How To Set Up Dual Monitors On an M1/M2 Mac

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Apple’s new M1 chip is a game-changer. It’s faster and more efficient than any other laptop chip on the market, and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Apple laptops. The first M1 chip is based on the ARM architecture, which is used in many mobile devices. This means that it’s extremely energy-efficient and can provide long battery life.

If you are a programmer, video editor, or someone who needs to use dual external monitors, then you know that the Macbook Pro is not a good choice for you. The reason is that the M1 chip only supports a single external monitor. Fortunatley, there is a workaround that will allow you to use dual external monitors with your M1/M2 Macbook.

Apple M1 Macs and Dual Monitors

The first M1 Macbook was released in November 2020, and it quickly became clear that this new laptop was something special. It’s not only faster than any other Macbook, but it’s also more efficient and has much better battery life. In fact, the M1 Macbook can last up to 15 hours on a single charge!

The M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro in 2020 only support one external monitor that has a maximum resolution of 6K.

For 2021, Apple has released the new MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max. The M1 Pro model supports up to 3 external monitors and the M1 Max model supports up to 4 external monitors.

Mac mini supports connecting two external monitors, one via HDMI and one via USB-C. This allows you to increase your productivity by giving you more screen real estate. Mac mini can support resolutions up to 6K on the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port and 4K on the HDMI 2.0 port.

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Apple M2 Macs and Dual Monitors

How To Set Up Dual Monitors On an M2 Mac

In June 2022, at the WWDC, Apple announced the new M2 chip and two new MacBooks that will use it, the M2 13 inch MacBook Pro and M2 MacBook Air.

And just like with the first 2020 M1 Chip, both of two new M2 Macbooks only support one external monitor with a max resolution of 6K at 60Hz.

In the next new M2 (Pro, Max, Ultra,…) MacBooks, Apple may add support for more than one external monitor just like they did with the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro models. We will have to wait and see what Apple has in store for us with their new M2 chip and Macbooks.

Read more:

How to Connect Multiple Displays to an M1/M2 MacBooks

Now that we know that the first M1 Macs and M2 MacBooks support only one external monitor, how can we use two monitors with these MacBooks? Let’s take a look at two different ways that you can use dual monitors with your M1 or M2 MacBook.

How To Set Up Dual Monitors On an M2 Mac

Method 1: Extend Two 4k Monitor Without Drivers

This method is for those who need a simple and straightforward dual monitor setup. HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI USB C Hub M1 MacBook 10-in-1 and HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI 3-in-1 Adapter are two great devices that can turn a single Thunderbolt 3 or USB C port into dual HDMI ports.

With these devices, you can extend your M1 MacBook display to two external 4K monitors at 60Hz and 30Hz.

HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI USB C Hub M1 MacBook 10-in-1

The HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI USB-C Hub is easy to use and does not require any drivers. Simply connect the hub to the M1 Macbook via the USB-C port and you’re ready to go! It features two HDMI ports, a USB-C port, two USB-A ports, a MicroSD/SD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The USB-C port supports data transfer and charging, while the HDMI ports allow you to connect two 4K displays. The HyperDrive also includes a 100W PD port that can be used to charge the M1 Macbook up to 85W.

DP Alt Mode and SMI’s InstantView are two features that require the USB-C port on your host computer. DP Alt Mode allows you to extend two 4K displays at 60 Hz or 4K 30 Hz, while SMI’s InstantView supports USB data transfer. The HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI USB-C Hub supports both of these features and is compatible with the Macbook Air/Pro (M1/M2 and Intel-powered), Windows PC, and Chromebook. It also comes with a driverless setup that makes it easy to use.

And with its small and lightweight size, measuring 4.33 x 1.97 x 0.62 inches and weighing only 0.18 kilograms, it’s a great option for those looking for a compact and portable hub.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Hyper
  • Item Weight: 0.18 kg
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 5 x 2 cm
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Number of Ports: 10
  • Connector Type: USB Type C, 2x HDMI, USB 3.0 Standard A, Micro SD/SDXC and more
  • Supports Video Resolution: Up to 4K 60Hz
  • Supported Operating Systems: macOS (M1 and Intel), Windows, Chrome OS

HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI 3-in-1 Adapter

The HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI 3-in-1 Adapter is the perfect tool for expanding your device’s capabilities. With this adapter, you can connect two extended monitors with 4K resolution, allowing you to work on multiple projects at the same time or enjoy a movie or game in stunning high definition. The adapter is also compatible with MacBook Air/Pro (Intel powered) and Windows PC, so you can use it with whatever device you prefer. Additionally, the adapter features 100W of pass-through charging, so you can keep your device powered up while you work.

To use the HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI 3-in-1 Adapter, simply plug it into your device’s USB port and the corresponding ports on your monitors. You’ll immediately see the HyperDisplay App icon on your desktop. All you need to do is double-click it and you’re ready for use. With the HyperDrive 4K Dual HDMI 3-in-1 Adapter, expanding your device’s capabilities has never been easier. There are three ports located on both sides of the adapter for easy access. One port is for HDMI 4K60Hz and the other for HDMI 4K30Hz. Lastly, there is a USB-C port that provides up to 100W of pass-through charging. So, you can keep your device powered up while you’re working.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Hyper
  • Hardware Interface: HDMI
  • Number of Ports: 3
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Connector Type: HDMI, USB-C

TOBENONE USB C Docking Station Dual Monitor for M1/M2 MacBook

The Tobenone USB C Docking Station Dual Monitor for M1/M2 MacBook Pro is a great device that provides a lot of functionality for users. One of the great features of the docking station is that it supports triple monitors. This means that users can connect two 4K monitors at 30Hz or one 4K monitor at 60Hz and one Full HD monitor. This allows users to have more screen space and to work more efficiently. The docking station also supports charging of the MacBook Pro, so users can keep their device powered up while they are working.

It comes with a lot of ports, which makes it a great solution for users who need to connect multiple devices. The docking station has two HDMI ports, a VGA port, two USB-C ports, four USB-A 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD/TF card slot, a 3.5mm audio in and out port, and a 60W power supply. This gives users the ability to connect multiple devices to their device and provides great flexibility.

However, if you need to run two 4K monitors at 60Hz, then it will not be a good idea to use this docking station. It supports 30Hz for two 4K monitors only.

InstantView driver is buiilt-in to the Tobenone USB C Docking Station Dual Monitor and is required for it to function properly. To install InstantView driver, simply connect the Tobenone USB C Docking Station Dual Monitor to your Mac/Laptop’s USB Type-C port. Once connected, you will see a disk named “INSTANTVIEW” appear on your desktop. Click on the disk and then choose your preferred device to install the driver on.

For Mac, you need to enable a screen recording permission from System Preferences.
Go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Screen Recording, and then check the box next to “macOS InstantView”.

Specifications:

  • Brand: TOBENONE
  • Hardware Interface: USB, USB Type C, USB 3.0
  • Number of Ports: 13
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 350 Grams

While TOBENONE or HyperDrive device does offer some great benefits, there are downsides to using it. One such downside is that you can use only two external monitors at a maximum of 60Hz and 30Hz or 30Hz and 30Hz. If you need to use more than two monitors or if you require a higher refresh rate for both monitors at 60Hz, then HyperDrive and TOBENONE may not be the best option for you.

Fortunatley, there are other ways to output 4K content to two external monitors at 60Hz, a Hub or Docking Station with DisplayLink support may be a better option for you.

Method 2: Extend Two 4K Monitor With DisplayLink Driver

What is DisplayLink? DisplayLink is a technology that enables easy connection of a computer to a universal docking station. This then allows for use of multiple devices, such as an external display, extra USB ports, and audio or ethernet devices.

DisplayLink-enabled docks usually come with a built-in chip that handles all the video, audio, and networking connections between the computer and the devices. This makes it easy for users to set up and use their devices without having to worry about any complicated wiring or settings.

This is a convenient solution for those who need to use multiple devices at once, as it eliminates the need for multiple cords and connections. It also provides a tidy and organized workspace. DisplayLink technology is available in many products on the market today. There are docks that come with all the necessary ports, or you can purchase a dock with only the ports you need.

Some of the best Hubs or Docking Stations with DisplayLink support include the TOBENONE USB C Docking Station Dual Monitor 4K@60Hz, the Plugable 4K USB C Docking Station Triple Monitor 4k@60Hz, and Sonnet DisplayLink USB Type-A to Dual 4K@60Hz HDMI Adapter for M1 Macs. All of these devices feature multiple HDMI ports, making them perfect for connecting multiple displays or devices.

TOBENONE USB C Docking Station Dual Monitor 4K@60Hz

The TOBENONE USB C Docking Station is a great device that can be used to connect multiple monitors to your computer. Not only does it support up to two 4K monitors at 60Hz, but it also has a number of other features that make it a great choice for anyone looking for an easy way to connect multiple monitors to their computer. It upports a number of different ports, which allows you to connect a variety of devices to your computer.

The docking station has two HDMI ports, two DP ports, three USB 3.1 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one Type C PD 3.0 port, and one Audio input/output jack. This gives you the ability to connect multiple monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, a printer, and more to your computer. The TOBENONE device requires the DisplayLink Driver in order to function properly. This driver can be downloaded for free from the DisplayLink website. Once you have installed the driver, you will be able to use the docking station with your computer.

It also is compatible with Windows and MacBook computers, including the M1 MacBook Air, the M1 Macbook Pro, and the Dell Latitude 5480 and more. The docking station is small and lightweight, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. It also has fast and stable charging capabilities up to 100W input and 85W output.

Plugable 4K USB C Docking Station Triple Monitor 4k@60Hz

If you’re looking for a great way to add some more displays to your workstation, the Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station is a great option. This device supports resolutions up to 3x 4K 60Hz, and it also includes 100W of charging power so you can keep your devices powered up while you work. Additionally, it comes with a 2 year warranty for peace of mind.

The Plugable device includes 13 different ports, which gives you plenty of options for connecting your devices. You’ll find four USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one 10Gbps USB-C connection, three DisplayPort ports, and three HDMI ports. There’s also an SD card reader, so you can easily transfer files between your devices.

This docking station is compatible with a variety of different devices, including the Thunderbolt 3 MacBook Pro and Air, the M1 Macs, and the USB-C Microsoft Surface line. Additionally, it works with HP Spectre x360 series laptops, Dell XPS laptops, and Lenovo ThinkPad T series laptops. If you have a Huawei MateBook Pro or an LG Gram, this docking station is also compatible. DisplayLink drivers are required in order to use this docking station, and it can be downloaded for free from the DisplayLink website.

The Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station is a great way to expand your workstation and add some extra displays. With its wide range of ports and compatibility with many different devices, it’s a great option for anyone who needs to add some extra screen real estate to their setup.

Sonnet DisplayLink USB Type-A to Dual HDMI Adapter for M1 Macs

If you have an M1 Mac notebook and want to connect two 4K displays, the Sonnet DisplayLink USB Type-A to Dual HDMI Adapter is a great option. The Sonnet adapter supports higher refresh rates when connected to two 4K displays, up to 60Hz. This is perfect for gamers or anyone who wants a smoother experience when using their M1 Mac.

DisplayLink Manager software makes it easy to set up and use the Sonnet adapter, and it’s compatible with both Mac and Windows computers. The adapter is also very portable, thanks to its small size and light weight. The Sonnet DisplayLink USB Type-A to Dual HDMI Adapter is perfect for M1 Macs, Intel-based Macs, or Windows PCs with USB 3.0 or Type-C interfaces.

Conclusion

Running dual external monitors on a MacBook Pro can be a great way to increase productivity. By allowing you to have more windows open at the same time, it can help you get more done in less time. Depending on your specific needs, such as two 4K monitors with 30Hz and 30Hz, two 4K monitors with 30Hz and 60Hz and even triple monitors with 60Hz, there is a device out there that can support your needs.

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to run dual external monitors with a Macbook Pro that has the M1/M2 chip. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. And be sure to check out our other articles on MacBooks and accessories. Thank you for reading!

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