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Would it be possible to connect a thunderbolt display and a DVI display to the new thunderbolt MacBook Air? The Apple website has images of a Pro with multiple external monitors, but an Air with only one. Is it possible to do this? Or is the MacBook Air not powerful enough?

I know this is technically possible, by connecting the Air to the thunderbolt display and then connecting the DVI display to the thunderbolt display (with an adaptor), but will the MacBook Air be powerful enough?

[The DVI monitor is a standard 22" Dell monitor]

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We've got a general answer over here - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/9087/… - No need to close these as duplicates since the models and details in the question seem unique and worth keeping several variations of this question. –  bmike Mar 2 '12 at 19:12

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not using the built-in hardware. Only MacBooks with a discrete graphics card can drive a second external display (and even then, only one of the new Thunderbolt displays).

The MacBook Air doesn't have a discrete graphics card, only the Intel HD 3000 one that comes with the CPU. The same applies to the MacBook Pro 13 inch and the 15 inch ones that don't have one of the AMD Radeon graphics cards.

You can drive an external display using a USB connected graphics card. For example I have one of the DisplayLink adapters, which works very well for everything except 3D graphics and full screen video). I use one of these for my second external display on my MacBook Pro 13.

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A Matrox DualHead2Go DP will work better than a DisplayLink adapter, albeit much more expensively. More information at Dongles to connect 2 monitors to a 13" mid-2010 MacBook Pro (Mini DisplayPort)?.

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