YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov reports that up to six external screens can be run from the M1 Mac mini and five external screens from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. This is possible for M1 Macs with the help of DisplayLink and DisplayPort adapters. This goes far beyond Apple's set of exterior screens on the M1 Macs.
The central host Apple's new "M1 Macs" are not able to support as many external monitors as their Intel-based predecessors. The previous MacBook Air based on Intel could run a 6K or 5K external monitor or up to two 4K external monitors and the previous MacBook Pro could run a 5K external monitor or up to two 4K external monitors. The 2018 Intel-based Mac mini could run up to three 4K screens or one 5K screen and one 4K screen.
Apple says the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro can run an external monitor with analysis up to 6K at 60Hz. The M1 Mac mini can run a screen with a resolution of up to 6K at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt and a monitor with a resolution of up to 4K at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0. This means that each new M1 Mac can run one less screen than the model it replaced.
However, Tulupov discovered that it is possible to run up to six external monitors from the M1 Mac mini and five external monitors from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. This is achieved by using some DisplayPort adapters and DisplayLink software. When the M1 Mac ports are full, DisplayPort adapters must be connected via a external dock to provide more doors.
Tulupov used a combination of external monitors, ranging from 4K to 1080p, as the Mac's Thunderbolt ports do not have the bandwidth to simultaneously run six 4K monitors in full analysis. Therefore, users should be selective about the resolution of external screens.
Tulupov, after doing the test, described the performance of the screens as "awesome". When closing and opening MacBook Air, the screens behaved in the way expected and the regulation seems to be more than sufficient for everyday use.
This solution may offer a little excitement to users who were frustrated with the limited possibilities for M1 Macs external monitors.