Possible dual external monitors with mbp thunderbolt model?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by deathtotoasters, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. deathtotoasters macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    Looking at getting a new MBP 17". Right now I have dual monitors keeping the current older mbp closed.

    Is there anyway to do the same thing with a current mbp?

    Do I just use a mini-display port adapter in the thunderbolt port as I currently do with the usb extra monitor adapter?

    Any help would be great.
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    im confused what your trying to ask

    if its can you use mini display adapters in the thunderbolt port than yes you can
  3. deathtotoasters thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    LOL sorry,

    I guess my questions are the following:

    1) Can I use the thunderbolt port as a regular mini-dvi port, therefore keeping the same setup I have for dual external monitors. From what you said it seems that I can.

    2) Is there a way to use a thunderbolt cable to use two external monitors that are NOT apple monitors? I am assuming no as there are no thunderbolt monitors out there except apple ones.

    3) Is there a way of using the thunderbolt port as a mini-dvi port, since I wont have a thunderbolt compatible monitor AND use a thunderbolt external backup hard drive? Also I don't know how, but I don't know anything about thunderbolt tech.

  4. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    If you want to use two monitors one Thunderbolt port, you need either both of them to be Thunderbolt compatible, or you need to plug the mini-DP monitor in to a thunderbolt device that isn't a Thunderbolt monitor (I think)


    Did they fix that with a firmware update?
  5. deathtotoasters thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    I have no idea about a firmware fix.

    So for a no thunderbolt monitor situation , go this way : mbp -> thunderbolt drive -> mini Dvi port -> monitor 1 -> then USB adapter for monitor 2

    That sound right?
  6. unixperience macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    Just to clarify, it isn't a mini dvi port, its a mini display port (mini DP).

    1) The thunderbolt port is backwards compatible with display port, so using your dp adapter, and the usb monitor will be fine.

    2) what everyone else is referring too (which may be confusing) is that thunderbolt in the 15" and 17" mbp (as well as the desktops) can support 2 monitors per thunderbolt port. allowing you to simply daisy chain two TB (thunderbolt) monitors together, or with a bit of a workaround(placing another TB device between the two monitors) , use a TB and DP monitor. You need at least one TB monitor for this to work though, and as you suspect, only apple makes these (i doubt though any other suppliers will EVER make a tb display, but could be wrong).

    3) The rule with using mini dp device with thunderbolt devices is the DP device must be last in the chain always (which makes sense, since DP monitors dont have another port to plug anything else into anyway). are you saying you have a TB drive? either way, the drive probably has two TB ports, plug the drive in first, then take your DP dongle (be it dp-hdimi, dp-vga, dp-dvi whatever) and plug that into the external.

    hope that all made sense
  7. deathtotoasters, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

    deathtotoasters thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    It does makes sense. I appreciate you explaining all that.

    The drive is a WD thunderbolt external drive. So yes it does have two TB ports. So it seems that the last option you posted is the one I will need to do.

    I honestly cannot see myself ever getting two apple monitors. They are just so much damn money. I know they are nice, but still.

    I assume with the 3rd option you posted, that the mbp will still awaken like normal when closed but hooked up. Should I assume that will work still?
  8. unixperience macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    i cant say for sure, i dont have a fancy mac, im still core 2 duo, but as far as I know it operates the same way.

    one bummer about the new macs is the way they do clamshell mode. I have 3 monitors hooked up to my macbook and a keyboard. I leave my laptop open so i can use the trackpad (i have an external trackpad but the other one is more convenient, and doesn't waste batteries lol), however with the newer operating systems that is not possible, as soon as the screen is opened, it turns on. i know a few people simply disabled their screen and still use the laptop keyboard and trackpad, but that won't work anymore
  9. jboeckler, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

    jboeckler macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2007

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