two external monitors - usb3 or minidisplayport?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shearer3000, May 14, 2013.

  1. shearer3000 macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2013
    I'm after some advice please.

    I'm using my 13" rMBP as a windows development machine under bootcamp.

    My intended configuration is:

    - 2x external monitors @ 1080hd resolution
    - external windows keyboard and mouse (usb)
    - external harddrive (for 100GB+ sql dbs) (usb3 or thunderbolt)
    - ethernet to usb3 adapter.

    My limitation is ports available to serve all these devices, so:

    my question is which option is best:
    1) a usb3 hub for the keyboard mouse and harddrive with the external monitors connected to the two minidisplay ports via DVI adapters
    2) two monitors connected via usb3 hub with mouse and keyboard, leaving the harddrive to connect via a thunderbolt port.

    I also need to fit the ethernet adapter in somewhere too :p

    thanks in advance for advice.
  2. Zeov macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2011
    Heres what i think you should do.

    1. Get an HDMI cable and a full HD monitor you can connect it to, theres an HDMI port on the MBPR as well.

    2. Get a Mini Display -> Hdmi Adapter and connect the other monitor to that.

    3. Get a Thunderbolt -> Gigabit Ethernet for Wired connection.

    4. Get a Random Powered USB 3.0 Hub for your Keyboard, mouse and HDD.
  3. trigonometry macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    South Carolina
    I think you're trying to do too much. Or you purchased the wrong machine for your needs.
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Not sure how random USB 3.0 hubs work under boot camp, but there have been several reports of compatibility issues under OS 10.8.3 when trying to use them with HDs. The Belkin 4 port is one without compatibility issues.
  5. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    I would go for a simpler approach

    get either the matrox DS1 or the belkin thunderbolt express dock
    - ethernet
    - keyboard and mouse
    - HDD via thunderbolt

    get a 1080p display that supports mDP or DP, and get another that supports HDMI

    The only annoying part is to connect the 3 cables (HDMI and 2x thunderbolt) each time
  6. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Both of those docks have a video output. The Thunderbolt daisy chain port in the case of the Belkin and an HDMI port in the case of the Matrox.

    So you would only need to plug in to 2 Thunderbolt ports or 1 Thunderbolt and 1 HDMI to connect everything.
  7. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    you are right off course
  8. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    I'm still cringing at the very thought of running a display on USB.

    I had a user a while ago who just had to have a 4th display, and rather than put a better GPU in his workstation we just stuck a USB dongle on it. The color reproduction was noticeably off and the screen lagged at least half a second behind the other 3 displays at all times. It was horrendous.
  9. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    #1 is the best solution by far
  10. shearer3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2013
    thanks everyone. essentially went with option #1, but with HDMI instead of DVI.

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