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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:05 AM   #1
joachimnb
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Apple Cinema Display 27" Thunderbolt is outdated, but would you buy it?

So the case is this.

I first sold my MacBook Pro mid 2009 13 inch, then i ordered a mid 2012 version 13 inch air. While waiting for the air i also sold my 24 inch cinema display. My air has not arrived yet, but I am really wondering whether to order a 27 inch Thundebolt display to go with it. It's not that the TBD is bad or do not fit my needs - it is just that it maybe should have been updated by now? I see that it is missing MagSafe 2 (therefore you need to mess with an adapter, which i figure will not be as convenient as with no adapter, with no need to make sure the adapter falls off while unplugging and such - if it does that?). Also USB 3.0 could be rather nice and fitting to the current new lineup of notebooks. And what about HDMI for us who use our cinema as a television?

Is it worth the wait? According to rumors, this is obviously a "do not buy situation", but is it really forseeable that something is going to happen within a period of 1 year? Seems like there is issues with the new iMacs caused by integration of the display. This could mean no upgrade of the cinema display. I could also see a new upgrade when Mac Pro finally gets updated once in the future - if that ever happens.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joachimnb View Post
So the case is this.

I first sold my MacBook Pro mid 2009 13 inch, then i ordered a mid 2012 version 13 inch air. While waiting for the air i also sold my 24 inch cinema display. My air has not arrived yet, but I am really wondering whether to order a 27 inch Thundebolt display to go with it. It's not that the TBD is bad or do not fit my needs - it is just that it maybe should have been updated by now? I see that it is missing MagSafe 2 (therefore you need to mess with an adapter, which i figure will not be as convenient as with no adapter, with no need to make sure the adapter falls off while unplugging and such - if it does that?). Also USB 3.0 could be rather nice and fitting to the current new lineup of notebooks. And what about HDMI for us who use our cinema as a television?

Is it worth the wait? According to rumors, this is obviously a "do not buy situation", but is it really forseeable that something is going to happen within a period of 1 year? Seems like there is issues with the new iMacs caused by integration of the display. This could mean no upgrade of the cinema display. I could also see a new upgrade when Mac Pro finally gets updated once in the future - if that ever happens.
I highly highly doubt the new TBD will have an HDMI port for you to use as a TV. Basically, it will mirror the 27 imac.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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If we see a new Thunderbolt Display in the near term, I expect it will look similar to the 2012 iMac.

I'm confident it will not have HDMI (either input or output).

USB3 is a guarantee, but with the iMac dropping FireWire, I fear the ATD might drop it, as well. Yes, I can use TB to FW800 dongles, but one nice thing about my current ATD is everything plugs into the back directly with no dongles.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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I could see an update coming next year sometime. Probably later than sooner.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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How long do you plan to hold onto the display? If you will replace it every 3 years at the end of Apple Care, get a refurbed one now from Apple for $829 (but watch for sales tax) or a new one from B&H for $929. Both come with full warranty.

Obviously the choice is to wait for the new version that will likely be sometime in 2013 at an undisclosed cost.

Personally I wonder if they will make a new ACD at all if all the new Macs have thunderbolt....and most new Macs are without FW.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joachimnb View Post
It's not that the TBD is bad or do not fit my needs - it is just that it maybe should have been updated by now?
Displays often carry a much slower refresh cycle than computers. Typically year to year changes are minor. In Apple's case they've shared the basic design between imacs and their desktop displays for some time. Imacs used cheaper panels and other display related electronics at one point, but they've been basically identical for years. Right now I wouldn't expect an updated thunderbolt display until February at the earliest. Something made for a slow production ramp-up with the imac, so they're unlikely to to release a thunderbolt display based on the same design until that has evened out and passed its initial surge.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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I would bet you will see it whenever they update the MacPro.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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USB3 is a guarantee, but with the iMac dropping FireWire, I fear the ATD might drop it, as well. Yes, I can use TB to FW800 dongles, but one nice thing about my current ATD is everything plugs into the back directly with no dongles.
The dropping of Firewire is my concern with the current vs. potential future Thunderbolt display. I don't want to have to deal with a dongle anymore than I want to deal with the Magsafe adapter. I also think they might drop the Ethernet port - which for anyone living in a dense population center, being able to go wired when available offers a nice performance bump - and just do 4 USB3 and 3 TB ports.

I'm in a debate mode regarding whether to buy the display. USB2 really isn't too big a deal since the products I would plug into them for now - keyboard, scanner, printer - don't require the bandwidth and I'm unlikely to upgrade any of them anytime soon. The rest of my stuff is FW800, and while I may eventually move to USB3, the two ports on my MBP should accomodate those as needed. Plus, a Thunderbolt dock with multiple USB3 ports will likely be more cost effective down the line to expand the current Thunderbolt Display as needed.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:24 AM   #9
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Of course it is outdated. No Magsafe 2, no USB3, and thicker than the current iMacs. Also, it's built very inefficiently, look at the teardown photos, the circuit boards are larger than in a MBP, and the way the TB cable is connected is ridiculous. And there is a ******** fan inside. I would have expected Apple to update this mess a long time ago. Since they haven't so far, I can only assume it will coincide with the Mac Pro update in 2013.

Last edited by gjwfoasfsaevg; Nov 27, 2012 at 08:44 AM.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RexTraverse View Post
The dropping of Firewire is my concern with the current vs. potential future Thunderbolt display. I don't want to have to deal with a dongle anymore than I want to deal with the Magsafe adapter. I also think they might drop the Ethernet port - which for anyone living in a dense population center, being able to go wired when available offers a nice performance bump - and just do 4 USB3 and 3 TB ports.
I expect they will keep Gigabit Ethernet. The new iMacs still have it and with the Airs and rMBPs not having it, keeping it on the ATD would be a benefit.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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I would imagine if the interface is on the new iMac, it will also be on the ATD. And conversely, if the iMac does not have it neither will a new ATD.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 03:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joachimnb View Post
So the case is this.

I first sold my MacBook Pro mid 2009 13 inch, then i ordered a mid 2012 version 13 inch air. While waiting for the air i also sold my 24 inch cinema display. My air has not arrived yet, but I am really wondering whether to order a 27 inch Thundebolt display to go with it. It's not that the TBD is bad or do not fit my needs - it is just that it maybe should have been updated by now? I see that it is missing MagSafe 2 (therefore you need to mess with an adapter, which i figure will not be as convenient as with no adapter, with no need to make sure the adapter falls off while unplugging and such - if it does that?). Also USB 3.0 could be rather nice and fitting to the current new lineup of notebooks. And what about HDMI for us who use our cinema as a television?

Is it worth the wait? According to rumors, this is obviously a "do not buy situation", but is it really forseeable that something is going to happen within a period of 1 year? Seems like there is issues with the new iMacs caused by integration of the display. This could mean no upgrade of the cinema display. I could also see a new upgrade when Mac Pro finally gets updated once in the future - if that ever happens.
How much did you sell the 24 in Apple display for at the time?
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:46 AM   #13
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At Christmas I got the wife and me each a 27" ATD with AppleCare. She used the FW port for her backup drive while I use our TC for backup. The ATD USB 2 ports have our keyboards and mice (USB 3 would not provide any advantage with those). I also have my US Robotics plugged into a USB 2 port...no advantage to a USB 3 port. We use one of the USB 3 ports on our rMBPs to change and synch iPhone and iPads. Our library drives are LaCie 2Big TB units that connect to ATD just fine. ATD and rMBP...great combo.

Dang glad we did not wait for a new ATD design. I would guess that might show up late this year with the new Mac Pro.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 04:05 PM   #14
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I was going to wait for the new one, but got itchy one day and picked up the current model. I've been using it for a few weeks now, and i'm glad I got it. At this point, the incremental upgrade of a new model may not be worth it for me. In the meantime, I'm enjoying a nice display/dock.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 01:53 AM   #15
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I got my ATD almost a month ago, i like it, got it for good price at best buy, for 799 after they price matched with Fry's, best buy guy did not even check if they were in stock at Fry's , just honoured the price i showed him online...i think for this price it is a good buy, still was thinking if i could have waited for the updated ATD...will see if i will regret , for now i am happy...
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 12:25 PM   #16
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If you like/don't mind glossy screens and are happy that you can plug your USB2 keyboard/mouse/iPad/printer into the display, or use FireWire drives then the existing display will do what you want.

If you use USB3 disc drives (and don't want to spring for Thunderbolt ones), or hate glossy screens then wait... but bear in mind that there haven't been any definite rumors of new displays.

I would speculate that there's an outside chance that Apple will do something completely different. If I were Apple I might be considering a 19"-21" external retina display as a companion to the rMBP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfxguy View Post
I would bet you will see it whenever they update the MacPro.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joachimnb View Post
I could also see a new upgrade when Mac Pro finally gets updated once in the future - if that ever happens.
...except that the 27" Cinema Displays seemed to be promoted more as MacBook accessories, rather than for Mac Pro. Plus, of course, the Thunderbolt version won't work on the current Mac Pro at all. It would be interesting to see how, on any new Mac Pro, Thunderbolt is going to work with PCIe-based graphics cards - but it may be that the typical serious MacPro customer is going to go for a professional grade monitor (the current Apple Displays are more 'prosumer' - you can spend a *lot* more on a monitor if you so desire).
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 03:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by joachimnb View Post
Apple Cinema Display 27" Thunderbolt is outdated, but would you buy it?
No, i do not buy it. I need a display which:
- is matte display
- has Adobe RGB support
- has an adjustable height & other ergonomic adjustments
- has a LED-backlight
- uses IPS
- and has other important features.

At the moment i would buy the Dell U2413 or the NEC P232W.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 04:50 PM   #18
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Wouldn't touch one until they support USB 3 and have the same design as the new iMac.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 05:11 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by gjwfoasfsaevg View Post
Of course it is outdated. No Magsafe 2, no USB3, and thicker than the current iMacs. Also, it's built very inefficiently, look at the teardown photos, the circuit boards are larger than in a MBP, and the way the TB cable is connected is ridiculous. And there is a ******** fan inside. I would have expected Apple to update this mess a long time ago. Since they haven't so far, I can only assume it will coincide with the Mac Pro update in 2013.
DITTO. I hated the ton of heat that emanated from mine and returned it immediately. I am waiting for the thinner, cooler, sharper, more modern TB 2.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 05:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by gjwfoasfsaevg View Post
Of course it is outdated. No Magsafe 2, no USB3, and thicker than the current iMacs. Also, it's built very inefficiently, look at the teardown photos, the circuit boards are larger than in a MBP, and the way the TB cable is connected is ridiculous. And there is a ******** fan inside. I would have expected Apple to update this mess a long time ago. Since they haven't so far, I can only assume it will coincide with the Mac Pro update in 2013.
How is this "inefficient"? There is space available and zero need to make things more compact. Even now, there's a lot of empty space. Why use hotter, denser, and more expensive boards when you don't have to?

----------

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DITTO. I hated the ton of heat that emanated from mine and returned it immediately. I am waiting for the thinner, cooler, sharper, more modern TB 2.
The new one won't be any cooler. If anything, it will be hotter because things are more compact. I'd rather heat emanated away from my electronics, as is the purpose of proper cooling, than get bottled inside.

In my opinion, the only changes will be USB3, the thinner design, and the less shiny display. If those are important to you, then wait another few months. Don't expect any miracles or any surprises here.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 05:50 PM   #21
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I use an adaptor with my old spare power adaptor on my MacBook (keep one at home, another at work and didn't want to spring for a new one when I upgraded the MacBook).

The adaptor is held on to the old Magsafe plug with a strong magnet. It takes a real effort to get it apart and it won't happen accidentally. If that's all that's holding you back, buy with confidence.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 09:44 PM   #22
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Has anyone seen anything to suggest there will be a refresh or new model to accompany the impending MacPro desktops?

I've been waiting, literally*, forever. I'm still using the old see-thru 23" model.... Don't even remember what that's called.....
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 07:07 AM   #23
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The new one won't be any cooler. If anything, it will be hotter because things are more compact.
Forgive my ignorance, but why are all the new ultra thin TVs so much cooler than their thicker older technology predecessors?
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 07:45 AM   #24
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outdated! whahahahaha! another spoiled brat Apple customer disappointed that Apple didn't give the TBD a new even thinner look.

let me guess. you use your mac for internet browsing, work, ''study'' (yeah right) and playing movies.

and ofcourse, super predictable. you are now going to defend yourself by saying ''you actually USE your mac, for Video, Graphics or Audio processing''' whahaha :')

dude seriously why don't you get the best 4K 3d ultra super TV you can effort & just hook it up to an ipad using apple tv. this way you can do your little computing tasks while still having a crispy clear screen (probably way overkill, but if you can efford it why not)

----------

ontopic: I would.

got the 27'' Cinema Display version at the time and it's a very practical and functional screen. very sharp image, gives me the real estate that I need and it looks good on my desk too

got it for €899,- so the pricing is definitely on point too. (while it gives you even more then other screens in that same class / pricerange.)

generally view it as money well spent! it's a tool that I use very day and does it very well. also, it's over a year old now & still looks like I bought it yesterday.

Last edited by Hessel; Feb 27, 2013 at 07:50 AM.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 07:59 AM   #25
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Every day the wife and I are glad we did not wait. As photographers the last thing we want is a matte monitor. Just try to do detailed editing or sharpening on a matte/diffused screen.
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