10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2009 7:13 PM by snaps98
bronte7 Level 1 Level 1
i just purchased 2 Dell S2009W 20-inch HD flat panel monitors for use with my september 2007 macbook.
I have found many answers on how to setup dual screens with the macbook screen being one of them, but i am still not entirely clear on how to utilize the three screens that i will have at once. It must require a mini DVI splitter or something, but im just looking for a solid answer


macbook 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • kenmai Level 1 Level 1
    You can't run dual external screens from a Macbook very easily (or very well). The Macbook can only really drive a single external screen. You can trick it into driving two with something like the Matrox DualHead2Go (or TripleHead2Go), but the mini DVI out of the Macbook has limited resolution (can only drive out single link DVI, max 1920x1200), so you won't be able to drive the external screen at full resolution. If you had a mini DisplayPort out (e.g. from a Macbook Pro), you could drive both screens at max resolution.

    I'm assuming you want to run in extended desktop mode not mirroring. If you want to mirror, you just need a DVI splitter box (powered, not just a simple cable).

    Message was edited by: kenmai
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7
    You could use a USB to DVI converter for the third display, but its performance will be limited.
  • bronte7 Level 1 Level 1
    alright that makes sense, but if i only connect one screen will that run at max resolution despite the mini dvi port?
  • kenmai Level 1 Level 1
    Yes. The mini DVI can do up to 1920x1200. The only thing it can't handle is a 30" screen.
  • bronte7 Level 1 Level 1
    alright, but if i got the thing to use all three then the resolution wouldnt be as good?
  • merrieux Level 1 Level 1
    would this also solve a dual screen issue with a G5? the old connectors are discontinued. and i can't spend $325 on one.
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7
    would this also solve a dual screen issue with a G5? the old connectors are discontinued. and i can't spend $325 on one.

    The USB to DVI adapter is a last resort. Its resolution is limited, it is slow, and needs special drivers, which are probably Intel only, so may not be available for a G5.
    What $325 adapter do you need? ADC adapters are a lot cheaper than that.

    ADC to DVI

    ADC to VGA
  • merrieux Level 1 Level 1
    I purchased the belkin adapter that goes from the 2nd monitor outlet on the G5 but the distal end of that does not attach to the cable that came with the 2nd monitor...it's a DVI, I think, rhomboid shaped blue...it seems there is another cable needed.
    I went to the 2nd tamayatech but can't see it - just lists the parts - the problem is that from the distal end of the first connector, nothing fits -
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7
    If the 2nd display is a digital LCD, it should work with the ADC to DVI adapter. The adapter uses a DVI-D connector, which does not have pins for analog video signals. A digital display doesn't need those signals, but they might use a DVi-I plug, which has pins for both analog and digital video signals. A DVi-I plug won't fit a DVI=D socket. If the display's cable is removable, replace it with a DVI-D cable. If not, you will need a DVi_I (F) to DVI-D (M) adapter (in addition to the ADC to DVI adapter).
  • snaps98 Level 1 Level 1
    I have a simmilar problem. Is it possible to have dual output of my mac using component and composite video? I am using my mac the play videos but my the tv displays are component and some are composite so i need both out video formats? Is this possible from mac? what do i need to purchase to make it happen? do i need any converters?