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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Adding 2x 20" ACDs to Mac Pro

Adding 2x 20" ACDs to Mac Pro
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Googer-Giger
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Feb 20, 2012, 10:46 AM
 
Hi Guys, I just got 2 20" ACDs (Aluminum with Single-Link DVI) for cheap, and was wondering about connecting them to my video card. Right now I have the Radeon 5870 (2x Mini DP and 1 Dual Link DVI) and my 30" Dell (2560x1600) is on the DVI port. On the Apple site under the advanced description of the Mac Pro video card, it says one cannot use all 3 ports when connecting two displays with MiniDP > Single Link DVI... if there is a monitor hogging the Dual link DVI port on the card already. Is this because of power or something?

Does this mean, two hook up all 3 displays, I have to use the 30" with the DVI, one 20" with a MiniDP > DVI adaptor and the other 20" to a MiniDP with Apple's big MiniDP>Dual Link DVI adaptor just to use a 20" at it's low res?

Thanks, Jesse
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 20, 2012, 11:08 AM
 
You just need to use a pair of MiniDP to DVI adaptors.

The MiniDP to Dual-Link DVI would only be needed if you wanted to connect another 30" display.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 20, 2012, 11:10 AM
 
I guess I just got confused by their wording. I thought for some reason the card did not like using all 3 ports if two were being adapted.

Thank you!
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
P
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Feb 20, 2012, 11:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Googer-Giger View Post
Hi Guys, I just got 2 20" ACDs (Aluminum with Single-Link DVI) for cheap, and was wondering about connecting them to my video card. Right now I have the Radeon 5870 (2x Mini DP and 1 Dual Link DVI) and my 30" Dell (2560x1600) is on the DVI port. On the Apple site under the advanced description of the Mac Pro video card, it says one cannot use all 3 ports when connecting two displays with MiniDP > Single Link DVI... if there is a monitor hogging the Dual link DVI port on the card already. Is this because of power or something?
EDIT: Turns out that it was a bit more complicated than I wrote at first. The 5870 GPU can support a maximum of two TMDS streams. Any DVI connection requires one TMDS stream. Apple's converters are passive, which means that it needs the GPU to generate the TMDS stream. With two mDP->DVI converters and the DVI port in use, the GPU runs out of TMDS streams. The way to fix this is to get an active mDP->DVI converter for one of the displays.
( Last edited by P; Feb 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM. )
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 20, 2012, 02:22 PM
 
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
reader50
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Feb 20, 2012, 02:49 PM
 
This IS a MacPro - you can add a 2nd video card if you don't like the adapter game. This will also come in handy when you add the 4th display. Like the 60" TV you've been looking at for movie playback and getting the upper hand in FPS gaming.
     
P
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Feb 20, 2012, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Googer-Giger View Post
I think that the dual-link one is. It has a USB connector in as well as the mDP connector, and the comments note that it does not work if it doesn't get enough power. That implies that it is an active converter that feeds off the USB port. Note that the single-link converter lacks the USB port.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 20, 2012, 06:45 PM
 
Hm, it doesn't seem to have too many positive responses for people with 3rd party monitors. I Don't think it's worth it just to run a 20" acd that does 1680x1050.

I also just joined the small amount of people who hate the card because of the 8k series glitch with the 12 core model (sudden random loss of video to all ports, and snow). Now I have the issue of rebooting the computer every time the display goes into power save mode, because the hot corners fix doesn't seem to work for me.

After doing a lot of reading I saw that a lot of people had Apple exchange the 5870 for close Nvidia equivalents, but most lost money and performance compared to the ATI card. Wish I could trade the Dell for a 30" ACD or something.
( Last edited by Googer-Giger; Feb 20, 2012 at 06:58 PM. )
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 20, 2012, 09:52 PM
 
Apple actually says to use two dual-link adaptors.
Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac Pro (Mid 2010): Supported display configurations
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 21, 2012, 01:48 PM
 
Yikes! So thats $200 plus tax to get two displays with the most common digital connection just to run? And run with a card that is giving me trouble in the first place? Do I have any close Nvidia competition with solid Mac drivers? Can I find one that does 2-3 "TDMS" streams? All I find is the Quadro 4000. I am going to see if I can get Apple to swap the 5870 for 2 5770's and pay the difference (already going to spend the $200 already, how much more can swapping for 2 5770's cost?).
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
P
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Feb 21, 2012, 02:44 PM
 
Support for more than 2 displays on one card is an AMD only feature right now (called Eyefinity). Multiple GPUs is the common way of doing this.

I think that there are cheaper active converters than Apple's.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Feb 21, 2012, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Googer-Giger View Post
Yikes! So thats $200 plus tax to get two displays with the most common digital connection just to run?
You mean 3 displays. The connection type is irrelevant. The third port is more for limiting the need for converters.
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 21, 2012, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Support for more than 2 displays on one card is an AMD only feature right now (called Eyefinity).
Does this mean any Nvidia solution would call for 2 cards in an SLI ?(...or not? Does OS X support SLI?).

Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
The third port is more for limiting the need for converters.
I only just realized this, thank you.
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
P
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Feb 21, 2012, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Googer-Giger View Post
Does this mean any Nvidia solution would call for 2 cards in an SLI ?(...or not? Does OS X support SLI?).
2 cards not in SLI. (And no, OS X does not support SLI).
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 22, 2012, 05:35 PM
 
Ah man, I guess I'm stuck with the 5870. I have to bring the Mac Pro to the Apple store this weekend to get them to look at the card. Any chance I could get them to replace the 5870 with two 5770s and pay the difference? I have had it for a year and 2 months and applecare is good until October.

Hopefully they will be nice to me because I plan on picking up multiple MacBook Pros and 3 or 4 27" displays.

Thanks for the help, everyone.
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 22, 2012, 06:17 PM
 
You'd think they'd go for that but I wouldn't hold your breath. I also wouldn't be all that surprised if they didn't keep a pair of 5770s in stock. Is the difference that much less than $200 anyway?

You can buy a 5770 outright for $250.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 22, 2012, 11:53 PM
 
Can I run it side-by-side with the 5870?
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 23, 2012, 08:37 AM
 
You can indeed.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 23, 2012, 12:25 PM
 
Excellent, thank you. Will the card improve my video performance at all? I expect not.
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
P
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Feb 23, 2012, 04:16 PM
 
The performance on each screen will be whatever the performance of that card, but honestly, unless you tend to do 3D gaming on three displays, you won't notice.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 26, 2012, 12:27 AM
 
Yeah I know, I was just curious.

I ordered the adaptors and I get to bring the pro in again when they get the replacement (and probably still crappy) 5870. Can't wait to see how long this one will last, gotta be a great card if Apple just ditched it for Nvidia.
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 26, 2012, 09:35 AM
 
I fitted a 5870 for a customer almost a year ago and he uses it for Autocad and gaming. No problems with that one so be more optimistic
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Googer-Giger  (op)
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Feb 29, 2012, 01:30 PM
 
That's true; I shouldn't be so negative. I got the two adaptors and plugged them in, they work well. The card has not given me any problems since I have brought it back from the store, aside from a few flickers every once in a while. I noticed that the fan doesn't spin by itself when the machine turns on, so I am sure something temperature related, maybe a cap. I give it a flick every time I wake from sleep, might be helping with the temperature issues. A new card is on it's way to the Albany store, I guess they just want to test or benchmark mine before they put a new card in there.
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
   
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