Will the Macbook Pro run 2x 23" Cinema displays?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by futuremac, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. futuremac macrumors member

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    #1
    I'll be switching from PC to Mac later in the year, so will be getting a Macbook Pro and ideally two 23" 1920x1080 cinema displays. Will this configuration work, or can it only run with one external monitor? I know it can run a 30", but say if I close the lid of the laptop, will it run the two 23" displays?

    If not, you think with the coming mid year revisions this'll be possible? I'll be running Finalcut, Logic, Aperture, Photoshop, VMware etc.
     
  2. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    You need to get a splitter so that you can drive two screens.
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #3
    It will not do it without some fancy splitting hardware.

    The MacBook Pro will support one extra external display up to a resolution of 2560x1600. The 23" Cinema Display is 1920x1200 so one of those will work fine plugged into the MacBook Pro.

    The MacBook Pro cannot run more than one extra screen without some faffing about.
     
  4. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Splitter? Can you recommend any?

    I did a quick search and I found something about them being VGA. Will any work fine doing DVI to both screens, and is this with or without the laptops' lid closed?
     
  5. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #5
    Doesn't matter about the lid being closed, the functionality of the DVI port on the MacBook Pro supports one monitor. With the lid closed all it's doing is pushing all it's VRAM to the external screen rather than splitting it between the internal and external.

    A splitter essentially tricks the computer into thinking it has one big screen, same height as a 23" cinema display for example (1200 pixels) but twice as long (3840 pixels), it would not allow for discrete functioning of two separate external screens. The menu bar would appear all the way across and the dock would span the join between the screens. It's not a great way to go about it but if you really need two monitors on your machine it may be the only way.
     
  6. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Ah, ok I see now. I was just taking peek at this digital splitter http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/gxm/products/mac/home.php

    But as you say I'm afraid it won't be like two monitors, just one long screen.

    If I run the laptop below the external monitor, can I work vertically instead of horizontally? ie drag items beneath the menu bar down onto the laptop screen?
     
  7. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Can I replace the video card with one that can handle two?
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    You cannot replace the "card" as it's not a card: it's a set of chips surface mounted to the logic board.
     
  9. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    #9
    No. You can't.

    If you need two screens. Get a Mac Pro.
     
  10. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #10
    Uhh the Menu bar is on top of the screen, not on the bottom...

    But you can set up your position in the way you want.
     
  11. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Ah okay, I must be confusing it with the dock.

    You think real dual monitor capability will come to the Macbooks anytime in the next few years? I don't think I'll be buying a tower again, laptops seem to have enough grunt and are too convenient to give up. I heard some Dell lappys can do this, but I guess their chassis would be larger.
     
  12. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

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  13. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #13
    If you set up your external display to be above the built-ins and make it the "main" screen, the menu bar will be on the external, while the Dock will be on the built-in.

    I don't think Apple will make next MBPs with 2 DVI ports, but no one knows for sure.

    Why don't you get a 30"? It has 0.5 mega pixels of screen real estate less than two 23" combined, plus you have the built-in screen with resolutions of 1440x900 for 15" or 1680x1050 (optional 1920x1200) for 17".
     
  14. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Yes I'm considering the 30" now. But the two 23's would have been sweet...
     
  15. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

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    #15
    This would not be an issue if you kept the MacBook Pro's screen as the primary monitor.
    Despite that, I would still recommend a single 30" Cinema Display, seeing as it has a higher total resolution, would cost about the same as two 23" Cinema Displays + the splitter, and would overall just be more convenient.
     
  16. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    The size of the 30 compared to the 23 is incredible http://flickr.com/photos/76571798@N00/528322247/

    My thinking is the 23 having a native res approx to HD would be better suited to watching blu-rays and editing HD which I will be doing a lot of.
     
  17. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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  18. kwfl macrumors 6502

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    #18
    You will need a real machine to edit HD. MBP is good but i recommend the Pro.
    although i can see it is not an option for u.
     
  19. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #19
    MBP, like all popular laptops on the market, has only 1 native output, but more options are becoming available for those who want more than 1 external screens.

    There is something called DisplayLink, USB outputs video, but not for something that requires a high powered video card. Search the forum, I have posted some examples.

    There is also a device that splits up your 1 output port onto 2 screens. As others said, it thinks it's 1 big monitor, thus dock will be split in half.
     
  20. Kaupa macrumors regular

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    #20
    Somewhere ive seen an additional displayport via expresscard slot. Maybe search on goolge for it or look at dealextreme...
     
  21. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    #21
    I plug my mbp into my 37" hdtv via hdmi. works dandy. You can also pick up the 17" instead of the 15" mbp for more screen real estate
     
  22. The General macrumors 601

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    #22
    You can view and edit 1920x1080 video on a screen that is larger than that, and you'll have more real estate because the video won't span the entire monitor.

    You can run 1080p in a window and have lots of space to spare on the 30" :D
     
  23. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    I've looked a bit more into DisplayPort. In practicality the tech is still at an adolescent stage. Works okay with lower than HD res, and not well with Mac.

    I may have reconsidered Matrox DualHead2Go digital if it was digital in and out, not analog-in digital-out even though it may be a PITA manually resizing apps to fit the full screen. The advantage to that would've been triple lcd's including the MBP display.

    I think I'll do fine with the 30" CD and 15" MBP. In fact a horizontal work flow will be better when I get my axiom controller in front of the MBP and the other crap in front of the CD.
     
  24. Dreamail macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I think you're looking at the wrong product.

    You need the TripleHead2Go Digital Edition.
    Yes, you can connect 3 displays, but also just 2.
    And it comes with a DualLink DVI in for true digital to digital in/out.

    Supports up to 2x 1920x1200.
     
  25. futuremac thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    :p thanks for that, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me 'cos I thought I saw DVI in on these things before. Well I'll go check out the reviews on it...
     

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