How to solve the compatibility issue of M1, M2, M3 chips?

How to solve the compatibility issue of M1, M2, M3 chips?



Apple's revolutionary M1, M2, and M3 chips have significantly enhanced the performance and efficiency of MacBooks. However, one limitation users have encountered is the chips' support for connecting only one external monitor directly through the Thunderbolt C port. This presents a challenge for professionals who rely on multiple monitors for enhanced productivity and multitasking capabilities.

Why Does the Issue Occur?

The M1, M2, and M3 chips are designed to recognize the signal from only one Thunderbolt C port when connecting external displays. This inherent design decision restricts the direct connection of multiple monitors, allowing only one screen to be recognized and utilized.

The Solution: Using an HDMI Hub with USB-A/USB-C to HDMI Adapter

To overcome this limitation and effectively use dual monitors with a MacBook that has an M1, M2, or M3 chip, a specific setup involving a hub and adapters is required. Here's how you can set up your dual monitor configuration:

  1. USB-A/USB-C to HDMI Hub/Adapter with MST: The first step is to acquire a USB-A/USB-C to HDMI hub or adapter that supports Multi Stream Transport (MST). MST is essential for enabling the connection of additional monitors beyond the first, supporting both mirror and extend modes for your displays.

  2. Connecting the Second Monitor: Once you have the USB-A/USB-C to HDMI hub/adapter with MST, use the HDMI port on the hub to connect to your second monitor using the provided HDMI to USB-C cable. This connection is for the video signal transmission.

  3. Power Supply to the Monitor: To power the second monitor, connect the USB-A port on the hub to the monitor using a USB-A to USB-C cable. This step ensures your second monitor receives the necessary power to operate.

  4. Driver Installation: Before you start using the hub to connect the second portable monitor, remember to install the necessary drivers for the USB-A/USB-C to HDMI adapter. This is a crucial step to ensure the adapter functions correctly with your MacBook and monitors.

  5. Avoid HDMI Splitters: It's important to note that an HDMI splitter is not a viable solution for this setup. HDMI splitters can only support mirror mode, which means both screens display the same content. They cannot support extend mode, where each monitor displays different content, limiting the effectiveness of a multi-monitor setup.

Final Thoughts

While the limitation of connecting only one external monitor directly to M1, M2, and M3 chip-equipped MacBooks can be a hindrance, the outlined solution offers a viable workaround. By utilizing a USB-A/USB-C to HDMI hub/adapter with MST, along with the correct cables and driver installation, users can enjoy the benefits of a dual monitor setup, enhancing their productivity and multitasking capabilities. Remember to consult with the customer service of the HDMI hub/adapter before purchase to ensure compatibility and support for your specific needs.