I've been looking at the Matrox DualHead2Go, which is essentially the best/easiest way to go about using dual monitors for a MacBook Pro. Some people suggest using a USB to VGA or HDMI - but obviously that would have terrible performance.

I thought maybe it's a doable project that I could interest some of my EE friends to help me with.

I didn't want to pitch the Idea to them yet - just in case I'd look stupid for suggesting it to them if it's not possible to do as a project.

Anyways, I was just thinking I could ask some of you guys if it's possible to create a way to do dual monitors on a MacBook Pro that would be cheaper than buying one of the Matrox boxes. Is it worth trying?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not trivial at all: you will probably need a fast CPU (I can imagine this being done with a DSP or a fast ARM CPU) to decode DisplayPort and turn it into (e.g.) HDMI. \$\endgroup\$
    – Renan
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 2:33

1 Answer 1


For a well done project? Very, and Expensive. You would need to source a proper Mini DisplayPort adaptor, then figure out how to turn a digital dvi signal to display onto two monitors while the computer only sees one. And if you want thunderbolt? Forget it. Outside of any conceivable student range or pricing. According to MSI, a huge manufacturer of motherboards, Thunderbolt would cost them $35 dollars to implement per board. And we are talking mass production price.

Simply put, not a trivial project, especially without experience.

  • \$\begingroup\$ OK thats what I needed. Thanks. It sucks that theres not a cheaper way to do it on Mac's. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justin
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ted Thunderbolt and the Mini-DisplayPort are interchangeable on the macs at the moment. You just won't get thunderbolt data. You could do just the mini-display port, but it is also a complicated display protocol, . VGA is simple, DVI isn't too hard, but since apple moved onto minidisplayports and thunderbolt, it's a complete digital headache. You can't make simple adaptors anymore. But the DualHead2Go does more than just provide a single display. It does display spanning, so that takes alot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 4:17

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