I have a MacBook Pro Retina, and I'm gaming a lot with bootcamp windows 8. I'm considering buying a external monitor for better gaming (might be a BenQ, has to be 120Hz). My questions:

  1. Does a 2nd monitor affect CPU performance?
  2. If I buy a good monitor, is there only the latency from the monitor, or is there also other latency? (Some monitors have latency of 1ms, 5ms, which is quite good, and not a problem, but if there's more latency because it isn't my primary screen or something, I need to reconsider).

Thank you

EDIT: And, I've also heard people say that it's useless to connect a 120Hz monitor to a MacBook because the videocard is only able to handle 60Hz. Any confirmation? (Hopefully not)

  • 1
    Two questions: 1) Which MacBook Pro Retina model do you have? 2) Will you be shutting the lid of your MacBook Pro and just using the external display? Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 15:44
  • 1: MBPr mid 2012 (first retina macbook) 2: No I won't close the lid
    – anche
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 12:07

2 Answers 2


The GPU on your MacBook Pro will be driving two displays, which is a lot of pixels — gaming performance will definitely be affected by the addition of the second display. You'll probably have to drop the resolution of your games to get an adequate framerate.

As for the latency question, a wired second display won't have additional latency just because it's a second display.


If you are worried about performance you could just close the lid for the duration of gaming :) (That's what I do)

Otherwise as already stated Eric, yes it does have an impact on performance, but unless someone with your exact setup shows up and tells you how much of an impact it has we're all just guessing.

  • I've read that closing the lid is not recommended, because the fans will not work properly (?)
    – anche
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 8:38
  • Don't really know about that, the lid leaves a lot of room at the back of the MBP for the fan outtakes. I haven't really paid attention to heat though. Of course that depends a lot on how the Bootcamp drivers are nowadays. I remember when I used to Bootcamp and play games my fans were always wild :P
    – deiga
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 8:57
  • Haha same here, fans are going crazy!
    – anche
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 9:03

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