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Can a iMac use two additional monitors?

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January 10, 2011 4:10:34 PM

This is the second forum post i have ever put. But I don't know where exactly to put it. Sorry If i'm in the wrong thread.

Anyways. I've always wanted to have an iMac for my film. But i don't have the money for it :( . I might be hopefully getting one next christmas and my PC has 3 monitors hooked up to it with the same graphics card that the imac i want will has. Which is a Radean 5770. I know for a fact it supports three monitors! The only problem is does the iMac support adding two addition Monitors?? I would be planning on getting a mini Display Port to DVI adapter then adding a splitter to the two other monitors. Will this work? It would be great to have 3 monitors! THANKS!

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a b C Monitor
January 10, 2011 4:32:29 PM

Apple doesn't support ATI/AMD's Eyefinity technology, but can support multiple displays. However, looks like the iMac can only use one additional display. The following is from the iMac page at apple.com:

Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to a 30-inch display (2560 by 1600 pixels) on an external display.

Still, if you are serious about using an Apple in your film work, you might want to consider stepping up to a Mac Pro. You would be able to get up to the 3 monitor config you are seeking. You should also contact Apple to get more details on the "do-able" with their products.

Good luck!
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January 10, 2011 4:41:43 PM

Thanks! I will try and see. Just they are really expensive and I'm getting a camera for the price of a good mac pro. So I don't know if my father will let me get one soon atleast. I was thinking an iMac isn't that good for me because its always nice to update your computer so you don't have to spend so much each time! I'll save up for one as soon as possible ahah ;) 
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a b C Monitor
January 10, 2011 5:06:10 PM

My daughter is a film major in college so I am fairly familiar with the aches and pains of video editing. To use the high-end editing suites, like Final Cut Pro, you can actually use any Intel based Mac (MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini with Intel Integrated Video is not supported). Specs can be found here:

http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs/

From my experience, I find that having 2 monitors is optimal for editing work. One to work from and the other to display the results. Not sure what I would do with the third monitor you are looking for.

BTW, what kind of camera are you looking at?
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January 10, 2011 5:17:07 PM

Yeah, but i would feel muchh better buying an mac pro then an imac. BUt i guess your right. an iMac is perfect for what i need!

Now i am hopefully getting this camera in febuary it is the HDR-AX2000, its an AVCHD prosumer camcorder, it has everything i need. So far sony vegas works good with it because its a sony camera and vegas supports AVCHD. I heard that Final Cut is really picky with this format and that you have to convert it to some sorta file. I also seen tutorials on how to import avchd to Final Cut with out converting them. Even though probably most of them would be going through After effects and becoming a .mov file anyway :) 
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a b C Monitor
January 10, 2011 5:28:58 PM

Nice camera. BTW, I wouldn't let FCP/Sudio's handling of AVCHD concern me. It really isn't a big deal and FCP/Studio is one of the industry standard products so support is widely available.

What kinds of films are you planing to make?

Good luck!
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January 10, 2011 5:32:32 PM

Thanks, I mean i'm a real ameature im only 14 years old. BUt i can do a lot of things that not a lot of people my age can do. My dream is to become a film director but for now i just do little skits and im planning when i get the camera to make some short films. But right now i am working on a script for a movie i wanna cool FALLOUT. Which is like just a movie from the videogame franchise fallout. Pretty much a fan film. So yeah ;) 
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a b C Monitor
January 10, 2011 5:44:16 PM

Good luck to you! My wife is a screenwriter and my daughter a college junior film and history major. I am tech support to both.

Be careful with copyright infringement when writing scripts based on existing properties (like Fallout). There are ways to get the permissions needed, but if you submit and attempt to register without following the proper protocols, it can be a MAJOR pain later. Always cite and give credit to others, as warranted.

Have fun!
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January 10, 2011 5:55:37 PM

Thanks for telling me that! And I hope i will have fun! Maybe we should keep in touch for any reasons or something! Thanks for hte help!
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a b C Monitor
January 10, 2011 5:58:07 PM

You can always drop me a private message via the forums. Now....go make a movie! HOOAH!!!
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January 10, 2011 6:06:27 PM

Best answer selected by intensityfims.
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January 5, 2012 4:09:15 PM

Hi I understand that this is has been marked as SOLVED. However, in case I may have missed this mentioned as a solution already to your question, my solution for specific setup has been working great for many years for me. Basically, almost immediately after I purchased the pre-order late 2009 iMac 27 inch model, I add 2 extra, additional 27 inch monitors from Dell which was honestly a beautiful thing - having 3 27 inch monitors, the main as the latest 27 inch iMac and speed wise I NEVER ran into any lag issues. It was cruising so smooth to where I almost at fist felt guilty - as I moved from running dual 27-inch dells for my XP, and WOW what a nightmare IF compared to how well the new iMac quickly adopted IMO.
Anyways, time to get to the point and refer to more your question. Aside from describing the difficulties I had being already 2 years ago and the tech was new, I will simply go over what I chose as my solution in the most optimized way - back in early-mid 2010. I currently have 2 other high end Dell monitors (worth the money!) that fit as nice as I have researched seen since. The sizes of the monitors themselves are symmetrical enough in dimensions and never had any lag / speed issue with the 3rd as I suspected since it is both not designed to have a 3rd plus the device I used to use for connection made me spectical.
For the first (second monitor), I FINALLY found a straight cable display port to minidisplayport that gave a smaller resolution of 1920-1680. The last one was a DVI to USB adapter by Display Link, which capped out at 1680-1200 resolution. Already you can see how much the resolutions varied, which was a big concern for me taking this risk, however turned out fine simply by using iMac as middle monitor as in between the 2 others and ended up looking great, given my setup and seeing other people's reactions the resolution hardly was noticed - in fact it was perfect for the purposes I used each other one for - setting each monitor for specific purposes.
The best part was how I connected my 3rd monitor, which again was quite a risk. Also, I should note on the side I used this third monitor as optional for my macbookpro, and windows 7 that I soon explain. The cable consisted of a DVI->HDMI cable to 3 port HDMI selector (cheap one too), from the selector back to the monitor out for (iMac 3rd monitor) USB->DVI cable to DVI ->displaylink adapter (dvi - female -> USB), then this usb went to my iMac just as all my other USB devices went.

Now I know nowadays that there exist higher resolution monitors and better DVI-USB adapters that are much better in resolution in the least.

Hope this helps,
Mike
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January 5, 2012 8:36:01 PM

This topic has been closed by Amdfangirl
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