Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 14, 2011
    Posts
    2
    Thunderbolt Display has no backwards compatibility?
    Apparently Apple's Thunderbolt Displays have absolutely zero backwards compatibility with any devices other than 2011 Macs. Doesn't this seem completely absurd to anyone else?

    When was the last time you saw a computer display or a new TV that only had an HDMI plug? Even then, those HDMI plugs can be converted into just about anything with a simple accessory.

    Maybe I'm the idiot?

    What's going on here?

  2. #2

    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
    Posts
    9,073
    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    The Apple displays have always been a bit of a niche product: only Mac users buy them and even most Mac users tend to go for a cheaper 3rd party monitor brand.

    So Apple probably assumes that most buyers will purchase one to go with their new thunderbolt-capable Macs.

    Besides, some of the features (gigabit ethernet) can't work over DVI or USB, so they could only offer a subset to non-thunderbolt Macs.

    Having said all that: I have one at work for my 13" MBA and it is gorgeous. And plugging in just 2 cables to get everything connected is great.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Dec 14, 2011
    Posts
    2
    It works great on my Macbook Pro, no doubt. It's an excellent display.

    The point still stands though that every display or TV that exists, other than this TB monitor, almost certainly is compatible with HDMI, DVI, etc etc.

    In fact, when I purchased this display I assumed that it would be compatible with anything that I was going to throw at it, likely with the purchase of some kind of adapter. Much like you assume that you are going to get a bun with your hamburger.

    I don't know. I'm just ridiculously turned off by the idea of spending $1000 + Apple Care to only be able connect to one device.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    I don't understand your comment. Thunderbolt is in fact backward compatible with nearly every kind of video, audio and data connection *ever invented* in the computer age, but it does require adapters (if you need something beyond the FW 800 port, the three USB 2.0 ports and the Gigabit Ethernet ports it actually comes with).

    Apple simply (and correctly) observed that people who buy a new Cinema Display generally want to hook it up to a new or very recent Mac (thus the matching styling). New Macs have Thunderbolt. Recent Macs have MiniDisplayPort, which is compatible with TB. Where's the issue?

  5. #5

    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
    Posts
    9,073
    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    I don't understand your comment. Thunderbolt is in fact backward compatible with nearly every kind of video, audio and data connection *ever invented* in the computer age
    That's not the issue the OP is having though:

    - If you have a thunderbolt port on your mac, you can get an adapter to turn that into a firewire port
    - If you have a firewire port on your mac, there's no adapter to make it work with a thunderbolt device

    So while you can connect a mini-displayport display to a thunderbolt-equipped Mac, you cannot connect a thunderbolt display to a mini-displayport equipped Mac.

    So the thunderbolt display is actually limited to thunderbolt-equipped Macs. But it would have been fairly trivial for Apple to add a regular mini-displayport input as well, making it compatible with far more Macs.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Yeah, I got that, but ... well it's a bit bloody obvious isn't it?

    Yeah, it might have been nice IF ... but they didn't, and that's made clear on the website and the box.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Display on MBP and Thunderbolt Display
    By BJ4 in forum OS X - Operating System
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-08-2013, 04:29 AM
  2. Thunderbolt Display?
    By Gabry777 in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-03-2012, 09:12 AM
  3. Thunderbolt Display - sound out
    By PH2 in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-26-2012, 03:45 PM
  4. new thunderbolt display?
    By geeeek in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-21-2012, 06:59 AM
  5. Desktop display is backwards like a negative image.
    By Crowmoon in forum Apple Notebooks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-27-2011, 10:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •