Macbook Air mid 2013 External Monitor concerns

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by RepusJonathan, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. RepusJonathan macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2013
    Hey guys,

    I've been doing lots of research and poking around this forum but would like some conclusive advice on some outstanding questions:

    *It seems that the Dell ultrasharps are the fan favorite of non-apple external displays for a mac.

    1) How does port connectivity work with non-thunderbolt displays (ex: the ultrasharps) ? Do I even get to use those additional ports?
    I've tried hooking up my macbook air to my work's thunderbolt display and it all the external ports work (+internet +video output) through that one thunderbolt cable.

    2) What would be "retina" for a monitor something like 27" or 24" displays?

    3) Is the macbook air mid 2012's ivy bridge graphics powerful enough to handle high res external displays? I know the thunderbolt worked fine because I tried it but since we will be piping the connection through other interfaces (ex: hdmi or dvi or dual-link dvi) I don't know if it's fast enough.

    4) Any other tips? Recommendations or things to consider?

    Thanks for your advice!

    Jonathan :)
  2. Giuly macrumors 68040


    1) You connect an additional USB 3.0 cable.
    2) For 27" the max. resolution right now is 1440p and for 24" 1080p, whether that's "Retina" or not lays in the eyes of the beholder.
    3) Yes. Thunderbolt supports DisplayPort, and so do the Ultrasharp displays, and as far as I know, they come with a DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort cable in the box that plugs right into the Thunderbolt port.
    4) If they don't come with that cable, you'll need to get one separately.
  3. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Retina is technically Apple's own take on a standard high-res display. If a monitor is not designed to be retina, it can't display retina content (which is basically half the resolution size, but clearer and sharper). Because of this, I generally won't recommend a monitor larger than 23".

    I am using a Samsung 23" 1080p monitor and my 2012 11" macbook air can definitely power it just fine. Then again, I don't really do much to tax the graphics (mostly office work and web browsing).

    Not sure about 27" displays, but if Apple can market their thunderbolt display to work with 2011 macbook airs, it shouldn't be an issue.

    One word of advice if you use HDMI - the colour may appear washed out because Apple doesn't include a standard RGB display setting for HDMI-enabled monitors. Here is the solution.
  4. CarsonJones macrumors member

    May 11, 2010
    Take a look at the AOC i2757fh, it's not nearly as pricey as other high end monitors and yet looks great!,2817,2412690,00.asp

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