Multiple TBT3-DP2X-83 adapters

Hi,

I have a 2017 MacBook Pro 15 (AMD) and would like to connect four screens with each display running at 1920x1200 via DVI->DisplayPort adapter.

Can I plug two TBT3-DP2X-83 into the Mac and use all four displays?

Cheers,
Anthony.

Hi Anthony,

Thank you for posting!

Your specific model MacBook Pro does support four external displays, and this can be accomplished using two of our Thunderbolt 3 Dual Display Adapters. However, there are two important details of which to be aware:

  1. Each adapter must be connected to Thunderbolt 3 ports on opposite sides of the laptop in order for all the displays to work. This will not work if both adapters are connected to Thunderbolt 3 ports on the same side of the laptop.

To provide some additional background, there are two Thunderbolt controllers within the laptop. One controller for the two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left-hand side, and another controller for the two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the right-hand side. Each controller is capable of supporting two displays, hence the need to connect the adapters to opposite sides of the laptop.

  1. You mention that you intend to connect DVI displays to the DisplayPort version (TBT3-DP2X-83) of the adapter. The DisplayPort outputs of the TBT3-DP2X-83 are ‘pure’ outputs. In order to convert them to any other type of video standard you would require ‘Active’ adapters. Most cables with a DisplayPort connector on one end and a DVI connector on the other end are ‘passive’ cables which will not work.

A better alternative would be to use the HDMI version of the adapter, the TBT3-HDMI2X-83 (https://plugable.com/products/tbt3-hdmi2x-83) along with an inexpensive HDMI to DVI video cable such as this -> http://amazon.com/dp/B014I8UQJY to connect DVI displays to the adapter.

In summary, you would need two (2) of our Thunderbolt 3 Dual HDMI Display adapters (TBT3-HDMI2X-83 -> https://plugable.com/products/tbt3-hdmi2x-83) and four (4) HDMI to DVI video cables (http://amazon.com/dp/B014I8UQJY). The Plugable adapters will have to be connected to opposite sides of the laptop.

Please let us know if that information helps!

Bob
Plugable Technologies

Bob,

Thanks for the (very) swift response, somewhat unusual in this day and age!

To be honest, I am just using cables/connectors I had available to plug my screens into a Dell D6000 dock, but I am trying to remove the DisplayLink element of my setup for “reasons” and add another screen whilst I am doing it :slight_smile:

Monitor 1 DELL U2412M (DVI-D port) -> DVI cable -> DVI-to-DisplayPort-Convertor -> D6000 DP port
Monitor 2 DELL U2412M (DVI-D port) -> DVI cable -> DVI-to-DisplayPort-Convertor -> D6000 DP port
Monitor 3 DELL U2412M (DVI-D port) -> DVI-to-HDMI-cable -> D6000 HDMI port
Monitor 4 DELL U2412M = unplugged!

The DVI-to-DisplayPort-Convertors are these Dell models:
https://www.amazon.com/Dell-DANARBC084-DISPLAYPORT-DVI-Single-Link/dp/B01BQ8R7PK
(Unsure if they are active or passive)

Personally I have never had any issues with DVI, and subjectively HDMI never “felt” as reliable/robust (from memory when connecting Windows video cards with HDMI outputs connected to televisions and trying to get 1-to-1 pixel mapping working…)

But overall I think I like your (DVI-to-HDMI-cable) idea better, is the quality/performance of your DVI and HDMI models the same, and can the HDMI models drive 1920x1200 resolutions (at 30 bit colour depth)?

Thanks again sir.

Cheers,
Anthony.

Hi Anthony,

Thank you for getting back. You are of course most welcome for the help, and I thank you for the kind words they are much appreciated.

To your most recent points/questions:

  1. The Dell adapters you link to would be appear to be passive units based on their cost (Active adapters tend to be more expensive as a result of the active converter chip required).

  2. In our experience, HDMI devices work as well as DVI devices. In our experience, pixel mapping issues with HDMI TVs tend to be caused by internal settings within the TV. I made a short video about this type of behavior and demonstrate some ways to fix it here -> https://youtu.be/7mKRhPKzI7g

  3. The performance of the DP and HDMI versions of our Thunderbolt 3 Dual Display adapters (we don’t make a DVI version) should be functionally identical.

  4. To the best of our knowledge, color depth support is determined by combination of the host’s and the display’s capabilities. Based on what we could find online for the Dell U2412M display, the internal display panel appears to be an 8-bit RGB panel, which translates to 24-bit color support.

  5. Addendum - The Dell U2412M displays also appear to have DisplayPort video inputs. An alternative would be to purchase two of the DisplayPort versions of our adapter (TBT3-DP2X-83) and separately four standard DisplayPort to DisplayPort video cables (cables with a DisplayPort connector on both ends) to connect the Dell U2412M displays to the adapters. This approach provides for a more straightforward installation, however it does not provide as much flexibility should you switch to displays with HDMI inputs in the future.

Should you elect to proceed with a purchase and find the Plugable adapters do not meet your needs, we do offer a 30-day no-hassle return policy for all products sold by Plugable and fulfilled by Amazon.

Thank you!

Bob

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