Running Dual-Displays off MacBook Aluminum

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MacBook.Matt, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. MacBook.Matt macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys, i was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me. I searched around on the web and found a lot of conflicting information on running dual-screen displays off the new MacBooks. Let me start off by saying that I recently purchased a 2.4ghz MacBook Aluminum with an upgraded 4gb RAM. After seeing how wonderful a dual-screen setup is, I would like to get one for myself, however I have seen many conflicting reports on that issue. From what I understand, it is impossible (or not practical due to extreme low res) to have 2 external displays ($100 lcd screens) running off of a MacBook, be it closed or open. This, I have heard, is due to the fact that the Aluminum MacBook has only one mini-display port. However is it possible to run a single lcd external display off the MacBook but still sync the two in a way that you can drag app windows from one to the other? So I could say...have facebook or itunes up on the Macbook display while browsing the internet on the other, with no interference? And to accomplish this what would I need? A mini-display to DVI adapter, to VGA adapter? Any additional software required to sync the screens? Ultimately I would love to have 2 lcd external displays AND the MacBook but I realize that may be impossible. Thanks guys.
     
  2. finnschi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #2

    Hey, first of all

    1. Mini display port does only support 1 external screen, even though you can get something call "matrox dualhead2Go" to get 2 external ones (EXPENSIVE, BUGGY)

    2. The resolution is super fine if you connect 1 screen

    3. just get a decent (big) screen like 22" , a mini DP --> DVI(not VGA, although VGA is needed for most Projectors)

    4. NO Software needed, just hook up the cables and BOOM! (it works)

    5. You can then go to system preferences--> Displays. , and you can uncheck display cloning , so you have 2 Displays instead of just 1 cloned.
    Now, when you go to arrangement you can arrange your setup (macbook on the left, on the right on top.... whatever you like. Just drag and Drop.

    6. in the arragement screen the white bar indicates the "master" screen the screen with the menu bar, and the Dock. You can Drag this bar to the other screen and BOOM its the master :D



    its all VERY easy, but if you have any more problems,contact me on skype or so , i'll help you! :D
     
  3. MacBook.Matt thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #3
    Hey thanks for all the great information. Much appreciated.

    Just wanted to know how this monitor would work with the MacBook. I dont really understand the whole VGA vs DVI-D vs DVI-D with HDCP inputs. Which has the best picture, because this HP monitor I was looking at (maybe theres a better one out there in that price range) does not have a DVI-D but does have a DVI-D with HDCP whatever that is. Thanks!

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8294115&type=product&id=1172880154959
     
  4. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #4

    hey,

    1. Don't buy anything @ Bestbuy, its overpriced (mucho)

    2. High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of digital copy protection developed by Intel Corporation [1] to prevent copying of digital audio and video content as it travels across DisplayPort, Digital Visual Interface (DVI), High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), Gigabit Video Interface (GVIF), or Unified Display Interface (UDI) connections, even if such copying would be permitted by fair use laws. The specification is proprietary, and implementing HDCP requires a license.[2]
    For DVI interfaces, HDCP is optional.[3][4]

    you don't need HDCP, if you don't want to watch blue-ray disk's on your macbook.... its basicly copyright ********


    3. DVI-D / DVI-I
    "DVI-I" stands for "DVI-Integrated" and supports both digital and analog transfers, so it works with both digital and analog Visual Display Units. "DVI-D" stands for "DVI-Digital" and supports digital transfers only.

    so, with a DVI-D only monitor, you can't use a VGA-DVI converter(which you don't need at all, because if you want a VGA source, you can just use the Vga input in this screen)

    Example, you have a old PC, with only VGA out, you have to use a VGA cable, and can't use the DVI cable...... (since your macbook is DVI-D.. its all OK)


    4. Screen, you should look at 3 things when you buy a monitor.

    1. Contrast ratio 1:1000 is pretty low... the higher the better
    2. Brightness 300cd/m^2 is OK
    3. Resolution/aspect ratio, 16:10 for computing/Gaming 16:9 for movies , the better the resolution, the better will everything look! If you want to watch movies, make sure the screen supports FULL-HD Resolution 1920×1080

    also If you want to play games, consider the response time 5ms is slow, and you will see some bleeding and stuff like that! (or if you watch fast sports..)

    If you tell me for what you need the screen I can find a good one for you :D
     
  5. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    Hamburg, Germany
    #5
    btw newegg.com has nice monitors for really cheap, you can get a 22" for the same prie as the HP@Worstbuy :rolleyes:
     
  6. MacBook.Matt thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #6
    Hey thanks for all the great info. My budget is around $200 for the whole setup, so take out $30 for the adapter and I'm looking at a budget of $170 (somewhat flexible) for the monitor itself. I dont play any intense games or watch too many action sports, I mostly browse the internet and play movies and TV show episodes that I have saved on my hard drive. I may play the occasional game every now and then. So for $170 what monitor would you take? I just want it to look sleek and good, doesn't matter if its glossy/matte, and built-in speakers would be nice but not necessary. I would prefer a 19" or bigger screen. Any suggestions?
     
  7. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #7
    Since you want to hook up your Xbox/Tv Tuner you should look at something that has

    DVI(mac)/HDMI(xbox)

    i am not sure how you are going to connect a tv tuner, it would have to have a VGA out(or if you go HD, HDMI)

    at a $170 budget, http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4363594&Sku=A204-2200 is a nice screen for that price, especially thinking about HDMI
    also the HDMI cable is INCLUDED (which is awesome)

    but: This screen does not include a DVI cable(you should get one off monoprice for like $5 http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10209&cs_id=1020902&p_id=2407&seq=1&format=2) you don't want to use VGA here...

    Also consider that you will have black bars(albeit they are small) on top/bottom of your picture,when watching 16:9 movies. since this monitor runs @ 16:10... ( dont know if the Xbox, can go any other resolutions than HD 720/1080) for your needs I would get a 16:9..... but this is.. fine :)
     
  8. MacBook.Matt thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #8
    For the TV tuner I was planning on using elgato eyeTV or a cheaper substitue (the name escapes me...Happenaug, maybe?). I didn't realize that this monitor displays in 16:10. What does that mean exactly? I plan on using the Display as the main display in extended desktop mode, as opposed to mirror mode. Will there be black bars at ALL times or only when watching 16:9 movies? Are we talking 1cm black bars or 1 inch bars? This is kind of disconcerting... But thanks a ton for your input!
     
  9. ddeadserious macrumors 6502a

    ddeadserious

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    Jul 28, 2008
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    Plymouth, MI
    #9
    That's an awesome deal on a 22" monitor, thanks for posting that.
     
  10. MacBook.Matt thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #10
    it sure is. especially since it appears to come with all of the necessary adapters. But CompUSA went out of business a few months back, so I'm not sure if another company purchased their website, or whatsup with that.

    So does anybody know if I will have trouble with the 16:10 aspect of this display??? Only black bars on video or xbox/computer mode as well? Thanks.
     
  11. MacBook.Matt thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #11
    Just ordered the monitor from CompUSA (which is now merged with Tiger Direct). Only problem is that in the box comes a windows driver disc." Does this mean I will be unable to install the drivers? Do you really NEED drivers for a monitor anyways? Also, is the apple store the cheapest place to get the mini display--->dvi adapter? Best Buy in CT doesnt have it yet...
     
  12. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    #12
    the adaptor should be the same price everywhere, ... you dont need any drivers just plug and play! :D

    monoprice.com for adaptors
     
  13. MacBook.Matt thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    yeah, I got the adapter from monoprice (not sure if its the same one as in Apple Stores, but it comes in similar packaging) and it works great. The AOC monitor is the best bang for your buck, in my opinion, and I love it.
     

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