As a Mac user, you may want to expand your display setup by connecting external monitors. To help you get a clear idea of the maximum number of monitors you can connect, the ports available, and the resolutions supported by different Mac models with Apple Silicon, we have prepared a comprehensive guide in this post. We will cover the popular models including MacBook, Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Studio. If you are looking for answers to these questions, this post is for you.
When it comes to MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, the difference between M2 Pro chip and M2 Max chip is significant. Apart from the performance boost, the processor upgrade enables you to connect twice as many monitors to the same computer simultaneously.
- MacBook Air: 1 monitor up to 6K@60Hz
- MacBook Pro with M2 Pro: up to 2 monitors
- 6K@60Hz (Thunderbolt) + 4K@144Hz (HDMI)
- Two 6K monitors at 60Hz (Thunderbolt)
- An 8K 60Hz (Thunderbolt) monitor
- One monitor (HDMI) 4K 240 Hz
- MacBook Pro with M2 Max: up to 4 monitors
- 3 monitors (Thunderbolt) 6K@60Hz + 1 monitor (HDMI) 4K@144Hz
- 3 monitors: Two (Thunderbolt) 6K @ 60 Hz + 1 8K @ 60 Hz or 4K 240 Hz (HDMI) monitor
- MacBook Pro 13″: 1 monitor up to 6K@60Hz
It’s worth noting that when connecting an external screen to a portable Mac, it’s not mandatory to mirror everything onto that display. These laptops come with built-in screens, so users can choose to extend their desktop and use their laptop screen as an additional display.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the number of external monitors that can be connected to each desktop Mac model varies. For example, the Mac mini and the iMac can support up to two external displays, while the Mac Studio can support up to six displays. The specific ports available for connecting external monitors also differ by model. It is important to check the specifications of each model before making a purchase to ensure it meets your display needs.
- Mac mini M2: up to two monitors
- One monitor (HDMI) 4K@60Hz + One monitor (Thunderbolt) 6K@60Hz
- Dual monitors (Thunderbolt): 6K@60Hz + 5K@60Hz
- Mac mini M2 Pro: up to three monitors
- Two monitors (Thunderbolt) 6K @ 60 Hz + One monitor (HDMI) 4K @ 60 Hz
- One monitor (HDMI) 4K @ 144 Hz + One monitor (Thunderbolt) 6K @ 60 Hz
- One monitor (HDMI) 8K at 60 Hz
- One monitor (HDMI) 4K at 240 Hz
- Mac mini M1: maximum one external display
- iMac: A resolution monitor up to 6K via Thunderbolt
- Mac Studio: up to 5 displays
- Four monitors (Thunderbolt) 6K @ 60 Hz + One monitor (HDMI) 4K
As you may have noticed, the difference between the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips extends beyond their computing power. These chips also differ in terms of the maximum number of external monitors that can be connected. Moreover, the USB Type-C ports featuring the Thunderbolt standard deliver greater power and faster data transfer rates than regular USB Type-C connectors.