Using external monitor with MBPr

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by karilynn, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. karilynn macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2011
    Saint Paul, MN
    Hi all! I want to use an external monitor with my 13" MBPr (2014 model) and I have never done this before, so I have some questions. I've googled the topic but there is an overwhelming amount of information and I am not very good at things like this, so I would appreciate opinions and advice.

    First and foremost, I cannot afford an Apple display, so I need to look at other brands. I used to have a 27" iMac and I loved the size, so if anybody has any monitor suggestions that are comparable to the 27" iMac display, that would be great. I know Apple displays are the cream of the crop and I'm not expecting perfection, but I do want something decent. I'm able to spend up to $300-400.

    On top of that, how do I go about connecting my MBPr to the display? Is it as simple as using the thunderbolt connection? Is there a separate cord I need to purchase? It it a complicated process or is it pretty easy to hook up to the display and then unhook the display to use the laptop portably?

    Any other advice or words of wisdom? Is having a monitor hooked up to a MBPr pretty comparable to using an iMac? Or would I be better off just saving up my money for another 27" iMac. (had to sell my last one when I lost my job last year) I went with the MBPr instead of another iMac because I liked the idea of portability but I do very much miss the large screen.

    Thank you! :p
  2. Freyqq, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014

    Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Go for a monitor that has a DisplayPort connection. Then, all you need is a displayport to mini displayport cable, and you can plug it directly into the rmbp without any special adapters.

    I have a dell u2412m, and it's pretty nice. Only 24 inches though, but it can be had for ~$250 these days.
  3. philipp092 macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2014
    I have rMBP 13 late 2013 it looks like crap (I tried DP->mDP, DVI, VGA). Fonts are blurry which makes it unusable. Did you experience similar problem as well?
  4. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    Yes. I bought a refurbished Acer monitor with this problem. This worked for me.
  5. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    The fonts look ugly cause you didn't use a 4k monitor, it isn't cause of the connection/wire.
  6. Harry Muff macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2014
    Just so you know, your MacBook Pro will need to be plugged into the mains in order to work with an external monitor.

    Much swearing led me to that realisation...
  7. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    Really? It can't run an external off the battery?
  8. Harry Muff macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2014

    I first tried it with my Mrs' 2011 13" MBP, and concluded that it just didn't have the nuts to power the display.

    Imagine my surprise when I bought my late 2013 15" and it still wouldn't work!

    Going online found the answer. It was obvious I suppose, but it got me.

    Works sweet when it's hooked up though!
  9. Kian macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2014
    My 15" rMBP has worked with multiple external monitors on battery?
  10. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    I use my 15" rMBP all the time with an external display (Apple Thunderbolt Display) only on battery. I think that you need to have your computer's lid open to use it, though, as I noticed it won't work in clamshell mode on battery. That could just be due to Apple's display, though, not sure.
  11. Harry Muff macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2014
    Looking back, that might have been the case. It's been a while. :p
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My rMBP can also drive an external monitor on the battery. I've had older laptops where it could not but I think that's not been an issue for a little while now.

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