Wednesday, June 29, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

M2 Display Limit

Benjamin Mayo (tweet):

The move from Intel to Apple Silicon meant Apple’s best-selling machines, the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, went backwards in one regard. They were no longer capable of driving two external displays.

But that was easily excused. It is only the first-generation of Apple Silicon after all. Although using two monitors at once is not really an edge case, it’s certainly not a dealbreaker for a base model laptop. As such, the sang was remarked upon and quickly excused as a footnote; a strange quirk of first-gen engineering.

Year two, here comes M2. CPU is better, GPU is better … and yet the one-display limitation remains.

Previously:

5 Comments

Old Unix Geek

Unified memory comes at a price.

OWC has an adapter that lets you power two 4K displays via HDMI and DisplayPort.

https://eshop.macsales.com/blog/83100-how-to-add-a-second-external-display-to-your-m2-macbook/

@foresmac that OWC adapter uses DisplayLink, which is not great -- it uses a third-party driver, causes more CPU load, and has suboptimal display quality (uses lossy compression).

I think a good compromise would've been if the M1/M2 (non-Pro/Max) MacBooks supported a second display in clamshell. The M1 Mac Mini supports two displays after all.

Alexander Browne

Tangentially, I was surprised recently that the M1 Mac Mini only supports one display through the TBT/USB-C ports. The second one has to connect to the HDMI port. I guess the latter port is wired to same connection a MacBook's internal display is, so it kind of makes sense I guess but still.

>I think a good compromise would've been if the M1/M2 (non-Pro/Max) MacBooks supported a second display in clamshell. The M1 Mac Mini supports two displays after all.

I'm guessing the SoC has two DisplayPort outputs, period. So, on a Mac mini, those are wired to the two ports. On a MacBook Air and 13 not-very-Pro, one is wired as eDP to the display, and the other to the port.

Doesn't really excuse it, though. Two external displays isn't a very uncommon office setup these days. (OTOH, I've found DisplayLink to be good enough for office use.)

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