I was about to buy a Thunderbolt Display thinking that I'll be able to connect my existing Dell 2713hm to it, so that when I connect the Thunderbolt to my rMBP, everything would just work.

But as I recently discovered, based on this document, where it says:

This Thunderbolt port is not compatible with DVI, VGA, or DisplayPort displays or adapters.

probably means that it's not gonna be possible.

Do you know whether there still is a way to get a multi display setup working, by means of a single thunderbolt connection? (not trashing my Dell 2713)

  • You mean as a daisy-chain? Can't be done; all daisy-chain displays must be Thunderbolt.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 26, 2015 at 7:47
  • How about some kind of adapter between the dell and the thunderbolt display. Something that converts the thunderbolt to displayport?
    – Birowsky
    Feb 26, 2015 at 10:04
  • You cannot run a TB display directly to a DP. Apparently putting another TB device between the 2 may allow it to work - see macrumors.com/2011/09/16/… and macworld.com/article/1162365/…
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 26, 2015 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


What you need is a Displayport/DVI/VGA port and a displayport/thunderbolt port and since it seems you don't have a Mac with a second Thunderbolt port you will need to get something that will give you two Thunderbolt ports.

Once the question is framed that way (?) then it seems to me that the choice is one of the Thunderbolt "docks" that are often sold as a way of connecting a MacBook to numerous ports all at once via Thunderbolt.

There are numerous examples of such devices out there but you may end up with a lot of ports you don't need (USB, Ethernet, Audio, SATA, etc.) depending on which one you decide on.

I am not aware of any devices that are the Thunderbolt equivalent of a USB hub but perhaps other folks might know of something.

  • Doesn't @Birowsky ask to use a thunderbolt display and then a (mini)displayport to the Dell? It seems like this is possible to me, but I don't have the hardware to test this. Feb 25, 2015 at 16:04
  • @Fingebimus yes. That.
    – Birowsky
    Feb 26, 2015 at 10:08
  • Since your Dell display has a DisplayPort input, I'd say, buy a Thunderbolt (minidisplayport) to DisplayPort adapter, and according to this, it should work. Feb 26, 2015 at 10:10

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