Multi Monitor Support Screen Spanning with MacBook Pros

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mattmikulla, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. mattmikulla macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    I am curious and a little confused about adding multi monitor support with native screen spanning with macbook pros since the inclusion of thunderbolt.

    First, I should state that I am looking at purchasing a new MacBook Pro soon as my current model is 4 years old.

    I remember reading that it may be possible to plug multiple mini display port monitors into thunderbolt peripherals.

    I currently have a dell 24 and might look to purchase another because Apple displays are not attractive to me.

    Can anyone offer insight on how to achieve multi monitor support with screen spanning without using something like a matrox usb device?
  2. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    The only way to get multi-monitor to work on the MBPs is to use a Thunderbolt display, and right now that means Apple's displays are your only option. You need to be able to daisy-chain them, and that Dell monitor you mentioned doesn't have that capability (unless Dell has a Thunderbolt monitor I'm not aware of). Your only option right now is Apple's Thunderbolt display or a USB video driver, and those suck.
  3. Fastball32 macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2011
    You should be able to daisy chain your Dell monitor but it will be expensive.

    You would have to purchase an Apple Thunderbolt Display, then buy a third-party Thunderbolt accessory placed in the middle of the daisy chain (Promise Pegasus or Lacie Little Big Disk), along with a $50 Thunderbolt cable and a mini-display port to HDMI/DVI adapter to attach to your Dell monitor.

    Or you can buy 2 Thunderbolt Displays.
  4. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    No he wouldn't..the cord you see sticking out of TB displays is a TB cable plug the into your computer..there is a TB port on the back of the display use another TB display or MDP to what ever to run the second monitor chain ended..

    OP I have an HIS Mutiview II it is USB but leapa and bounds ahead of the dual head, it's resolution independent and will push 2048x1152 with no lag. The best part is you an run 6 of them on one system..
  5. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    As far as I know, you can have up to 2 external screens by daisy staining. The one directly connected to your MBP will need to be an Apple Thunderbolt Display since that's the only monitor out there so far that has an extra port to daisy chain. You should be able to use your Dell monitor as the last monitor in the chain. You'll need an adaptor (mini-DisplayPort to what ever your Dell uses).

    Just a note: on current MBPs anyways, only the 15" & 17" MBPs allow to use two external displays and your built-in screen at the same time. The 13" MBP, because of its integrated graphics, will automatically turn off the built-in screen. The graphics in it isn't possible to drive all three monitors at the same time.
  6. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3GS: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    The Thunderbolt Display will only output to another Thunderbolt Display, it will not output a Mini Display Port signal. This is one of the limitations of the Thunderbolt controller used in the Thunderbolt Display. However, by daisy chaining with another Thunderbolt accessory this will allow you to get a mini display port signal.
  7. Japi macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2006
    I am a bit in the same situation. I have one dell monitor, but I would want to buy a second one. And I prefer dell's monitor over apple's. Are there any thunderbolt hubs/splitters out there? Or has any one introduced one yet? Or would it be possible that apple would introduce new mbp with two thunderbolt connectors? Or is there a some kind of technical limitation?
  8. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Mac Format had and article about that..the new firmware update fixed it..I think it was in an update in Anandtech or ctech too
  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    @op since you are only looking to buy a new MacBook Pro. Why not wait for the new ones.
    They will probably come with the newest gen of GPUs that support DisplayPort 1.2 which also support dasiy chaining and doesn't require no expensive Thunderbolt controller to do so. As a result you can buy non Apple Displays. I also wouldn't want one of those mirrors, which no adjustable stand and all for that price.

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