Tricked-out MacBook Pro drives triple-4K-display outfit [Setups]


Welcome to Display Central.
Welcome to Display Central.

Some people need more than one or two displays. Like software developers. Today’s featured MacBook Pro-and-custom-PC setup manages to rely on five different screens like some sort of mini Mission Control. But launches controlled from here are new software products and updates, not rockets.

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Software engineer’s tricked-out MacBook Pro with Sidecar iPad drives three 4K displays

Software engineer and Redditor GolfinEagle showcased the display-heavy setup in a post entitled, “Triple 4k 2021 MBP M1 Max w/ Sidecar iPad.”

The three LG 4K displays — one 32-inch monitor in landscape mode at center and two 27-inch screens in portrait mode on either side — are run either by a powerful 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro or by a custom PC (shown at right in the photograph). The laptop is the workstation’s fourth display and the iPad Air at center is its fifth.

Golf described his use of the setup:

This is my WFH setup as a SWE. Center monitor is dedicated VSCode — usually I’m swiping between 3 or 4 editor windows with 2-3 tabs each because we have a massive monorepo. The iPad is mostly dedicated terminal but I sometimes swipe between terminal and dev tools. Left and right are usually Chrome windows (2 each, divided top and bottom with Magnet) and Teams on the right. The actual Mac display is dedicated email.

Someone asked if the different-sized external LG monitors present any problems with scaling or blurred text.

“Not at all!” Golf replied. “I use BetterDisplay and essentially have the side monitors at 1440 x 2560, and the center one at 3008 x 1692. You can really fine tune it with BetterDisplay plus Apple’s HiDPI magic makes everything look crisp.”

MacBook Pro can support 4 external displays

Another commenter asked if the MacBook Pro supports three monitors.

“Do you have some kind of HDMI switch to use the tower on the right with one or all monitors?” they asked. “How do you connect and re-connect into this set-up when taking the MBP away from the desk? Do you only have those two cables plus magsafe that’s visible close to the camera or are there connections on the other side not as easily seen?”

Golf explained that the MacBook Pro can handle four monitors and he doesn’t bother with a KVM switch to change between the MacBook and the PC:

Yeah the M1 Max drives all the displays without a dock, could actually add one more if I wanted lol. Currently, I don’t have like a KVM switch or anything I just have both machines connected to everything and manually change inputs from HDMI to DP or vice versa in the monitor settings.

The Keychron is actually wired to the desktop and I switch it to Bluetooth to use with the MBP, then I have another wireless mouse I use for desktop.

As for connecting the MBP nearly every port is used lmao, the three visible in the pic plus an HDMI and thunderbolt on the other side. I’ve got them all zip-tied together under the stand so they stay relatively in place when I disconnect everything.

Custom PC specs

And if you’re curious about the big PC on the right in the photograph, here are its specifications:

  • ASUS Prime Z690-P WiFi motherboard
  • Intel i5-12600K processor
  • Corsair Vengeance DDR4 32GB memory
  • EVGA GeForce RTX 3060TI FTW Ultra graphics
  • Corsair iCUE 4000X Mid-Tower case

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