How do external displays work?

spoccka

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Jan 1, 2010
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Ok, I need to ask some silly questions about external displays. I'm going to buy a MacBook Pro soon, and I'm going to use it for CAD, music production and DJing mainly. I'm planning to get an external display for these.

When a bigger display is attached, does it just display a bigger (and presumably worse quality) version of what is on the computer screen. I doubt this is the case.

Otherwise, would it show the display at the same resolution (possibly 'resolution' isn't the right word here, I mean showing the display with everything at the same size as the original display) In this case, more could be shown on the screen, which is the point of the larger display.

However, I don't understand how the 2 displays could show two different things.

Help me please. Thanks
 

robbieduncan

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Jul 24, 2002
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You can run in mirroring mode where the external display runs at the same resolution as the internal display and shows the same as on the internal display (useful for presentations etc).

Or you can run in spanning mode where the two screens run at independent resolutions and display different things. You can drag windows between the, etc.
 

spoccka

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robbieduncan said:
You can run in mirroring mode where the external display runs at the same resolution as the internal display and shows the same as on the internal display (useful for presentations etc).

Or you can run in spanning mode where the two screens run at independent resolutions and display different things. You can drag windows between the, etc.
Ah right, that's cool. I'm not sure if you would know, but how might this work in relation to a design program?
 

robbieduncan

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Ah right, that's cool. I'm not sure if you would know, but how might this work in relation to a design program?
It would depend massively on the specific application. You could, for example, have the document on the external screen and all the pallets/accessory windows on the laptop screen.

Or you can just close the laptop and attach an external keyboard and mouse and just use the external screen when you are at your desk if you prefer that.
 

ctyhntr

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Jul 21, 2010
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That depends on the resolution of the monitor you're using, and the display mode. For example, if you compare a 52" TV 1080i and 25" 1080 monitor (meaning it can display 1920 x 1080 pixels), then it will look proportionally bigger on the TV.
 
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