Would having 2 monitors attached to my USB hub (along with 1 monitor attached to the MiniDisplay port) contribute to the CPU getting hotter?

My MacBook:

I just read in some forum that the CPU might overheat with more than 1 external monitor???

I have been using this set-up for a few days. It is working fine.

2 Answers 2


Thank you man, for publishing the answer.

Just as a follow up to the answer, it won´t make it run hotter, but it will consume some processing from your CPU (while compressing video) and mostly the GPU (for rendering the additional screens), this Wikipedia article tells exactly your answer and adds some context to it.


The DisplayLink network graphics technology is composed of Virtual Graphics Card (VGC) software that is installed on a PC and a Hardware Rendering Engine (HRE) embedded or connected to a display device. The DisplayLink VGC software is based on a proprietary adaptive graphics technology. The VGC software runs on a Windows, Mac OS X, Linux host PC and takes information from the graphics adapter and compresses the changes to the display from the last update and sends it over any standard network including USB, Wireless USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi. After receiving the data, the HRE then transforms it back into pixels to be displayed on the monitor.

  • But, isn't "consuming processing power from your CPU" what causes a CPU to get hotter?
    – rather
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 17:21
  • An intensive CPU process would cause an increase in temperature, but not at the level of compressing a signal and sending it through USB, that would just increase CPU consumption just between 1% and 3%. Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 18:10
  • 1
    You are totally correct. Why didn't I just use Activity Monitor to watch CPU usage? "DisplayLinkManager" is always less than a 10% load. iStat shows my CPU temp is within normal range. yeah. I think I'm good with using 2 of those USB adapters. I am so relieved.
    – rather
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 20:34

I found the answer:

USB graphics devices, like the USB-HDMI-DVI, are “virtual” devices where much of the heavy lifting is done by the CPU, by hooking into the graphics stack.

Even so, I'll keep this set-up and monitor things with iStat. All I display is MSFT Word documents and stupid web pages. I think I'll be ok?

Sorry I did not do more research!

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