New Apple computers, here’s how to connect more than one screen to your Mac M1

New Apple computers, here’s how to connect more than one screen to your Mac M1

Last December, my new MacBook Pro with the all-new Apple-designed M1 chip itself replaced the same model i5-processor laptop from Intel acquired in 2017.

To read the essay, here is the link to access it.

These new laptops use a type of chip called a system chip (system on chip). This means that the processor, RAM and graphics card are all integrated into a chip, rather than being separate components.

However, for some reason, the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C format ports (newly designated USB 4) of these new MacBook Pro and Air M1 only support one external monitor. In the technical sheet on their web page, the computer supports “a monitor with a resolution of up to 6K @ 60Hz”.

Note on Apple’s third chip-system model, the Mac mini M1, this computer can connect two external monitors, one through the USB4 (Thunderbolt USB-C) port and a second through the HDMI port.

How to connect two monitors … or more!

If I could using my Caldigit TS3 Plus docking station connect my two external monitors with my old Intel MacBook Pro, this was no longer the case with my new MacBook Pro M1.

While searching the Net, we discover that it is possible to connect not one or two, but several monitors or screens and even televisions.

For that, you have to be prepared to make a small investment that is well worth it, buying adapters like those from Startech.com.

This manufacturer names his product USB 3.0 to DVI / VGA External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter. In short, this adapter circumvents the limitation by going through the free USB 3.0 (or 2.0) ports, in my case, those of my Thunderbolt Caldigit TS3 station.

Found for $ 95 on Amazon.ca, there are several models of adapters that can connect virtually all types of monitors depending on the ports used (HDMI, DVI, etc.) on your screen.

Purchased at the end of December, no problem to report. On this video by Ruslan Tulupov, he demonstrated that up to six screens (monitors and televisions) could be connected with these Startech and Plugable brand adapters and that the M1 chip computer could manage them without difficulty.

Of course, these adapters are designed to expand the number of screens in everyday use, not for demanding video games.

Another unforeseen advantage is that it is no longer necessary to restart my MacBook Pro M1 when it comes time to connect it to the Caldigit station, which is itself connected to my two screens. Whereas with the Intel i5 model, restarting was better to make it recognize all screens when I moved from one workstation to another.

However, the Night Shift function of macOS System Preferences which reduces blue light is no longer available for the screen connected by the Startech adapter.

Without this option of USB video adapters, I had to either do without the second display or replace both displays with one at least 40 ” – which would have required a bill close to four digits.

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