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I have a mid 2015 MacBook Pro, and I want to run three external monitors - it only seems to power 2 of them. I can seem to run any combination but only two. I am powering them through 1 X thunderbolt to dvi, 1 X thunderbolt to VGA, and 1 XHDMI.

Can this be done?

marked as duplicate by bmike Sep 6 '15 at 19:34

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  • So, now we know the mid 2015 MBP doesn't support three monitors. Does anybody know what the last model of MBP was that did support three monitors? – Harris Nov 3 '15 at 21:29
  • @Harris it can support 3 external monitors, see the answers below the accepted answer. – Dawson Toth Jan 27 '16 at 18:11
  • If you can find one, you could purchase a Zotac ZT-DP2HD. This essentially tricks your Mac into thinking you have one wide monitor instead of two. It connects to the Display Port and outputs to two HDMI ports. The only real downside is full screen apps doesn't work as you'd expect but great for the extra screen real estate. It worked well with my old MacBook Air. – ingh.am Jun 15 '16 at 22:20
5

You can run only 2 external monitors plus a third via AppleTV! If you want you can also run the MacBook Pro LCD, achieving in this way the 4 monitors configuration.

This answer comes from personal experience and Apple technical details. I've the same model and I've tested all the possible combinations, also trying passive and active DVI connections.

  • Based on this answer, I bought an apple TV to run 3 monitors on my mid-2015 MBP. Unfortunately, it does not work as great as I was hoping, especially for someone like me that is on the computer all day long. Anytime my mac goes to sleep, I have to reconnect to the Apple TV, and when I do, often the arrangement of the monitors is wrong and I have to rearrange them again. And often, the mouse won't work on the Apple TV right away. Overall, not a good solution IMO – Harris Nov 3 '15 at 21:16
  • I have a 2015 MBPR with the Intel Iris Graphics chipset and I managed to display on 2 external monitors both with a mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable plus the MBP integrated screen. I also tried with a DisplayPort to HDMI cable but it was not working. Using a third monitor with the HDMI port without conversion (HDMI to HDMI) is NOT working either. – bgondy Jan 2 '16 at 2:39
  • 1
    This answer isn't technically correct. It is possible, as detailed in the other answers, to drive 3 external monitors without the use of an Apple TV. – Dawson Toth Jan 27 '16 at 18:05
15

YES. It can be done if your MBP has the extra graphics chip AND you use Displayport as one of the monitor inputs. Click on "About this Mac" "System Report" "Graphics/Displays" and look to see if it has 2 graphics chips one of them being "AMD Radeon R9 M370X"

My experimentation has taught me this:

  1. 2012 MBPR with extra graphics chip can drive 2x TB-DVI + 1x HDMI
  2. 2015 MBPR with single integrated graphics can only drive 2x of any combination as poster indicates (it cannot drive the combination in #3 below)
  3. 2015 MBPR with extra graphics chip can NOT drive 2x TB-DVI + 1X HDMI but it CAN drive 1x TB-DVI + 1x TB-DisplayPort + 1x HDMI as one of the answers here indicates.

I don't know what changed between 2012+extra graphics and 2015+extra graphics to require that one of the displays be using displayport input (vs DVI/HDMI/VGA). Wish there was a way as I now need to get another monitor...

  • I avoided getting a new monitor by getting an "Active Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) to HDMI Adapter". So in your case, take one of your TB-DVI cables, and instead plug the active adapter in to your laptop, then go from HDMI-DVI in to your display. – Dawson Toth Jan 27 '16 at 18:10
  • The following also works without issue: 1x HDMI and 2x TB-VGA without any problems (MacbookPro11,5, with AMD GPU). The setup in question drives a 4K monitor (via TB-DP), and 2 1080p monitors (1 TB-DVI, 1 HDMI-DVI). Interestingly, no other digital-only combination works (VGA/DB25 is analog). Tried 4K monitor on HDMI, then the other two on TB-DVI, and it wouldn't display on the third smaller monitor. – Jon V Jul 12 '18 at 14:54
5

I was able to do this with my 2012 15″ rMBP. I just upgraded to the 2015 15″ rMBP and I didn't expect a lesser experience; however, I have not been able to connect the 3rd external monitor successfully yet. I am using 3 1920x1080 monitors connected Thunderbolt → DVI x2 and HDMI → DVI x1.

I just achieved a 4 monitor setup (rMBP display included). Here is my setup:

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
  • AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2048 MB
  • OS X 10.10.3
  • TB1 port - TB to DVI adapter
  • TB2 port - Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable
  • HDMI port - HDMI to DVI adapter

The average CPU temp has been between 50-70 degrees while doing normal processing with over 10 applications open. When I start compiling code, I have seen it hit 100 degrees, but once the fans RPM increase, it returns to the 50-70 range.

  • what was the trick to achieve this? HDMI going to DVI or a TB-DP - DP monitor? My 2012 was working perfect, but I just got the 2015 and am also having the same issue with this setup: 3x 1080p monitors - TB1-DVI, TB2-HDMI, HDMI-HDMI – MKN Web Solutions Aug 9 '15 at 16:08
3

You can run 3 to 4 external monitors (4 or 5 including the main screen). This is done through USB. By default you can only have 2 external monitors including your native display. But there is a way to add more.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Get a USB to HDMI adapter (this serves as an external graphics card that pulls from your CPU).
  2. Plug adapter into your USB port
  3. Plug your HDMI into the adapter and connect to monitor. It's that simple. You can also get adapters for display port, VGA, DVI.

This video demonstrates the steps above.

https://youtu.be/w8gE-ckBwjE

  • Was this done with a Mid 2015 Macbook Pro, as stated in the question? Because it is that particular model that has issues with running three external monitors. – Harris Nov 3 '15 at 21:34
  • The USB graphics card is completely independent of the other monitors. Refresh rate is lower, and in my experience the look of display (ex: specific colors) won't match exactly with a monitor driven by the internal graphics card - even if the monitors are identical. The only thing that would prevent it working on a mid-2015 MBP is if it's driver doesn't work on the version of OS X you are running. – Stan Kurdziel Jan 24 '17 at 19:01
  • What product did you use? I tried the one from DeLock (62617) and it did not work out of the box under OS X 10.11. It works though when you install the "Display Link" Software from: displaylink.com/downloads/file?id=776. – Adrian Zaugg Jul 2 '17 at 19:54
0

The proper way to achieve this goal is to daisy chain the displays

Connect display to computer Connect second display to first display So on and so forth.

The tricky part is find the proper connection but is possible.

  • Unfortunately you can't daisy chain a non-TB display unless there's another TB in between them, this is a known limitation. So this won't actually work. – ZekeDroid Aug 28 '15 at 16:41
  • Unless he had TB displays, OP did not specify – fingaz Aug 28 '15 at 16:50

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