Need help with Dual External display setup with Macbook Pro and 27" display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by devincco, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. devincco macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2006
    Hi all

    I have a user in my Marketing dept. with a mid 2010 15" Macbook Pro and he currently connects to a 27" Apple display (older version, not the Thunderbolt version) to do his creative design stuff. I need to set him up with an additional external monitor. The reason is that some of the images he produces on his MBP + 27" display show up differently on his setup than they do on the HP or Dell monitors we use. We can actually see artifacts on the HP & Dell monitors that do not show up on Apple display or MBP display. So when he publishes these images to the web, users see things he's not currently seeing. We've tested and verified this by setting up a HP monitor with a Apple mini display port -> DVI adapter connected to his MBP and confirmed that it is true. We also setup another Mac (13" Macbook Pro Retina) connected to the 27" while his 15" was still connected to the HP display and compared the same image side by side. The HP showed artifacts where the 27" and 13" retina displays did not. Very strange but it's true. So we're trying to come up with a solution to add an additional display to his setup. The problem is that he has a single mini-display port on his Mac, so we're probably looking at a USB 2.0 -> VGA or DVI converter to add that 2nd external display. I know the performance won't be great but these are just static images so I'm hoping that will be OK and at least let him compare the images he's working on on the 2 displays.

    Can anyone suggest of an adapter or any other ideas to look at and try?

    Thanks all for the help and suggestions.
  2. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    wouldn't the better solution be to remove the apple display and use the dell or hp display instead? if the apple display he's using is not showing artifacts that actually exist, and since this is for professional use, why continue to use it? I would assume the end result of his work is more important than aesthetics of a display on his/her desk?
  3. devincco thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2006
    One of the main reasons for keeping the Apple display is the over all size of the work space it provides. He does process some large images and it gives the him a lot of screen real estate to work with. Going down to a smaller 22" monitor (1920 x 1080) or even 2 for his primary screen/s would probably impede his work more than adding a 2nd display with the 27" display.
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    On that particular computer, if you want a 3rd display the USB option is your only choice. The good news is that the USB-Video adapters are pretty cheap, so even if you find that the performance isn't suitable and you need to switch him to a different computer you won't be out a ton of money.

    I've never used a USB adapter but if I were buying one, this is probably what I'd choose:

    Mainly because of Plugable's support. I have one of their USB docks and had occasion to contact support about an issue, they were FANTASTIC to deal with.
  5. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    You can get a USB->DVI adapter off amazon. There are several adapters that support mac now. DisplayLink is the company that produce the graphics chips that support mac.

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