This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
All three of the new Macs with the Apple Silicon "M1" chip have fewer external displays that can be connected than the previous Macs with the Intel chip. However, a workaround has been reported that allows more displays to be connected and output video than the official website states.
Apple claims on its website that the M1 versions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro support one external display (up to 6K resolution, 60 Hz), and the M1 version of the Mac mini supports up to two external displays.
However, the Intel versions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro can run one external 6K or 5K display or up to two external 4K displays. And the Mac mini (2018) can run up to three 4K displays or one 5K display and one 4K display. So the M1 versions of Mac are generally one less external display than the Intel version of Mac.
But according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov, with DisplayLink software and DisplayLink-certified display adapters (via an external dock), you can connect more displays than Apple describes - specifically, up to six displays for the M1 Mac mini and up to five displays for the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
However, this has some limitations: the Mac's Thunderbolt ports don't have enough bandwidth to display six 4K displays at full resolution simultaneously, so Tulupov mixes the resolutions of the external displays from 4K to 1080p. Even in practical use, it seems to be necessary to set the resolution of the external displays one by one.
For performance testing, Tulupov renders Final Cut Pro while playing back full-resolution video on multiple displays. The scene shows that it's working almost normally, with only occasional frame drops. Closing the MacBook Air to the clamshell mode and then reopening it again produced a video display that Tulupov calls "awesome." Although not tested in this case, Tulupov noted that the Sidecar feature, which turns the iPad into a sub-screen, might allow you to use more screens.
Although the additional expense of an external dock and display adapter is necessary, it seems to be good news for those who were holding off on purchasing the M1 version of the Mac because of the number of external displays.
Source: Ruslan Tulupov (YouTube)
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.