USB Graphics and MBP 2010 (15/17) vs. MBP 2009 (2.8Ghz Core Duo)


I would like to use your USB graphics solution to run two external monitors with a MBP and I have read and am aware of the issues with graphics switching with the 2010 MBP 15 and 17.

I see that there is a solution for the 2010 15 and 17 - simply turning off graphics switching.

My question is whether you think that the 2009 MBP 2.8Ghz Core Duo [which can still be found for purchase new!] would be a better fit than the 2010 model, even with graphics switching turned off.

Does the 2009 MBP (15 or 17) have advantages over the 2010 (15 or 17) when it comes to running 2 external monitors with your USB graphics solutions?

Also, I am assuming that if all else failed, one could simply boot Windows when connected to external monitors using boot camp, right?

Thanks in advance!!


Thanks for the question! It’s a tough call on the 2009 vs 2010 15/17 MBP models.

Purely from a USB graphics perspective, I’d put a mild vote for the 2009 model, even though, as you say, by telling OS X to turn off automatic graphics switching, you can sidestep the main problems. Here is a thread of people happy with the 2010 models with switching off + 10.6.5 + DL 1.6b3:…

The reason why I’m still a little nervous to recommend the switching models is I know the solutions here are a little fragile. Future updates from Apple are more likely to cause trouble for a system with switching graphics.

And I suspect Apple will not be doing this Intel/nVidia switching graphics thing again – the 2010 MBP 15/17 are likely to be the first and last. Both Intel and nVidia are going to have chipset solutions that can balance performance and power, without this ugly/complex dual-GPU switching solution (that gets even more complex to get the benefits of 2-4 monitors with virtual USB graphics).

On your last question – just go into boot camp – yes, that’s correct. That’s always an available out that will work, if you’re willing to jump into Windows.

For “normal” users, things have to just work, out of the box. But it sounds like you’re a technical user who has read up and have a good handle on things, so actually I think any of the MBP models can work for you. I hope the background here helps in making the choice!

Thanks again for posting with your interest and research here!