My dual 24'' ACD with MBP

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rotobadger, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. rotobadger macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #1
    Just wanted to share my setup. Finally, I've managed to put together the work station I've always wanted: 17'' MBP running dual 24 inch Apple Cinema Displays. The MBP is for portability (I travel for work and I can just unplug and go). The monitors are for heavy workload (needing multiple windows open simultaneously.

    It took a little trickery to get this setup to work. I am running one monitor traditionally (Mini Displayport) and the second using an Atlona DVI to Mini Displayport adaptor (an active converter powered via USB). The Atlona is then plugged into a Kensington Universal Docking Station (with video) which allows a second monitor to be run via USB 2.0.

    The setup actually works great and is functional on both OSX and Windows 7 (Bootcamp). The secondary monitor is a little sluggish due to the weak video card in the Kensington but it is sufficient for open windows, menus and other non video intensive stuff.

    Very clean looking and stylish while giving me a ton of desktop space.

    Now I just can't see over the top or sides so I don't know when someone has walked into my office!
     

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  2. tNertz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #2
    question about video card that u used

    what specific model of "Kensington Universal Docking Station" are you using? I am interested in having a similar setup but with a mbp 13inch, a Dell UltraSharp U2211H 21.5"W, and 17inch dell. with the 17incher hooked up to the usb video card
    please tell me pleez
     
  3. rotobadger thread starter macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #3
    If you are not using two Apple Cinema Displays than you will not need the Atlona mini-displayport adaptor. You will only need the Kensington Universal Docking Station:

    http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-Universal-Notebook-Docking-Station/dp/B002F9NSNK

    Make sure you get the K33930 model as the other version does not work with Mac.

    You will, however, still need a Mini Displayport to VGA or DVI adaptor (I think Apple has both of these for $29 or so).

    One monitor will connect directly to your Mac and the second monitor will be connected via USB to the Kensington.

    One caveat: on OSX, while using the Kensington, the secondary monitor is a little sluggish. Not recommended for playing video or game or anything really graphics intensive. It's much better on Windows 7 (Bootcamp). I use it because I typically have several windows open at the same time and need the room.

    Also, as you can see from my pictures, I have the Kensington and the Atlona hidden under my work desk. I tried to keep the set up as clean an uncluttered as possible. Underneath the desk there are many cables fastened with hooks and whatnot.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. valmar macrumors member

    valmar

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #4
  5. rotobadger thread starter macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #5
    The Matrox is NOT the same as the Kensington. It simply doubles the resolution of your laptop (turns the signal into 3840 x 2400) and spreads it over two monitors giving you one giant desktop. The Kensington gives you a true extended desktop.
     
  6. valmar macrumors member

    valmar

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #6
    That's correct and I never claimed the opposite ;-)

    About the Kensington: How is the build-in graphic chip? Can you play games with it (In Windows with Bootcamp)?

    I really like your setup with the clean cable management and the nice looking desk. A Henge Dock would make that thing perfect maybe :)
     
  7. rotobadger thread starter macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #7
    valmar: Sorry 'bout that. Didn't mean to come off as being critical. :)

    Unfortunately, the second monitor is not capable of video or gaming. I can't find the specs on the video card/chip in the Kensington but I'm betting it is something like 64 Meg. Very weak. There is noticeable and significant lag. The primary monitor works as it should...perfectly.

    Again, it suits my purposes as I just need the extra space for windows and the like as I'm working.

    Thanks for noticing my clean setup. I really like having a clean and uncluttered work environment. I really loved the iMac for that purpose but it just wouldn't work as I travel a great deal.

    Henge dock? Hmm...gonna look that up!
     
  8. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #8
    Why not triple screen with the MBP's glorious built in display?
     
  9. valmar macrumors member

    valmar

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #10
    Too bad that this will never work with two 27" ACD's.
    The Mini DisplayPort cannot transfer the resolution needed for two 2560x1440 displays :-(
     
  10. rotobadger thread starter macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #11
    One downside to my setup (as I've discovered in the last few days) is my GPU temps now idle at around 65C to 70C. And my office gets HOT with these monitors!
     

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