Will a 1920x1080 external monitor give me issues with my MBP?

Goldfire

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 29, 2009
110
25
Oklahoma City, OK
I've got a 17" MBP with 1920x1200 resolution and have come across a really great deal for a 21.5" external monitor that I'd like to use in a dual-monitor setup. However, the external monitor has a resolution of 1920x1080, not 1920x1200. I've never used an external monitor, so does anyone with experience know if this will cause problems (the MBP won't be connected to the external monitor 24/7)?
 

Goldfire

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 29, 2009
110
25
Oklahoma City, OK
Different resolutions shouldn't be a problem. I have used my 13" unibody MacBook connected to a 1080p TV.
Well I know it will work (I've connected mine to my HDTV as well), but I'm wondering if it is a less than ideal setup for use as a 2nd monitor where I'll be using it for hours per day.
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,096
1,697
Lincoln, UK
Well I know it will work (I've connected mine to my HDTV as well), but I'm wondering if it is a less than ideal setup for use as a 2nd monitor where I'll be using it for hours per day.
I've seen someone who used a 15" MBP connected to a 30" Apple display. Even vastly different screen resolutions don't appear to cause any problems.

How it works for you depends on why you want the second monitor.
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,612
73
Detroit
There is one minor "problem" that I'm aware of. Pointer trapping. Sometimes the mouse pointer gets "trapped" on my larger monitor when I'm trying to move it back to my Macbook. The OS arranges the displays so that the upper right of the external monitor butts up to the upper left of the internal monitor.

For a while, I had 1280 x 1024 external sitting next to my 800 (or is it 900?) vertical white Macbook. If I had the pointer on the lower left and tried moving it straight across, it got "trapped" at the lower right of the external monitor until I remembered to move it up and then I could move onto my internal monitor.

I recently picked up a 1920 x 1080 external monitor and I haven't noticed the "pointer trapping" as much as when I had the lower resolution external monitor so I guess I just got "trained" to go up if I'm moving the pointer to the right all the time.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
There is one minor "problem" that I'm aware of. Pointer trapping. Sometimes the mouse pointer gets "trapped" on my larger monitor when I'm trying to move it back to my Macbook. The OS arranges the displays so that the upper right of the external monitor butts up to the upper left of the internal monitor.
Just to point out, by default the OS arranges the displays so the upper corners meet, but you can move the orientation around however you want. That still doesn't change the issue that you will have "trapped" part if you have say a 1080P monitor next to a 1024. Then again, eventually you just get used to having this issue since there isn't an OS out there that deals with two different resolutions any differently.

The other issue, is that your 17" MBP has a greater pixel density so the same thing will look bigger on your 21.5" screen compared to the 17" screen on your MBP. That may not bother you, but if you have an image spanning both screens it can be annoying.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,779
1,350
Georgia
The only issue for picture quality is if you set the displays to mirror each other. In which case the highest resolution both are capable of displaying is used.
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
100
Folding space
I have the '08 17 in MBP connected to a 22 in Samsung 1080p monitor. The laptop is 1050 p and I have no issues using it as an extended desktop. The computer displays both screens with no distortion or lost space.

Dale
 
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