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I just built a new windows 8 PC with a GA-Z77X-UP4 TH motherboard so I could have a Thunderbolt port for my Apple LED Cinema Display 27" . Unfortunately, the display isn't working. I have read that it will work on a "hackintosh" so I would assume it's a driver issue and not a motherboard issue.

Has anyone had experience in this or does anyone know where I could find some Cinema Display drivers for Windows 7 or 8? I do have access to a MacBook Pro so could I someone get the windows drivers from the Boot Camp assistant?

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Do you have the Apple LED Cinema Display (27" flat panel) with Mini Displayport aka this one…? – MrDaniel Dec 18 '12 at 15:39
Yes, that is the one that I have. – user715564 Dec 18 '12 at 15:41
To be clear your not getting any video to show up from your Windows 8 pc, right? – MrDaniel Dec 18 '12 at 15:50
This display should work on Windows, sans drivers. Drivers should only be needed to control brightness, etc. I would check your BIOS / EFI settings to make sure that the internal graphics are enabled and active over the thunderbolt ports on your board. – MrDaniel Dec 18 '12 at 15:52
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I have that exact same motherboard I purchased less than a month ago. With default BIOS settings, you're right it doesn't work, but I got the 27" display to work fine without installing bootcamp drivers.

Make sure you've updated all your drivers and BIOS, especially Intel Graphics 4000 and install Virtu MVP in order to use a discrete graphics card with the thunderbolt interface for gaming/performance. Make the following adjustments to your BIOS (hold delete on boot to access BIOS settings.) Obviously, you might have to plug in a non-thunderbolt display to be able to change the settings.

  • Internal Graphics: Enabled
  • Init Display First: IGFX or PEG (not PCI)

I believe there's also a setting for Thunderbolt Bandwidth which I changed to 40, but I'm not certain if that's necessary to change to get it to work.

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I'll double-check my BIOS settings and driver versions when I get home if those tips don't work for you… it took me a bit of fiddling to get games to run properly using the discrete graphics card rather than the internal Intel Graphics 4000 and the system to boot directly to the thunderbolt display. The only issue I have is Thunderbolt speaker audio dropping out when the system goes to sleep. – ghoppe Dec 18 '12 at 16:07
This is awesome, thank you so much! I should have all of the drivers updated but I definitely could have missed one or two. I don't have access to the PC right now but I will later this evening. I will make the BIOS changes and see if that works. I actually remember seeing the thunderbolt bandwidth option in the BIOS but I didn't think changing it would fix the problem. I will look into what it for. – user715564 Dec 18 '12 at 16:47

The Apple 27" LED cinema display should work on Windows without drivers, as noted on Anandtech.

The good news is that the display works under Windows 7, the bad news is you need Boot Camp installed to get brightness control. The downloadable Windows drivers won’t work on a system without Boot Camp installed, in other words, on a normal PC you lose the ability to control brightness.

Additionally from a technical perspective thunderbolt to mini display port should be technically compatible, as noted on What is the differnce between the Apple LED Cinema Display (27" flat panel) and the Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch)?

27 Cinema Display mini display port will work with older Macs with mini display port only output. They will also work with thunderbolt Macs (as the last device in chain).

I would suggest that there is a setting and or graphics output configuration issue occurring on the GA-Z77X-UP4 TH, I would double check the firmware settings and make sure that on board graphics is enabled and set to work over the Thunderbolt ports.

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Thanks for the help. I bet the problem is, as you mentioned, the on board graphics is not set to work over the thunderbolt port. – user715564 Dec 18 '12 at 16:51

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