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I would like to get two external monitors for my MacBook Pro 15 Late 2013 running Mojave 10.14.3. Specifically, I'm considering two of the Dell P2415Q 24" Monitors. I may also keep my MacBook open and use the display as a 3rd monitor.

Usage is mainly for programming work with some light non-FPS gaming (talking Civilisation, not CS:GO)

  1. Will my MacBook be powerful enough to drive this dual 4k monitor setup?
  2. Can I use MST and daisy chain the two displays from one Thunderbolt port, or would I need to run a separate cable for each display?
  3. Just generally will it work perfectly fine, or are there potential issues I should be aware of?

Similar questions have been asked before but I feel like there's some conflicting answers (or I just don't understand) and I just want to check before I spend so much money...

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In reference to your questions about setting up dual 4K displays...

Will my MacBook be powerful enough to drive this dual 4k monitor setup?

No. Your MacBook Pro is only capable of supporting 2560x1600 on two external displays. In other words, it's capable of supporting dual QHD (Quad HD) monitors.

Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays, both at millions of colors

Source: Apple MacBook Pro 2013 Technical Specifications

Additionally, this question/answer is very helpful in determining what displays can be connected and with what resolutions.

Can I use MST and daisy chain the two displays from one thunderbolt port, or would I need to run a separate cable for each display?

You will need to run a separate cable for each display as Apple, for whatever reason, chose not to support MST daisy chaining.

Just generally will it work perfectly fine, or are there potential issues I should be aware of?

"Perfectly fine" is subjective, but assuming you connect a display independently to different Thunderbolt ports, it should work. Additionally, it would be beneficial if you used a mDP (mini DisplayPort) to DisplayPort cable and not convert to HDMI. If you must convert to HDMI, use an active adapter.

  • Thanks for the reply. So presumably it would be better to get 2 x 2560 x 1440 displays instead of 4K? Or would you say the impact of downscaling is minimal enough that it's worth going for 4K for future proofing (probably get a new macbook in a year or two) – Lee Apr 4 at 11:09
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    Go for the future-proofing and do use an active adapter if you choose not to use the Type C cable. – IconDaemon Apr 4 at 11:11
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    QHD is technically obsolete. If you can get them inexpensively, that would be a good option. However, it comes down to budget and how much you are willing to spend. – Allan Apr 4 at 11:11
  • @IconDaemon Great. I'll google what this Type C cable is, happy to buy two of them in any case. Allan: QHD displays aren't much cheaper so i'll just stick with the 4k. I don't really have a budget as such, I just need to justify the cost to myself. The more it is, the less chance i'll go through with it. Around the £500 - £600 mark is what I feel is right. So as long as I get 2 of those Type C DisplayPort cables and accept it won't run at full resolution on my current hardware, I should be fine :) – Lee Apr 4 at 11:18
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    Ah...you're correct. It's been so long since I used mDP and not TB 3 / USB3. You just need a mDP to to DP cable. I'll fix the answer. – Allan Apr 4 at 11:40

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