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July 6, 2012

Is your Hackintosh's second monitor lagging? Try switching ports.

In the past, one of the monitors in my dual-monitor Hackintosh setup would always lag when I did anything processor-intensive from the other monitor. For instance, all of the apps in my first monitor would experience a performance drop whenever I watched fullscreen videos in my second monitor. Luckily, there's an easy fix available. It turned out that the problem was with the connector ports on my graphics card.

Mac OS X lags if you connect both of your monitors to DVI ports on your graphics card. This problem can be remedied by only connecting one monitor to a DVI port, and connecting your second monitor to a different port on your graphics card.

Though DVI is the most popular connection interface for monitors nowadays, almost all graphics cards include alternative ports, including DisplayPort, HDMI, or in the case of some older cards, VGA. If your monitor only has DVI ports, you can use converter cables, which almost always work with Mac OS X. In my case, I bought a 6-foot long DisplayPort (Male) to DVI (Male) cable, so that I could connect my DVI-only monitor straight to the DisplayPort port in my graphics card. These converters don't cost more than $10, and are a convenient way to get your Hackintosh up and running, if necessary.