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Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: dmag
Date: April 15, 2020 11:42PM
Hi,

Hope all are safe and secure.

I'm trying to hook up two 32" displays to a 2012 MBP. Before I get the monitors I figured I'd ask in here because you guys are great with advice.

The monitors accept both HDMI and VGA.

I have an adapter that is Mini Display out of the laptop, and inputs for DVI, VGA, and HDMI.

I was hoping to be able to use the two extra monitors in a webinar setup, while keeping the MBP screen also available. Three total screens in simultaneous use.

Seems simple enough, VGA > VGA and HDMI > HDMI.

I guess my question is if the Mac will be able to feed the two extra displays. I've maxxed out the RAM, if that matters.

Thanks.
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: April 16, 2020 12:57AM
According to everymac.com, it isn’t supported but they offer some workarounds:

[everymac.com]

Good luck!
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: April 16, 2020 01:37AM
Those cheap adapters of that era are not meant to support multiple monitors. They have multiple ports for convenience so you don’t need multiple adapters for different connections, but only one port will work at a time.

I believe another way to do this would be to use multiple thunderbolt docks, but it’s not a cheap way to do it.
[help.elgato.com]

IIRC, I did this with a 2012 mini in order to run dual 1440p displays (because the HDMI port maxed out at 1080p).
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: dmag
Date: April 16, 2020 05:03AM
Quote
Gilbert
According to everymac.com, it isn’t supported but they offer some workarounds:

[everymac.com]

Good luck!


Thanks. Looks like the OWC adapter (Newertech) will work for what I need.
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: dmag
Date: April 16, 2020 05:04AM
Quote
Gareth
Those cheap adapters of that era are not meant to support multiple monitors. They have multiple ports for convenience so you don’t need multiple adapters for different connections, but only one port will work at a time.

I believe another way to do this would be to use multiple thunderbolt docks, but it’s not a cheap way to do it.
[help.elgato.com]

IIRC, I did this with a 2012 mini in order to run dual 1440p displays (because the HDMI port maxed out at 1080p).

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: testcase
Date: April 16, 2020 10:07AM
The “Late 2011” 17” MBP I had was actually made in June of 2012 (I ordered it the day after Steve Jobs EOLed it). It had a Thunderbolt port (Version 1). It looked like a MiniDisplay port but was a true TB1 port (meaning it was more capable than a MiniDisplay port). There are differences so, make sure you do get the right cable. NOTE: the 17” MBP also had an ExpressCard34 slot which gave users added capabilities as well.
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: Diana
Date: April 16, 2020 01:42PM
Also, not all TB devices will support the lower TB versions. Check OWC's inventory and they say that their stuff isn't for TB2 (or TB1) but rather for TB3 found on recent machines as in "won't work." I recently went looking for a TB hub to allow me to connect via this port on the 2015 15" MBP and that is what I found. I could have been mistaken, or not, but I finally found a Belkin TB2 hub on eBay, NIB, and seems to be fine.
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: April 16, 2020 03:49PM
Quote
Diana
Also, not all TB devices will support the lower TB versions. Check OWC's inventory and they say that their stuff isn't for TB2 (or TB1) but rather for TB3 found on recent machines as in "won't work." I recently went looking for a TB hub to allow me to connect via this port on the 2015 15" MBP and that is what I found. I could have been mistaken, or not, but I finally found a Belkin TB2 hub on eBay, NIB, and seems to be fine.

Thunderbolt 3 devices will work with TB2/1 computers, but you need Apple's $49 adapter [www.apple.com]. And apparently the adapter doesn't support bus-power, so if you had a TB3 bus powered device (i.e. like an M.2 SSD enclosure), you'd need a TB3 self powered device on the chain first (maybe, haven't tried that). I have a TB3 CalDigit hub hooked up to a TB2 computer right now. However, in general, it doesn't make a lot of sense to buy a new TB3 hub for a TB2 computer as the TB2/1 hubs are going to be a lot less expensive used.
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: jdc
Date: April 16, 2020 03:50PM
I used a USB to HDMI adapter on my 2010 iMac (USB 2) to get a 3rd screen without any problems... but it was a 24" 1920 x 1080 screen.

You didnt mention if your 32" are 2560 x 1440 or 4K... which might be a no go.

similar to this: [www.amazon.com]



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Getting three screens from a mid-2012 MBP?
Posted by: sekker
Date: April 16, 2020 09:12PM
Quote
jdc
I used a USB to HDMI adapter on my 2010 iMac (USB 2) to get a 3rd screen without any problems... but it was a 24" 1920 x 1080 screen.

You didnt mention if your 32" are 2560 x 1440 or 4K... which might be a no go.

similar to this: [www.amazon.com]

Agree, a USB DisplayLink adapter works great over USB2 for a third 1080P display on 2010 and newer Macs. Our sponsor has some of these made by NewerTech.
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