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Macs equipped with the standard M3 chip still support only one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz, according to Apple's tech specs. So far, the chip is available in the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro and the 24-inch iMac.

Pro-Display-XDR-Red.jpg

This limitation has existed since the first Apple silicon Macs with the M1 chip were released in 2020, but users can connect multiple external displays to M1, M2, and M3 Macs with DisplayLink adapters as an unofficial workaround. One exception is the Mac mini, which will likely be updated with the M3 chip next year and should retain support for up to two external displays, given that it lacks a built-in display.

The higher-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models support up to two external displays with the M3 Pro chip, and up to four with the M3 Max chip.

M3 chip display support:
One external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz
M3 Pro chip display support:
Up to two external displays with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt, or one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one external display with up to 4K resolution at 144Hz over HDMI

One external display supported at 8K resolution at 60Hz or one external display at 4K resolution at 240Hz over HDMI

M3 Max chip display support:
Up to four external displays: Up to three external displays with 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one external display with up to 4K resolution at 144Hz over HDMI

Up to three external displays: Up to two external displays with 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one external display with up to 8K resolution at 60Hz or one external display with 4K resolution at 240Hz over HDMI
The new MacBook Pro models are now available to order, and most configurations will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores on Tuesday, November 7. M3 Max configurations will be available a few days later.

Article Link: Macs With M3 Chip Still Officially Support Only a Single External Display
 
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Nautilus007

macrumors 68030
Jul 13, 2007
2,617
1,232
U.S
Technical that can be removed/fixed, but it won’t be because it’s artificial
I can use multiple displays with a display link adapter since M1, which leads me to believe it is an easy fix. This is greed on Apple's part - pushing people to higher tiers and also being able to advertise multiple monitor support for a lower grade chip in the future.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
17,978
7,728
They must not know (or care) that blatantly crippling their "most powerful chip" with software just to sell the next, more expensive configuration, irritates everyone and cheapens the brand.
It’s been this way for the base MacBook Pro for the past 3 years.
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 68000
May 30, 2011
1,743
4,668
Germany
just for the luxury of using 2 screens which should have been standard 2 years ago with the M chips!

Those who can read shall inherit the earth. Or something along that line.

M1/2/3 all support 2 displays, with the Mini these 2 are external while for everything else it's 1 external plus the build in.
2 screens is more than enough for 99% of users even more if you look at the target audience.

As for being artificial, for me it seems that there is a limit of outputs per GPU cluster, hence you get more the bigger the chip you buy. A far cry from yesteryear where Apple would put an (easily defeated) FirmWare block on using the really independent external VGA on iBooks/iMacs for anything but mirror mode.
 

nymphe

macrumors member
Nov 21, 2009
32
76
This point has been discussed on many threads dozens of time BUT it is not enough.

In the past, G4 iBooks were unable to extend the desktop even though they were capable. With a software extension or hack, I was able to turn on this feature.

It is nonsense to pay over 2.5K to be able to work with 2 basic monitors.
 

hardwickj

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2009
249
410
The thing that is so absolutely stupid about this is that with an external display hooked up, you can still connect your iPad and run Sidecar on it, connecting it as a 2nd display. That absolutely is more taxing on CPU/GPU than a real 2nd display. This is just the worst kind of Apple BS. I'm an Apple fanboy, but it's things like this that make me want to leave the ecosystem.
 
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