What Do you Call 6 Displays and a 2013 Mac Pro? Fun!

Well those 6 Thunderbolt ports on the back of the new Mac Pro were just staring me in the face to try ‘em all out. Since the new Mac Pro can do three 4k monitors, I thought it should be able to handle six 27″ displays. Yup, it sure did. All six 27″ 2560 x 1440 displays ran at full resolution. Five Dells, one Apple cinema display, all connected via mini DisplayPort.

Pretty cool. And there’s a little HDMI port left over as well. Hmmm…

We also have a Mac Pro 2013 Unboxing Gallery and a Mac Pro 2013 Tear Down Gallery

OWCmp13_6_monitors


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  • What situations possibly justify the D500 or D700 over the D300 graphics in new Mac Pro’s? My use is as a day trading station, 5 days a week. Delays at market opening or market close can be costly! Currently am using a Mac book pro 2.9 ghz 16 GB 512 SSD with three USB 3 graphics adapters. Am able to drive 2560 x 1440 on the mini-display port plus the 13″ MBP screen natively. Then two Unitek USB external display adapters drive two other 2560 by 1440 monoprice screens. Whenever I try a third 2560 by 1440, does not work; however, if fifth screen is 1920 by 1080, that works. But… can be rather slow for some tasks; also, for starting up in the morning or restarting during trading day. So, would like to go to six screens this fall. Wondering if basic Mac Pro best; or, if should go with D500 or D700 graphics; or, if a used Mac Pro with multiple graphics cards would do the job as well and as reliably. More than six screens, if no performance delays, would be even better! Lots of screens to scan at critical times. Also, would 4 core basic cpu at faster clock speed be best, or are 6, 8 or more cores better for this application, even if at slower ghz speeds?




  • Now that they have come out with mavericks 10.9.3 let’s see you hook up those six monitors. Mine ran fine, then upgraded,and now can only use two. Sad commentary since it was supposed to be an improvement!




  • Good day Guys and Girls,

    Just got my hands on the New Mac Pro, wanting to hook up 5 x 40″ F5500 Series 5 Smart FHD LED TV’s from Samsung.
    i went and got my self 5 thunderbolt/mini display port to HDMI adapters and connected them all 2 on bus 1, 2 on bus 2 and 1 on bus zero for future use of the HDMI port. however i only get display at anyone time coming thru on 2 displays, no matter how i play with the configirations (same bus different bus bus 0, 1, 2) still only 2 dsplays. any advice.

    adapters = Griffin Technology “mini displayport to HDMI&DVI
    HDMI Cables to Displays




    • James you will need at least 4 active DUAL LINK display adapters for that to work. Apple has them and a few others. Don’t use the HDMI port at all only TB ports.

      Best

      Bill




    • The type of adapter determines how many displays can be connected. If you’re using single-link adapter, you’ll be able to connect two displays. If you want to add more displays (up to six), you’ll need dual-link adapters, such as Apple’s Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter. For more information on this, check out this Apple Support Document.




  • Hey a quick question, were these via Mini Display Port to DVI adapters or DP (Display Port) to DP (mini of full) on the monitor side?

    Seems (from Apple Support) you can only use 2 DP to DVI adapters on the New Mac Pro? Can you great folks at OWC confirm this for me (us)?

    From Apple http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5918?viewlocale=sv_en

    It would be a real bummer if you cannot hook up more than two DVI displays at one time IMHO!




    • All the monitors were connected pure without adapters with most being displayport to mini displayport cables, and the Apple Display has an attached cable that goes out to mini display port.

      As for your second question, it seems to depend on the type of adapter you’re using with the DVI monitors. Apple mentions in the article you linked to that you need active MDP to DVI adapters to run 6 DVI based monitors. Passive adapters will only allow for two DVI monitors to be attached.




  • Too bad you didn’t have enough money left for longer cords.




    • You should really make that a wide, wide, wide – display setup … and show the monitors end to end… for better effect you could show what all those monitor’s due.

      I hope someone advances Apple’s multi monitor support – since both Apple and Microsoft dont seem to understand how to support this…. yet I digress – Long Live Mac OS X 10.6.8!!!!




      • Microsoft supports multi monitors really well in Windows 8/8.1. I haven’t used a Mac with multiscreens so I’m not sure how much flexibility they have.

        Didn’t know if you saw my comment:
        http://imgur.com/a/yeUTs

        6 monitors hooked up. Each with independent wallpaper, monitor specific taskbar, and overall really zippy. It handles anything I throw at it. Even with CPU and RAM (i7-2620M and 16GB @ 1333) at neigh 100% usage it doesn’t falter. Very impressed by the performance improvement over Win7.

        While my setup isn’t impressive due to some OLD 2002 LCDs, it works.

        I’m not dissing the amazing ability of the MacPro here, the fact it can drive 3 4K displays is amazing. I’d just rather see a full computer setup to be fully used by someone than “hey look it can run this.. yay…” (like this post showing 6 screens hooked up in a horrible/unusable layout).

        @OWC people. What do you plan to do with this setup? Having that hardware at your fingertips is superb. Would love to work on that :D




        • Do not even get me started on the Windows 8.0/8.1 – yikes.

          I like my ’09/ Mac Pro Tower – it is only a quad Xeon 2.93 w/ 16GB ECC RAM and a 240GB SSD for boot/apps – it is damn fast – hyper threaded – FWIW and it runs 1085 for now (maybe I’ll go to 1093 – Apple seems to have fixed some things and multi monitor support is much better – if what I read & hear is true.

          Apple really dropped the ball with “full screen” apps – which is actually “all screens app” … which sucks and blows at the same time – luckily not all apps adhere to Apple’s insanity. Also, WTF is up with shiny monitor displays – this went out with the big honking glass CRTs in the late 90s early 00s … and anti GLARE screens. Now you gotta pay extra to get a proper matte finish. Yikes again!




          • Did you actually try Windows 8 in a serious sense? I know you are a fan of Macs it appears, but if you try it seriously you would see it is a very solid OS, with the recent patches it is all running very fluid. Plus, it is a bit faster than Win7, especially when multitasking. I And I know a little bit of what I’m talking about:
            http://i.imgur.com/dMiDu4v.jpg
            (No, they all don’t match, but it’s not necessary for what I do)

            I run a 4770K delidded cooler on die @ 4.5 GHz
            16 GB @ 2400 MHz
            Samsung 840 EVO 120GB boot drive
            Samsung 830 mSATA 64GB dump drive
            Toshiba 1TB 7200rpm data drive

            It boots before my monitor turns on and warm up.

            I see a lot of matte finish displays. Not sure what you are talking about.




  • That layout doesn’t look very usable.

    And you can hook up 6 screen via a laptop externally too. Yes, this is all driven off the laptop.
    http://imgur.com/a/yeUTs

    Accepting donations for new monitors ;-;




    • It would seem those are driving off a “PCIe” box that is connected (possibly) via cardbus slow/port from a laptop … you could do very similar via thunderbolt 1 or 2 port on just about any equipped Mac .. 10 to 20Gbps full duplex is not shabby.

      Also there are even USB 2 “graphics- compressors” that can ‘drive’ displays under 1080 or so … but I think the limit is 4 monitors (and 4 USB devices) on a Mac… and it is not all that good for full screen 1080 video – but it is useful for many other things.




  • So from what I read you can’t daisy chain more than one 2560 x 1440 or 2560 x 1600 Thunderbolt display to a single Thunderbolt port, as in the display has to connect to the end of the chain. Apple specifically states this. So you can only have seven high resolution displays connected to the Mac Pro, six on the end of the chain for each of the six Thunderbolt ports, and one on the HDMI port. As for 4K displays, Apple specifically states that the Mac Pro is only capable of driving three 4K displays simultaneously. They know more than three won’t work, they tried it I guess. I’m sure someone will try connecting more that three 4K displays simultaneously to a Mac Pro, for anyone that can afford to buy four or more 4K displays to be able to perform such a test.




  • If you can succeed at daisy chaining two monitors on one TB port, why does Apple say you are limited to only three 4K displays? A 4K display @ 30 Hz needs the same bandwidth as a 2.5K display @ 60Hz. It would be awesome to test the theory – see if you could run 12 2.5K monitors (at least in theory) by trying to run two per port….




    • AMD’s graphics cards have a limit of six display buffers per GPU. It appears that all the video outputs are driven by a single graphics card. I would expect that a MST hub will still work on the new Mac Pro but you’d still be limited to a maximum of 6 displays.

      One thing not clarified yet by Apple is if the limited of three 4K displays is due to the currently generation of 4k displays using MST internally. The 32″ Sharp and Asus monitors have one physical panel but their internal display logic makes them appear as two 1920 x 2160 panels. Thus driving three of those 4K displays would require six 1920 x 2160 display buffers.




    • There are three Thunderbolt 2 controllers, and each can run two HD monitors, or one 4K monitor. The HDMI port is required for the third 4K display.

      If you need more than that, you can afford a second Mac Pro.




  • No 4K display on the HDMI port?




    • MacBook Pro (Retina, Late 2013) and Mac Pro (Late 2013) computers can use 4K Ultra HD TVs with OS X or Windows (using Boot Camp). 4K Ultra HD TVs using these specifications are supported via the HDMI port:

      3840-by-2160 resolution at 30Hz
      4096-by-2160 resolution at 24Hz (mirroring is not supported at this resolution)

      More info are from this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6008




    • Note that with Tunderbolt displays, you can run the 6 screens from 3 of the Tunderbolt ports by daisy chaining them in pairs.

      This will leave you with 3 Thunderbolt ports free for data connections.




  • Ok, now you are just sooooo rubbing it in. ;)