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I've been browsing different forums for this answer and the closest answer I could find was a post on this Stack Exchange.

However this post is still a 'may be' it won't work and it targets the general question 'Non Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt ?' which I would understand to be negative.

My question is more on the display side, since the thunderbolt technology carries both a display signal as well a pci express signal, can a non-thunderbolt diplay with a simple display port still carry that signal to a thunderbolt cinema display ?

Thanks for your knowledge on that matter.

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System Requirements Thunderbolt-enabled Mac computer, including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac OS X v10.6.8 or later –  Graeme Hutchison Nov 9 '11 at 9:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, it cannot. That's the reason Apple is still selling the non-thunderbolt 27" display, for the devices like yours.

Source: Apple Online Store, where under system requirements it says:

System Requirements

Thunderbolt-enabled Mac computer, including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac

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plain and simple thanks. Those displays are unfortunately getting scarce so people in the same situation will have to decide soon. –  apouche Nov 9 '11 at 10:15
    
Yes. I think it's an unfortunate decision for Apple because, will you decide to buy, say, a MBA, you will not be able to get all those additional ports. Of course the display will work, and you'll just have to buy one of those hopefully-out-soon Thunderbolt hub (gosh how much I want them) in that case, but still, Apple could have saved a lot of overhead to its supply chain and its customer. –  Gio Nov 9 '11 at 10:22
    
I've found something quite interesting. There is a company doing multi monitor signal splitting from one video input, Matrox and they recently added a Thunderbolt compatible device acting as a Thunderbolt hub. Looks amazing... –  apouche Nov 9 '11 at 15:14

You will find the requirements on the Apple website

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

There is a good article here on the connectivity of the Thunderbolt displays that may help you understand

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