Two external monitors with MacBook Pro?

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Two external monitors with MacBook Pro?

Steve McCabe
Good morning, everyone

I’m hoping someone can possibly offer some advice on how to solve a multiple-monitor problem. I have a new 13” MacBook Pro with touchbar; it’s a fine piece of kit that I’m very, very pleased with, and of its time, the best Apple laptop I’ve had since my Trusty Pismo from late in the last millennium.

I also have on my desk a middle-aged iMac and an LCD Cinema Display, and I’d like to run both off the MacBook Pro as external monitors. The iMac works like a champ — I have a Thunderbolt-to-Thunderbolt cable running from the iMac to a Thunderbolt-to-USB-C adapter, and when I connect the two devices and press Apple-F2 on the iMac’s keyboard, I get a second monitor. Splendid.

Yesterday I got from Amazon a DisplayPort (full-sized, not mini — that’s what the Cinema Display uses) to USB-C adapter, and tried hooking the Cinema Display up to the MBP. If it’s the only external monitor, then it works perfectly. But if I try to use both devices as external monitors at the same time, giving me a huge desktop, then the iMac continues to work beautifully, but the Cinema Display flickers on and off rapidly, making it utterly and aggressively unusable.

While I don’t *need* a second external monitor for my MBP, I have the hardware and would like to press it into service. Does anyone happen to know why I’m having this issue, and what I can do to resolve it?

With thanks in advance
Steve


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Re: Two external monitors with MacBook Pro?

David Tuma
I’ve had external monitor probs with my new 13” MBP.  I think you can only run 1 monitor.  Couldn’t run a 5k without a lot of flickering.  4k seems to be ok.  The Cinema display wouldn’t work for me.
That’s my recent experience.  commiserating but no help.
David

On Jun 15, 2017, at 4:01 PM, Steve McCabe <[hidden email]> wrote:

Good morning, everyone

I’m hoping someone can possibly offer some advice on how to solve a multiple-monitor problem. I have a new 13” MacBook Pro with touchbar; it’s a fine piece of kit that I’m very, very pleased with, and of its time, the best Apple laptop I’ve had since my Trusty Pismo from late in the last millennium.

I also have on my desk a middle-aged iMac and an LCD Cinema Display, and I’d like to run both off the MacBook Pro as external monitors. The iMac works like a champ — I have a Thunderbolt-to-Thunderbolt cable running from the iMac to a Thunderbolt-to-USB-C adapter, and when I connect the two devices and press Apple-F2 on the iMac’s keyboard, I get a second monitor. Splendid.

Yesterday I got from Amazon a DisplayPort (full-sized, not mini — that’s what the Cinema Display uses) to USB-C adapter, and tried hooking the Cinema Display up to the MBP. If it’s the only external monitor, then it works perfectly. But if I try to use both devices as external monitors at the same time, giving me a huge desktop, then the iMac continues to work beautifully, but the Cinema Display flickers on and off rapidly, making it utterly and aggressively unusable.

While I don’t *need* a second external monitor for my MBP, I have the hardware and would like to press it into service. Does anyone happen to know why I’m having this issue, and what I can do to resolve it?

With thanks in advance
Steve


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Re: Two external monitors with MacBook Pro?

Curtis Wilcox
In reply to this post by Steve McCabe
On Jun 15, 2017, at 4:01 PM, Steve McCabe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I also have on my desk a middle-aged iMac and an LCD Cinema Display, and I’d like to run both off the MacBook Pro as external monitors. The iMac works like a champ — I have a Thunderbolt-to-Thunderbolt cable running from the iMac to a Thunderbolt-to-USB-C adapter, and when I connect the two devices and press Apple-F2 on the iMac’s keyboard, I get a second monitor. Splendid.


If I recall correctly, your iMac must be a 27" model because smaller ones don't support Target Display Mode (i.e. working as a monitor for another computer). The adapter is a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter (Apple mentions USB-C in the name because the relationship between Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C is super-confusing).


> Yesterday I got from Amazon a DisplayPort (full-sized, not mini — that’s what the Cinema Display uses) to USB-C adapter


None of the Apple Cinema displays used full-size DisplayPort. The LED models used Mini DisplayPort and most of the earlier ones used DVI (couple used the weird Apple Display Connector). I'm guessing you have one of the DVI models but which one, the 30" or a smaller one?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Cinema_Display

This image shows Mini DisplayPort next to full-size DisplayPort
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/02/aplusautomation/vendorimages/38489777-456e-4a29-9b46-59b1ffd1f467.jpg._CB317654858_.jpg

> , and tried hooking the Cinema Display up to the MBP. If it’s the only external monitor, then it works perfectly. But if I try to use both devices as external monitors at the same time, giving me a huge desktop, then the iMac continues to work beautifully, but the Cinema Display flickers on and off rapidly, making it utterly and aggressively unusable.


You might be reaching the limits of the 13" MacBook Pro's integrated graphics, 2560x1600 built-in, 2560x1440 iMac, plus whichever resolution the Cinema Display has. Does the flickering get better or go away if you set the iMac to use scaled graphics, e.g. 1280x800?

Which exact DVI adapter did you order? If the problem isn't the limits of the integrated graphics, maybe a different adapter would work better. I *think* all DVI adapters will be USB-C, not Thunderbolt 3 (you can't use a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter to use a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter, Apple explicitly says that doesn't work).




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