MBP Mid-2012 13" with 2 external monitors?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 9fiftyfive, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. 9fiftyfive macrumors member


    Oct 26, 2015
    cross-posted from /r/mac

    I've decided to spend money to fix my MBP Mid-2012 13" (Non-retina) instead of building another desktop. Currently, I have two 23" 1080p 60Hz Acer monitors. I'm looking to connect my MBP to both of them and still keep the laptop's screen as a third monitor (Clamshell mode has never made sense to me - how can I easily turn it off?).

    IIRC, some forum post stated that the screen automatically disables on the 13" when connected to two monitors, however, Intel HD 4000 graphics are able to support three displays, which means (theoretically) there should be a way to bypass this. I would think possibly an eGPU or that one converter that uses two monitors as one (although that would be a last resort because I don't want to have my dock and status bar split between two monitors) would work.

    How would I go about achieving a "triple" monitor set up (dual monitors and internal screen)? Both monitors are VGA, HDMI, and DVI, so unless I can daisylink via DVI or VGA (HDMI is for PS4), I don't see a cheap way out of this. At this point, however, I'm willing to spend a decent amount of money in order to get this to work. I plan to use my laptop as my main device for a few months, and I can't work without two (or three, for that matter) monitors.

    I've also seen a few of those thunderbolt packs, however, I'm not familiar with them and I don't know how they work or which one to get. I would be connecting to the monitors ideally using two DVI (one DVI and one DisplayPort to DVI), but I do have two VGA slots open and one HDMI port open. Is there any dock (like ThinkPads have) that would work?

    Thank you a lot in advance. I *NEED* this to work as I've (for the most part) been without my own computer for a couple of months now. I should have my MBP fixed by Monday. I can post specific specs then. Thanks!
  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    You could probably buy 2 used 27" Thunderbolt Cinema Displays

    You could also use a USB 3.0 video adapter - they can have a little bit of input lag but it would be the cheapest/easiest way to do it

    But what might work best is getting a Matrox Dualhead that works with Displayport. You can then run two 1920x1080 monitors from that. They'll run at the full speed of a native screen, but you'll probably have to find one on eBay or Amazon used and also have to buy an adapter cable or two

  3. 9fiftyfive thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 26, 2015
    I don't have room for 27" displays, unfortunately.

    I may not have enough USB ports for a USB adapter but could always make room. How noticeable would the input lag be?

    Will the Matrox Dualhead let the system detect two additional monitors or just as one?

    Also, would I have any "blackout" issues (unable to use the laptop)? I saw a YouTube video with a 2011 13" and a USB converter that didn't have an issue but the comments said otherwise

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