New Retina MBP and two LED Cinema Displays.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by likegadgets, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. likegadgets macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2008
    The Geniuses at my local Apple store did not have a clue. Would anyone know if the New Retina MBP can drive 2 Apple LED Cinema displays simultaneously (not as mirrors but as extended desktop), and if it will:

    1) Do both have to be Thurnderbold or would one with minidisplay port and one with Thurnderbolt do. Or even both with minidisplay port - as the MBP does have 2 thunderbolt ports

    2) If it can drive both - will it also allow use of it's own screen simultaneously?

  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    yes on all counts. The non retinabooks can do this as well since you can daisychain tb and just attach the displayport at the end of a second thunderbolt device (iirc , not the screen). I plan to post a video of rMBP + 2x iMac 27" when I get mine.
  3. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    From the tech specs page:
  4. sinitry23 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2009
    How about triple display with three apple thunderbolt displays?
  5. unixperience macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    i asked this myself, initially thinking 1 from each thunder bolt and one hdmi... but then though well.. thunderbolt supports two each... heres what others think
    i think if you do it in clamshell you should be able to do 3 or maybe even more. but with the internal on, the limit may be hard to get around
  6. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    As far as I know the limitation would be with the GPU.

    Just like you could physically hook a Thunderbolt display plus a second daisy-chained display to a Macbook Air but the integrated GPU doesn't have the ability to drive more than one.

    Apple says that only two external displays are supported. I guess we have to wait for someone to actually try it themselves before we know 100%.
  7. dgreene196 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    I thought the display had to be at the end of the daisy chain. If so, wouldn't that preclude having 2 monitors along the same chain?

    The first thing I also thought when I saw the 2 thunderbolt ports, along with HDMI was: "Hey, you can attach 3 monitors!" I'm not immediately in the market for a new laptop, but, it I was, it'd be a tough call between the regular 15" MacBook Pro and the retina edition. They both have distinct advantages.

    I also think it's very clear that the Retina MacBook Pro is a vision of what's to come from Apple, in terms of ports and form factors in the future. I can easily envision a 2013 laptop line-up that offers no built-in optical drives or spinning hard drives.
  8. chx1975 macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I am rather surprised by the fact there are two external displays supported. As you know, "Thunderbolt-capable Macs, with discrete AMD Radeon graphics can support up to two connected Apple Thunderbolt Displays." so per spec one Apple TB port can carry two DP signals. How many signals can the GPU emit? We can't know but we do know it's more than two: "simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to two external displays" -- that's three signals, right there. It stands to reason that more than two is four.,3214.html corroborates that the desktop version of this chip indeed "supports up to four monitors in hardware".

    While I can very well imagine that the HDMI is just shared with one of mini DisplayPorts (that's how DVI ports are wired on HP and Lenovo docks both) and so you can't drive a third display off it, how come the two TB ports dont support three displays?? It must be noted that the aforementioned Apple article also says "Mac mini with AMD graphics can support an HDMI compatible device on its HDMI port when using two Thunderbolt displays". Of course, that's AMD graphics. I am very curious, is this an nVidia driver issue...? Some strange limitation on the GPU? Or simply a mistake from Apple and it supports three external displays?
  9. unixperience macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    the display has to be at the end if its displayport, and uses a displayport to dvi/vga/hdmi. it has to be last because display port... doesn't daisy-chain with thunderbolt (though the spec says it dp is daisychainable to 4 devices, but no one ever implemented that)

    if you use a TB display it can be at any point in the chain.

    but yeah as soon as i saw the 3 ideo outputs thats the same thing i though. I use 3 externals now (2 are usb) and if i could have that natively I would be pretty happy, thats reason enough for me to get the rmbp
  10. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    I'm pretty sure the RMBP can drive 3 or more Thunderbolt Displays.
    On the 2011 MBPs, and the mid-2012 MBPs, the specs says 1 display, but you can daisy chain 2 Thunderbolt Displays. Or you can have 1 TBD, to 1 TB HDD, to 1 other display.

    So when it says it can drive 2 external displays, potentially, you may go up to 4 TBDs. I'm not so tech savvy as to know the limitation of the graphics card in there, but I'm guessing that it can.

    Then you have the HDMI slot as well, which I'm not sure can drive up to what resolution.
  11. likegadgets thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2008
    Thank you all for the information

    I already have a 27 LED with mini display port (2011 model) that I use with an iMac. I will add a Thunderbolt one and connect them to a RMBP to replace the iMac.

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