Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

That Thunderbolt Display looks great. However, if I buy a monitor, it had better work with all my older computers, not just the latest and greatest Thunderbolt Macs. Is there any way I can get DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA into it?

share|improve this question
1  
If you need it to work with things other than "Thunderbolt Enabled Macs" get the "Cinema Display" instead, as of yet there are no adapter (like the HD Diamond USB) which I use to run 3 external displays with my 15" MBP ;) –  cwd Apr 15 '12 at 4:44
add comment

2 Answers

The Apple press release says "supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays", but this is referring to the Thunderbolt output port (for daisy-chaining). The Thunderbolt Display will not work with a non-Thunderbolt machine without an adapter.

But unfortunately now that the they have started shipping them, it has become clear that this does not apply to the input side of the display. As covered in the AnandTech review you can only connect Thunderbolt equipped computers into the Thunderbolt display.

That text in Apple's press release is oddly misleading. Because you also cannot connect a second DisplayPort to the Thunderbolt output socket on the display. You can however connect the Thunderbolt output to something like the Promise Pegasus then you can connect a DisplayPort display to the Pegasus. This seems to be a bug in the Thunderbolt Display, which will hopefully be fixed.

I expect someone could create an adapter that takes in HDMI/DVI, converts it to DisplayPort and outputs it as Thunderbolt. That should allow you to use the display with "legacy" formats, but such a thing does not yet exist and would no doubt be fairly expensive if it did.

share|improve this answer
1  
I think that press release is highly misleading. That part seems to say that you can connect a Thunderbolt Mac to a DisplayPort monitor. AnandTech says "Apple will continue to sell the existing 27-inch Cinema Display as the new Thunderbolt Display will not work with machines that don't support Thunderbolt." anandtech.com/show/4516/… –  Thilo Jul 22 '11 at 5:27
    
I wonder where AnandTech got that from. If it is correct then the press release is more than just misleading... –  andynormancx Jul 22 '11 at 11:31
1  
Press releases are always put together like that. The first paragraph is the announcement, the rest is copy/pasted material about the involved companies and technologies. –  Thilo Jul 23 '11 at 4:03
1  
I'd strongly disagree about that. The press release is clearly trying to tell us that in someway that the new display can be used with existing DVI, HDMI and VGA. It just is unclear from the wording whether it applies to inputing a signal to the display, outputting a signal to displays further down the chain or both. –  andynormancx Jul 24 '11 at 15:45
    
Well, we'll see once we get some more reviews. For the moment, I have resigned myself to the fact that it won't work without an external adapter. –  Thilo Jul 25 '11 at 2:15
show 2 more comments

I'm seeing on Apples site that the system requirements are as follows:

Thunderbolt-enabled Mac computer, including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac OS X v10.6.8 or later

That means it must be Thunderbolt enabled.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.