Using a 2015 15" MBP Retina, maxed out, what's the best source of information on ordering of Thunderbolt devices relative to a cinema display? 4K screen, and 3 Thunderbolt drives?

With the Cinema Display on the end, after the 3 Thunderbolt drives, the sound is severely distorted.

I've never run the Thunderbolt out the back of the cinema display.

And does the Thunderbolt out the back of the Cinema Display power a 4K Display Port cable? (when I tried this on the back of the drives, I got only 2560 resolution, so I'm guessing that the 4K monitor needs a direct connection).

UPDATE I'm quite happy with the setup pictured below:

  1. Cinema 27" on left
  2. Dell 2715Q 4K Running at next to highest resolution
  3. Retina 15" screen to right running at next to highest resolution
  4. Thunderbolt drives connected to Cinema 27", as well as USB2 and Ethernet
  5. USB3 drives connected to Dell 2715Q built-in USB hub.

Is there anything more optimal?

Is two 4K displays an option? Guessing not due to Thunderbolt.

photo of my setup

1 Answer 1


You really don't run into issues with the ordering of devices in Apple chain able hardware. Whether it's FireWire or Thunderbolt, the only rare situation is where you mix generations.

For example a firewire 400 cable should go at the end of the 800 chain. Same for Thunderbolt 1 and 2 (and soon 3).

I haven't seen any issues with powered off thunderbolt drives in the middle of a chain to the display, but I'd probably put the display first and then plug the drives in down stream of the display if you have that option.

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