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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jul 22, 2011
    Apple Thunderbolt Display-Connection Confusion!
    OK, I have quite a lot to explain here so this is going to be a big post.

    In September, I'll be going to University to study Computer Games Animation and as such over the past few months I've sorted out the computer I need for the course, or I thought I did anyway. I intended to buy a Mac Pro (the upcoming model, following the rumours of an early August update for 2011) and two Apple 27" Cinema Displays. Along with this, I was going to purchase the Atlona HD620 (on one side of the device there is an MDp output and HDMI output to put in your Mac and 360 into and the other side is another MDp output to your display) to connect my Xbox 360 to one of the displays (MDp). I was aware that the HD620 doesn't work with the 2011 iMac due to Thunderbolt and thus it was possible I would run into the same problem with the new Mac Pro and displays. I kept my plan however and decided I'd look into it when the time came.

    ....and then it did.

    Yesterday as I'm sure you're aware, Apple went and released the new Thunderbolt Display which did away with MDp completely. I looked into the new displays and Thunderbolt and as I now understand it, Thunderbolt is backwards compatible with MDp but obviously, MDp can't be forward compatible with Thunderbolt. In other words you can insert a Thunderbolt input cable into a MDp output but you can't insert a MDp input cable into a Thunderbolt output (right?). This would make sense regarding the HD620 and the new iMac as the iMac only possesses a Thunderbolt output forcing you to input Mdp from the HD60 into the Thunderbolt and thus, doesn't work.

    This however is not the case with the Thunderbolt display. As I'm sure you're also aware, the Thunderbolt display possesses an output AND the built-in Thunderbolt cable. Now I wonder if using the Thunderbolt cable into the MDp output on the HD620 would work? The HD620 would then be connected to the Mac Pro via the Apple Thunderbolt cable from the (highly presumed) Thunderbolt output on the Mac Pro into the MDp output on the other side of the device and I'm hoping this would work. I'm also wondering, despite using Thunderbolt cables between the Mac Pro and the display, even if this does work, would the MDp element on the HD620 cancel out the USB outputs, speakers, FaceTime camera and mic functionalities on the display?

    I hope this makes some sense, I've been rattling my brain over this for months and as much as I love the new displays, it's a real pain that they've come out now and shaken my plans. I hope there are members here who know what they're talking about a lot more than I do on the subject, my understanding here could be completely mistaken. Infact the more I think about it and the more I learn, the less confident I become. If this isn't right, is there any way this set up could work?

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Jul 01, 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by ENVY16 View Post
    even if this does work, would the MDp element on the HD620 cancel out the USB outputs, speakers, FaceTime camera and mic functionalities on the display?
    I certainly don't know as much as most people here, but my educated guess would be that this would be your biggest issue. Perhaps someone else will be able to confirm this.

    I also am hanging out for the new mac pro. I see the release of the new thunderbolt displays as a promising sign that they must be close. Good luck solving your problem.

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