Lion performance with dual monitors

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by karohan, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. karohan macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    I have noticed that with Snow Leopard performance suffers with dual monitors. Animations like dashboard and expose are more sluggish when using dual monitors for some reason (note this is not because of having to drive more pixels. I'll have perfectly smooth animations with a single 2560x1440 monitor, but sluggishness with two 1680x1050 monitors including my Macbook Pro screen. This is ironic because the single monitor has more pixels).

    Nevertheless, does Lion experience any UI animation/graphics performance decrease at all like Snow Leopard?

    Also using full screen apps apparently render secondary screens useless, but is there a chance that this will be dealt with in a future point release?
  2. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    I don't see any slowdowns on my Macbook Pro with a secondary monitor attached (17" 1920x1200 + 24" 1920x1200).

    I'm currently using the GeForce 9600M GT card (as opposed to the 9400M).

    I hope that in the future we will be able to show at least a second full screen app on the second monitor (or another desktop, but all windows in that desktop would need to be in a single monitor).

    It might also be cool if we could display widgets on the secondary monitor (and then widgets might actually be useful :D).
  3. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    Alright that's cool! I don't want to get my hopes though because a lot of people don't seem to mind the sluggishness that occurs in Snow Leopard, so maybe there is no difference between Lion and Snow Leopard. I'm using a 330m (2010 MBP), so GPU power shouldn't be an issue.

    I'm not sure if this is the same as in Snow Leopard, but regarding showing widgets on the desktop, you can currently do that. You can then move them to your secondary monitor. The only downfall is that they always remain on top. Look here: (maybe it works with Lion too?)
  4. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    Too bad they aren't always on the bottom (i.e., stuck on the desktop). That would be kind of cool.
  5. djrod macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2008
    Madrid - Spain
    I used to have a 15 MacBook pro (9600GT) + 24 ACD, I sold them because of the sluggishness you're talking about, now I have an 27 iMac and if I hook an external monitor I get the same sluggishness in snow leopard, BUT in Lion GM the sluggishness is almost gone!
  6. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    That's a great sign! I may not even notice the slight sluggishness you mention because dual monitors with an iMac is far more pixels than my intended set up (1080p monitor with MBP hires screen). Of course you do have a far more powerful video card, so I guess I'll find out. I was worried Apple would ignore dual monitor performance, considering that they hampered the usefulness of dual monitors with the way they treated full screen apps. It was disheartening to see the performance of dual monitors when a primary reason I moved from Linux to Mac was the sleekness and buttery smoothness of the OS.

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