Question about multiple displays on new MBP with Touch Bar

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rothgarr, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Rothgarr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #1
    Howdy. I am considering buying a new 2016 15" Macbook Pro with Touch Bar (to replace my late 2008 Mac Pro desktop computer with three external 24" displays, all 1920x1200).

    As I understand it, the new Macbook Pro has four USB type C connectors. If I use one for power and the other three for the three 24" external displays, does this mean I can't plug any accessories in? (like SD card reader, backup hard drive, iPhone/iPad, etc.)

    Or is there a way to chain something so that I can use an external hub or have a free port or two on the Macbook Pro? I can't figure out with certainty how this works. I'd also hate to have to plug/unplug four things every time I want to take the laptop with me.

    Lastly, I assume I can use the Macbook Pro to drive three external displays as extended desktops (not mirrors). Any idea how the performance will be? Mind you, I'm coming from a 2008 Mac Pro and I'm not going to be playing games -- I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office Suite, and web browsers primarily. My late 2008 Mac Pro is still zippy driving three displays, I want to make sure I'm not downgrading my experience. I'd be ordering the new MBP with both the optional 2.9GHz i7 AND the Radeon Pro 460.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #2
    You can use a Thunderbolt 3 dock to achieve at least some of what you want. Though I don't think you'll find any one dock that supports more than two displays. Belkin and OWC have both announced theirs.

    A Thunderbolt 3 dock would supply all the peripheral connectivity you need and will also supply power to the Mac. So you could have just two used ports on the Mac: One for the dock which then goes to two displays, and another for the last display.

    As far as performance, the 15" will absolute crush those three 1920x1200. It can even do four 3840x2160.
     
  3. Rothgarr thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #3
    Thanks so much for your help!

    I've had this Mac Pro since Early 2008 and I'm nervous about switching to MBP for my main rig. But it's time to retire this almost nine year old computer and I need portability so I think the new MBP is the way to go.

    My current Mac Pro desktop has 2x2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 16GB RAM, and two ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB

    The new MBP would have 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz), 16 GB RAM, and Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory.

    Is it safe to assume the new MBP with three external displays will perform better than my old Mac Pro desktop with three external displays?

    Last question... when I'm in the office and plugged into the external displays, can I use the new MBP with the lid closed so I'm ONLY using the three external displays? (basically using it like a desktop computer)

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  4. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #4
    - I think that would be safe to assume, yes. Geekbench puts the CPU multicore score of your Mac Pro at around 8000, and the score of last year's top 15" MacBook Pro at around 14000.
    Should be a significant improvement in graphics as well.

    You can use it with the lid closed, yes, in what's called closed clamshell mode.
     
  5. Rothgarr thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #5
    Thanks so much for your help!
     

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