I own a 15" Macbook Pro Mid-2015 with this configuration:

Macbook Pro configuration

Also, I currently have these 2 Apple displays:

  • 27" Thunderbolt Display (connected via Thunderbolt port directly to the Macbook)
  • 27" Cinema Display (connected via Mini Displayport to 2nd Thunderbolt port of the Macbook)

Now I want to connect a third 27" Thunderbolt Display. Since there are no more free ports on the Macbook, my question is:

Would this configuration work?

MacBook TB Port -> TB Display -> 2nd TB Display (Daisy chain)

MacBook TB Port -> Cinema Display (Via Mini DisplayPort)

Update: Please note that Apple's official claim (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204154#18) being able to only connect up to 2 displays has been proved wrong by connecting a 3rd display via HDMI: How many external displays can I power with the 15" retina MacBook Pro?

So, I wouldn't rely to much on what Apple says.

  • Down voter care to comment what's wrong with my question? – Timo Sep 4 '16 at 21:03

No. The Thunderbolt 2 controller will only support two displays max, no matter how to you connect them to the TB2 ports. If you want a third display and HDMI is not an option, you are going to have to use one of those USB display adapters.


According to Apple's FAQ - no, two external displays is all that's supported.

You might try connecting them anyhow since often you can still get signal but it won't refresh at full speed or you might not like the performance. Some are happy using "non-supported" configurations as they often work well enough for text or web browsing.

Mini DisplayPort displays will not function if connected to the Thunderbolt port of an Apple Thunderbolt Display. Displays connected via Mini DisplayPort video adapter or cable to the Thunderbolt port of an Apple Thunderbolt Display will not work.

So you'll need a USB to whatever adapter for the third display unless you can daisy chain the Thunderbolt displays. You'll probably want a Mac Pro to drive those three displays.

  • Thanks for your reply :) - However, I do not plan to connect the Cinema Display to the TB display via MDP since I know this doesn't work. Thus, I don't understand why you posted that quote. I want to connect like this: TB->TB->Macbook and MDP->Macbook. Also, it has been proven that you can actually connect a 3rd display via HDMI, so I wouldn't rely to much on what Apple officially says: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/53759/… - Testing it out would be very expensive so I'm curious is some1 has already tried this. – Timo Sep 4 '16 at 17:30
  • Sounds good - I fully know non-supported arrangements can work, but they also can fail with a minor software update and are fragile. Why spend money or time on a non-supported comfiguration, @Timo ? – bmike Sep 4 '16 at 18:56
  • Because I don't want to spend lots of money on new outdated hardware (Mac Pro, iMac). – Timo Sep 4 '16 at 21:01

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