Using dual external monitors on a Mid-2012 MBP

Do any of you use 2 external monitors with your MBP?
I’ve got an older Mac, so the connections may be more difficult to work with.

I’ve got a $300 budget to get 2 monitors for my work laptop (a Toshiba Tecra, which has 1 internal and 1 external HDMI connector). I’d like to be able to use these with my MBP too, if possible.

What would I need to use with my MBP so that I can use these monitors with the Mac as well?

Given the limited budget, I think two, 22-inch monitors are all that I can afford and HD (or less) only. No way can I get 4K resolution with that limited budget.

Even though I mainly need information on the connectivity to the MBP, if you have recommendations for eye-friendly monitors, please post them also.



Which mid-2012 MacBook Pro do you have? There are three: the 15" Retina MacBook Pro (I have one and may be able to offer some advice), the 15" (non-Retina) MacBook Pro, and the 13" (non-Retina) MacBook Pro.

In any case, none of them support 4K external displays, so no need to worry about your budget on that point. :wink:


I did the same research but for my Mid-2014 MBP 13" Retina Pro and found the Apple Tech Specs. I looked under Graphics and Video support and chose to connect to the MBP by Thunderbolt and not HDMI. Mine can handle two displays up to 2560x1600.

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Sorry, I left out the most important piece of info.

13 inch

So, looking on Mactracker, your laptop only has one Thunderbolt port and no HDMI. Is that right? In that case, you’ll probably only be able to connect one monitor to it, unless you get some sort of docking station that supports multiple monitors.

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I have a 2017 MacBook Air and managed to get two monitors running on it using a VicTsing Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt Port Compatible) to HDMI/DVI/VGA Male to Female 3-in-1 Adapter for one monitor and a USB to VGA (Display Link Chipset), CableCreation SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to VGA Adapter for the other.


Be warned, the MBP is likely gonna spin up like a jet engine constantly with two displays. I ran a single 24” Cinema Display off my 2012 MBPr for years and I tried a second display (just a basic 21” Acer non retina or HDR or anything special) a few times for fun. With a single display the fans didn’t spin up much, but as soon as I put the second one, it always went full blast even at idle.

You might be better off with a single ultrawide, if you can find one in your budget.

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What kind of cable are you using? Do monitors have a Thunderbolt connector on them?