iMac 27" Mini-DP to 2x ACD 23" HD's, Matrox Dual head & Spaces

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jurisprudence, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Jurisprudence macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Sorry if this has been asked before. I'm sure parts of this question are familiar but other bits are more complex. 1st off I have a 27" iMac with 2x thunderbolt ports. I'm aware I can just use mini-DP to DVI adapters to connect these 2 ports to my 2 23" Cinema Displays. The iMac is in the centre & the 2x ACD's left and right on arms and I can't rearrange them.

    1: Is there a benefit to using active adapters over passive. If so is this benefit better picture quality, lower gpu/cpu usage or what?

    2: After hearing horror stories from fuzzy picture to Minidp to dvi adapters starting to burn anyone recommend good 3rd party adapters? The Apple ones are seriously overpriced imho.

    3: I do a tonne of research & on my previous setup used Sharemouse over 2 x Macbook Pros & a Mac Mini. This gave me 3 monitors, 16 Spaces each, total 48, each designated to a particular function or program. As the 3 monitors were actually separate systems if I invoked Spaces on 1 screen/system I got the 16 Spaces displayed but the other 2 screens remained displaying as they were. Now I'm only on one system I've lost that ability. I use Mountain Lion with TotalSpaces from Binaryage (if you haven't tried it & love Specs on Snow Leopard just do it, you won't regret it) to give me back the basics of the more productive SL layout. Is there any way to bring back that 3 system functionality with Spaces acting independently on each screen? Its fundamental to my workflow.

    3: Anyone used Matrix Dual-head adapters. I'm looking at these 2

    The Digital SE is marked Windows only but I'm researching if I can get it to work on Mac and at least I'm guaranteed its dp-dvi convertors won't burn my apartment down when I'm not looking. The DP is mac compatible out of the box. It would free up a thunderbolt port which is good for later expansion but I'm wondering if I can arrange the displays so the desktop shows left to right Matrox ACD 1 - iMac - Matrox ACD 2. All I've seen is the 2 monitors being outputted to side-by-side which means the iMac would have its desktop but the 2 outputted monitors would both appear to OSX to be on the right or left of it which is not good.

    Sorry for the long post but I can't find definitive answers to the above anywhere. Thanks.
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Your iMac will see the Matrox thing as one big screen. If you put your iMac in between the two ACD's, you'll have a hard time using them. You'll have left portion of big screen, iMac screen, right portion of big screen. You won't be able to take the mouse cursor from the left most edge, through the iMac, to the right most edge. It'll instead go, left most edge, left edge of right ADC, left edge of iMac screen, and stop at the right most edge of the iMac's screen.
  3. Jurisprudence thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Thanks for the quick reply. Thats what I thought. Its unfortunate. I had to do that when one of my MBP's logicboards popped (nVidia issue) and I had MBP on left, Mini middle, MBP to DVI connected LCD right. Lots of head spinning. Neighbours probably thought I was something from the exorcist. :)
  4. Jurisprudence thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Does anyone else know the benefits or disbenefits of active v passive MiniDp adapters. Also before I go mad searching amazon does anyone know of a cable thats Mini Displayport to DVI Female. A cable at least 3ft not one of the many adapters out there, preferably in white or grey/silver. Cheers.

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