Best Dual Screen Setup for a MBPr ???

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by Lukenet, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Lukenet

    Lukenet Member

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    Ok,

    I have a 13' Mac Book Pro Retina (OSX 10.9.1) that I will now use as my main computer now my WinXP desk box BSOD last week.

    I want to dock my laptop and use a duel screen setup at my desk.

    I was planing on using an apple wireless keyboard and mouse. I am looking for the best option for connecting multiple monitors and power etc..

    I have a few 24' Dell screens I can use or I am happy for fork out for a thunderbolt solution. (though I would been keener if apple releases there new 4K screens one day).

    What do I need to make this work?

    I am all ears to suggestions from people who have set this up in the past.

    I will be using this setup for extended hours per day and work will be paying, so I am looking for an elegant solution that just works really well.

    What are your best suggestions?
     
  2. HeXa

    HeXa Member

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    13 foot MBP!! :shock:

    use the two miniDP outputs (ie Thunderbolt ports) with the appropriate dongles/cables to suit your monitors
     
  3. ~Coxy

    ~Coxy Member

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    Assuming those 24" Dells you mention are fairly recent vintage, they will have DP ports on them. You can get some mDP-DP cables for fairly cheap and run two of them from the MBPR.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Lukenet

    Lukenet Member

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    Yes, I moved to metric long ago, so apologies for the incorrect ' " feet and inches.

    Yep, the 24" (did I get that right?) monitors use the Dell white digital ports, not the old VGA (blue ports).

    I was looking as minimal plug in solution as possible..

    I have looked at a few hubs, but they have had mixed reviews. I was kind of hoping for a magic solution or docking solution.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  5. BassMstr

    BassMstr Member

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    I've been looking for a simlar solution as i have 2 x 24" screens.

    Have heard good things about this

    http://www.hengedocks.com/
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Lukenet

    Lukenet Member

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    Do you know anyone who has used it? It does look good as a docking solution.
     
  7. MikeCheck

    MikeCheck Member

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    Get the thunderbolt display + another 27" cinema display and you'll have all the screen real estate you'll ever need ever in the world ever.

    Otherwise there's always the $300 Belkin thunderbolt dock which is exxy but gives you all the ports of the thunderbolt display plus more and you have the option to use your own monitors.

    Cheers

    M
     
  8. FlameHead

    FlameHead Member

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    Not really sure if the experience would be good though even if you manage it. My wife's macbook pro with dedicated graphics really struggles with a single 1600p screen and she has dedicated graphics...
     
  9. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    I had a docking station for my 13" MBP, I used a Byte-Dock docking station. Pretty good, easy to use. Probably easier than HengeDock.
     
  10. MikeCheck

    MikeCheck Member

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    Doesn't support retina it seems.

    Also it is worth noting the graphics might be an issue; I run 2 x 22"s and while they're fine, I can foresee performance issues when the res gets bumped up.

    Especially to 27" specs.

    Cheers

    M
     
  11. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

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    My experience with Hengedock's has been awful. The dock's have managed to munt up the mDP connectors across several laptops.

    The horizontal model looks interesting, and I'm waiting to see what it reviews like if it ever comes out. It's been a very long time coming, with lots of promised delivery dates, but many delays.

    The Hengedock guys are bringing a vertical dock for the retina models however, which looks like it might have better dongle attachment methods.

    As far as being able to use 2x27" Thunderbolt displays is concerned, the current late 2013 MBPr 13" specs are:

    Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays, both in millions of colours
    Thunderbolt digital video output
    Native Mini DisplayPort output
    DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter (sold separately)
    VGA output using Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (sold separately)
    Dual-link DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (sold separately)
    HDMI video output
    Support for 1080p resolution at up to 60Hz
    Support for 3840-by-2160 resolution at 30Hz
    Support for 4096-by-2160 resolution at 24Hz
    http://www.apple.com/au/macbook-pro/specs-retina/

    The previous model (late 2012) can do:
    Graphics and Video Support
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays, at millions of colors.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/SP658
     
  12. MikeCheck

    MikeCheck Member

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    Yes spec-wise it can do it no worries, but practically is another story.

    Especially at dual retina res.

    I think you'd be ok till about 1920x1200, then upwards would seriously start taxing the system.

    But that's just a guess; as I said I only run dual 22s.

    Cheers

    M
     
  13. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

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    That would all depend on the software you're running. It should be perfectly fine for normal external desktops at the max res, but chuck any serious 3D/GFx intensive apps in, and yes, it would probably struggle.
    I should point out, I've been talking about the 2013 model. The late 2012 model I'd be hesitant about, as it runs Thunderbolt 1.0, and if there are multiple Thunderbolt devices such as drives, etc, in the chain, it is known to struggle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  14. ~Coxy

    ~Coxy Member

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    The white ports are DVI. Are you sure the monitors have no DisplayPort inputs?
    If not, you will have to purchase mDP-DVI adaptors.
     
  15. Elyzion

    Elyzion Member

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    So I enquired about these for the Retina, they are coming in the next couple of months (along with a whole range of new stuff)

    So I'll be buying one.

    If it functions well I'll probably ditch my desktop tower all together and use the MBP/r exclusively.... with Windows :)

    Thanks for the heads up on an awesome docking station.

    I've read HEAPS of reviews, general consensus is it's awesome, early versions in 2010 were positive but sceptical. But seems majority of the people who buy them love them.
     
  16. MikeCheck

    MikeCheck Member

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    My only issue with the henge is that Thunderbolt isn't hot-swappable in windows (which I run pretty much exclusively).

    So in order to use the henge, you have to connect the TB adapters first THEN power on windows which is nigh on impossible in the henge docks due to them forcing the MBP closed.

    Honestly if you're going the windows route, a USB 3 docking station like a Toshiba Dynadock is just as good AND adds two extra monitors in to the mix.

    Cheers

    M
     
  17. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

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    There are two other alternatives to Hengedocks -

    http://zenboxx.com/ - This looks quite promising. While not technically a 'dock', it does provide a neat solution for a quick connect/disconnect.

    http://landingzone.net/new-product/ - Looks great, but it looks a bit plasticy for my liking. The neat thing about this is it appears a lot smaller than the Hengedock horizontal model.
     
  18. MikeCheck

    MikeCheck Member

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    Both of these look AMAZING and well suited to the MBP.

    Hope they get off the ground for sure.

    Cheers

    M
     
  19. Elyzion

    Elyzion Member

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    I tested this last night and the thunderbolt works perfectly fine if windows is booted up. Its only that you can't plug it in after the fact. So if this is the case then I will just reboot from OSX into Windows (tested and works)

    I also tested letting the laptop sleep, then waking it up, and its fine with the monitors. Its only when the laptop is on and I plug the monitor in that it fails.
     
  20. MikeCheck

    MikeCheck Member

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    Yeah... That's kind of exactly what I said?

    I have my primary boot to be Windows rather than OSX, but yes you can boot in to OSX then reboot in windows (extremely roundabout though).

    Cheers

    M
     

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