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Two External Monitors for MacBook Pro

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Daniel Roujansky
Two External Monitors for MacBook Pro
on Oct 15, 2011 at 1:56:42 am

I am working with a MacBook Pro 17" with a Thunderbolt connection. I would like to add two external monitors. I realize that the computer is set up for one external monitor but would like to add two. Has anyone done this successfully before and has anyone tried to daisy chain two of the 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display monitors? Also have you added an additional Thunderbolt Drive ie. LaCie to the chain?

Thanks for your input,

Daniel Roujansky
President, Spotlight Media Group, Inc.
Director, Technical Director, Avid/FCP Editor
droujansky@aol.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Two External Monitors for MacBook Pro
on Oct 15, 2011 at 2:28:30 pm

[Daniel Roujansky] "I am working with a MacBook Pro 17" with a Thunderbolt connection. I would like to add two external monitors. I realize that the computer is set up for one external monitor but would like to add two. Has anyone done this successfully before and has anyone tried to daisy chain two of the 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display monitors? Also have you added an additional Thunderbolt Drive ie. LaCie to the chain?"
To put out three signals you need two GPU/Video cards.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Steve Eisen
Re: Two External Monitors for MacBook Pro
on Oct 15, 2011 at 3:39:55 pm

The latest 17" MBP does have two graphics cards.
AMD Radeon HD6750M and the Intel HD graphics 3000

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Rafael Amador
Re: Two External Monitors for MacBook Pro
on Oct 16, 2011 at 11:00:52 am

Yes, but they don't work at the same time:

The integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor — now included across the MacBook Pro lineup — handles the things you do every day. It encodes video quickly, making HD video calls with FaceTime possible. And it decodes efficiently, so you get long playback time for DVDs and iTunes movies.

For graphics-intensive applications, the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models automatically switch to new high-performance AMD Radeon graphics processors.


rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Greg Golding
Re: Two External Monitors for MacBook Pro
on Oct 22, 2011 at 5:23:34 am

Yes, you can drive two external monitors. You don't need two video cards. My suggestion would be to close the lid on the MacBook Pro if you plan on doing two external monitors so that you don't bog down your graphics card too bad by driving three monitors. As long as you are connected to power, have a keyboard plugged in, and have at least one external monitor plugged in, you can close the lid on your MacBook Pro without it going to sleep.

In order to drive two external monitors you have two options that I know of.

(1) The expensive option. Get two "Thunderbolt" monitors. Not Mini-Display Port, but Thunderbolt. You can daisy chain the two monitors with Thunderbolt cables and then put a hard drive at the end. This would be pretty pricey.

(2) The cheap option. You use a USB display adapter to drive one monitor, and then use the Mini-Display Port for the second monitor. I actually have this on a MacBook Air and it works great. The MacBook Air doesn't even have a dedicated graphics card and it is able to drive two external monitors.

Good luck!


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Trevor Ward
Re: Two External Monitors for MacBook Pro
on Dec 12, 2012 at 9:47:15 pm

Greg, did you ever get this to work? I just bought a 13" macbook pro and want to run two external monitors, one as a computer screen so I have more real estate to work on my timeline, etc. And I want a second monitor, actually a TV, so I can have as an output monitor. Obviously the TV doesn't have display port. It has HDMI and PC input (I think).

My laptop has thunderbolt output.

-Trevor Ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
Orlando, FL


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