Mac Pro mid 2010 - 3 monitors

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Yurtal, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Yurtal macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    #1
    Hello, I have been trying to find out how or if it's possible to have three monitors with my mac pro 2010. I just ordered the computer and waiting for it to arrive and I just can't seem to find out how to setup three monitors and the best way to go about it, if its even possible. I really appreciate any help I can get. Best regards, Ryan.
     
  2. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #2
    What type of inputs does each monitor use?

    For more than two display using legacy connections like DVI, you have to use an active adapter.

    If the resolution is less than 1920X1200 as your case, the $99 dual-link adopter is not required.

    An active adopter like
    http://www.startech.com/AV/Displayport-Converters/Mini-DisplayPort-to-DVI-Active -Adapter~MDP2DVIS

    http://www.amazon.com/Accell-B087B-006B-2-DisplayPort-Single-Link-Certified/dp/B 0098HVZA0/

    Using multiple displays - Apple Support
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5918
     
  3. Yurtal thread starter macrumors member

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    May 8, 2009
    #3
    Wow thanks for the great response. Those links didn't work for me though. The monitors are DVI except for one which is both DVI and HDMI.

    Do the adaptors use a lot of cpu power to drive the additional monitor(s)? Could I buy a second graphics card and use that to obtain 3 monitors?

    Again, thanks for your response.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    With a 2010 MP, you should have a either an AMD 5770 or 5870 graphics card. Both of these cards are capable of connecting to a monitor on every port, so you do not need a second card. There are three ports on these cards, 1 DVI and 2 MiniDisplayPort.

    What you need to do depends on what kind of ports your three monitors have.
     
  5. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #5
    I'm pretty sure the 5770 only supports two displays under OS X, 1 mDP + 1 DVI or 2 mDP. I owned this card and had to add a GT 120 to get a third monitor.
     
  6. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    Location:
    SoCal
    #6
    100% sure the 5770 only support two displays at a time. If you are using the 2 mini display ports the dvi will be disabled. If you use 1 mini dp and 1 dvi the other mini dp will be disabled. This is not true for the 5870 tho. all 3 outputs can be used concurrently
     
  7. IowaLynn, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

    IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

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    Feb 22, 2015
    #7
    Three works, but needs the "right" adapters to do so, ie, active.

    Accell

    Startech - all available adapters

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202090

    any DVI displays must be connected to either the Dual-Link DVI port or must use an Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link Adapter.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3477

    • A maximum of 2 legacy monitors (VGA, DVI or HDMI) can be enabled simultaneously, provided that each monitor is connected either directly or via a “passive” DisplayPort™ adapter/dongle. “Passive” adapters/dongles will NOT support more than 2 legacy monitors.
    • To enable support for more than 2 monitors, “active” DisplayPort™ adapters/dongles are required (or monitors with direct DisplayPort™ connectivity must be used).
    • Approved “active” adapters have no general connectivity restrictions with AMD Eyefinity technology.

    Sorry about the links above not working. Copy/paste doesn't work? was using a tablet.
     
  8. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #8
    Not true - like IowaLynn said, the 5770 supports three displays, though you'll need an active adapter on one of the MiniDP to get the third display to work.

    EDIT - IowaLynn got to it first! Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either why you need an active adapter - I went through this exact scenario trying to get 3 old school aluminum Cinema Displays to work, and found out the hard way that I needed the adapter for the third. Oh well, 2 displays works better for my setup anyways.
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #9
    That is a very common misconception. The 5770 doesn't have enough TMDS for more than two legacy (non-DP) connections. So either your monitors weren't DP/MDP, or your adapters were not the correct type.

    Roughly speaking, as others have said, you need "active" adapters for non-DP/MDP monitors, but even then some unscrupulous vendors sell their adapters as "active" but they won't do the job either. AMD certifies adapters that work for this purpose; here is a list.
     
  10. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    Jul 23, 2012
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    SoCal
    #10
    owell. its does work then. your 5770 will probably melt but at least you can do it
     
  11. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    It's possible. Need to know what kind of ports your monitors have.
     
  12. Yurtal thread starter macrumors member

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    May 8, 2009
    #12
    Will using an adapter impact on the cpu at all?
     
  13. ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    May 22, 2014
    #13
    Incorrect. I'm using 3 30" cinema displays off the stock 5770. 2 with the DVI adapter from apple and one via DVI. Works fine.

    ----------

    This is why you should try an use 99.9% ;)

    All 3 ports work fine, at least with 3 30" cinema displays.
     
  14. Yurtal thread starter macrumors member

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    May 8, 2009
    #14
    Could I get a second graphics card? Im so new to this, could you recommend one? Are there cheap or expensive ones?

    Also what are the adapters from apple exactly?
     
  15. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #15
    No.

    You might need adapters. You may not need adapters at all.

    I will say it a third time: Need to know what kind of ports your monitors have.
     
  16. Yurtal thread starter macrumors member

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    May 8, 2009
    #16
    Sorry they are all DVI

    ----------

    One has HDMI + DVI
     
  17. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #17
    Unfortunate that none have MDP or DP ports. Okay, you've got two options:

    1) Use the existing 5770. Hook one monitor up to the DVI port using a cable. Hook second one up with inexpensive passive MDP to DVI adapter. Hook third up using active MDP to DVI adapter.

    At Monoprice.com, passive adapters are about $7 and active adapters are about $70.

    So you'd need to spend about $80 in adapters and you will tie up a USB port, but you'll keep all your extra PCIe slots free for other use.

    2) Get a second, inexpensive card. This could cost you less than the adapters, for example a GT120 is about $30-50 used on Ebay. Hook two monitors up to the 5770 and the third up to the GT120. However some people advise not to install AMD and Nvidia in the same computer, so you might look for an inexpensive AMD/ATI card instead. You'll tie up another PCIe slot, use more power, and generate more heat. If you get a card with a fan you will probably add noise as well.

    Also note that if your monitor exceeds 1920x1200 resolution, all of your DVI cables and DVI adapters must be dual-link DVI, not single-link DVI. As far as I know there are no passive dual-link DVI adapters.

    Personally I'd go with option 1 but both are valid.
     
  18. Yurtal thread starter macrumors member

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    May 8, 2009
    #18
    Thanks so much for your help. I've got a really good picture of what I need. Awesome, thanks again. Thanks to everyone who helped me out :)

    Cheers.
     
  19. Yurtal thread starter macrumors member

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    May 8, 2009
    #19
    I have just bought 3x apple cinema 20" displays (the old school kind) and just wanted to check if I need adaptors and which kind. I'm just unsure of what type/size/resolution requires what.
    And it's on my 2010 Mac pro with the stock ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory.
    Is it ok to just plug one into the dvi port and the other two into the mini display ports?

    Once again thank you for the help.
     
  20. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #20
    What ports are on those monitors and what is the resolution?
     
  21. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #21
    Yeah, if by "old school" you mean acrylic with a leg leaning back you just got yourself a world of hurt.

    If they are aluminum with a DVI cable you will need at least 1 of those active adapters that were mentioned.
     

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