Multiple non-Apple displays with thunderbolt?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by el-John-o, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Hey all,

    I have a 13" Mid 2012 MacBook Pro, and a single 27" Apple Cinema Display (not Thunderbolt). I also have another 23" 1080p display. I'd like to use those two displays, as opposed to my built-in LC and the 27" ACD. Does anyone know of any device that would enable this? I know thunderbolt is CAPABLE of running multiple displays, but is it capable of running multiple non-thunderbolt displays?

    I'm kind of leaning towards no, assuming that it needs the PCI-E bits at the other end of the cable (in the display) to work. But, I figured I'd ask you all juuust in case there is a solution!
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Well Displayport 1.2 technically supports Daisychaining afaik only really limited by the maximum resolution it can push. Problem is I think the thunderbolt implementation only comes with DP 1.1a which doesn't yet support daisychaining. The 650M would already offer DP 1.2.

    It may be possible that after the Thunderbolt Port a DP Display can be attached as an endpoint. Probably depends on the implementation of the whole thing.
    I am not really sure if a thunderbolt Display actually uses the TB lanes or the DP lanes because in theory it is split up between the two.
    HDMI and DVI most likely won't work because that isn't part of thunderbolt and probably requires the adapter right in the socket on the notebook.
  3. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    It won't be possible without an external graphics card/box (there is a device capable of this which I can't remember the name of, but I do remember it was jolly expensive).

    A non-thunderbolt device must be the last device in the thunderbolt chain - two non-thunderbolt devices can't both be the last device, so they won't work.
  4. el-John-o thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Gotcha, well that makes sense. Thanks!

    When those external enclosures come down in price (if!), I'd love to go that route. I traded the nVidia graphics performance for more portability (I don't like laptops in the 15.6" range, I've got a desktop, if I use my laptop I want it to be very portable), so having the external GPU would be a great way to add some functionality to my macbook.

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