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I have a Mid 2012 13" MacBook Pro (MD102B/A). It has 1x Mini Display / Thunderbolt Port and 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports.

At my desk I need a bigger setup, so I connect the MacBook Pro to a 24" monitor using a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.

I wish to add a second 24" monitor to my setup, so that I have 2x external monitors plus my 13" MacBook Pro screen all in the use at once. I want to use each monitor as a separate extended display, not as mirrored displays.

I have done this in the past about 4 years ago when connecting a Mac mini to 3 screens and I have used the HDMI out, Thunderbolt out, plus a USB to HDMI adapter, but the USB to HDMI adaptor made the 3rd screen quite laggy.

Is there a more up to date way to do this using a Thunderbolt splitter or hub? I have found a few online including a Belkin one and a couple made by StarTech but wondered if they where going to work with the MacBook Pro. I don't believe my MacBook Pro has the most up to date Thunderbolt, although it does have 1 GB of dedicated GPU.

marked as duplicate by Allan, nohillside May 26 '18 at 15:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • And asked/answered here and here and here as well. – Allan May 26 '18 at 15:20
  • @Allan - I would say its not a duplicate as the other examples above are older questions and answers related to using the USB external graphics card route, which i mentioned in the original question as not being the solution i was looking for. My question is related to achieving the solution via the mini display port / thunderbolt port. Based on that can we un mark the question as duplicate. – sam May 26 '18 at 15:30
  • just to circle back to your comment.... The question is still the same - you want multiple monitors. You can't just hang monitors off a machine without having graphics adapters. Your MBP can only support itself and a mDP connection and you either get that with a eGPU in a TB enclosure (expensive and obsolete for your TB1 setup) or a USB adapter. A dock doesn't do this. – Allan May 26 '18 at 19:09
  • @Allan I thought the way it would work is that the 1x thunderbolt / mDP port on the MBP would have enough bandwidth to deliver video signal for 2 screens and that the hub was just allowing me to split that across multiple screens. (Similar to how a USB hub allows you to gain extra USB ports.) Just so i understand dose each additional screen add load to the GPU and if so dose Apple hard limit the GPU load, by capping the quantity of screens attached – sam May 27 '18 at 11:50
  • @Allan similarly ive been looking at the Dell display i have and it supports daisy chaining a second display through it, although the screens can support it will it be the limitation of my MBP that will stop it having 2x extended displays – sam May 27 '18 at 12:38
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You can daisy-chain 2 Apple Thunderbolt Displays. If the first is an Apple Thunderbolt Display, you might be able to do MiniDisplay Port to HDMI off that display to a third-party HDMI monitor.

  • Thanks, do you know if the feature is available on a non Apple display eg a Dell or Samsung ? – sam May 26 '18 at 13:33
  • If the first device is a true thunderbolt device, it's own tb ports present the same bus to downstream devices. I don't know if any 3rd party displays are true TB displays. We do it with multiple Apple TB displays. Any setups with Dell displays are using a docking hub and some HDMI. – 8None1 May 27 '18 at 15:31
  • Remember to accept the eventual best answer ;) – 8None1 May 27 '18 at 15:31

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