questions about adding 2 external displays to MBP Retina

Macinthelou

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
48
0
Forgive my lack of knowledge on this, but if I want to hook up two external displays to a MBP retina, and my monitors DO NOT have HDMI, what are my options? I am choosing between a monitor that has VGA and DVI only vs a monitor that has VGI, DVI, and DisplayPort (not mini-DisplayPort).

Thanks!
 

defektion

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2010
136
1
You'll need converters.

Check out Monoprice you can usually buy these adapters for like $5-$10 bucks.

:)
 

Zeov

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2011
634
113
Odense
theres adapters for all those :)

get the monitor you want and buy the correct mini display adapter.
 

Aksta

macrumors regular
May 3, 2011
208
0
Surrey, UK
Personally I would go for the one with the display port because AFAIK it is the only one that can be attached with one cable without the need for adapters.
 

aaronw1986

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2006
2,607
0
You can get a mini display port to display port connector, and that will go into the thunderbolt port.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,021
171
If you want each of those monitors connected to your computer, you likely need one displayport to mini-displayport cable and one mini-displayport to dvi adapter.
 

Macinthelou

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
48
0
Thanks to all for the replies. To clarify, I'm thinking about buying two identical monitors, both of which would be plugged into my MBP Retina. Also, I need to use one of the TB ports for an ethernet adapter. Now I am left with one TB port, as well as the HDMI port.

So, if my two external monitors only have VGA and DVI, how do I make that work? Is DVI compatible with HDMI?

Alternatively, if I get two external monitors that have VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort, how do I make that work?

Thanks again!!!
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
If you aren't going to use any of Apple's Thunderbolt displays which support daisy chaining, then you are going go need to use one Thunderbolt port for your Ethernet adapter. That leaves you with 1x Mini-Displayport and 1x HDMI output.

I think that Mini-Displayport to Displayport is probably the best connection to use from the Mini-Displayport:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024606&p_id=6007&seq=1&format=2

For the HDMI port you could use this HDMI-to-DVI cable:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10231&cs_id=1023104&p_id=2404&seq=1&format=2

If you buy two of Apple's Thunderbolt displays you can just hook them up like this:

[Thunderbolt Port]--->[TB Display #1]--->[TB Display #2]

Then you just plug in one cable to dock your MBP. The TB display has gigabit ethernet built in as well, so you wouldn't need an additional adapter. Expensive way to go but probably the sweetest solution :)

Edit: Another option would be:

[Thunderbolt Port]--->[TB Display]--->[TB Device]-->[Mini-Displayport to Displayport/VGA/DVI monitor]

Where [TB Device] is a non-display Thunderbolt device with two Thunderbolt ports, like a hard drive.
 
Last edited:

Thors.Hammer

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2012
54
0
If you aren't going to use any of Apple's Thunderbolt displays which support daisy chaining, then you are going go need to use one Thunderbolt port for your Ethernet adapter. That leaves you with 1x Mini-Displayport and 1x HDMI output.

I think that Mini-Displayport to Displayport is probably the best connection to use from the Mini-Displayport:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024606&p_id=6007&seq=1&format=2

For the HDMI port you could use this HDMI-to-DVI cable:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10231&cs_id=1023104&p_id=2404&seq=1&format=2

If you buy two of Apple's Thunderbolt displays you can just hook them up like this:

[Thunderbolt Port]--->[TB Display #1]--->[TB Display #2]

Then you just plug in one cable to dock your MBP. The TB display has gigabit ethernet built in as well, so you wouldn't need an additional adapter. Expensive way to go but probably the sweetest solution :)

Edit: Another option would be:

[Thunderbolt Port]--->[TB Display]--->[TB Device]-->[Mini-Displayport to Displayport/VGA/DVI monitor]

Where [TB Device] is a non-display Thunderbolt device with two Thunderbolt ports, like a hard drive.
The cables Stetrain mentions are probably the cheapest route.

I use http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0031SEMBQ/ref=ox_ya_os_product for VGA since unfortunately VGA is still a requirement at many locations with projectors. I also have http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TSDG06/ref=ox_ya_os_product. This cable allows my to easily swap an existing DisplayPort cable between the rMBP and a ThinkPad dock.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,021
171
Thanks to all for the replies. To clarify, I'm thinking about buying two identical monitors, both of which would be plugged into my MBP Retina. Also, I need to use one of the TB ports for an ethernet adapter. Now I am left with one TB port, as well as the HDMI port.

So, if my two external monitors only have VGA and DVI, how do I make that work? Is DVI compatible with HDMI?

Alternatively, if I get two external monitors that have VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort, how do I make that work?

Thanks again!!!
one via mini-displayport and one via hdmi
 

Macinthelou

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
48
0
Thanks again for the helpful info!

Last scenario - if my two external monitors only have VGA and DVI, I assume I can do:

1) TB -> DVI adapter
2) HDMI -> DVI adapter

Correct?

This is more of a monitor question, but is there any practical difference in monitor quality if I use DVI vs DisplayPort, assuming both are connected via TB adapters?

Also, is there a difference between hooking up a monitor directly via HDMI vs DVI into the HDMI port with an adapter?
 
Last edited:

StefanYFC

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2012
57
6
Toronto, Canada
Thanks again for the helpful info!

Last scenario - if my two external monitors only have VGA and DVI, I assume I can do:

1) TB -> DVI adapter
2) HDMI -> DVI adapter

Correct?

This is more of a monitor question, but is there any practical difference in monitor quality if I use DVI vs DisplayPort, assuming both are connected via TB adapters?
Correct, DVI is HDMI just without the sound. Shouldnt be aproblem to find an HDMI to DVI cable. Then just get both monitors with the Display Port option. One monitor having a cable thats DVI to HDMI and the other being Mini Display to Display or Mini to Mini + mini to regular adapter.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,021
171
Thanks again for the helpful info!

Last scenario - if my two external monitors only have VGA and DVI, I assume I can do:

1) TB -> DVI adapter
2) HDMI -> DVI adapter

Correct?

This is more of a monitor question, but is there any practical difference in monitor quality if I use DVI vs DisplayPort, assuming both are connected via TB adapters?

Also, is there a difference between hooking up a monitor directly via HDMI vs DVI into the HDMI port with an adapter?
make sure to get an active adapter for the mini-dp (aka TB) to DVI adapter. Otherwise, you won't be able to use the retina screen too.