M1 Macs can run up to six external displays thanks to DisplayLink adapters

According to the technical specifications for both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with M1, the devices can run a single external display. However, it turns out you can attach quite a bit more.

That’s according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov, who recently published a video showing all of Apple’s new M1 Macs running many more external displays. To make it happen, Tulupov used DisplayLink adapters, which far exceeds Apple’s recommended plan for connecting external displays.

According to Apple’s own documentation, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with the M1 processor can run up to one external display up to 6K and 60Hz refresh rate. Meanwhile, the M1-equipped Mac mini can run an external 6K or 5K display up to 60Hz when connected to the Thunderbolt 3 port, and an additional display up to 4K via the HDMI 2.0 port.

According to Tulupov, using DisplayLink adapters makes it possible to connect up to six different external displays to the M1 Mac mini, and up to five external displays when connected to the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Tulupov used a variety of different external displays for the test run, up to 4K in resolution.

It’s worth noting that there are still limitations, even when bypassing the recommended limit. The new Macs are limited in bandwidth, thanks to the Thunderbolt ports. They can’t run six (or five) 4K displays at the same time, so even if you use DisplayLink adapters and hubs, you’ll need to be selective of your resolution options.

It’s a workaround, and Apple’s recommendations are using fewer external displays, but it could be a welcomed discovery for some early adopters out there.

Here’s the video showing it off:

Did you buy a new Apple Silicon Mac? If so, how are you liking the experience so far?