MacBook Air 11 Inch Plugged on Apple Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by D3nZ, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Edmundston, N-B, Canada
    Does anyone have experience with an 11inch MBA plugged into an Apple Thunderbolt Display? Any trouble with the lagging or freezing when you scroll?

  2. macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2011
    We bought two 27" Thunderboilt displays yesterday. Both run fine with our 11" and 13" MBAs (current gen w/i5)
  3. macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    Yah I'd like to hear more about this. I'm still on the fence about getting an air or a new pro when the refresh comes.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    I've been running the new 11" MBA loaded with the T'bolt for a few weeks now and couldn't be happier. I can finally see again! The only issue I have had is maintaining the same resolution setting when running in clamshell mode. Could not be happier with this set-up.
  5. macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    I have been using the ATD now for about 2 weeks. Prior to that I had my 11" hooked up to a 27" Apple Cinema Display. Originally I thought what's the big deal with the ATD if I already have the ACD. After some more research and thought, I switched because of the following:

    - The gigabyte ethernet connection on the ATD. Having a consistent, fast network connection makes me just that much more productive.

    - Thunderbolt is a lot bigger pipe than the straight USB hub connector on the ACD. And I have noticed this when it comes to connecting external drives through the display hub. One of the external drives I use is an SSD with boot camp installed on it. On the ACD, the drive sometimes would lose its connection when I am running boot camp as a VM and have other extnernal drives connected as well. On the ATD now, those issues have disappeared. Yes, the ATD is not any faster per se, but the thunderbolt to thunderbolt hub connection can handle more throughput imo.

    In general, the ATD is worth it for someone w/ the 11" if they work at a desk a lot vs. a more mobile person who don't want to chain themselves to working at a desk all the time. 27" of glass and aluminum isn't exactly easy to move around:)
  6. macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    Townsville, Australia
    Finally got my ATD

    It is still sitting in the box though as I'm swapping my iMac at work for it.

    But I've been running my 30" Dell off of the 11" for a while and all is good. It does make the fans run up a bit more though.

    To be honest this 11" MBA is a desktop replacement for much of what I do. And anything else is generally not so important that it can't wait till I'm working on my 27" iMac.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    One thing I have noticed recently is that when I am watching quicktime videos on my 11" Air hooked up to an 27" ACD, when switching to full-screen, there is an "animation lag"...I have tried several different videos with both quicktime and VLC, with and without other applications running and still notice the same thing. Otherwise, its a great display; couldn't be happier!
  8. macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    able to play any games at low settings with ATD?
  9. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    I have the mba 13, and I have no problems using it with the thunderbolt display. I have yet to play any games, but it runs ripped blu-ray videos just fine at full 1080p resolution. It also runs Aperture just fine.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    I have a question going on a different thread that relates to using a Thunderbolt equipped MBA on a Thunderbolt equipped iMac. Can you use the iMac not only as an external monitor, but also as a "docking station"? Does this work?

    In other words, using only a Thunderbolt cable between the two computers, can the MBA access any of the peripherals attached to the iMac (as you would expect using a MBA with a Thunderbolt display)?
  11. macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    yes there is. It is called target display mode.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Yes, I understand that the external monitor function will work, but will the iMac provide data from the peripherals attached to the iMac back to the MBA?
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    No. You can only use target display mode to use your iMacs screen to display your MBAir's desktop. That's it. There no cross talk of USB/Firewire peripherals, etc.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. This is truly a bummer as this would be quite a game changer for the iMac to serve as a docking station for attached notebooks via Thunderbolt connections. I wonder why Apple has decided not to have the same functionality that the Thunderbolt display provides when notebooks are attached to it ??????
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Its a matter of marketing; the iMac is not intended to be a "docking station" for a portable, thats why the Apple Thunderbolt Display exists. An iMac is marketed to be a powerful, standalone all-in-one.

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