It's in the Displayport spec, but I can't say I've ever tried it. I have daisy chained two Apple Thunderbolt monitors on my "old" 2012 rMBP, but you did need to leave the rMBP display closed to get "ok" performance.

    ----------

    Quoted for truth. I only have direct experience with the 15" models (I should have clarified), the 2012 13" model is definitely underpowered for more than 2 high-res screens.
     

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