The Retina MacBook Pro Can Drive Four Screens Simultaneously

By Jamie Condliffe on at

The new Retina MacBook Pro is an incredible piece of hardware. On its spec sheets, Apple claims it can support "up to two external displays", but it turns out that's bull. In fact, it can support three external monitors.

Hey now. That's some impressive graphics performance from a laptop. This set-up has been tested by several people independently — including The Verge and OWC — and the results are impressive. OWC in particular reports being able to run the following displays:

Retina on laptop @ "best for Retina"
iMac used as a display @ 2560 x 1440 via Thunderbolt
iMac used as a display @ 2560 x 1440 via Thunderbolt/DisplayPort
LG monitor @ 1920 x 1200 via HDMI

Perhaps more impressive is the graphics performance on each and every display — after all, a static display on four monitors isn't much use unless you can actually do something useful with it. Again, leaning on OWC's test, it seems the MacBook has no issues:

"Moving images and media didn't create any lag and we were able to play video on all four displays simultaneously."

Four videos, simultaneously, with no lag. On a laptop. That's pretty sweet. For the record, Apple officially claims the MacBook "simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays." But we know better.

Of course, running three external displays from a laptop is (i) a pain in the arse and (ii) not as efficient as using a beefier computer. But it's still nice to know it can handle it. [The Verge, OWC]

Image by The Verge